Articles Tagged with drunk driving

Investigators believe alcohol was the primary factor in a serious collision that killed one person and sent another one to a hospital.

The wreck happened near the intersection of Dee Kennedy Road and Emperor Lane. According to state troopers, a 55-year-old man, who was behind the wheel of a pickup truck, smacked into the rear of a 20-year-old’s Ford Focus. The force of the collision caused both drivers to lose control of their vehicles. The Focus left the road and careened into a tree, killing the driver almost instantly. Emergency responders rushed the other driver to a nearby hospital.

Charges are pending against the truck driver as the Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team continues its investigation. 

In a Georgia car accident case, a negligent driver may be liable for punitive damages if there is “clear and convincing evidence” of “willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.” For example, if the negligent driver was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident, that would provide evidence of “willful misconduct” justifying a punitive damages award.

Dagne v. Schroeder

However, drunk driving is not the only thing that might lead a jury to award punitive damages. A recent Georgia case helps illustrate this point. This plaintiffs in this case were a mother and daughter who were driving home. The defendant was driving in the opposite direction on the same road. Witnesses observed the defendant “swerved within her lane and continuously sped up and slowed down.” At one point she swerved directly into the path of the plaintiffs’ vehicle. The mother tried to avoid the collision but failed. The vehicles collided, sending the plaintiff’s van into the air where it “tumbled several times after hitting the ground before finally coming to a rest upside down.”

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