Fatal Douglasville Pedestrian Accident Provides a Cautionary Tale & Valuable Lessons
A recent fatal hit-and-run pedestrian accident in Douglasville provides a number lessons that cover a range of issues involving personal injury claims arising out of these types of accidents. The 18-year-old driver reportedly failed to notice the man who had only been released from a holding facility for public intoxication a short time before the fatal pedestrian crash according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) report. Our condolences go out to the victim and his family as well as the family of the teenager who also are likely overwhelmed by this tragedy. We have provided an overview of some key issues that this type of deadly pedestrian accident can raise that may be relevant to others.
Distracted Driving Means More than Cell Phones: When people think of distracted driving accidents, including those where pedestrians are run down by motorists, they usually focus on motorists who avert their eyes from the road to read a text or dial a number on a cell phone. However, this focus on the physical act of looking away from the roadway often leads people to ignore the mental aspect of distracted driving. When drivers minds wander or motorists attempt to multi-task behind the wheel, this mental division of tasks can be just as dangerous as averting one's eyes from the road. The teenager reportedly indicated that she had a lot of family issues that were bothering her which may have caused her to lose mental focus while driving.
Fleeing the Scene of an Accident Is Dangerous and Criminal: Georgia law requires that motorists who are involved in a collision, which includes pedestrian accidents, remain at the scene and render medical assistance. It is not clear in this situation whether the pedestrian's death could have been prevented if the eighteen year old had immediately summoned help or rendered assistance to the man she hit. However, there are many situations where the minutes saved by contacting emergency responders promptly or intervening to prevent a victim from suffering further injury in chain reaction accidents may mean the difference between life and death. When drivers comply with the law and render assistance and/or summon emergency medical attention at the site of a collision, criminal charges may be less serious or avoided entirely and the accident victim may suffer less severe physical injury.
Motorists Might Reconsider Driving When Experiencing Intense Emotions: The teenager reportedly told the police that she was overwhelmed with family issues related to her mom suffering from cancer. Many people drive when they are distraught and emotionally overwhelmed. Driving when one is experiencing intense emotions can result in critical errors that have lifelong consequences. Motorists may prevent devastating consequences by waiting to get one's emotions in check before climbing behind the wheel of a car.
Hit-And-Run Drivers Can Be Located: Even when a driver flees the scene of a hit-and-run accident, this does not mean that the motorist cannot be located and a civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit pursued. In this case, an anonymous tip reportedly led authorities to locate the vehicle and find the teenager even though the vehicle had been moved to another state and dismantled. When the driver cannot be located in a hit-and-run accident, there may be other options for seeking financial compensation, including other potentially negligent parties or even the injury victim's own uninsured motorist coverage.
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If you or someone close to you is injured or a loved one dies in a hit-and-run accident, our Atlanta accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.