According to reports out of Gainesville, a 68-year-old man is in critical condition at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center after a crash that involved three different vehicles.
The crash happened at the intersection of Pearl Nix Parkway and Dorsey Street. Police have reported that another driver allegedly drove into oncoming traffic and hit two different cars.
As of right now, no charges have been filed against any of the drivers. However, the cause of the crash remains under heavy investigation. Anyone with information has been asked to contact the Gainesville Police Department.
As a Hall County DUI Lawyer, I am very familiar with just how quickly the nature of a case can change once an allegation or accusation is made against a driver. In today's post, I will outline the offense serious injury by vehicle as one of the drivers may end up being accused of committing a traffic violation that led to the serious injury of the elderly man.
Serious Injury by Vehicle in Hall County
OCGA §40-6-394 defines the criminal offense of serious Injury by Vehicle in Hall County as:
“…caus[ing] 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 Reckless Driving or DUI.”
Serious injury is not defined by this law in particular. However, other statutes define it 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 completely irrelevant as to whether the accused driver's intent was to hurt another. Intent is not a required element of this particular law. Therefore, any legal defense that a person did not intend to commit the preliminary offenses of: reckless driving or driving under the influence will not work.
Serious injury by vehicle is classified as a felony. This means that if a driver is convicted of serious injury by vehicle, then he or she is facing up to 15 years in prison.