When a negligent or reckless driver leaves the roadway and collides into a pole, tree or some other inanimate object, the driver will most likely be legally liable for the ensuing death of a passenger in the vehicle. A fatal accident in Georgia does not have to involve two or more vehicles for a dead passenger’s estate to recover economic compensation. Injured passengers who survived the accident also have a right to claim monetary compensation for their injuries.
A recent early morning one-vehicle fatal accident in Augusta took the life of a 41-year-old woman who was a passenger. She was ejected from the Isuzu Trooper when the driver lost control and went off the road into a tree. It was not reported whether the woman regained consciousness or was given medical attention prior to her death.
The driver was a 43-year-old man from Augusta. He was taken to a hospital with serious burns and personal injury. Police, in effect, pointed to the driver as the negligent person causing the fatal accident. They reported that the speed of the vehicle was a contributing factor, and mentioned alcohol as an additional possible cause. The determination regarding alcohol will have to wait for the results of blood tests routinely taken from a driver in these types of incidents.
In Georgia, a fatal accident caused by a driver’s negligence or reckless acts results in the statutory remedy called a wrongful death action. The action is brought by the victim’s estate against those responsible for the death. This can include monetary compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and lost earning capacity, along with payment of medical bills and burial expense. The victim may also have had separate insurance that kicks in if the driver’s coverage is insufficient. Coverage issues and insurance sources are topics best determined in consultation with qualified counsel who is experienced in finding all of the potential payment sources available in a given situation.
Source: The Augusta Chronicle, “Augusta accident kills 1, injures 1,” March 4, 2013