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Sunday afternoon crash claims four lives


A car accident can take a lot from a person. There is the financial toll of car repairs, medical bills, time off work spent recovering, all on top of the responsibilities that the person already had. But ultimately more costly than the financial toll are the physical and emotional injuries that a car accident can create. Cars can be replaced and bones mended, but the loss of a loved one is something that can't be repaired with money.

Two families are in mourning after a Sunday afternoon car accident left four dead and the sole survivor in critical condition. Police say the tragic accident occurred around 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon, when a black Lexus crossed the center line. The Lexus was travelling around 100 mph when it crossed the center line and hit a white Highlander travelling in the opposite direction head-on. The Lexus had three occupants, all of which were pronounced dead. The driver of the Highlander also was killed in the accident, leaving her teenage son the only survivor, but in critical condition. It is believed that the driver of the Lexus was under the influence, but a toxicology report has yet to be completed. Police are still investigating the accident and have called out their reconstruction team due to the severity of the crash.

In tragic cases such as this, non-economic damages are likely to dwarf any award for actual economic damages. Georgia, like many other states, has no cap on the amount of damages that one can be awarded for non-economic losses. If the young man survives the ordeal and files a claim against the estate of the Lexus's driver, he can attempt to collect non-economic damages for his own pain and suffering, which can include compensation for the loss of his mother. Non-economic damages can include awards for one's loss of consortium, mental and physical suffering and even humiliation.

Economic damages are certainly important, as money is one of the foundations of our society. But non-economic damages, many times, can be more important than economic ones, as they deal with an individual's loss of his or her enjoyment of life.

Source: WRDW 12 News, Names released of 4 killed, 1 critical in head-on collision, Julie Calhoun, Dec. 8, 2014

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