If you live in or around Atlanta, you are probably aware of the rise in street racing on public roads, highways, and interstates. Oftentimes these racers live outside the city and are only in Atlanta to take part in this dangerous activity. While street racing may provide thrills for those taking part, it represents a serious risk to innocent bystanders and other drivers on the road. Recent crashes have resulted in serious injuries and death.
Are There Specific Laws Prohibiting Street Racing?
Racing on public streets is expressly prohibited by O.C.G.A. §40-6-186, which makes street racing punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine. Additionally, street racers also violate O.C.G.A. §40-6-390, which prohibits driving with reckless disregard for the safety of other persons- also punishable by up to one year in jail. Of course, street racers likely also violate a host of other laws, such as speeding, failure to maintain lane, and following too closely, among others.
A street racer who causes a crash that results in a serious injury to another person has committed a felony, punishable by one to 15 years in prison. If a death results from a street racing crash, the driver could face three to 15 years in prison, and even longer if the prosecutor tacks on additional charges.
What Types of Compensation is a Victim of a Street Racing Crash Entitled to?
Any person injured by the negligence of another is entitled to compensation for injuries suffered. “Compensatory damages” are designed to make an injured person “whole.” A victim is entitled to recover for the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. “Pain and suffering” includes items such as:
- Actual Pain and suffering – past and future
- Interference with normal living
- Interference with enjoyment of life
- Loss of capacity to labor or earn money (separate from lost earnings)
- Impairment of bodily health and vigor
- Fear of extent of injury
- Shock of impact
- Mental anguish- past and future
- Extent to which one must limit activities
The attorneys at Rafi Law are experienced ensuring insurance companies and juries compensate our clients for everything they are entitled to under Georgia laws.
In addition to compensatory damages, if you are a victim of a crash caused by a street racer, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are available when the at-fault party’s actions demonstrate “willful misconduct” or “conscious indifference to the consequences” of his/her actions. Unlike compensatory damages, which are designed to make the victim whole, punitive damages are paid to the victim but designed to punish the tortfeasor for their outrageous and dangerous conduct. By driving recklessly and at excessive speeds in public areas, street racers are showing conscious indifference to the consequences of their actions.
If a family member or spouse has been killed by a crash caused by a street racer, you may be able to file a wrongful death action on their behalf. A wrongful death claim includes “the full value of the life of the decedent without deducting for any of the necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had he lived. O.C.G.A. 51-4-1. The victim’s estate can also bring a claim for the victim’s pain and suffering before death and reimbursement of medical and funeral expenses.
The lawyers at Rafi Law Firm have seen how victims of crashes can turn their world upside down. Rafi Law Firm has not only helped people who have been victims of crashes, navigate through their hard times, but has achieved significant financial results on behalf of those clients. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a crash because of someone else’s negligence, call us at 404-800-1156 for a free consultation.