What are my rights if a loved one is involved in a car accident?
The holiday season is a joyful time but it can also be stressful. There is a lot to do and schedules can get very overloaded. Unfortunately, the stresses during the holidays can be even further aggravated by an increase in accidents and illnesses that peaks right around new year’s eve. Here in Atlanta, the number of car accidents increase between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve each year. These accidents occasionally result in severe injuries and even death. In fact during both Thanksgiving and Christmas car crash fatalities spike by almost 25%. At Zagoria Law, we hope that you are not burdened with tragedy this season.
We have compiled a short list of the types of accidents that can occur with some tips on how to avoid them. We encourage you to share them with your friends and family so maybe together we can help keep more people safe this year.
Accidents Caused by Drinking and Driving
According to the Association of Safe International Road travel, almost 40,000 Americans die each year from a fatal car crash. Drinking and driving is one of the leading causes of these fatal accidents. During this season, people who may not normally drink alcohol may find themselves intoxicated behind the wheel due to an increase in social situations involving alcohol. If you or a loved one is planning to drink, it may be best to also plan on alternate transportation. Taking a taxi or carpooling are excellent options.
If you are on the road and have not been drinking, you may still be at risk if there are other drivers on the road with you who are intoxicated. Some red flags can include, swerving, changing lanes frequently without signalling and excessive speeds. If you notice this type of behavior your best option is to slow down and let these vehicles pass you. Maintaining a safe distance from potentially intoxicated drivers can help keep you safe.
Accidents Caused By Distracted Driving
Using cell phones and other mobile devices can be very dangerous while driving. But other activities such as applying makeup or looking for items in your car can also put you and your passengers at risk. Keeping your hands at 10 and 2 or even 9 and 3 with a focus on the road can help minimize the risk of being involved in an accident caused by distracted driving. If you are on the road with a distracted driver we recommend keeping your distance, if possible.
What can you do if you do get hurt
If you or a loved one becomes a victim of an accident caused by a negligent driver, you should seek medical attention right away. Documenting your injuries in official police and medical reports can help us make sure that you are compensated for your pain and suffering. In the unfortunate event that a loved one is involved in a fatal car crash, you should also obtain documentation of the incident. Fatal accidents caused by negligent drivers can be classified as wrongful deaths. Families that have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death have rights to compensation as well.
What exactly is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death in Georgia is defined as “the negligent, reckless, intentional and criminal acts”. In the case of wrongful death, a deceased person’s surviving family must bring forth the case. The state of Georgia allows you to bring the case if you are either the spouse or living child over the age of 18. However, if no spouse or child is able to bring forth a wrongful death suit, then the parents of the deceased or a person assigned to act on behalf of the state may file suit.
What is the result of receiving a wrongful death verdict?
In the state of Georgia, you may receive damages for:
- Companionship Loss
- Loss of wages and benefits
- Loss of care
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
We understand that no amount of money can replace a loved one. However, we have experience in helping families work through these types of cases so they are not left with the financial burden and stress caused by the wrongful death of a loved one.
Our team of experts are here ready to help you in your time of need and will exercise the utmost respect.