A drunk driver has recently been charged in a fatal accident that occurred earlier this year in Georgia. According to a local news report, a Georgia Port Authority officer was hit by a tractor-trailer driver back in March. The officer was at the Garden City Terminal at around 3:30 p.m., conducting his normal traffic control procedures, when the drunk driver slammed into the officer.
The tractor-trailer driver was immediately arrested and was originally charged with driving under the influence. An additional charge of operating a vehicle without a tag was added at a later time. The officer was taken to a local hospital and remained in a coma for several months. Tragically, the officer passed away a few weeks ago from the injuries he sustained in the March accident. It is likely that the tractor-trailer driver will face more serious charges after the death of the young officer. The officer left behind a wife and children.
Claims by Spouses under Georgia Law
In Georgia, if someone has been seriously injured or killed, their family members may bring a claim on behalf of the victim as well as in their own name. After an accident, the impact can ripple, affecting many other individuals, including bystanders, family members, and other people who know and love the victim.
Georgia allows for “loss of consortium” claims to be brought by a spouse of someone who has been injured by the negligence of another. Under Smith v. Tri-State Culvert Mfg., 126 GA App. 508, 510 (1972), a claim of this nature involves the loss of “society, companionship, love, affection, aid, services, cooperation, sexual relations, and comfort.” Essentially, this involves the loss of those aspects of a relationship that are unique to a married couple.
It is important that individuals who bring this type of claim understand that their claim rests on the claim of their spouse. This means that the spouse’s claim must exist and be viable in order for the other party to file a loss of consortium claim. Furthermore, a spouse must be able to identify the losses they are experiencing and establish that those losses are a direct result of the injury that their spouse incurred. Additionally, the loss must occur while the parties are both living. For example, in the above case, it is possible that the wife of the officer could have a claim based on the time while the officer was alive and in a coma. It is important that you contact an attorney in these emotionally grueling and legally complex cases.
Do You Believe You Have a Loss of Consortium Claim?
If your loved one has been injured or killed in a car or truck accident, the attorneys at Miller Legal Services can help you navigate this complicated area of the law. An attorney at Miller Legal Services can help you understand your rights and remedies in these cases, while advising you as to how to quantify your damages. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary damages for the loss of consortium you have experienced because of the negligent party’s actions. Contact an attorney at Miller Legal Services today at 770-284-3727 to schedule your free initial consultation.
See Related Blog Posts:
Georgia Woman Found Dead After Hit-and-Run, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 4, 2015.
Slip-and-Fall Injury Case Occurring at a Georgia Hospital Need Not Comply with Medical Malpractice Requirements, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 25, 2015.