Car accidents are difficult situations, even when everyone involved acts responsibly. The recent trial of Aimee Michaels – the Atlanta driver in the so-called Easter Crash – is a sobering reminder of the importance of knowing your obligations as a driver before you find yourself in a potentially overwhelming situation.
Under Georgia Law, if a person fails to stop after being part of an accident where someone is seriously injured, they escalate their legal difficulties from a possible civil suit into the realm of criminal law. A hit and run resulting in serious injury or death is a felony.
In the event that you are involved in an Atlanta accident, Georgia law requires that you stop immediately at the scene, or as close as possible. This is true for any driver involved, not just drivers of the primary cars in the crash. Bellamy v. Edwards, 181 Ga. App. 887, 354 S.E.2d 434 (1987). Drivers should exchange information, including name, address, and registration numbers. If someone is hurt, it is the responsibility of the other driver to offer reasonable assistance – including notification of emergency services such and calling the police, or even transporting the injured person to the nearest emergency room.
The backdrop to all of this is: no matter what the situation, do your best to comply with the law of Georgia and to ensure the safety of yourself and other around you. We have encountered many situations in which people who have been involved in car wrecks have been victims of the negligence of other when a careless driver runs into them causing serious injury as they are waiting on the shoulder of the road (or worse yet, on the roadway) for the police to arrive. Still others are involved in wrecks when they are re-entering the roadway after completing the police report, etc.
Having discharged your duties under the code, contact us for help navigating the maze of insurance claims and medical bills that can follow an accident. This will surely be a stressful time and you can rest assured that we can provide you with the guidance and advice to get you through it.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.
The Official Code of Georgia OCGA §40-6-270,
Tagami, Ty. Easter Crash Trial; Coverup Might Have Mattered Most in Long Sentences of Aimee and Sheila Michael. AJC, November 4, 2010.
Bellamy v. Edwards, 181 Ga. App. 887, 354 S.E.2d 434 (1987)