I was just reading about devastating wreck in DeKalb County caused by two racing motorcycles. The photographs from this wreck make it clear this was an horrific wreck. The victims are lucky to be alive. It is also unbelievable that one of the racing motorcyclists, who, apparently, slid up under a car, was able to get up and leave the scene of the wreck. His leaving the scene of the wreck violates Georgia law. He was required to stay there and actually render aid to his victims until Georgia law enforcement arrived.
Georgia Code Section 40-6-270 states:
Duty in accidents involving personal injury to or death of person or damage to vehicle
(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident and shall:
(1) Give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving;
(2) Upon request and if it is available, exhibit his or her operator’s license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with;
(3) Render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such transporting is requested by the injured person; and
(4) Where a person injured in such accident is unconscious, appears deceased, or is otherwise unable to communicate, make every reasonable effort to ensure that emergency medical services and local law enforcement are contacted for the purpose of reporting the accident and making a request for assistance.
The driver shall in every event remain at the scene of the accident until fulfilling the requirements of this subsection. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
(b) If such accident is the proximate cause of death or a serious injury, any person knowingly failing to stop and comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
Ga. Code Ann. § 40-6-270 (West)
Additionally, the victims may still have uninsured motorist claims even if the police never identify the names of the motorcyclists who were at fault in causing this horrible wreck. Most people wouldn’t even know this, so as a plaintiff’s personal injury trial lawyer I have been writing about it recently to let people know of this claim. It is not intuitive and no insurance agent ever explains it to his/her customer, but it exists. You have a claim for personal injury against your own insurance carrier under your uninsured motorist coverage when you have been hit and injured by an uninsured driver. I wrote about this in my May 7, 2013 blog. You need to be aware of this claim because your policy (regardless of which carrier it is) requires you to give notice of the accident as soon as practicable after the wreck. I will be arguing this issue before the Georgia Court of Appeals on July 30. Unless you are a trial lawyer representing victims of car wrecks, as I am, you probably wouldn’t even be aware of the fact that (1) you have such a claim and (2) you have to give your carrier notice very quickly after the accident.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this senseless wreck.
Robin Frazer Clark pursues justice for those who have personal injury claims as a result of being injured in motor vehicle wrecks, trucking wrecks, defective products, defective maintenance of roads, medical malpractice and other incidents caused by the negligence of others. Ms. Clark is the Past President of the State Bar of Georgia and the Past President of Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. And has practice law in Georgia for 25 years. Mrs. Clark is listed as the Top 50 Women Trial Lawyers in Georgia and is a Georgia Super Lawyer.