As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I wrote about a horrific accident in Carroll County this past week. The accident was a hit and run accident in Georgia. It resulted in the striking of a pedestrian as he crossed a busy road.
According to reports, the victim may never be able to use his left leg again. Doctors at Grady Memorial Hospital believe that they may have to amputate his leg. He is currently in a medically induced coma while police attempt to locate the driver of the car who has been accused of hitting him.
In today's post I will outline the law behind another offense that the suspected driver will now be facing - serious injury by vehicle.
Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia
Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §40-6-394 as:
Whoever, without malice, shall cause bodily harm to another by depriving him of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage which renders the body or any member thereof useless through the violation of Code Section 40-6-390 or 40-6-391 shall be guilty of the crime of serious injury by vehicle. A person convicted under this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than 15 years.
This statute does not define what constitutes a serious injury. Other Georgia Laws define serious injury as a “fractured bone, severe burns, disfigurement, dismemberment, partial or total loss of sight or hearing, or loss of consciousness.” To be “serious,” the injury need not be permanent – a serious, temporary injury is sufficient and only needs to impair or injure the appearance of a person. In the past, injuries such as loss of vision in one eye, blurry vision, a two-inch scar on the forehead, broken ribs, and severe bruising have qualified as “serious.” Whether an injury is serious is a question of fact to be determined by the jury.
It is important to note that this law does not require that any malicious intent to harm be proven. As a result, defenses such as where a person did not intend to get in an accident or drive recklessly are not allowed.
If someone is seriously injured as the result of someone else committing DUI in Georgia or reckless driving in Georgia, the driver will be charged with a felony that can result in up to 15 years in prison.
Even the injured party is your own passenger or family member, you can be charged with a felony that can result in 15 years in jail. So, as a Georgia DUI Attorney, I ask that anyone arrested on charges such as these to please take your case with the utmost seriousness.
Call us today.