Todd Henningsen Settles Auto Claim for $40,000.00
September 19, 2011
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 dashboard. 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 bloodstream 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 punitive damages, 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 your free, no-obligation, legal consultation.