If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a traffic accident in Peachtree Corners, you’re not alone. While this small city is tucked away from the worst of Metro Atlanta traffic, plenty of the same problems that plague our neighbors make their way onto these winding residential streets and small state highways.
Below, we’ll go into detail on some of the most common causes of Peachtree Corners traffic accidents, and how legal representation can help those affected. If at any point you would prefer to speak directly with a Peachtree Corners car accident lawyer, feel free to reach out by phone or chat.
Illegal Street Racing Is a Serious Threat to Peachtree Corners Drivers
Racing on public streets is illegal, even when no other traffic laws are broken, because it’s nearly impossible for a driver to combine competitive racing mentality with the caution necessary for safe driving.
Racetracks are dangerous enough when they’re engineered for that purpose, keeping willing participants physically separated from spectators and bystanders, and free from distractions. The unpredictability and different infrastructure of public streets greatly increases the odds of injury, especially for non-participants.
Unfortunately, this reckless pastime is fairly popular in Georgia, including in Peachtree Corners. Illegal street racing events can be shocking in size and begin without warning, blocking off busy streets and sometimes trapping innocent drivers in the crowd.
In May of 2022, street racers took over the intersection of Peachtree Corners Circle and Spalding Drive. When the Gwinnet County police broke up the event, they arrested 88 people, 20 of them minors, and confiscated 26 vehicles and 5 guns. According to the officers, drivers were performing donuts and laying drag for the spectators when they arrived.
Taking part in one of these events is inherently negligent behavior, so if you have been harmed by a street racer, you have a good chance of collecting a substantial settlement.
The Dangers of Criminal Violence and Traffic Accidents Are Often Linked
In addition to crimes that directly involve vehicles, like street racing, other types of seemingly unrelated crime can also seriously impact road safety.
Drivers who are in a rush are more likely to hurt themselves and others. For most people, this danger crops up on a regular basis in small ways — rushing for work, or to keep an appointment, or just to get to a bathroom. But far more extreme rushing can be seen from victims escaping from violent situations, or criminals trying to evade capture.
For example, in November of 2019, an altercation reportedly took place in Peachtree Corners between a group of people in a red truck, and a group in a black SUV. At some point, someone in the SUV opened fire.
While fleeing the gunshots, the driver of the truck ran a red light at a fairly complicated intersection, where Winters Chapel Road passes under Peachtree Industrial Blvd. There, the fleeing truck collided with a car, killing the car’s driver. A passenger in the truck was also injured.
This was a particularly unfortunate incident, ending with the shooter in the SUV escaping, and the driver of the truck being charged with first-degree vehicular homicide.
In most cases, however, the person whose criminal act sets off an accident will end up involved in it somehow. When that happens, courts will generally recognize the criminal as carrying most or all of the fault for the accident, making it easier for victims to claim compensation.
Sometimes It Takes Work to Determine the Cause of a Crash
There isn’t always a root cause as obvious as a street race or a shooting to explain a traffic wreck.
In November of 2022, a vehicle suddenly sideswiped the one next to it and then crossed the center line of Holcomb Bridge Road, causing a head-on collision near the corner of Brookwood. The driver who crossed the line was killed, and the one in the oncoming car required hospital care.
There is no public information on what prompted the deceased driver’s actions. Based on the movement of the vehicles alone, this set of collisions could have been intentional, it could have been an accident caused by distracted driving, or even the result of a medical emergency or vehicle defect. The driver could have been under the influence of alcohol or other substances. We simply don’t know.
Even though the outcome of the accident is the same regardless, those kinds of details can make a big difference when it comes to collecting a settlement.
- Intentional collisions can be counter-intuitively challenging to collect on, because most insurance policies do not cover damages caused by the policyholder’s intentional acts.
- Accidents caused by driving under the influence (DUI) can sometimes prompt a court to award punitive damages, meaning the victim will receive an additional sum on top of the worth of the actual damages. Deceased defendants are immune to punitive damages, so this would not apply to the case above, but it’s a crucial point in many others like it.
- If an outside party contributed to the accident, survivors might have additional options for a lawsuit. Outside parties might include a negligent car designer, a doctor who failed to warn about driving-impairing side effects to a medication, or a bar that served the driver past the point of intoxication, knowing they intended to drive.
The survivors of the Holcomb Bridge crash do have one thing going for them: a fairly obvious at-fault vehicle. Some crashes don’t even have that, and it’s up to a Atlanta, GA car accident law firm to break down exactly how the crash happened, what laws were broken, and who is entitled to what compensation.
If you’re not entirely sure where the fault lies in your accident, it’s always a good idea to talk it over with a lawyer, rather than simply accepting what other drivers, insurance representatives, or even law enforcement officials tell you.
Insurance Industry Practices Make Legal Representation a Must
A disturbing number of traffic accidents are caused by completely unnecessary irresponsible behavior. However, plenty are also caused by honest, split-second mistakes.
Unfortunately, no matter how good a driver’s intentions and general track record may be, these mistakes can have consequences just as devastating as any DUI wreck.
In March of 2019, a driver was turning left on a flashing yellow arrow, from Buford Highway onto Amwiler Road, when he collided with an oncoming car. He was not drunk. It’s possible that he misunderstood the signal, misjudged the distances involved, or simply suffered a brief lapse of attention. The bottom line, however, is that a flashing yellow arrow is a signal for turning traffic to yield to oncoming traffic, which this driver failed to do.
Because of that misjudgment, the oncoming driver with the right of way suffered serious injuries, causing the loss of a pregnancy.
In November of the same year, a driver swerved into oncoming traffic on Peachtree Corners Circle near Jones Mill Spur, causing a head-on collision. The driver who swerved reported that he did so to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of him, which had braked suddenly. That’s a reflex that most people can relate to, but the fact is that it’s every driver’s responsibility to maintain a safe following distance.
The swerve resulted in the death of the innocent oncoming driver.
Victims of more understandable accidents tend to be hesitant about pursuing a lawsuit, because they don’t want to make the aftermath harder for the at-fault driver than it already is.
Lawsuits in these situations aren’t really about the at-fault driver, however. They’re about making sure the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays what it owes.
The main purpose of car insurance is to cover any harm caused by the policy-holder’s mistakes. It doesn’t really matter whether those mistakes are understandable or not. The victim’s need for compensation, and the insurance company’s responsibility to provide it, are the same.
In general, working with a lawyer will not harm the other driver at all. Rather, it will protect you from having your sympathies exploited to pad the insurance company’s profits.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Car Accident in Peachtree Corners
To protect yourself physically, legally, and financially after a traffic accident in Peachtree Corners, follow these steps as closely as you can:
- Pull over. Leaving the scene of an accident without exchanging the required information is a crime, and stopping in the way of traffic can endanger your life and the lives of others. If you and your vehicle are both mobile enough to manage it, your safest bet is to move over to the side of the road and stop there.
- Provide your name, your contact information, your insurance company’s name, and your policy number to anyone involved in the accident. Collect the same information from the other driver or drivers. If possible, collect contact information from any witnesses to the accident as well. Do not comment on fault for the accident.
- Call 911 to report the accident and request any needed emergency services. This step is legally required if there are any injuries, or if the property damage appears to be worth more than $500. Again, do not comment on fault.
- If possible, create a photographic or video record of the crash scene, or have someone do this for you.
- Accept any assistance offered by responding paramedics and follow all medical advice. If you do not receive an exam at the scene, or you feel you may have unaddressed injuries, make an appointment with your own doctor as soon as possible.
- Once everyone has received the necessary information and medical care, make your arrangements to leave and remove your car from the scene.
- Continue documenting the collision and its after-effects. This includes writing down what you can remember of the accident, as well as keeping track of your ongoing expenses and lost income.
- Defer all communication with insurance representatives until you have selected a qualified Peachtree Corners car accident lawyer to handle these communications on your behalf.
The Stoddard Firm has experts in traffic law, personal injury, and wrongful death, who are also experts on the Peachtree Corners area. We’re familiar with local traffic patterns and healthcare providers, as well as local businesses like JamRock Towing & Recovery and Chris Roadside Service & Tow.
We’ll coordinate with everyone who cares for your injuries or your vehicle, to make sure the whole picture of your accident and your losses is taken into account for your settlement.
To get started with a free consultation on your case, just reach out at 678-RESULTS or through our online chat function.