A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 25,580 people died and many more were injured in 2012 auto accidents from January through September. Being prepared before an accident can enable a victim to obtain all the necessary information that will be helpful to their case.

Consulting a Clayton County attorney after an auto accident enhances a victim's ability to receive a reasonable settlement. If you have been injured in an automobile accident you should discuss your case with an accident attorney at Shane Smith Law.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Georgia jury awarded $15 million in a wrongful death auto accident case. Five people traveling to a wedding reception, including the best man and two bridesmaids, were rear-ended by a company vehicle. The people from the wedding had slowed to 15 mph in their Kia as they approached a traffic light. The company truck was traveling 70 mph, as indicated by the truck's black box. It also showed that the truck was accelerating when it struck the Kia.

The Kia was pushed 100 feet from the point of impact. Its trunk was compressed into the passenger compartment where it crushed the occupants.

The truck driver's employer was named as a defendant though the driver had been at a gym just before the accident and was not working. The employer argued that it could not be held vicariously liable for the driver's negligence since he was not driving in the course of his employment at the time of the accident.

Evidence was introduced at trial showing that the truck's driver had 15 prior speeding violations. In the accident the driver was charged with not observing a safe following distance, speeding, running a red light, serious injury by vehicle and vehicular homicide. He pled guilty in the criminal case and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, $1,000 fine and 10 years of probation. The prosecution alleged that the employer was liable for "negligent entrustment" of the vehicle, while the employer claimed that it should not be held responsible for the employee's actions when he was not working.

The jury rejected the employer's claim and returned a verdict for $15.2 million. It found the truck driver and the employer engaged in "conscious indifference to consequences", thus justifying awarding punitive damages.

If you or someone you know has been hurt in an auto accident, meet with a Clayton County auto accident lawyer at Shane Smith Law. We can obtain the relevant evidence including police reports

Shane Smith
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