Single vehicle accidents in Georgia are not exempt from the laws of negligence and the duty to compensate innocent victims. Whenever the driver of a vehicle negligently causes a collision of his or her vehicle with a wall, barrier, tree, pole or other obstruction, that driver will be liable for personal injury damages to anyone injured directly from the accident. This will most often apply to passengers in the negligent driver's vehicle who suffer injuries from the accident.
Accidents regularly occur that involve a driver who loses control and goes off the road, causing a collision of some sort without the involvement of another vehicle. The out-of-control vehicle may flip over and eject one or more passengers. The passenger side may be more severely crushed when the car crashes into a wall or a tree. In any of the countless variations of a single-car accident with one or more passengers being injured, the injured passengers nearly always have a right to recover damages from the negligent or reckless driver.
An example of these facts occurred recently in Milton, Georgia when a car being driven southbound on S.R. 140 left the roadway and hit a tree on its passenger side. It then hit a tree on its driver side and came to a final rest. At some point in that journey, the passenger was ejected from the vehicle. Both the passenger and the driver were reported to be seriously injured and taken to a local hospital.
The police reported that an investigation continues. The focus of that investigation will likely be whether alcohol or drugs impaired the driver. If that turns out to be the case, the injured passenger may make a claim for punitive damages under the personal injury laws of Georgia if it is asserted that the driver drove recklessly while under the influence.
Source: Alpharetta, GA Patch, "2 Hospitalized After Truck Leaves Road, Strikes Tree", Kristal Dixon, Jan. 15, 2018