4-Car Crash Causes One Death In Cherokee County, Georgia
Law enforcement officers in Cherokee County started an investigation into a fatal crash that occurred Friday, March 10, 2017, around 7:30 p.m, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Cherokee County Sheriff's Officers said that the accident happened on Hickory Flat Highway. While one person succumbed to injuries suffered in the crash, four others were uninjured in the crash. Another person went to WellStar North Fulton Hospital for treatment.
The Sherriff's office released some details about the accident. The primary cause appears to be from a vehicle heading westbound on Hickory Flat Highway that crossed the centerline of the divided highway. In so doing, the westbound vehicle struck an eastbound car. The collision forced the eastbound car into the westbound lane. A third vehicle, a Jeep, heading west, hit the car that had been forced into its lane. Investigators believe that this second collision caused the tragic death of the operator of the car initially headed west. The first car headed west then struck another car headed east, forcing that car off of the road and down an embankment. The occupants of the Jeep and the car that went into the embankment were thankfully not hurt. The driver of the first car went to the hospital.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by Georgia law enforcement officers. There is no word as of this writing on whether criminal charges will issue against the first driver.
What Rights Do The Family Of The Deceased Driver Have?
The deceased's family may have the right to pursue a wrongful death action in Georgia. Georgia Code, Title 51, chapter 4 allows a decedent's spouse and children to recover damages in a wrongful death claim. If the deceased did not leave any spouse or children, then the administrator or executor of the person's estate has the authority to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased's next of kin.
Against Whom Can The Wrongful Death Claim Be Filed?
It is important to remember that the investigation is not yet complete. Perhaps after law enforcement completes their investigation and determines the cause of the accident, the question may be answered more accurately. However, the initial investigation revealed that the first driver crossed the center line and struck the vehicle and killed the driver traveling in the opposite direction, leaving the potential for liability. Furthermore, the police will investigate whether the second collision, the one in which they initially determined to have caused the driver's death, could have been avoided if that person had operated the vehicle more carefully.
What Damages Can Be Recovered In A Georgia Wrongful Death Suit?
The type of damages depends upon who is bringing the claim. If the surviving spouse, children, or parents bring the claim, then they may be entitled to the value of the whole life of the decedent. Whole life includes:
• Economic loss, including future losses such as earning capacity as well as immediate losses.
• Non-economic losses, such as the value of the life lost, based upon who the person was and how they lived their life.
If the estate files the wrongful death, then the estate may recover incidental damages as well as losses for pain and suffering of the deceased.
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