On September 4th in Atlanta, Angel Rivers, 21, was ejected and killed in a fiery crash when the Chrysler in which she was an occupant was rear-ended by a drunk driver. Witnesses saw Donis Hodges recklessly driving a 2006 BMW M6 just before he crashed into the Chrysler near Hamilton E. Holmes Drive.
Charges against Hodges include DUI, first-degree homicide by vehicle, following too closely and reckless driving. On Monday, a judge set bond for Hodges at $310,000. After the hearing, Rivers’ mother, Shatavia Little, told CBS Atlanta she’s angry that the judge allowed bond for Hodges. “This is not like he hit a squirrel. It’s not like he hit a stray dog. He killed a human being. That’s my baby,” she said.
Georgia wrongful death law provides for recovery of the "full value of the life" of the person killed.
Unfortunately, after any such tragic accident, victims’ families are often immediately besieged by "runners" attempting to unethically solicit for lawyers who are willing to risk disbarment. Georgia Rule of Professional Conduct 7.3 provides, in part: "A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment as a private practitioner for the lawyer, a partner or associate through direct personal contact or through live telephone contact, with a non-lawyer who has not sought advice regarding employment of a lawyer. . . . The maximum penalty for a violation of this Rule is disbarment."
Ken Shigley, author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice, is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He practices law at the Atlanta law firm of Chambers, Aholt & Rickard, and has broad experience in catastrophic personal injury, spinal cord injury, wrongful death, products liability, brain injury and burn injury cases. He is also president-elect of the State Bar of Georgia. Ken and Sally Shigley have been married 27 years and are proud parents of Anne Shigley and Ken Shigley, Jr. This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.