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 Howard & Easter in Cobb County today.

Can a Mother Who Loses an Unborn Child in an Accident Sue for Wrongful Death?

Georgia Wrongful Death Case of Fetus Car Accident Lawsuit

Pre-K Teacher Loses Fetus, Suffers Massive Trauma in Cobb County Accident

A pre-kindergarten teacher is in intensive care in Cobb County after a car crash in Powder Springs killed her unborn son, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The woman, Karlissa Darby, 22, of Dallas, Texas, sustained serious injuries after a couple driving the wrong way down a freeway collided with her car. Officials who investigated the accident indicated that the couple in the other car were at fault for the accident. Her mother, who is staying with Darby at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, says that if Darby survives her injuries, her recovery will take a very long time.

Elderly Couple Drove Wrong Way on Street, Struck Darby

Police sources say that a couple in a Crown Victoria were driving eastbound on the westbound side of Macland Road when they hit Darby’s Plymouth Voyager.  Darby suffered a broken leg, broken ankles, broken wrists, serious head trauma, and a stroke. The crash also resulted in the death of her unborn child. 11 Alive Atlanta reports that the elderly couple who crashed into Darby’s car both died in the car accident. Doctors are uncertain whether Darby will ever regain the ability to walk.

In Georgia, Pregnant Women Who Lose a Fetus Can Sue for Wrongful Death

In a car accident where the other party is at fault, the surviving victim can sue the party at fault for negligence and seek damages to compensate them for the injuries they have sustained. If one of the accident victims died from their injuries, then that victim’s survivors can sue the at-fault party for wrongful death. But what about if the victim who died was an unborn child? In Georgia, surviving mothers can sue at-fault drivers for wrongful death if a car accident leads to the death of their unborn fetus. However, the fetus must have reached the stage in development at which they are “quick,” which means that the mother can feel the fetus moving. Quickening can occur as early as 13-16 weeks from the mother’s last period. But the general rule is that fetuses quicken between 18 and 24 weeks of gestation.

Darby Could Sue Estate for Wrongful Death

In a case like Karlissa Darby’s, could the mother sue the drivers for wrongful death? First, the drivers at fault in the accident are deceased, so Darby would have to sue the estate for wrongful death. Second, Darby has a lot of other serious injuries that she should get compensation for. She will likely have extensive medical bills and a long, painful recovery. Next, it’s clear that the other party was at fault. Driving the wrong way on a busy street is a blatant violation of the rules of the road, and law enforcement officers who investigated the crash have found that the other drivers were at fault. But in addition, she has lost her unborn child due to the negligence of the other drivers. In Georgia, this is the basis for a wrongful death claim. It’s necessary, though, that Darby’s pregnancy had advanced to the quickening stage for the wrongful death claim to succeed. 

Our Attorneys Can Help You

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries from a car accident, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney today. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter in Cobb County today for more information on whether or not you have a case.

Wrongful Death in Collisions Between Cars and Large Trucks

Wrongful Death Collision Attorney Atlanta Georgia

Marietta Tractor Trailer Accident Kills SUV Driver

A tractor trailer accident in Marietta killed one person on Saturday, July 9, according to NBC 11 Alive Atlanta. The accident occurred on I-75 near I-285. A Rav4 SUV made several unpredictable lane changes before colliding with a tractor trailer on the southbound side of the freeway. The Rav4 then rolled over a number of times before the driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, flew from the vehicle. She was taken to Wellstar Kennesaw Hospital and pronounced dead. The Marietta Daily Journal reports that no charges have been filed in relation to the accident.

Most Deaths in Truck Accidents Are Car Occupants

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, most deaths in car accidents involving large trucks are not truck drivers but the drivers and passengers of small vehicles. In 2014, 3660 Americans died in accidents involving large trucks; 68% of these fatalities were in cars and other passenger vehicles, and only 16% were large truck drivers. If we only look at crashes between two vehicles, the numbers get even more stark: In two car accidents between large trucks and passenger vehicles, 97% of fatalities were the occupants of the passenger vehicle. Over the last 40 years, the number of deaths from these accidents has declined, but the rate of deaths of passenger vehicles has declined more slowly.

Georgia Law Holds Drivers Responsible for Wrongful Death

If someone dies in an accident in Georgia, their surviving relatives can sue the party at fault for wrongful death. In a wrongful death case, the survivor must prove that the other party failed to take reasonable care to prevent injury to the victim. Even if the deceased victim was partially at fault, the survivors can recover part of the damages if they can prove that the other party failed to take proper precautions, such as following the rules of the road.  Of course, the deceased victim cannot recover if he or she was 50% or more at fault for the tractor-trailer wreck.  The Georgia Commercial Motor Vehicle Traffic Code & Safety Rules is an example of the standards a driver needs to uphold.

Truck Drivers Have to Follow the Rules of the Road

Anyone involved in a car accident with a large truck faces tough odds of survival. If the driver of the car dies, his or her family can attempt to recover damages from the truck driver and the company who employs them. If the truck driver failed to follow the rules of the road or trucking regulations (state or federal), the surviving family members can argue that the driver was negligent and should be held responsible for damages. For example, under the Georgia Commercial Motor Vehicle Traffic Code & Safety Rules, vehicles cannot be more than 8’ 6” in width, and trailers cannot be more than 53’ long. If the large truck exceeded these limits and the size of the vehicle contributed to the accident, the survivors may recover under wrongful death.

Get Legal Help

If you or someone you know has been in an accident with a large truck, you need legal help fast. Contact a car accident attorney at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter for the advice you need.

June Shooting Could Be Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Shooting Attorney Georgia

Atlanta Man Dies from Police Gunshot

An Atlanta man died in late June when a police officer fired into his moving vehicle, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The man, Deravis Caine Rogers, 22, was fleeing from a parking lot. The police officer, James Burns, suspected Rogers of breaking into cars in the lot. The officer shot Rogers in the head, and Rogers died of his gunshot wound.

Atlanta Police Fire Officer for Excessive Force

Rogers was not armed at the time of his fatal shooting. The officer was not in danger of being run over by Rogers’ car as he fled the scene. Georgia Bureau of Investigation guidelines discourage law enforcement officers from firing their weapons into moving vehicles for safety reasons. Roughly three weeks after the shooting, the Atlanta Police Department conducted an internal investigation into the shooting and fired the officer. The investigation found that Burns used excessive force because they found that there was no obvious threat toward the officer from Rogers, according to The Savannah Morning News. The termination of Officer Burns will take effect Tuesday, July 19. However, he has not been charged with any crime.

Georgia Law Holds Cities Responsible for Reckless Cops

In Georgia, survivors of a deceased person can sue the person who caused the death. Section 51-4-2 of the Georgia Code provides that a surviving family member can sue the person who caused the death if it was intentional or negligent. In general, employers are responsible for wrongful death caused by their employees while their employees are performing their job duties. City governments can claim immunity from lawsuits when the injuries happened because the government employee was doing their job. This is called sovereign immunity. However, sovereign immunity may not apply in cases where the police officer acted in reckless disregard for established police procedures.

Rogers Case Could Be Wrongful Death

In a case like that of Deravis Caine Rogers, a wrongful death lawsuit might succeed. Although Rogers is not alive to sue the Atlanta Police Department, his surviving family members could sue for wrongful death in his place. Even if Officer Burns did not intentionally kill Rogers, the investigation by the Atlanta Police Department seems to indicate that he acted without taking reasonable precautions for Rogers’ safety. The City of Atlanta could argue that they are immune from liability for Officer Burns’ actions, because he shot Rogers while performing his duties as a police officer. However, the surviving family members could argue that Burns was acting in reckless disregard for established police procedures by firing into a moving vehicle at an unarmed suspect.

Get Legal Help

If someone you know has been killed, you need legal advice. You may be entitled to compensation for the wrongdoing or negligence of those responsible. Get in contact with a wrongful death attorney at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter in Cobb County to find out more about your options.

Wrongful Death from Negligent Campus Security

Wrongful Death Attorney and Negligent Security Georgia

Parents of Student File Wrongful Death Claim

Last month, the parents of a metro Atlanta student who died on his college campus filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school, according to NBC 11 Alive Atlanta. The student, Christopher Starks, was enrolled at Savannah State University. While at the student union one night last August, a person unaffiliated with the university shot him. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Negligent Security on College Campus

The student’s parents are suing the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia for wrongful death. They argue that the campus was a dangerous and unsafe place. They also argue that there was no police or security in place in or around the student union the night their son died. Since the shooter is not believed to have been a student, they argue, adequate security would have prevented him from moving around campus and committing the crime. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that another shooting death happened on the campus two years prior.

Georgia Wrongful Death Law

Sections 54-4-1 through 54-4-5 of the Georgia Code provide the law for wrongful death cases. A wrongful death lawsuit must prove that a person, business or organization has caused the death of another through reckless, negligent, intentional or criminal acts. Because the victim in a wrongful death claim is not available, their surviving relatives may bring the lawsuit. There are two kinds of wrongful death claims in Georgia. One is a claim to establish “the full value of the life of the deceased,” and seeks to recover the value of the person’s life. The second is to recover the costs related to the person’s death, such as medical and funeral costs, as well as pain and suffering endured by the deceased prior to death.

Wrongful Death for Negligent Security

In a case like that of Christopher Stark, the family wishes to prove that the university caused the death of their son through a lack of security measures. Further, they will need to prove that any failure of security came about through negligence, since it’s unlikely that the university caused any such failure intentionally. This means that they will need to establish that the university owed their son a duty of care to provide better security. In other words, the university failed to follow reasonable steps to keep the campus safe. If they are able to show these requirements, they can attempt to recover damages for the value of the young man’s life and his estate can claim damages for pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and medical bills.

Hire an Attorney

If you believe you or a relative may have a wrongful death claim or that you have suffered because of negligent security, contact a lawyer at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter in Cobb County immediately.

An Explanation of Wrongful Death Claims

explanation wrongful death claims

An Explanation of Wrongful Death Claims

Have you recently lost a loved one in a car accident where the other driver was at fault? Was your loved one taken from you early because of injuries caused by malfunctioning machinery or because they were prescribed the incorrect medication? Losing a loved one is devastating under normal circumstances, but when death is unexpected and the result of another person’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.

In Georgia, filing a wrongful death claim comes with specific rules that can be challenging for survivors of the deceased to process. It is important to seek the help of an attorney who can get you the compensation and closure you deserve.

What Qualifies As A Wrongful Death

According to Georgia legal codes, a “wrongful death” is defined as the death of a person due to the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” acts of another entity (person, business, etc.). Examples of when a wrongful death might occur include instances of medical malpractice, motor vehicle collisions, defective products, premises liability, violence, and work injuries. In these instances, certain survivors of the deceased may be able to bring a successful wrongful death lawsuit.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death case may be initiated by survivors of the deceased. This typically is the surviving spouse or parent. However, if there is no surviving spouse, children may file a wrongful death claim. In addition, a personal representative of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim, in which case damages recovered are held by the estate for the benefit of the deceased’s next of kin.

Compensation Available For Wrongful Death

There are two different types of wrongful death claims in Georgia. The first type of wrongful death claim seeks to establish the “full value of the life of the deceased.” In such cases surviving family members can recover monetary damages for both the monetary and intangible value of the deceased person, including:

● Any lost wages and benefits the deceased may reasonably have earned if they had not passed; and
● Pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other non-monetary damages felt by loved ones of the deceased.

The second type of wrongful death claim, the “estate claim”, seeks compensation for financial losses that occurred because of the deceased person’s death. Here it is the deceased person’s estate seeking damages such as:

● Medical expenses for injuries or illness that caused the death;
● Funeral and burial expenses for the deceased; and
● Any pain and suffering the deceased endured before death.

Statute Of Limitations

A wrongful death claim must be filed within the time specified by the Georgia statute of limitations. Under most circumstances, the survivors have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim in court. Depending on your case, however, the time may be lengthened or shortened and it is extremely important you file a case before the clock runs out.

Exceptions, for example, exist if there are criminal proceedings in court for the same wrongful death. The two year statute freezes and begins running after the criminal case is completed. There may also be an additional five year toll for cases where the person’s estate is not probated.

Why You Need An Attorney

In Georgia, a wrongful death attorney will usually work on a contingency fee basis, meaning the attorney isn’t paid until the case is successfully settled. Call wrongful death lawyer Joel Williams to speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney about your options. 833-LEGALGA