There has been a sharp rise in highway fatalities in Georgia during the past two years, according to state transportation authorities. During that period, there were more than 1,500 traffic deaths reported, which averages out to an astounding four deaths per day. Increasing driver inattention appears to be the main culprit in causing most of the fatal motor vehicle accidents, says a spokesperson for the state's Department of Transportation.
More than half of the fatal accidents were single-vehicle events, where drivers suddenly lost control and crashed into medians, barriers, walls, trees and other obstructions. The highway department is blaming texting while driving. Others believe that drivers have also become more inattentive about their driving in other ways, such as eating, talking on the phone, snoozing or fiddling with objects inside the vehicle.
The state is now running far ahead of the national average for highway fatalities and in the past two years the increase is 33 percent. The problem has reached critical mass enough to get state lawmakers discussing tougher anti-distraction laws. One state representative has introduced a bill that prohibits texting, although it would allow a perfunctory hand movement to answer calls. Georgia law provides that when a victim of distracted driving dies in a vehicular accident, the next of kin of the decedent may file an estate on his or her behalf.
The administrator of the estate may then make a civil claim under Georgia law for wrongful death damages. The damages claimed from fatal motor vehicle accidents may include lost wages, lost earning capacity for the remainder of the decedent's estimated life expectancy, along with pain and suffering. Medical and funeral expenses are also recoverable. The estate will best maximize its monetary recovery by retaining an aggressive personal injury attorney experienced in handling the complex procedural and substantive issues that may arise in death claims. Initial consultations are free, and there is usually no fee charged unless a recovery is obtained.
Source: 13wmaz.com, "Fatal car accidents on the rise in Georgia", Gabrielle Dawkins, Jan. 22, 2018