Police have allegedly filed charges against the driver who struck and killed 64-year-old cyclist, David McLoy Fitzpatrick, in Braselton Monday afternoon, May 4, 2015.
According to Athens Banner Herald, Mr. Fitzpatrick was cycling southbound along Highway 53, shortly after 1:30pm, when the driver of a Toyota Tundra struck him from behind. After hitting Mr. Fitzpatrick, the driver reportedly drove off the roadway, through a ditch and reentered the highway, without stopping to assist the cyclist.
Georgia State Patrol told media a witness was able to follow and stop the motorist. The driver is allegedly facing multiple charges, including vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, following too close, failing to maintain lane, and having an open container of alcohol.
Our Legal Take
While relieved the allegedly impaired driver has reportedly been charged, The Murray Law Firm is questioning whether any other factors may have contributed to this tragedy.
Where did the allegedly impaired driver consume alcohol prior to the incident? Was it at a restaurant, bar, or other business? If so, a potential Dram Shop claim may exist.
As the details of this accident continue to emerge, and if the Toyota driver is deemed to be at-fault, the family of David McLoy Fitzpatrick may seek to pursue a wrongful death claim with the driver’s insurance carrier. Under such a claim, Mr. Fitzpatrick’s family may be entitled to an award of damages that could include, among other items, substantial compensation for: pain and suffering; loss of wages and future earning capacity; loss of consortium; and, emotional distress. If the facts of this matter warrant such a claim, it would not only be an avenue of justice for the family of Mr. Fitzpatrick, but would also serve as a critically-needed message to all Georgia drivers on the perils of impaired driving.
In addition, the Fitzpatrick family may also have a possible Dram Shop case against any entity that served alcohol to the allegedly impaired driver prior to the incident. Generally, under Dram Shop laws, a restaurant, bar, or other business may be held liable for injuries caused by a drunk driver if it can be shown that: (a) the driver was visibly intoxicated at the time the alcohol was served; and, (b) the business had reason to believe the visibly intoxicated individual would soon be operating a motor vehicle.
Based upon its prior experience in handling Georgia accident and Dram Shop cases, The Murray Law Firm suggests that photographs and a thorough inspection of the scene will need to be performed immediately on behalf of the Fitzpatrick family before any evidence may be repaired, altered, damaged or destroyed. Additionally, it is critical that the prior whereabouts of the reportedly impaired driver be quickly obtained so that evidence such as surveillance video and register receipts are not compromised.
We are here to Help. Contact us for a Free Consultation.
The Murray Law Firm has extensive and successful experience in motor vehicle and Dram Shop cases in Georgia, and we offer our legal expertise in this potential claim, if desired. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 706.494.2800. Consultations are free and confidential.
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