Two men have been hospitalized and 1 woman is dead after a tragic head-on collision in Houston County. On Tuesday afternoon, January 19, 2 pick-up trucks collided head on. According to Captain Ronnie Harlowe of Houston County Sheriff’s office, the accident occurred in the 400-block of Dunbar Rd. near Carl Vinson and N. Houston Rd.
One of the pickup trucks was driven by a male and the other had a man and woman inside. The accident is still under investigation and both men are being treated for their injuries.
What does a head-on collision look like?
Data shows that head-on collisions are more likely to occur in rural areas. As much as 13 percent of all fatal crashes in rural areas are head-on.
As it sounds, a head-on collision (also known as a “frontal crash”) occurs when 2 separate vehicles driving in opposite directions collide in the front of each vehicle. The results are often serious, sometimes fatal, due to the opposing velocity of each vehicle.
Negligence is often involved in some form, despite the fact that these incidents are referred to as “accidents.”
What is negligence?
Losing a loved one to negligence is painful. If your spouse, child, or parent was the victim of negligence, a Georgia wrongful death attorney can help. Determining negligence and liability is a difficult process to navigate and gathering evidence is the first step.
The victim or surviving family must prove there was a breach in the duty of care, which is the basic duty of every driver to operate their vehicle safely on the road.
How do you prove negligence in a wrongful death claim?
Every state has different laws when considering a wrongful death claim, but there are 4 essentials that every victim must prove to the judge in order to win their case.
- Clearly outline the duty of care owed to the injured party (plaintiff) by the negligent party (defendant).
- Show how the defendant breached that duty of care.
- Show a clear “actual causal” connection exists that links the conduct of the defendant with the harm that resulted—OR that a “proximate causation” was present, meaning whether or not the harm could have been foreseen in that instance.
- Provide the actual harm or damages that resulted from the defendant’s negligence (e.g., the wrecked car, injuries, death certificate, etc.).
In order to win a wrongful death case, all of these elements must be established and proven by the plaintiff or their attorney.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Noting who can file this type of claim is very important. While the list of persons who can file varies from state to state, it’s often stricter than most people may think.
Under Georgia statute (O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2):
“The surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, a child or children, either minor or sui juris, may recover for the homicide of the spouse or parent the full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence.”
In other words, the spouse, children, and parents are considered the primary beneficiaries and are entitled to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia.
A common law marriage, which means a couple who has lived together for a long time and considers themselves as a married couple without ever going through the legal paperwork or ceremony, isn’t eligible for wrongful death compensation under Georgia law.
If there are no primary beneficiaries, Georgia law does allow for the executor of the deceased person’s estate to file a claim, but only under certain circumstances. If there’s no spouse, child, parent, or executioner, then the state of Georgia won’t allow a wrongful death claim.
Why a Georgia wrongful death lawyer can be invaluable
Navigating Georgia’s negligence and liability laws can be a daunting task if done alone, but the right attorney can help. If your spouse, child, or parent was the victim of someone’s negligence, don’t wait to call. The law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson knows how devastating losing a loved one can be. Filing a lawsuit on top of that can seem overwhelming, but our team can help alleviate some of that stress.
Our experienced advocates have been representing Georgians across the state for over 50 years. With offices located in Macon, Albany, and Warner Robins, we’ve helped clients throughout the southeast receive maximum compensation.