A 34-year-old man has finally been sentenced after being involved in a fatal hit-and-run while he was under the influence. According to one local news report covering the scene, the man was convicted of four DUIs prior to being involved in this accident.
Evidently, the victim was driving east on the highway when the defendant attempted to turn into a parking lot. Unfortunately, the defendant did not yield to the motorcyclist, and a collision occurred. The victim’s motorcycle was hit by the front of the defendant’s car, and instead of calling authorities, the defendant left the scene of the accident and ran into a nearby apartment complex.
Eventually, witnesses called emergency personnel, and the victim was taken to a nearby hospital. Police were able to apprehend the defendant, and his blood alcohol content revealed that it was more than twice the legal limit. The victim sadly died 11 days after being hospitalized. The defendant recently pled guilty to charges of leaving the scene of a crash and DUI manslaughter. He was sentenced to a 30-year prison term in addition to probation for 11 years after his release. His license has been permanently suspended.
Georgia Hit-and-Run Statutes and Regulations
Georgia has very specific statutes and rules regarding the duties of individuals after they have caused or been involved in an accident. Georgia mandates, by statute, that any driver who has been involved in an accident that results in death or injury stop their car at the scene of the accident. If they are unable to stop at the immediate scene, they are required to stop as close to the scene as possible. The driver must then provide all pertinent information, such as their name, address, and license information, to the accident victim or anyone else requesting it. Additionally, these individuals are required to provide reasonable assistance to any injured individual. This includes either transporting the individual to a hospital or calling for emergency assistance. Failure to comply with these rules can result in liability when there may have been none otherwise, meaning that if the fleeing party failed to stop in the aftermath of an accident, even one for which they were not at fault, they may still be found liable for their failure to provide reasonable assistance.
Filing for Punitive Damages in Georgia in Egregious Cases
In Georgia, there are certain very limited situations in which punitive damages may be awarded. Under Georgia law, punitive damages are awarded to punish or deter a defendant’s egregious conduct. In order to obtain punitive damages, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s behavior was extreme and outrageous — basically, the type of behavior that shows complete disregard for the safety of others. This must be proven by “clear and convincing” evidence.
The plaintiff must draft a complaint that first alleges compensatory damages. After alleging the compensatory damages, a plaintiff must then add all supporting evidence for punitive damages. The plaintiff must plead the pertinent facts that amounted to egregious behavior. Then, the plaintiff needs to incorporate relevant statutes that support this type of award. While punitive damages are rarely awarded, when they are awarded, they are usually substantial.
Have You or a Loved One Been Involved in a Georgia Hit-and-Run?
Hit-and-run accidents are particularly tragic because of the intentional nature of the defendant’s conduct and the increased likelihood of death or serious injury. In these cases, it is important that a victim or their family contact an attorney to assist them in their suit, in order to prevent a negligent driver from shifting blame and escaping liability. An attorney at Miller Legal Services can assist you in drafting your complaint and help you receive a fair and full award. If you have been injured, contact Miller Legal Services today at 770-284-3727 to schedule your free initial consultation.
See Related Blog Posts:
Georgia Teens Killed on Highway When Driver Allegedly Fails to Yield to Oncoming Police Vehicle, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 14, 2015.
Eighth Circuit Circuit Court Finds Independent Intervening Cause As Defense to Liability, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 21, 2015.