The Duties of a Property Owner Under Georgia Premises Liability Law

Property Owner Premises Liability Personal Injury Attorney Georgia

Georgia property owners generally have a duty to exercise reasonable care in the inspection and maintenance of their property to prevent harm to others. If a property owner fails to fulfill this duty, anyone injured on their property can bring a premises liability claim against them. Sometimes people that never stepped foot on a property can bring a similar claim if a property owner’s negligence caused them harm.

Importantly, property owners owe different duties to different types of people. Therefore, premises liability cases revolve around two key questions:

  1. What duty did the property owner owe to the particular plaintiff in question?
  2. Did the property owner do enough to prevent the harm that occurred in light of that duty?

Duties to those coming onto the property

Under Georgia premises liability law, the duty a landowner has to someone coming onto their property depends on whether that person is an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Landowners owe the greatest duty to invitees, which are those persons that were invited onto the property for the benefit of the landowner. Invitees primarily include customers of a store or clients of a business. Licensees are those that are given permission to access property, but not necessarily for the benefit of the landowner. A social houseguest would be considered a licensee. Finally, trespassers are those that have no right to be on a property. Despite this, Georgia law still holds that landowners have some duty to trespassers.


The most common type of premises liability claims are those made by invitees against businesses. Businesses have a duty to patrons and clients to inspect and maintain premises to keep them safe. This duty includes keeping customers safe from hazards in a store that could cause slip-and-fall accidents, maintaining the structure of premises to prevent other types of accidents, and even taking reasonable steps to keep a business area safe from the foreseeable criminal activity of others. Homeowners may have similar duties if they invite guests over for business purposes.


If a person has permission to be on a property but isn’t considered to be an invitee, they will be considered a licensee. A property owner has a duty to warn licensees of obvious dangers, but unlike with invitees, there is no blanket duty to take steps to safeguard licensees from all potential hazards.


Duties to trespassers are limited. Generally, as long as a landowner isn’t purposefully causing or inducing the harm, they will not be liable. There is one major exception to this rule—the attractive nuisance doctrine. Under this doctrine, property owners have a duty to safeguard trespassing children from any “attractive” hazards that may be on their property. A landowner can fulfill their duty either by ensuring that their property is free from hazards, or by taking steps to make sure their property is inaccessible to trespassing children. See Gregory v Johnson, 249 Ga. 151 (1982).

In Georgia, the most common application of this rule involves inadequately fenced-off swimming pools, although any hazard that could reasonably be expected to attract children onto a property could be considered an attractive nuisance (i.e., trampolines, swing-sets, equipment, trees, etc.) If your property has any products or conditions that children might foreseeably be attracted to, you should have your property fenced off from the public to avoid liability.

Duties to Those not on the Property

The duty of property owners extends to those off the property as well, such as neighbors and people just passing by, but only if the harm was foreseeable. For instance, if a landowner negligently permits an old tree to decay and fall over onto an adjacent property, they could be liable for any damage that is caused to a neighbor. Similarly, owners of buildings can be liable if parts of the building fall off due to poor maintenance and cause injury or property damage to someone walking down the adjacent sidewalk. Generally, any instance of foreseeable harm occurring from a property owner’s failure to maintain or inspect their property could create liability.

Whether a property owner is liable in these circumstances depends on whether the property owner acted reasonably to prevent the harm. In other words, the landowner must have been negligent in some way. For example, just because a tree falls over does not mean a landowner is liable for the damage—if the tree showed no outward signs of decay or blew over in a hurricane, the landowner isn’t liable.

If you would like more information about this issue, contact Williams Elleby at 833 – LEGALGA.

Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home

Wrongful Death Nursing Home Attorney Georgia

Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home

Georgia has specific nursing home abuse laws designed to go beyond the federal regulations to better protect residents of nursing homes. One requirement is that the facility is a safe place to live. If that right is violated, a resident can sue the facility, which would then face financial penalties or even a loss of certification. The facility must also discuss these regulations carefully with a resident and his or her family when they enter the home.

If the facility is not safe and a resident dies as a result, the resident’s family members can sue the nursing home for wrongful death.  Georgia state law defines wrongful death as the death of a person caused by the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” acts of another person or entity, which includes a nursing home.

Arbitration Agreements Are Non-binding

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, issued a rule that bars nursing homes from requiring residents to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of admission to the facility. The reasoning behind this rule is that such forced arbitration agreements prevented nursing home residents and their family members from filing a lawsuit against the nursing home when the resident was injured or killed. Thus, even if a resident signed an arbitration agreement with the nursing home, his family may still sue the home for wrongful death.

Falls in Nursing Homes

In the United States, one in three seniors age sixty-five and older will fall during a given year according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of seniors who fall during a given year, 25,000 die from those falls. The state of Georgia saw fifty-two seniors die from falls in 2010. The CDC estimates that over forty percent of seniors who move into assisted living homes do so because of falls.

Moreover, seniors who have a fear of falling increase their chances that they will fall.

The CMS provides the following statistics regarding seniors falling in nursing homes:

  • Approximately five percent of adults sixty-five or older live in nursing homes yet nursing home residents account for twenty percent of slip and fall deaths amongst seniors.
  • A nursing home with one hundred beds annually generally reports between one hundred and two hundred falls per year. There are likely many more that go unreported.
  • Between half and three-quarters of nursing home residents fall every year.
  • Approximately thirty-five percent of falls occur among people who have difficulty walking.

Nursing Home Duty of Care

Nursing homes can be liable for wrongful death because they have a duty of care to their residents. They must make sure that the facility is safe. Dangerous conditions include failure to install proper railings, lack of available staff to assist residents, failure to promptly clean spills, and poor lighting.

In addition, inadequate medical treatment, weak rehabilitative programs, and lack of proper nutrition can be factors in causing a wrongful death in a nursing home.

Contact Attorney Joel Williams if a Loved One Has Been the Victim of a Wrongful Death

If you have a loved one who has been a victim of wrongful death in a nursing home, contact a lawyer who will zealously fight to get you just compensation.  If you have questions or would like to discuss your case, please call our office in Kennesaw, Georgia today at 833 – LEGALGA for a free consultation.

Laws That Georgia Drivers Don’t Know About

Georgia Laws Personal Injury Wrongful Death Car Accident Attorney

Safe driving is critical. Every day in the United States, automobile collisions cause nine deaths and injure 1,161 people. Interestingly, Georgia has several driving laws that are not well-known and are not in sync with legislation in other parts of the country. Below is a discussion of some of those laws.

Distracted Driving Laws

Given the ever-increasing use of and reliance on electronic devices, more and more local governments are beginning to legislate against various types of distracted driving. Distracted driving is performing another activity while driving that takes the driver’s attention away from driving. These activities significantly increase the likelihood of an automobile accident and include:

  • Texting
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Using a navigation map
  • Watching a video
  • Using any smartphone app, such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, or Instagram

In Georgia, despite distracted driving accident statistics, there is no cell phone or handheld device ban for drivers over age 18. Drivers under age 18 can face a misdemeanor charge and a $150 fine for using a cell phone while driving. Bus drivers are subject to a similar cell phone ban, but the average adult is not banned from talking on a cell phone while driving. That being said, however, legislation is pending to ban the use of cell phones while driving.

The Slowpoke Law

Effective July 1, 2014, Georgia drivers cannot linger in the left lane for long periods of time if doing so slows down traffic. This means drivers who do not drive close to the speed limit in the passing lane can be ticketed if there are other cars around. Traffic safety was the impetus for this legislation because the law removes slow drivers from the left lane and allows fast drivers to move around them, thereby reducing road rage.

There are two exceptions to this law:

  1. Drivers can stay in the passing lane due to weather or other hazardous conditions; and
  2. Drivers can stay in the passing lane if it leads to an exit.

The Headlights-During-Rain Law

Georgia law states that when it is raining or if there is insufficient visibility to view persons or vehicles 500 feet away, drivers must turn on their headlights. Even if it isn’t raining hard enough for drivers to have to turn on their windshield wipers, they must turn on their headlights. Most states require headlights during low visibility or when drivers have to use their windshield wipers. Georgia is stricter: the state requires the use of headlights even during a light drizzle.

Bicycle Laws

Georgia law treats bicycles as vehicles. Thus, in addition to having to wear a helmet, those who ride a bicycle must also obey all traffic laws. For example, bicycle riders must stop at red lights and stop signs and ride on the right side of the road.

If you were hurt in an automobile accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact the personal injury firm of Joel Williams.  The trial lawyers at Williams Elleby are knowledgeable about all of Georgia’s rules of the road.

Negligence Per Se and Car Accidents: Georgia DUI Law

Georgia DUI Negligence Wrongful Death Personal Injury Car Accident Attorney

Georgia DUI laws are codified under Georgia’s “Uniform Rules of the Road.” These laws require those operating motor vehicles to comply with certain traffic requirements. Violations of these laws generally lead to tickets. Repeated violations can result in jail or prison time. 

Those suing for damages due to another driver’s negligence can use the Uniform Rules of the Road under the negligence per se doctrine. Negligence per se literally means that an act is negligent because the person performing the act is in violation of a statute. Negligence per se can also be applicable to driving under the influence (DUI) suits.

Proving Negligence

The Georgia Court of Appeals, in Johnson v. American National Red Cross, outlined the elements for a prima facie case of negligence as: “(1) a legal duty to conform to a standard of conduct; (2) a breach of this duty; (3) a causal connection between the conduct and the resulting injury; and (4) damage to the plaintiff.” If a plaintiff, by the preponderance of the evidence, proves these elements, then the accused defendant would be financially responsible to the plaintiff.

Georgia DUI Law

Georgia’s DUI laws ban drivers from operating motor vehicles if they have blood alcohol concentration percentages of:

  • 0.08% or higher, if they’re 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles.
  • 0.04% or higher, if they’re operating commercial vehicles.
  • 0.02% or higher, if they’re younger than 21 years old.

DUI charges are very serious in Georgia. The first conviction would require a defendant to undergo counseling and pay a fine. A fourth DUI conviction within ten years would have the defendant go to jail for one to five years, in addition to attending mandatory counseling and paying a fine.

Negligence Per Se

As previously mentioned, negligence per se is a legal theory wherein a defendant’s unexcused violation of a law creates a presumption that the defendant is guilty of negligence. Note that negligence per se does not mean that the defendant is liable for negligence, only that there is a presumption that the defendant was negligent.

In a car accident scenario where a person suffers injuries and the accused committed DUI, there is a presumption that because the defendant violated the DUI statute, he or she was negligent. First, it must be established that the defendant was driving under the influence above the legal limit. Once that is established, the injured party can claim that because the defendant violated the Georgia DUI law, he is therefore presumably negligent. At this point, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant, who must prove that he was not negligent. Thus, negligence per se is a powerful tool in proving the negligence of another because it creates a burden-shifting presumption.

If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, you must find a lawyer who will aggressively fight on your behalf. Contact the personal injury law firm of Joel Williams, a Cobb County attorney.

The Personal Injury Lawsuit Process

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Contrary to what you may see on television or hear on the news, the vast majority of lawsuits do not end up in court. Instead, they are settled. Some disputes are even settled before a party files a lawsuit.

If you have been injured in Georgia and are considering initiating a lawsuit, it might be helpful to know the basics of how the process works. Understanding the steps can help provide you with a realistic idea of what to expect.

Before the Lawsuit

An insurance company will likely contact you shortly after the accident. It may attempt to get you to settle your claim even at this early point. Insurance companies are often successful because victims tend to be confused and overwhelmed after an accident. However, settling this early is rarely a good idea.

When an insurance company contacts you after your accident, you may not yet understand or appreciate the full extent of your injuries or how they will affect your future. Instead of jumping at the first sign of money, you should contact an Atlanta, Georgia, personal injury attorney. A lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and determine whether the insurance company is offering you a good deal or trying to take advantage of you. If a reasonable settlement cannot be achieved, the next step is to file a lawsuit.

The First Step in Filing a Personal Injury Claim

The first step in a lawsuit is filing a petition. This petition lays out the facts of the case and explains why you are entitled to compensation under Georgia law. The other side will reply to your petition via what is called an “answer.” This answer must respond to each of the factual and legal assertions your personal injury attorney made in your petition. From there, the parties will begin the discovery process.

The Discovery Phase

Discovery takes up a majority of the time and effort in a legal case. During this phase, you will work with your Georgia personal injury lawyer to gather information. You can do this through formal discovery by asking the other side questions in writing and demanding that they produce particular documents. You can also request to depose the other side. A deposition is a formal, in-person question-and-answer session that is held under oath.

Discovery may also involve extensive research or the use of experts. You can even subpoena other parties to gather more information. Discovery can be a long and complicated process, depending on the case. The discovery process is extremely important to building a good case for trial, however.


Most people are familiar with the trial process, but it is not like what you have seen on television. If the parties have prepared properly, there should be no surprises. Trial is your chance to present your case to the jury and explain why you deserve compensation for your losses after an accident.

Personal injury lawsuits rarely reach the end of a trial because parties can still settle a claim throughout the trial. And while some cases are better suited for trial, many others can be more efficiently resolved through settlement, alternative dispute resolution, or mediation.

Taking a case all the way to trial can take years, so parties often settle to save time and money.

Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you navigate the process. Call Williams Elleby at 833 – LEGALGA for more information or to request a free consultation.

Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers—Georgia Premises Liability Law

Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers Georgia Premises Liability Lawyer

Property owners can be liable for injuries that occur on their property, even if the owner does not actively do something that causes the injury. However, just sustaining an injury on another person’s property does not automatically make the property owner liable for the injury. The injured party must prove that the owner or occupier failed to use reasonable care to keep their property safe.  This is known as premises liability law and includes slip and falls, negligent security, swimming pool accidents, dog bites, and even falling deck cases.

The Georgia Law

Georgia law states that “where an owner or occupier of land, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”

In other words, a property owner is liable for injuries that occur on the property, but only if the injury was a result of the property owner failing to safely maintain the property. For example, if a bottle of water falls off the shelf in a grocery store and spills all over the floor, the property owner can be held liable if shoppers slip on the water and hurt themselves. This applies even if shoppers, rather than store employees, cause the water to spill. The standard is “ordinary care,” which requires the property owner to maintain the property as a safe place, even if the property owner or employees did not create the unsafe situation.

Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers

In addition, the property owner must induce the other party to enter the property in order to be held liable. In tort law, there are three categories of victims when determining premises liability: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.

Invitee: a person who is invited to the property, by the owner, as a member of the public or for business purposes. People who go to an open store to shop are invitees.

Licensee: a person who is on the property of another because the owner of the property allowed the person to enter. He is there for his own purposes and not for the benefit of the owner. This category is applicable to property not open to the general public.  The most common example is a social guest.

Trespasser: a person who enters the property without permission of the owner.

The degree of care a property owner owes to another person depends on whether that person is an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1 governs the property owner’s duty of care to invitees. A grocery shopper is an invitee, so the statute will apply in the example with the spilled water. If the water is not removed in a reasonable time and an injury occurs, the property owner will be liable for injury. However, if the person entering the property is a licensee or trespasser, a different more restrictive standard will apply.

If you have been injured in an accident, you need a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Contact the law firm of Joel Williams.

How Long Do I Have to File My Cobb County, Georgia, Personal Injury Case?

Wrongful Death Personal Injury Statue of Limitations Georgia Attorney

The law imposes time restrictions, so defendants do not have to live in fear of being sued forever. Time limits are also helpful because they force plaintiffs to file a case when memories and evidence are fresh. It is much easier to gather facts and evidence right after an accident occurred than years later. These time limits are often referred to as “statutes of limitations.”

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Georgia

Georgia has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. That means you must file your claim within two years for it to be legally valid. If you do not file your claim within this time frame, your lawsuit will likely be dismissed.

Personal property damage has a four-year statute of limitations. Personal property damage claims are often asserted at the same time as a personal injury claim.

Keep in mind that personal injury claims can include:

  • Vehicle accidents
  • Slip-and-fall situations
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicyclist accidents
  • Product liability (when a product causes harm)
  • Medical malpractice

For most situations, the statute of limitations will start to run as soon as you are injured. However, sometimes you may not realize you are injured until long after an accident. For example, if you are exposed to toxic chemicals, you may not show become ill until months or years later. Because of situations like these, the statute of limitations clock often does not start until the victim discovered the injury. That is, you have to actually know and understand that you were injured before the statute of limitations will start. This rule is commonly referred to as the “discovery rule.”

Statute of Limitations Tolling

The statute of limitations can be “tolled” under certain circumstances. Essentially, this means the time limit pauses due to unique facts of the case. For example, if a child is harmed in a car accident, that child may have a right to assert a personal injury case, but he or she cannot do so until age 18. In that situation, the statute of limitations pauses until the child becomes 18.

The statute of limitations may also be tolled when the individual is incompetent or mentally incapacitated.

Certain claims may have other restrictions. For example, medical malpractice claims have what is commonly called a statute of repose. Under this rule, there is not only a statute of limitations, there is a cutoff point from the date of the injury, regardless of the tolling of the statute of limitations or the discovery rule. In Georgia, the statute of repose for medical malpractice claims is five years, even though the statute of limitations is only two years. That means you cannot file a medical malpractice claim in Georgia once five years have passed since the incident, regardless of when you realized you were harmed.

As a rule, it is best to file a personal injury claim in Georgia as soon as practical after an accident to avoid problems with the various timeline restrictions. Call Williams Elleby at 833 – LEGALGA for more information or to schedule a free consultation.

Are Bars Liable when Alcohol Kills?

Wrongful Death Alcohol and Bars Liable Personal Injury Attorney Georgia

Alabama Hooters Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Serving Alcohol to Teen

A Hooters restaurant in Pelham, Alabama is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of a teen who died in a car accident after visiting their establishment, according to ABC News 9. The teenager, 18-year-old Ryan Rohr, died in May after a car outside the Hooters struck him while he crossed the street. Lawyers for the family allege that Hooters served Rohr alcoholic drinks illegally, even after Rohr was intoxicated. They argue that his alcohol consumption led to the auto-pedestrian accident that killed him after he left the restaurant.

Hooters Kept Serving Rohr After He Was Drunk

Rohr was in Pelham while working on a construction project this past May. He visited the Hooters in Pelham with some of his coworkers. The family’s lawyers allege that no one at Hooters ever asked Rohr for any form of identification, even though they served him several drinks. They say that Rohr was in the Hooters restaurant for over two hours the evening of his death, Fox News 6 reports. They also allege that Hooters continued to serve Rohr alcohol even after he became visibly intoxicated, and that his blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was .24, several times the legal limit.

Georgia Law Holds Businesses Accountable for Keeping Customers Safe

The law in Georgia and in Alabama holds people responsible for taking reasonable care to prevent injuries to others. If someone fails to take reasonable care and it results in injuries to someone, they may be liable for negligence in a lawsuit. If the victim dies because of their injuries, their surviving family can sue the person at fault for wrongful death.

Usually, if the defendant violated the law, this is proof that they failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent injuries to others, especially if the law is in place to keep people safe.

In both Alabama and Georgia, the legal age for alcohol consumption is 21. The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) in both states is .08. Alabama has a law called the Dram Shop Act that makes it illegal for bartenders to keep serving customers after the customer is intoxicated. However, Georgia law specifically states that businesses that sell alcoholic beverages will generally not be liable for injuries that arise from their customers being intoxicated. There is an exception for when a bartender sells alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person who then drives a car and injuries a third party, who may then sue the bar. But even in this case, the person who consumed the alcohol cannot sue the bar that sold it to them.

No Negligence Recovery from Bars in Georgia

If a case like Rohr’s happens in Georgia, then the victim and his family do not have a right to sue the business. First of all, most bartenders in Georgia are not liable for accidents that happen because their customers get drunk. Second, the exception to this general rule doesn’t apply, because even though Rohr died in a car accident, he wasn’t driving when he died. Third, even if he had been driving a car when died, Georgia law would bar him or his family from suing the Hooters, because he was the one who drank the alcohol.

Get in Touch with A Wrongful Death Attorney

If someone close to you has died in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the person at fault. To find out more about your options, talk to an experienced Kennesaw Car Accident Death Attorney at Williams Elleby in Cobb County today.

Are Road Construction Contractors Liable in Accidents?

Georgia Law Construction Contractors Liable Personal Injury Wrongful Death Attorney

Ohio Authorities Charge Cobb County Man with Vehicular Manslaughter

Authorities in Cleveland, Ohio have charged a truck driver from Cobb County with aggravated vehicular manslaughter after an accident there Sunday, according to The Toledo Blade. The man, Chana Roosevelt Carter, age 40, of Powder Springs, was driving a tractor trailer when he collided with a slow-moving line of cars on the Ohio Turnpike. A 14-year-old girl, Madison Creagan, of West Shokan, New York, died in the accident. Local authorities have also charged Carter with failure to obey a traffic control device and vehicular assault.

Construction Caused Slow-down; Carter Failed to Brake

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the tractor-trailer accident occurred at about 2 pm Sunday near the State Route 4 interchange in Erie County’s Groton Township. A construction zone covering part of the freeway caused traffic to slow down in that stretch. Law enforcement officials on the scene said that Carter didn’t slow down fast enough to avoid a collision with the slower traffic in front of him. Seven other people suffered injuries in the accident. Ohio state agencies are rebuilding the freeway where the crash occurred. Local authorities are holding Carter in the Erie County jail. There has been no positive or negative report of whether Carter was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.

Under Georgia Law, Construction Contractors Can Be Liable for Accidents

The State of Georgia spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year on road construction. This money goes to private contractors to complete freeway construction and other jobs, as a report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains. The state agency responsible for construction (for example, the Georgia Department of Transportation or GDOT) is usually immune from liability for accidents unless they fail to follow standard engineering practices in the construction of roads. However, private contractors can be held liable for negligence if they fail to take reasonable care during the construction work on a freeway, if that failure leads to injuries. For example, in a case called Comanche Construction Inc. of Georgia v. Department of Transportation, a construction contractor for the GDOT placed a detour sign so that it blocked a stop sign, which lead to an accident. The court found that although the state was immune from a negligence lawsuit for the injuries that resulted, Comanche Construction could still be liable.

Construction Contractor Could Be Liable in Carter Crash

If a case like the Carter crash were to occur in Georgia, would the construction company have any possible liability in a negligence lawsuit for the injuries to the seven passengers and the wrongful death of the 14-year-old girl? If the construction company failed to take reasonable care to provide warning of construction, and this prevented Carter from being able to slow down and avoid hitting the traffic in front of him, the construction company might be liable. Even if Carter also failed to follow the rules of the road (for example, if he was driving over the speed limit), the construction company might share some of the liability.

Get Legal Help

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, you need legal assistance. Get in touch with a car accident lawyer at Williams Elleby in Marietta to get the compensation you deserve.

Are Drivers Liable for Emergency Response Costs?

Car Accident Emergency Response Costs Personal Injury Attorney Georgia

Cobb County Accident Requires Emergency Personnel to Remove Passengers from Wreck

Five people are in the hospital after an auto collision in Cobb County last weekend, according to WSB-TV 2 Atlanta. Near Cobb Parkway and Barrett Parkway at about 3 am, a car and a pickup truck crashed into each other. The passengers were trapped in their vehicles, and emergency first responders closed lanes of traffic while they worked to remove the passengers. Emergency personnel transported five of the passengers to Kennestone Wellstar Hospital in Marietta, three of them in critical condition.

Accident Caused Serious Injuries but No Fatalities

ABC 9 Atlanta reports that the car accident did not result in any fatalities. Police reports indicate that the driver of one of the vehicles may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Video footage of the accident scene shows that the accident mangled both vehicles, caving in the sides of the bodies of the minivan and showering the roadway with shattered glass. There are currently no reports on the present status of the passengers who suffered injuries during the accident.

Georgia Law Bans Accident Response Fees

When a driver causes an accident and that accident requires emergency response personnel to respond to the scene, the municipality or local government who operates the emergency response agency may incur large expenses. It is more and more common for these municipalities and local governments nationwide to charge the person responsible for the accident a fee to cover the costs of their emergency first response, as The Insurance Journal explains. However, the Georgia Code specifically bans local governments from charging accident response fees to insurance companies for emergency response to a car accident. There are exceptions for services fee for which the driver has explicit coverage.

Driver Probably Won’t Have to Pay for Emergency Response

Could the driver responsible for the accident at Cobb Parkway and Barrett Parkway have to pay municipal accident response fees? It appears that the county probably incurred significant costs in responding to the accident, including firefighters and emergency medical personnel. Services by fire departments are the ones that municipalities are most likely to try and bill for.

If the driver was in fact under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident, it is likely that the driver is liable for negligence and that their insurance company is on the hook to cover the expenses of the accident. It’s possible then that the county will attempt to charge the driver’s insurance company for the costs of emergency response. However, they will probably not be able to hold the insurance company responsible for paying such a fee, since the Georgia Code bans this kind of billing. The only exception might be if the driver is already insured for the payment of municipal accident response fees, in which case the insurance company will have to pay out.

Get Legal Help

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, you need legal assistance. Get in touch with a car accident lawyer at Williams Elleby in Marietta to get the compensation you deserve.