An Atlanta driver is being accused of intentionally using his car to hit and kill a pedestrian on Dec. 1. The car accident took place near Boulevard Street SE and Gartrell Street SE close to 5:30 p.m.
The driver allegedly revved his engine up and intentionally hit the victim, who was on the sidewalk, witnesses reported to police. An initial investigation revealed that the victim and the driver had been involved in an argument just before her death.
According to police, there was no evidence that the driver had attempted to stop his vehicle. Officers administered a chemical breath test on the driver and later served warrants on the driver. The driver has been charged with murder and aggravated assault, and he waived his initial court appearance.
The act of intentionally hitting and killing someone with a car may rise to the level of extreme recklessness. The victim's family may decide to seek punitive damages in a case involving excessive carelessness. Punitive damages are intended to punish a negligent driver financially and to deter other drivers from acting in the same manner.
A Georgia personal injury attorney might review a case and advise the family whether punitive damages might be justified. In cases where only compensatory damages are sought, it may be possible to settle the matter out of court. A wrongful death lawsuit that includes punitive damages may be heard by a jury in civil court.
In this story, the testimony of witnesses seems to be an important factor for establishing the extremely reckless behavior of the driver. In a similar case, the plaintiff's attorney may call upon witnesses to provide testimony in the case. If the jury agrees that the driver's behavior meets the criteria for excessive recklessness, it might award the plaintiffs with a substantial settlement.
Source: CBS Atlanta, "Atlanta man allegedly hits, kills woman with car", Terrance Kelly, Will Frampton, Mary Gleason, December 03, 2013