A drunk driving accident resulted in the death of the sculptor who was chosen to create the Martin Luther King Jr. statue for the Georgia Capitol. According to news reports, the artist was driving his motorcycle around 12:30 a.m. earlier this month when he stopped at the traffic light near an intersection on Jodeco Road. A Toyota pickup truck driven by a 20-year-old was traveling eastbound on the same road and slammed into the motorcycle from behind.
After being hit, the artist was thrown from his motorcycle. He was airlifted to a local hospital and hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury and skull fractures. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead the following day. The Toyota driver has been charged with driving too closely, possession of marijuana, and driving under the influence. The artist has been a well renowned sculptor for many years and has left behind a wife and two adult children.
Damages in Georgia Personal Injury Cases
The case discussed above is particularly tragic not only because of the talent of the victim but also because of the reckless actions of the drunk driver. In cases like this, it is very likely that the victim’s family will bring a wrongful death or personal injury suit against the culpable party. Many times, the family will seek compensatory or consequential damages. Compensatory damages are generally paid to compensate the victim or their family for the harm they suffered, their injuries, and general losses. A subset of compensatory damages is consequential damages, which are damages that arise from the consequences of the defendant’s negligence. These damages often take the form of lost wages that the plaintiff suffered because of their injuries.
Punitive Damages Under Georgia Law
Under Georgia law, a plaintiff may also recover punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, which are used to make the victim “whole again,” punitive damages are imposed solely to punish the defendant for their egregious actions. Under Georgia’s theory of damages, punitive damages are only awarded if there is clear and convincing evidence that the culpable party demonstrated malice, fraud, or willful misconduct. The actions must have shown that the defendant consciously ignored the risk of their actions. Punitive damages may be considered in cases where the defendant was involved in a DUI accident. Georgia imposes certain limits and caps on punitive damages, depending on the particular type of case.
Have You Been Injured Because of a Drunk Driver?
If you or a loved one has been killed or injured because of a drunk driver, you may consider bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the culpable party. In situations where the defendant acted particularly recklessly, you may be entitled to punitive damages. These damages are often very difficult to obtain, and it is important that your case is thoroughly prepared. To ensure quality representation, you should contact Miller Legal Services at 770-284-3727 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our dedicated and experienced personal injury attorneys.
See Related Blog Posts:
Georgia Court Decides Important Case Involving Uninsured Motorist Protection, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 12, 2015.
Atlanta Driver Arrested After Driving Wrong Way on Highway, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 8, 2015.