Traffic in Atlanta is among the worst in the country. There are days when it seems like the morning rush hour becomes the afternoon rush hour without any relief. As we all know, heavy traffic leads to accidents. Commuters in Metro Atlanta see their fair share of car accidents. When an accident occurs, typically, one driver is at fault. Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a major wreck with injuries, there will be consequences for the driver the police deem at fault. These penalties can range from a simple traffic citation to much more serious criminal charges. There are also very serious civil penalties that can arise from traffic accidents. On October 13, a bus of senior citizens on the way to a casino in North Carolina collided with a tractor trailer in Gilmer County. The bus driver was killed and more than 40 passengers were injured. According to police reports, the tractor trailer was making a turn when the bus collided with it from the rear. According to news reports, preliminary findings from the Georgia State Patrol have indicated the tractor trailer driver was at fault. However no charges have been announced at this time. When such a serious accident occurs, especially one involving a fatality, there are a number of criminal charges authorities may choose to pursue. A typical fender bender may result in a citation like Following Too Closely or Failure to Yield. In the case of a death, however, criminal charges may arise even if there wasn’t an overtly reckless act by the driver. Homicide by vehicle is the common charge in this situation. This charge, with a variety of subsections, addresses an at-fault driver who causes the death of another as a result of a car accident. These charges are typically felonies. Accidents that result in injuries, or even death, could also result in civil penalties. An individual, or the family of an individual, may seek remedies from an at-fault motorist through the court system. These types of lawsuits may cover vehicle damage or medical bills if an agreement can’t be reached with an insurance company. If the accident results in a fatality, the family or estate of the victim, may file a wrongful death lawsuit with the court system. A wrongful death lawsuit may target a company if a commercial vehicle was involved. The core of a wrongful death lawsuit will evaluate the death of a person as a crime or criminal negligence. In the case of an accident, that criminal negligence would most likely focus on what the at-fault driver did wrong and if criminal charges were filed. Any money awarded by a judge or jury would be based on “the full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence.” If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, no matter the severity, you should contact an attorney immediately. If you are facing criminal charges or a potential lawsuit, your first call should be to an attorney. The same is true if you have been the victim of an accident. Whether you are arguing with an insurance company about repairing your vehicle or paying your medical bills, or are the loved one of someone killed in accident, you need an attorney who will fight for you. Make your call to The Silverbach Group. We are experienced attorneys who will listen to you and be on your side. If you have been involved an accident and aren’t sure what to do, call us today 770-635-0334.