Most untimely deaths are not accidents. Instead, negligence, or a lack of care, usually causes such incidents. In Georgia, drivers and property owners usually have a duty of reasonable care. This legal responsibility is loosely based on the story of the Good Samaritan. Just like this man went out of his way to help an injured traveler, individuals must go out of their way to avoid hurting other people.
When negligence causes a wrongful death or another personal injury, a Marietta personal injury attorney can obtain the compensation these victims need and deserve. No amount of money, no matter how large, could begin to fill the emotional void that a wrongful death creates. However, financial compensation helps these survivors carry on with their lives. At this point, that’s the best possible outcome.
The number of fatal vehicle collisions had leveled off slightly in the years before the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdowns reversed that trend, as many drivers developed some bad habits. For example, since roads emptied, many drivers sped excessively. These bad habits, like so many others, were easy to form and hard to break.
Speeding is probably the most dangerous form of aggressive driving. Speed increases the risk of a crash and the force in a collision. Speeding drivers have less time to react to changing conditions. Additionally, according to Newton’s Second Law of Motion, speed multiplies the force in a collision between two objects.
Driver impairment also causes many vehicle collisions in Georgia. Some common kinds of driver impairment are:
- Medical Condition: The coronavirus pandemic also increased the number of medical condition-related wrecks. Drivers with symptoms like watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing clearly are not at their best behind the wheel. It is also dangerous for people with epilepsy or other serious medical conditions to drive motor vehicles.
- Substance Abuse: Alcohol and many drugs, such as prescription drugs, are legal to take, at least under most circumstances. However, it is always illegal and dangerous to drive under the influence of these substances. Usually, substance impairment begins with the first sip, puff, or pill.
- Excessive Fatigue: Driving while sleepy (being awake for at least 18 hours) is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That is above the legal limit for many drivers in Georgia. The effects of fatigue, like poor judgment and slow reflexes, are basically the same as the effects of alcohol.
Once again, driver impairment-related wrecks usually are not accidents. People accidentally leave the water running. They do not accidentally get drunk and drive home.
As mentioned, property owners usually have the same duty of care as vehicle operators. This duty of care usually applies if the victim is an invitee. These business or social guests have permission to be on the property, and their presence benefits the owner. A lower duty of care applies in other cases.
Owners breach their duty of care if they know about, or should know about, a hazard and do not adequately address it. A Marietta personal injury attorney must also establish cause, which is a connection between the breach and the damages.
Falls are frequently fatal if the victim has a pre-existing condition. Legally, insurance companies cannot use a pre-existing condition, like a previous injury, as an excuse to reduce or deny compensation.