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Georgia Jury Awards $150 Million to Family of Child Killed in Car Accident Explosion

atlanta-555181-mAccidents involving vehicles on local roadways can result in driver and passenger injury, and even death. Many of these tragic cases are caused by negligence of some sort, and on behalf of one or more party, such as the driver, car manufacturer, or some other related entity. Under such circumstances, the victim or the victim’s family may find some relief in being able to hold the negligent party accountable – legally and financially.  While a monetary recovery cannot even begin to replace a loved one, it is one way the law operates to serve an innocent victim’s interest. If you or someone you love have been injured in a car accident, it is vitally important that you seek the assistance of a local Atlanta injury attorney, someone who can protect your rights and work to hold the negligent party responsible.

Earlier this month, a Georgia jury reached a verdict in a tragic and horrific case involving the death of a four-year-old child, who was killed when the Jeep he was riding in was struck from behind by a pickup truck and burst into flames. In the case, Walden v. Chrysler Group LLC, Superior Court, Decatur County, jurors concluded that Chrysler was liable for the child’s death and failed to warn customers that the tank’s position could increase the risk of fire in a rear-end crash. According to a news article, almost two years ago, as part of a compromise with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler agreed to a “scaled-down” recall effort of certain older model Jeeps with rear-mounted tanks. The article further reports that this kind of a rear-mounted tank is susceptible to fires and punctures, due to the fact that there is little structure to protect them in rear-end accidents.

The jury apportioned “fault” and concluded that Chrysler (manufacturer of the Jeep Cherokee) was 99% at fault for the crash, and the driver of the pickup 1%.  According to the article, the jury ruled that the family should get $30 million for their child’s pain and suffering and $120 million for the value of his life. A spokesperson for Chrysler said it will appeal the verdict, stating that the vehicles are not defective.

This is a devastating accident. The family succeeded in bringing its lawsuit and achieving a verdict that holds the automaker responsible both financially and legally. Negligence lawsuits arising from car or other vehicle accidents are dependent in large part on the facts and circumstances surrounding the collision.  In this case, the family sued the automaker, claiming the company failed to warn customers of potential hazards due to the tank’s location and risk of fire. In other personal injury cases, a negligent driver may be deemed to be the cause of a victim’s injuries. Understanding who potentially may be liable is a significant aspect of any injury case.

An experienced attorney who handles car accident cases on a daily basis would be able to properly assess your case and assert the most effective strategy under the circumstances. Stephen M. Ozcomert is an injury attorney with over 20 years of experience handling car accident cases, representing individuals who have been injured as a result of another’s negligence in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Call us today at (404)-370-1000 to schedule a free initial consultation, or you can reach us through our website.

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