Todd Henningsen recently settled the
personal injury claim of a driver who was injured by an alleged drunk driver for $40,000.00.
In the early morning hours of March 12, 2011 our client was traveling
on Georgia 400 Southbound when another driver made a hard turn to the
left and struck our client's vehicle and forced it into the median
wall. Upon the arrival of a Sandy Springs Police Officer, the other driver
was found to be slumped over the center console with her head under the
dash board. The officer attempted to interview the other driver, but she
was unable to explain what happened.
After interviewing our client as well as the two witnesses listed on the
police report, it was determined that the other driver was driving aggressively
and potentially under the influence. Our personal injury law firm did
a thorough background investigation into the offending driver, and although
she did not have any prior convictions for driving under the influence,
we did determine that she had an extensive criminal history.
Following the incident, the other driver was given a blood test which ultimately
revealed that she had not been drinking alcohol, but could have been abusing
prescriptions medication. We consulted with a toxicologist to determine
the levels of medications in her blood stream and ultimately came to the
conclusion that the levels were consistent with prescription medication
abuse. We presented our findings to the insurance company and after long
and protracted negotiations we were able to convince the insurance company
to settle this claim for $40,000.00.
Although our client was injured as a result of this incident, the focus
of our negotiations was on the punitive damages against the other driver.
Under Georgia law, an injured individual has a clear right to receive
in addition to compensatory damages, in cases where the defendant's actions show willful misconduct, malice,
fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would
raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.
O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1(b). Punitive damages are routinely awarded in
cases involving drunk drivers and drivers under the influence of narcotics or prescription drugs. The
purpose of such damages is to punish and deter the wrongdoer in light
of the circumstances of the case.
Because of our diligent investigation into this matter, we were able to
effectively show the insurance company that our client was entitled to
much more compensation than your "typical"
auto accident case. If you or someone you know has been injured, please do not hesitate
to contact Henningsen Injury Attorneys for you free, no obligation, legal