Bisnar | Chase: Jaywalking Mother's Appeal in Vehicular Homicide Case Denied

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California pedestrian accident lawyer weighs in on the case of a Georgia mother who was convicted of vehicular homicide in connection with the death of her 4-year-old son because she was jaywalking with her children when the incident occurred. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Raquel Nelson has now lost her appeal of the conviction and will likely take her case before the Georgia Supreme Court.

Pedestrian accident cases

Pedestrian accident cases can be quite challenging

Such incidents often have the potential to turn people's lives upside down, as it did in the case of this Georgia family. The outcome of these cases can have a long-term impact on the lives of everyone involved.

Cobb County mother Raquel Nelson, who was convicted of vehicular homicide for jaywalking when a drunk driver struck and killed her son, has lost her appeal (Case number: A12A0812) of the conviction. A Sept. 7 news report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution states that a trial court judge granted Nelson a chance to retry the charges after a state court jury found her guilty of the charges last summer. However, the retrial was put on hold after Nelson filed an appeal of the conviction with the Court of Appeals in Georgia in May arguing that there was insufficient evidence to prove that she was criminally responsible for the death of her 4-year-old son A.J. Newman, the report said.

A.J. was struck and killed on April 10, 2010 by an admitted drunk driver, Jerry L. Guy, as Nelson, A.J. and her two daughters were returning home, the Journal-Constitution reports. Nelson and her children were crossing Austell Road outside marked crosswalks. The van driven by Guy struck A.J., Nelson and a toddler she was holding. A.J. died from severe head trauma while Nelson and the other child survived with minor injuries, the report stated. In addition to second-degree vehicular homicide, a jury also found Nelson guilty of crossing outside of a crosswalk and reckless conduct. Guy served six months in jail, while Nelson faces a jail sentence of up to three years if convicted a second time.

"My heart goes out to this mother who lost her child, the surviving children and other family members who are going through this terrible ordeal," said John Bisnar, founder of the Bisnar | Chase personal injury law firm.

Pedestrian accident cases, especially those involving pedestrians who walk outside areas designated for pedestrians, can be quite challenging and problematic, Bisnar says. "California law requires pedestrians walking outside crosswalks to yield the right of way to oncoming vehicles that constitute an immediate hazard. However, that does not relieve the driver from his or her duty to exercise due care for the safety of a pedestrian. If the driver was unable to control the vehicle or stop it in time because he or she was drunk, distracted or speeding, then, he or she can be held responsible for the incident as well."

Bisnar says each accident is unique and must be carefully analyzed in order to determine fault and liability. "Such incidents often have the potential to turn people's lives upside down, as it did in the case of this Georgia family. The outcome of these cases can have a long-term impact on the lives of everyone involved."

About Bisnar | Chase

The California pedestrian accident lawyers of Bisnar | Chase represent victims of auto accidents, defective products, dangerous roadways, and many other personal injuries. The firm has been featured on a number of popular media outlets including Newsweek, Fox, NBC, and ABC and is known for its passionate pursuit of results for their clients. Since 1978, Bisnar | Chase has recovered millions of dollars for victims of auto accidents, auto defects and dangerously designed and/or maintained roadways.

For more information, call 800-561-4846 or visit for a free consultation.


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