Child Injuries From DUI
Our Atlanta-based injury law firm has had the privilege of representing many children who have been injured due to the negligence or recklessness of others. All child injury cases are terrible, as no child in Atlanta, or anywhere else, should ever be injured because someone else was careless. However, among the most egregious cases we see are those involving kids who have been badly injured by drunk drivers operating on Georgia’s roads and highways.
The harm associated with driving drunk is obvious and well-documented. Our law firm has handled countless drunk driving injury matters over the last decade. Often, adults are injured in these wrecks. And, too often, children traveling with adult drivers are injured. When children suffer injury in drunk driving wrecks, or really in any other sort of collision or accident where another party is at fault, parents often ask us what legal rights their kids have, what legal rights they (the parents have), and how to best protect their children within the Georgia legal system.
First, just like adults children in Georgia are allowed to recover general, special, and, punitive damages after drunk driving accidents. General damages are things like pain and suffering, disfigurement from injuries, and those damages that cannot be quantified into exact numbers. The personal injury lawyer’s job is to make the insurance adjuster or jury place a number on the child’s pain, suffering, and the like. Next, special damages are those which can be quantified, or upon which a numerical value can be placed. For example, hospital bills, doctors’ bills, and pharmacy bills are examples of special damages. In Georgia, parents have the right to recover for medical expenses incurred by their children through the age of 18. After 18 years of age, the responsibility for medical bills, and therefore the right to recover those from at at-fault person or company, lies with the young adult. The statute of limitations for medical expenses incurred, or to be incurred through the age of 18, runs two years from the date of the accident. The statute of limitations for the child’s future medical expenses, after 18, is tolled (or delayed) until the child’s 20th birthday. The claim for the child’s general damages (pain, suffering, and the like) is tolled until the child’s 20th birthday.
Last, punitive damages are available when a child is injured in a Georgia drunk driving wreck. Punitive damages are those intended to punish the defendant/drunk driver and deter other people from engaging in the same behavior. In essence, punitive damages are civil penalties or fines. Sometimes, punitive damages implicate various insurance coverage issues and a personal injury lawyer should be consulted to work through those matters.
Andrew E. Goldner has helped accident victims recover the compensation that they so desperately needed. If your future is on the line, do not try to go at it alone – work with our injury attorneys. You can reach us today for a free case consultation by calling our offices directly at (404) 869-1580, or by filling out our online contact form.