A Fulton County jury awarded nearly $7 million to the children of a 46 year woman killed as she and the driver of the car in which she was a passenger were attempting to change a flat tire on the highway. As the woman who was the passenger went to the back of the car and was attempting to remove the spare tire from the trunk, another car slammed into the women and the car, and the woman was pinned between the cars and died at the scene.
The driver of the car that was broken down was seriously injured. The driver of the car who hit and killed the woman suffered only minor injuries.
Although it was discovered that the driver of the car that killed the woman had been obsessively texting and driving as later shown by cellphone records that he was texting and driving the whole time having a lovers quarrel by text message with over 250 texts in three and a half hours, he was still never held liable for any portion of the accident nor were any criminal charges filed against him.
Another interesting and important point in this case was that the car that had broken down was not fully pulled off the road and it was determined that that also contributed to the accident. The Judge, therefore, placed the driver of the vehicle that was partially parked in the roadway on the verdict form so that the jury could apportion some fault to her for not being completely off the road way. The Jury apportioned 1% of the fault to her.
The case is Hooker v. Brown, No. 12EV014753.
There are several lessons to take away from this case.
First, when you have vehicle break down on the road, get the vehicle completely off the roadway and get as far away from the vehicle as possible until help arrives.
I handled a case similar to this when my client ran out of gas and his wife brought him a gas can and although he was a truck driver and put flashers on and took all necessary precautions, his wife was parked behind him and his gas tank was under the license plate, and when he was filling up the gas tank a hit and run driver hit the wife’s van and my client was stuck between his car and her van. Fortunately, he survived but, unfortunately, he was permanently disabled.
Second, do not text and drive. In many states it is against the law and for good reason since in just a split second of taking your eye off the road an accident can occur.
Finally, call for help immediately if your car breaks down on the roadway and wait for help to arrive.
We are experts at handling these types of cases so please Contact Us if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in such an accident and we are here to help you, and make sure that you receive the just compensation that you deserve.