Woman on Life Support After Pedestrian Accident
A woman in Gwinnett County was walking on Lawrenceville Suwanee Road early on Christmas morning when she was struck by a car. Since then, she has been on life support at Gwinnett Medical Center. Now, her family wants legal action taken against the driver.
The parents of the victim, Taylor Hamm, plus their attorney and Sally Flocks, the head Pedestrian Advocacy Group PEDS said the woman who struck Hamm should be charged. Specifically, she left the scene and waited to call for help. Police explained that the driver, who was 8 months pregnant at the time of the accident, did not feel comfortable stopping in the middle of the road when it was so dark. Instead, she drove two miles to her workplace, Gwinnett Medical Center, to report she had hit something in the road.
Gwinnett County Police Corporal Deon Washington explained: “We sympathize with the Hamm family who’s dealing with this horrific situation. At this time, there is no evidence that charges should be filed. There were no crosswalks, streetlights and it was pitch black. She didn’t stop because she didn’t actually know at the time struck a human being.”
Nonetheless, advocates say not charging the woman sends the message that it is acceptable to hit someone and leave them in the road. Hamm’s father said that elapsed time between his daughter being hit and receiving help could’ve made the difference between having some memory loss and being on life support.
Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter has said he and his team are examining the evidence presented to determine whether or not charges are appropriate in this case.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Atlanta or the surrounding area, you have legal rights. Contact the attorneys at Haug Law Group today for a free consultation.
Study Finds Young Females at Higher Risk of Car Accident Fatalities
The world has been made better through smartphones and other communication devices. It is also important to note that they are also a major cause of road accident. Research has shown that the young females have 26% more chances of getting involved in an accident as a result of texting and or calling while driving. This research was done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Why Young Women?
It is assumed that the female teens have larger social circle and are usually more active on social media than any other group. This implies that they are often tempted to pick up their phone to text, or call a friend, or colleague while driving.
Who Else is at Risk?
As far as texting accidents are concerned, no one is exempted. People of all ages and sex can fall victim. A quick peek at your phone may cause accident. So many people are used to texting already and as such they believe they can comfortably juggle texting and driving. This is extremely difficult especially if you get easily distracted while driving or if you are an inexperienced driver.
The Consequences of Texting and Driving
Driving and texting may lead to emotional and physical injuries, ranging depression, bruises and bumps to internal injuries and in severe cases coma and death. It is logical to assume that a person that is texting while driving will be distracted and will not have quick reaction of a driver who is completely focused on driving. Easy things such as applying breaks can effectively minimize the possible effect of the accident. However, this is difficult for drivers who are distracted and as a result, they may hit other vehicles or pedestrians and this can cause severe injuries to all parties.
If You’ve Been Injured
You are advised to contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible if you have been hit by a driver who was texting while driving. You might have a case that is worthy of significant compensation and if this is the case, the attorney can help you file your case. This attorney can also spell out the laws pertaining to the case and can also represent you in court to get you the appropriate compensation.
Texting and Driving Car Accident Statistics in Atlanta Georgia
Georgia is fast developing and as such, its roads are getting really busier by the day. This is good because it leads to economic growth and more investment opportunities; however, it also leads to more frequent road accidents. Recently, a research by the NHTSA shows that more avoidable accidents are recorded periodically and most of which are as a result of driving and texting.
Why is Texting a Problem?
It is a major form of distraction. Taking one’s eyes off the road can have severe consequences irrespective of whether it to read or to type a message. Even if you think reading short texts are harmless while driving, bear in mind that from there you will also assume that it is also harmless to type and send short text too. The texts will continue to get longer with time and this will continue to diminish your concentration on the road. This then puts everybody around you in danger including other motorists and pedestrians.
Who is Most at Risk?
a report by the NHTSA suggests that this texting and driving menace is common among teens and young adults, particularly the inexperienced female drivers. More so, men below 5 years of age are not likely to sustain sever injuries. As people grow older, gender plays a vital role. Notwithstanding, anyone in or around a driver who is driving and texting is at risk of being involved in an accident.
What to Do After an Accident Involving Texting
Receiving proper medical attention before any other thing is vital, not minding if the accident was caused by a driver that was texting behind the wheels. This is because serious injuries may be incurred as a result of the accident. Employing the services of an expert accident attorney is recommended. Their job is to get out the deserved compensation for all emotional, mental as well as physical injury. The attorney has the responsibility of filing the case and in most cases, you may not have to be present in the courtroom for you to be adequately compensated. All questions and clarifications should be directed to your attorney.
Overview of Georgia Automobile Insurance Law
In Georgia, it is important to have a basic understanding of automobile liability coverage. Automobile accidents, although rare in a driver’s lifetime, do happen and are something we must all deal with accordingly. Taking a proactive approach to understanding the necessary material within Georgia automobile insurance is beneficial for all Georgia motorists.
In the typical automobile liability policy issued in Georgia, the insurer (e.g. State farm, Allstate, etc.) agrees to pay on behalf of the insured driver all sums which the insured shall become legally obligated to pay as damages because of bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death resulting therefrom and because of injury to of destruction of property, including loss of use thereof arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the owned automobile or any non-owned automobile. Ga. Automobile Insurance Law § 10:1 (2014-2015 ed.).
If you have purchased an automobile liability policy liability, this essentially means that your insurance company agrees to pay for any harm that results if you are found to be the “at fault driver” in an auto accident.
The insurer also has a “Duty to defend”, which means the liability insurer agrees to defend the insured in any action brought against its insured, which is covered under the terms of the policy. Id. The insurer is contractually bound to represent its insured in accidents involving the insured automobile that causes bodily injury or property damage. However, where a judgment is entered against the insured for injuries covered in the policy, the insurer is only obligated to pay that judgment up to the policy limits. Id. The insured driver must pay any amount of money that is entered in the judgment above the policy limits. For example, if a driver has a policy limit of $25,000 covering personal injury, and a court enters a $30,000 judgment against the driver for liability in an automobile accident, the driver is then responsible to pay for the additional $5,000.
When discussing Georgia liability insurance it is important to mention “stacking.” A judicially established rule that governs stacking mandates that liability insurance “follow the car” (insurance follows the car rule). This means that the coverage purchased for the automobile will follow the car regardless of who may be driving. Ga. Automobile Insurance Law § 15:1. The widely accepted judicial rule still may be altered by the terms of individual policies, and is also subject to three statutory exceptions: (1) the automobile dealer’s exception; (2) rental car agencies; and (3) insolvent liability insurers. These three exceptions change the order of stacking liability coverage in applicable situations. Id.
Within insurance law, the term stacking determines the priority of payment of insurance benefits where two or more insurers provide insurance coverage for the same insured event. Id. The term stacking comes from the idea that the primary policy forms the base and the other policies, if you have multiple cars, are “stacked” on top of the primary policy. Remember, the liability insurance coverage follows the car, so the primary policy covers the automobile being operated at the time of the incident out of which the liability arises. Id. at 15:2.
One distinction in automobile insurance that needs to be explained is the difference between liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage (UM). Uninsured motorist insurance is beneficial to purchase because there many Georgia drivers operating their vehicles without insurance coverage. UM coverage applies if you are (1) not the at-fault driver and (2) the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
In Georgia, stacking can also apply to UM insurance coverage. Again, stacking is a potential option if you obtain insurance for more than one vehicle and you wish to combine the policies to cover the total dollar amount caused by the incident. In a situation where you are involved in an auto accident with an uninsured driver, and you are not found to be the at-fault driver, UM stacking would apply. As an example, if you have two cars, and your UM limit is $30,000, you could theoretically combine your UM coverage for a total of $60,000.
The benefit of stacking with UM coverage is that if you are involved with an uninsured motorist, you can combine your coverage to increase the payment limits of your auto insurance. The downside to stacking is that inevitably your insurance rates will be raised because insurance companies need to offset the risk of paying higher disbursements. Additionally, stacking cannot be used to cover property damage expenses, and can only be used for bodily injury damages.
As a Georgia motorist, the minimum limits of liability coverage required by law are bodily injury liability of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per occurrence, and property damage liability of $25,000 per occurrence. The majority of insured drivers in Georgia only obtain the minimum requirements of liability insurance.
No one wants to imagine the worst case scenario, but driving an automobile is one of the most dangerous activities a person can engage in. It may not be necessary to seek legal counsel if you are involved in an auto accident, but it can be helpful to gain a foundational knowledge of Georgia insurance laws. At Haug Law Group, our car accident lawyers in Atlanta, GA can help to provide an understanding of insurance liability coverage which enables drivers to make intelligent decisions if misfortune occurs on the roadways.
Statistics for Main Causes of Car Accidents in Georgia