On October 2, 2009, MADD Georgia will hold its annual 5K walk to help raise the public’s awareness of the Georgia drunk driving. The event, previously known as “Strides for Change,” is called “Walk Like MADD” and will be held at Zoo Atlanta.
As experienced personal injury lawyers who represent victims of Georgia Drunk Drivers, we applaud the efforts of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (“MADD”) and wish them great successes in this worthy event. It is a sad fact that so many accidents in Georgia are related to drugs and alcohol. This is especially true during the Holiday which are fast approaching.
While all car accident victims possess a claim and potential lawsuit based on the negligence of the at-fault driver, the victim of a DUI accident also possesses potential claims for punitive damages. Driving while drunk is an added element of this type of lawsuit and is based upon the legal understanding that one who drives while drunk is grossly negligent. Georgia courts define “gross negligence” as being “equivalent to (the) failure to exercise even a slight degree of care” and “lack of the diligence that even careless men are accustomed to exercise.”
One important aspect of these types of claim is insurance. Some auto policies do not cover gross negligence or punitive damages, while others do. It is imperative to obtain a copy of the at-fault driver’s complete policy (not just the declarations page, as this only addresses the coverages and does not state any exclusions of coverage) to ensure that this type of claim and damages is covered. Most times, this can be accomplished by sending correspondence to the at-fault driver, or her insurance company if known, as follows:
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §33-3-28, please disclose to me the name of each insurer that may be liable to pay all or part of any claim stemming from the above referenced incident. This should include, but is not limited to, your automobile liability insurance carrier. I also ask that you notify your liability carrier immediately of this claim and have a representative from it contact me.
The issue of insurance and what is and is not covered under the at-fault driver’s policy must be addressed thoroughly early on in the litigation process. Once it is determined which coverages and exclusions apply, the lawyer for the plaintiff is in a better position to frame the claim and the resulting lawsuit, should the case fail to settle pre-lawsuit.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling DUI accidents, bus accidents, car accident cases and construction site 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 in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, 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 quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.