Wrongful Death Car Accident in Atlanta, GA Settles for $2.95 Million

EJB was a beloved daughter, friend, and co-worker who tragically lost her life in a car accident in Atlanta, GA on October 11, 2017.  Butler Tobin had the privilege of representing her family.  We were pleased to be able to resolve the case by settlement for $2,950,000, an amount that exceeded the available insurance policy limits by a significant margin.

EJB was driving down Barnwell Road in Johns Creek, Georgia on that Wednesday afternoon when the driver of a 2014 Black BMW crossed the double yellow dividing line and swerved into her lane, causing a head-on collision. A nearby witness immediately called 911.

When paramedics arrived, the at-fault driver, a former pilot for Delta Airlines, was unable to recollect what happened and was taken to a local emergency room for injuries sustained to his arm. However, upon checking the other vehicle, paramedics sadly found no signs of life.  EJB was declared dead at the scene.

Upon hearing the tragic news of the car accident, EJB’s parents flew down from Connecticut to collect their daughter’s body. Her parents, although separated, came together during this time to grieve their loss. EJB was taken back home to Connecticut where the funeral was held.

It was never clear why the former pilot swerved into EJB’s lane.  But our firm was able to establish, through written discovery and by cross-examining the at-fault driver under oath, what did not cause the swerve.  Under our questions in his deposition, the at-fault driver admitted that the collision hadn’t been caused by an mechanical defect, medical condition, sudden emergency, or act of God.  That left only one realistic option: the at-fault driver’s negligence.

 

Handling a Georgia Wrongful Death Case

When Butler Law Firm was first contacted about this case, we immediately went to the scene of the crash at the intersection of Barnwell Road and Rivermont Parkway in Johns Creek. We collected evidence and pictures from the collision.  Early on, we locked in the testimony of key eyewitnesses to the collision.  We inspected the damaged vehicles and obtained a ‘black box’ or electronic data recorder (“EDR”) download from the at-fault driver’s car.

We then helped walk EJB’s family members through the process of filing a wrongful death claim in Georgia. As Georgia law requires, we considered the “intangible” value of EJB’s life. This means the activities, experiences and everyday memories that were valuable to her.  We considered the “economic” value of her life, which includes her future economic earnings and the value of her future work in the household. We then helped her sister, who was named executor of the estate, through the probate process in Georgia.  While the wrongful death claim permitted the family to recover for the “full value” of EJB’s life, the family’s estate claim allowed the family to pay for medical bills, funeral expenses, and other costs incurred as a result of the accident.

In late October, the case was successfully resolved for a total of $2.95 million, which substantially exceeded the total liability and UM insurance policies available to cover this car accident. While the resolution made a significant material difference in the life of EJB’s family, we know no amount of money can replace the loss of a loved one.

EJB was loved by many. As a former employee at a local grocery store, EJB’s coworkers had nothing but kind words to say about her character.  One coworker, pictured below, wrote a poem about EJB after her death and read the poem aloud in local club. EJB had a glowing reputation and was adored by both friends and family. She is survived by her two parents and her sister.

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