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Mother of Georgia Drag Racing Passenger Awarded $2.5 Million

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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 the Law Offices of Shane Smith.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Georgia jury awarded the mother of a drag racing passenger $2.5 million in damages. The passenger was riding in the back of a Honda that was drag racing with a Mercedes. The passenger was ejected when the Honda ran off the road and struck a tree.

An accident reconstruction expert estimated that the Honda was traveling 65 mph in a 45 mph zone when it left the road. The Honda's driver survived but suffered a concussion in the accident and could not remember specific details. Witnesses testified that immediately after the accident the Honda's driver asked if anyone saw the Mercedes driver run him off the road.

The accident reconstruction expert testified that the only road evidence was a yaw mark in the road. Unlike a skid mark, a yaw mark is made when the tires slide sideways. The expert testified this was likely because the Honda's driver was attempting to avoid hitting an object, possibly another car.

The attorneys for the victim declined a settlement offer from the Honda's driver for $100,000, the maximum policy limit. The attorneys later said this was a strategic decision so the attorneys for the Mercedes driver would be less likely to shift blame. The Mercedes had a $1.5 million insurance policy.

Georgia is a comparative negligence state, meaning culpability is divided according to the jury's determinations. The jury found that the Honda driver was 60 percent responsible and the Mercedes was 40 percent at fault and awarded $2.5 million to the passenger's mother. This was divided according to the insurance policies: the Honda's driver was responsible for $1.5 million (60 percent of $2.5 million) with a policy limit of $100,000, and the Mercedes driver was responsible for $1 million (40 percent of $2.5 million).

After a car accident, meet with an auto accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Shane Smith. We can assist you in every stage of your case including obtaining the available evidence.

Category: Auto Accidents

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia

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