Atlanta, Ga. - One of Metro Atlanta's neighborhoods - Buckhead - experienced a serious injury in the early hours of Monday morning.
According to reports, a woman was hit on Georgia 400 North when she got out of her vehicle and attempted to walk across the northbound lanes near the Lenox Road exit. She is reportedly in critical condition and is in the Intensive Care Unit at Grady Memorial Hospital.
Authorities and investigators are still unclear as to why the woman was outside of her vehicle and attempting to cross the interstate. However, as an Atlanta DUI Lawyer, I will focus on one of the possible offenses faced by the driver of the vehicle who struck the woman - serious injury by vehicle.
Serious Injury by Vehicle
Serious injury by vehicle is a very serious traffic violation that is accompanied by either an accusation of reckless driving or DUI in Atlanta. The law defines serious injury by vehicle in the Georgia Code 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 law does not define what constitutes a serious injury, so in these situations, we have to look to other sources within the Georgia Code. Other Georgia laws define it as a “fractured bone, severe burns, disfigurement, dismemberment, partial or total loss of sight or hearing, or loss of consciousness.” To be considered serious, the injury does not need to be permanent. Instead, a serious, temporary injury is sufficient and only needs to impair or injure a person's appearance.
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.
Serious injury by vehicle is classified as a felony offense. The penalty if convicted of serious injury by vehicle can include high fines and up to fifteen years in prison.
Call our offices today if you or a loved one has been arrested. Receiving a charge for a serious traffic violation such as serious injury by vehicle or DUI can be overwhelming and ultimately impactful. We can help you every step of the way. An Atlanta DUI Attorney can help you now.