Driving in itself is a risky but necessary activity. That’s why there are strict rules and regulations when it comes to driving on public streets. These laws are in place to keep you and everyone around you safe while on the road.
Over the past two years, there has been an increase of fatal, high-speed accidents across the country. Law enforcement credits this uptick to emptier roads, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. Unfortunately, where there is speed there is (sometimes) racing, and the number of street races appears to have increased as well, according to AP News.
While those who are racing might find it entertaining in the moment, the real-life consequences can lead to fines and prison, not to mention life-altering injuries. Those who participate in these illegal races can be held liable for any damages, injuries, or fatalities they cause while racing.
Street racing has surged in America, but Georgia is fighting back
When the pandemic was in full force, Americans were looking for ways to entertain themselves, and unfortunately street racing was one of those activities. People had time to work on improving their cars, “souping up” old vehicles or further embellishing expensive sports cars.
It is these new activities that lead to more street racing and more street-racing fatalities. AP News reports that on November 21, 2021, Jaye Sanford, a mother of two, was killed while headed home from work when a Dodge Challenger participating in a street race crashed head-on into her vehicle. In response to her death, Governor Kemp “signed a bill named for Sanford that mandates at least 10 days of jail time for all drag racing convictions. It also requires people convicted a third time within five years to forfeit their vehicles.”
What kinds of injuries can you sustain in a street-racing crash?
The kinds of injuries one can sustain from a street-racing crash are varied, but are usually exacerbated by the high speed of the striking vehicle. Per the journal Injury Prevention, “Street racing fatal crashes were nearly six times more likely than other fatal crashes to occur at travel speeds greater than 65 mph.” Often, these fatal crashes involve racing drivers who were impaired by alcohol, drugs, or an illegal substance at the time of the crash.
Some of the most common injuries suffered during a street racing crash include:
- Neck, back, and spinal injuries: This can span from whiplash to paralysis and anything in between. Whiplash happens with the sudden jerking motion of your head forward and back, straining and injuring the muscles and soft tissue in your neck. Spinal cord injuries are serious injuries that can cause full or partial paralysis and lifelong pain.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Another serious type of injury, injury to your brain can also cause life-long changes. Traumatic brain injuries can change the way your brain functions, and may change your behaviors, the way you think, and the way you handle emotions.
- Multiple broken bones: Broken ribs can puncture lungs, and shattered sternums can pierce the heart. Some broken bones require certain hardware to be put inside your body, like metal pins.
- Organ damage/internal bleeding: In a high-speed crash, your internal organs are subject to damage front blunt force trauma, penetrating injuries, or even the effects of physics when the car comes to a sudden stop. These can be life-threatening if they are not treated immediately.
Filing a personal injury claim in Georgia
If you have been injured in a street-racing accident, you can file a personal injury claim if someone else is responsible for injuring you. When you are injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It is important that you never admit fault, either at the scene of the accident or when filing a personal injury claim, as Georgia is a comparative-negligence state. That means that the amount you seek to collect in your claim can be reduced by the role (if any) you played in the accident.
As you can see, the process can be a bit complicated, and it is important that it is handled correctly by someone who knows the complexities of the legal system. If you plan on filing a personal injury claim, the best course of action is to seek an experienced lawyer. At Harris Lowry Manton LLP, we have secured millions of dollars for our clients in jury verdicts and settlements.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit
Wrongful death lawsuits are some of the most complex types of lawsuits, both emotionally and legally. When a loved one dies, family members may be eligible for compensation for “the full value of the life of the deceased, which includes the loss of financial resources as well as lost emotional support from family and friends that the decedent would have enjoyed had he/she lived.” Our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys also research and present evidence of the decedent’s life expectancy, which helps determine both the economic and non-economic losses of the lost life.
If you are injured due to a street-racing incident, those driving and participating in this illegal activity should be held liable. The streets are dangerous enough already, and these deadly races only make them more dangerous. At Harris Lowry Manton LLP, we’ve secured millions for clients involved vehicle crash cases. Contact the experienced Georgia car accident attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP today. Call our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847 or our Savannah office at 912-417-3774, or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
One of the nation’s top trial attorneys, Jeff Harris is an award-winning litigator who handles high-profile, complex cases across a wide variety of practice areas. He excels at securing justice for clients who have been seriously injured or killed, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions as well as their negligence.
Read more about Jeffrey R. Harris here.