The City of Atlanta concluded that a $500K settlement offer would cost the city less than it would to mount a defense to a crash victim’s lawsuit in court. As reported by 11Alive, the severely injured 52-year-old woman filed a civil case against the city after an Atlanta police officer ran a red light and the patrol car slammed into the side of her vehicle.
The force of the patrol car’s impact was strong enough to sever the crash victim’s arm at the scene of the accident. In her lawsuit, the injured woman requested a jury trial and sought damages for her medical expenses and extreme pain and suffering. Although she accepted a settlement offered by the city, she now hopes to see justice served as the police officer faces felony criminal charges of violation of oath of office and serious injury by vehicle.
Police officer was responding to a 9-1-1 call
As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the 27-year-old police officer was responding to a 9-1-1 call when she sped through the intersection in which the accident occurred. The collision totaled both vehicles, and both drivers required hospitalization. In a tearful testimony presented to the officer’s grand jury hearing, the crash victim described how the accident made her an amputee and altered her life. The police officer only suffered minor injuries in the crash.
Conflicting stories presented to the court
The disabled crash victim’s lawsuit alleged that the police officer did not have her patrol car’s sirens and blue lights activated when she sped through the red light. The police department does not agree with the claim. The grand jury, however, also indicted the officer with misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and failure to obey a traffic control device.
A driver’s reckless actions can alter the course of a crash victim’s life and bring lifelong and debilitating changes. In certain cases, an offered settlement may not provide just compensation for the aftereffects of an avoidable accident. Obtaining adequate and fair justice may require litigation and a trial by jury.