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Georgia has seen an increase in bicyclist on the roads in the past several years.  While the state laws have a few protections in place for bicyclists, the city of Dunwoody is going one step further and proposing a new law that have even tougher penalties for dangerous drivers, and make the roads safer for bicyclists.

The Dunwoody ordinance was introduced by City Councilman Tom Lambert.  Currently, Georgia laws require that vehicles maintain a distance of a minimum of 3 feet while passing bicyclists.  However, the ordinance would extend that provision to 6 feet, and would add trucks and commercial vehicles to the law.  These vehicles would be required to maintain a distance of a minimum of 6 feet while passing bicyclists.

The ordinance also proposes stiffer penalties for motorists who fail to respect the rights of bicyclists. It goes further than any other such similar ordinances passed elsewhere in the state, because it specifically targets motorists who engage in intimidating and harassing actions towards bicyclists. As many cyclists in Atlanta know, cyclists are far too vulnerable to road rage incidents, and are most likely to become victims of aggressive driving or harassment. Unfortunately, many motorists believe that the roads were created exclusively for the use of four-wheelers and passenger cars, and many do not respect bicyclist rights.  Despite encouraging everyone to “share the road,” not all do.

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It may be surprising to know that as many as half of all child passengers in the United States are travelling in car seats and booster seats that are incorrectly installed or not suitable for the child’s age or weight specifications. Yet, many parents continue to remain unaware that they may be placing their child at risk of serious injuries in an accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is sponsoring Child Passenger Safety Week between September 15 and September 21 this year. The aim of the campaign is to make sure that parents know the importance of securing their child in the correct car seat for his age or weight, as well as making sure that the car seat is properly secured and installed. Parents should also remember to get their child’s car seat registered with the manufacturer.

One of the most important things to remember is to make sure that the car seat is installed correctly. You can get your car seat checked by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to ensure that it is correctly installed. Find a car safety seat inspection technician near you by using this tool. Remember, an incorrectly installed car seat is at risk of coming loose or collapsing in an accident, causing serious injuries to the child.

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We have all seen the army of Amazon delivery drivers throughout metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia.  They can be in box trucks, delivery vans or even passenger vehicles.  With the sheer number of deliveries being made by Amazon every day, one may wonder how many vehicle accidents involving these drivers occur on any given day. A recent article by ProPublica highlighted the retail giant Amazon and its policy regarding auto accidents involving delivery drivers.

Many of the deliveries made by Amazon are by drivers that are independent contractors, versus those with commercial delivery companies such as UPS or FedEx, or regular employees. The reason Amazon has chosen to use so many contractor drivers over the recent years is to cut costs.   This is because using contractors does not involve the overhead costs that are involved with regular employees.

The ProPublica article noted that since June of 2015, there have been more than 60 accidents involving the Amazon delivery drivers that resulted in very serious injuries.  Ten of these accidents were fatal.  These numbers were based on the limited data that was available, so there is a high likelihood of many more unreported accidents.

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Life expectancy rates are rising in the U.S., and seniors in Georgia now live longer and healthier lives. This means that seniors are also much more likely to drive well into their 70s and even 80s.  The rate of older drivers on our roads has increased over the past few years and is expected to increase in the future. Older drivers are also retaining their licenses longer than before. There are some facts of driving in the golden years, however, that seniors and their family members should be aware of.

Getting older does not necessarily mean that you have to give up your driving privileges. However, it does mean that there are a more few restrictions and testing that seniors must comply with if they want to continue to drive safely.   Georgia law require that seniors above the age of 60 get their licenses renewed every five years in person. Drivers above the age of 60 must take a vision exam when they renew their license. If there are any other signs of impairment, drivers may also be asked to take a written test before their license is renewed. All of these rules are in place to ensure that seniors are able to continue to drive safely, without being a threat to their own safety or the safety of other motorists on the roads.

There are undoubtedly more seniors driving on Atlanta roads now than a few decades ago. Medical advancements have meant longer, healthier and more mobile lives for Georgia’s seniors.  According to federal data, in 2017, there were as many as 28 million licensed motorists above the age of 70 living in the country. This is one of the most at-risk groups of drivers in the United States. Drivers above the age of 70 have higher crash rates per mile travelled compared to younger drivers. However, older drivers are not as much at risk of accidents as teen drivers, and their average crash rates continue to be lower than teens.

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It has been over a year since Georgia’s Hands-Free Law went into effect on July 1, 2018.  Since then, a few other states have joined Georgia in implementing bans on hand-held devices while driving.  It may be surprising to know, however, that while almost all states in the U.S. have no-texting-and-driving laws, only about one-third of the states in the U.S. have a complete cell phone ban while operating a motor vehicle.  But do these hands-free laws stop distracted driving, and more importantly, reduce the risk of deadly car accidents?  Not necessarily.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of fatal traffic accidents nationwide. A driver can be distracted due to a number of causes besides just using a cell phone.  Any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road, even for a second, counts as distracted driving.  This can include eating or drinking in the car, putting on makeup and even changing the radio station.  Statistics on hands-free laws have shown that even though the number of drivers using cell phones may be down, the number of car accidents is not.  However, cell phone use while driving has been known to cause the most deadly results of the distracted driving car accidents.

Even with hands-free laws around the country, statistics show that man drivers are still using their phones while driving.   It is still pretty common to see drivers using their phones while stopped at red lights at intersections or stuck in traffic. And a fair number of drivers actively use their cell phones while actually driving on the roads.  Drivers who engage in active cell phone use while driving are usually the ones that engage in other high risk behaviors while driving as well.

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In Georgia, when a person gets injured on someone else’s property, the injured party may be able to file a premises liability claim for their injuries against the property owner. However, there are some exceptions to the rule, trespassing being one of them.

In order to be able to file a claim for damages under Georgia premises liability law, you must have a legal right to be on the property. In other words, you must either be invited, or expected, on the property by the landowner when your injuries occur. Examples of these persons with this status can include shoppers at a mall, patrons at a restaurant, customers at a grocery store or department store, or guests at a hotel. People who are attending concerts or sporting events are also covered under the law because they have a legal right to be on the property. The legal right of the person to be on the party at the time of the injuries is often used by insurance companies and their lawyers to undermine premise liability claims. It is important, therefore, to determine your legal right to be on the property and identify if you were an “invitee,” a license,” or a “trespasser” in order to build a solid claim that protects your rights.

Sometimes, however, injuries occur when a person has no legal right to be on the property. This person is called a “trespasser,” and the laws governing trespassing and premises liability claims are complex. There is no black and white rule which states that all trespassers, without exception, are ineligible to file claims for damages if they are injured on a property.

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The term “PTSD” or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is typically associated with veterans returning from combat duty. However, the vast majority of Americans who suffer from PTSD attribute the symptoms to non-combat causes.  In fact, statistics indicate that as many as a quarter of all Americans have experienced some degree of PTSD after a car or truck accident.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that typically arises after a person has been involved in a frightening or life-threatening situations such as catastrophic car and truck accidents, train accidents, plane crashes, or natural disasters.  Being involved in any of these can trigger PTSD. Victims of robberies, rapes, shootings or other crimes may also suffer from mental trauma that can severely impede their ability to lead a normal life.

Truck accidents are very common in the Atlanta and North Georgia area.  We see them all the time on the highways.  These accidents are typically devastating and very serious. They often involve loss of life, and are very likely to cause serious injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. All of these factors combined can cause serious mental or emotional trauma which can manifest itself in symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Talk to an Atlanta truck accident attorney about claiming damages after a big-rig accident to see how you can recover in a claim for emotional distress.

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When you go to a doctor for an illness, one of the basic assumptions you may have is that the physician will be able to correctly diagnose your condition and provide treatment.  However, misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis is one of the leading causes of medical errors. In fact, a new Johns Hopkins study confirms that wrong diagnoses, especially those related to the three most commonly misdiagnosed conditions, are a serious health concern in the United Sates.

The results of the study were published recently and confirm that a wrong diagnosis, or incorrect diagnosis, is the No. 1 cause of medical errors.  The researchers attempted to identify the diseases that were involved in the majority of medical malpractice clams. The data was based on malpractice cases from between 2006 and 2015.

The researchers concluded that as many as 75 percent of diagnostic error cases involved the Big Three – vascular events, infections and cancer.

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A slip and fall accident on someone else’s property can result in serious injuries. If your fall occurred on another’s property, you may qualify to file a legal claim to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other costs. However, it’s important to take the right steps after a fall, so that you maximize your chances of protecting your legal rights.

It is important to remember, that the property owner will most likely try to show that your accident was a result of your own negligence, or that there was no negligence on his part. Georgia’s slip and fall laws require that you prove that the property owner had knowledge of the dangerous conditions that caused the injury, and failed to take any action to keep those on the property safe.

Here are the 5 most important things you can do to protect your rights after a fall.

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E-scooters have taken the globe, nation and even Atlanta by storm.  Since the fall of 2017, this convenient form of transportation has popped everywhere there is a need for alternate forms of mobility.  But not everyone is aware of the safety risks of riding one, or how to best accommodate these riders in the urban areas.

When they first appeared on the scene, e-scooters were seen as the latest and greatest form of micro-mobility.  However, now that their numbers have increased and clogged streets and sidewalks all over the globe, they are not as welcome as they once were.  This is mainly due the dangers they pose not only to the riders, but to those sharing the roads and sidewalks with them.

Some cities have gone so far as to claim them a public nuisance.  In a few states, there have been several lawsuits filed against e-scooter manufacturers for injuries resulting from faulty brakes and wheels, among other malfunctions.  In Atlanta, a recent law was passed that prohibits e-scooter riders from riding or parking the scooters on the sidewalks.  Anyone who violates these rules could face a fine of up to $1,000.