Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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A motorcycle accident is more likely to result in fatal injuries than any other type of motor vehicle accident.  This is mainly because a motorcycle rider does not have the protection being in an enclosed vehicle, but also because many motorcycle accidents can result in serious head injuries.  This is why a wearing a motorcycle helmet while riding a motorcycle is critical in preventing injury.

Georgia is one among several states that have universal motorcycle helmet laws requiring all riders and passengers on motorcycles to wear helmets while riding.  Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that universal helmet laws go a long way in increasing helmet usage among passengers and riders, thereby preventing the kind of serious crash-related injuries that can result in death.   If you are riding a motorcycle in Atlanta, you must wear a helmet regardless of your age, riding experience or whether you are a rider or a passenger on a motorcycle.

Universal motorcycle helmet laws make sense, and it can be hard to understand why only a few states have these laws in place.  It wasn’t always like this. Several decades ago, the administration had tied universal motorcycle helmet laws to state accessibility to construction funds.  As a result, all states excluding 3, had universal helmet laws.  However, when these incentives were removed, many states went ahead with the decision to repeal universal helmet laws within their borders. This has proved to be a disaster for some of these states that have recorded high percentages of traffic accident fatalities involving motorcycle crashes since the laws were repealed.

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2021 was a deadly year for truckers and other persons involved in accidents with large commercial trucks and 18-wheelers.  The latest data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reflected a 13% increase in the number of deaths in accidents involving large trucks last year, compared to 2020.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its latest traffic crash data for 2021, and the figures are bleak.  Overall, traffic fatalities were up by as much as 10.5% from 2020.  Interestingly, many of these fatal accidents occurred during the day time and on rural or artery roads.  Overall, these were the highest traffic accident death numbers on record since 2005.  Many in the industry and in the federal administration believe that these rates are at “crisis levels”.

The news on the trucking safety front was not much better. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considered any commercial truck weighing at or above 10,000 pounds as a large truck for the purposes of data collection.  The figures included not just smaller trucks, but also non-commercial trucks.  There were a total of 5,601 deaths involving truck accidents in 2021, compared to a total of 4,965 accident deaths the previous year, a significant 13 percent increase.  Increases in deaths in crashes involving at least one truck were recorded in all months, except January, February and October of last year.

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Drivers on Georgia’s roads and highways have no doubt seen them – the overhead warning signs of traffic problems up the road.  Road signs and warning signs are play an important role alerting drivers of upcoming dangers on the roads.  The Georgia Department of Transportation has decided to extend a data gathering program involving connected vehicles to more areas around the state.

The program is the latest phase of an initiative that was launched in 2019.  The initiative is a collaboration between the Georgia Department of Transportation, Panasonic, Kia Motors and The Ray, a transportation tech company.  The aim of the initiative was to gather data using vehicles connected to each other along limited stretches of highway. The first phase of the program involved four Georgia Department of Transportation vehicles that were connected with each other and collected data as they traveled frequently on routes along an 18 – mile stretch of interstate 85.

However, the program has now been expanded to cover rural areas and a greater number of vehicles. In this phase, the program will involve 7 Kia vehicles that are part of the connected vehicle environment. The aim is to collect real time traffic data as these vehicles travel every day. The difference between this phase and the previous phase is that the 7 Kia cars are being driven by employees who will be going about their daily lives and work routines, traveling to work and on errands, all the while gathering important data about the effectiveness of connected vehicle programs in ensuring motorist safety. The potential for data gathering is, therefore,  huge in this phase.

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Anyone who has driven on the highways in the Atlanta area knows that construction and changes in traffic patterns are never ending.  Not only is there a maze of highways in the Atlanta area but the connecting points of the various highways are also always being shifted one way of another.

The interchange at interstate 285 and interstate 20 East is one of the busiest interchanges in the state, and has been a particularly dangerous one for motorists.  It’s one of the deadliest junctions in Georgia, and responsible for causing hundreds of accidents every year. However, if plans to fix this particular piece of roadway are successful, the rate of deadly accidents at this interchange could soon be minimized.

The design of this junction creates a sort of optical illusion that does not warn drivers about the steep curve that lies ahead until it is possibly too late to stop.  These hazards have been responsible for causing a large number of accidents over the years.  In fact, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation between 2016 and 2021, there were a total of 3,000 motor vehicle accidents occurring at the interchange.  These accidents resulted in more than 110 deaths.

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An accident with a tractor trailer truck is one of the worst types of motor vehicle accidents, and they usually result in serious if not fatal injuries. If there’s one thing that safety advocates as well as the trucking industry agree on, it is the need for speed limiters on commercial trucks. The federal administration recently announced its intention to move forward with rule making on this critical safety issue.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently issued its Notice of Intent that shows its intent to move forward with rulemaking on the issue of requiring speed limiters on commercial trucks and tractor trailers.   According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it has been able to identify that speed is a critical safety issue when it comes to large commercial trucks and 18 -wheelers. The agency identifies speed management as a critically important precautionary measure that can help reduce the risk of serious injuries and fatalities involving truck accidents.

The administration has focused on the problem of high speeds involving commercial truck for a while now. The new notice of intent follows up on a proposal that was determined in 2016 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  The 2016 proposal called for the installation of speed limiters on trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds. However, the proposal did not determine a maximum speed limit. That will now happen with the federal administration’s new move in this regard. Over a period of time and with inputs from not just American trucking groups, but also the public, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be able to determine a speed limit for commercial trucks.

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A traumatic brain injury occurs when there is a jolt or blow to the head, and this can occur in any number of accidents, like an auto accident or a slip and fall accident.  A fall does not have to occur from a height for an injury to occur.  A fall that occurs when a person is walking or when he trips or slips, could also result in a blow to the head that is serious enough to cause an injury.

We are constantly learning about the many ways in which a traumatic brain injury can continue to impact victims of car accidents, slip and fall accidents or other types of accidents.  It goes without saying that a catastrophic brain injury can affect every aspect of a victim’s life and his or her loved ones.  Scientists recently analyzed the findings of five different studies on risk-taking behavior in rats, and determined that brain injuries can affect decision- making abilities.

Studies on decision -making abilities in humans after a traumatic brain injury have earlier been conducted through the Iowa Gambling Task. In this experiment involving decks of cards, subjects are made to choose from decks of cards, and understand over a period of time that two out of 4 decks involve high rewards and higher risk of losses, while the remaining two decks involve lower risks and lower rewards. This experiment was the basis for the Rodent Gambling Task in which researchers used sugar pellets to encourage the rodents. The animals were made to choose among four ports, two of which involved a large number of pellets, but also a higher punishment in the form of a timeout.

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A traumatic brain injury can be caused in car accidents, motorcycle and bicycle accidents, and slip and fall accidents. A fall from a height, for instance, is significantly likely to result in an injury to the brain.  Traumatic brain injuries can have long-term consequences that can significantly impair quality of life. The long-term impact of the injury may make it difficult for a person who has suffered the injury to go back to work and earn a living at the level that he was earning before he suffered the accident.

Persons who have suffered a traumatic brain injury may have a risk of stroke that is much higher than previously believed.  These findings came from a recent study which found that military veterans who have suffered a brain injury have a higher stroke risk.

The results of the study were presented recently at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention, Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Conference. Researchers looked at data involving veterans who had suffered a brain injury between October 2002 and September 2019 from the Veteran’s Health Administration database. The stroke risk of these people was compared with another group of people who had not suffered a traumatic brain injury.

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Spinal cord injury patients who are already struggling with reduced movement and mobility may also be hampered by feelings of depression.  According to a new study that was published recently in Spinal Cord journal, the chronic pain that spinal cord injury patients suffer is a major factor in the depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions that they often experience.

A spinal cord injury occurs whenever there has been a sudden jolt or blow to the spinal cord. This blow could occur as a result of slip and fall accidents, car accidents, gunshot wounds, violence and other factors.

In the study, researchers analyzed insurance claims of more than 9,000 persons who had suffered spinal cord injury, and compared these with insurance claims of more than a million people who had suffered no spinal cord injury.  The analysis found that in the general population that had not suffered a spinal cord injury, mental health conditions like depression were seen in approximately 31% of the population.  When it came to spinal cord injury patients, the rate of suffering depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions was as much as 59 percent.

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Trucking accidents almost always result in serious injuries.  Driver error can play a major role in commercial trucking accidents in and around the Atlanta region.  A new federal administration’s rule that applies to entry level truck driver training standards went into effect in the month of February.  It’s intended effect is to help curb the number of errors made by truck drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new rule applies to entry level drivers who want to make a profession as a truck driver. The rule is called the Entry Level Driver Training rule, and went into effect on February 7. The rule sets the basic minimum baseline requirements for entry level truck driver training programs.

The new rule will apply to any entry level drivers who want to obtain a class A or class B commercial driver’s license, drivers who wish to upgrade their current license from a B to an A level, or wish to obtain bus and hazardous materials endorsements.  The rule requires that entry level drivers who want to operate commercial trucks professionally go through the training providers that are listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. This listing of providers went online recently. Once a driver selects a provider from the listing, he must undergo the training program before he appears for the CDL skills test. If the driver is applying for an endorsement for hazardous materials for the first time, he needs to undergo the knowledge test.

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Often, recovery after a brain injury can focus only on the physical aspects of healing including recovery of mobility, movement and the ability to perform routine tasks and take care of one’s needs. Lost in the treatment plan may be the psychological damage and emotional distress that many brain injury victims continue to face months after the injury.

Brain injuries are severe injuries that seriously impact a person’s ability to lead a normal life.  These are catastrophic injuries that can impact a person’s ability to perform even daily routine tasks, like looking after himself, eating or bathing.  A brain injury can impact a person’s vision or hearing. These are some of the more commonly known effects of a brain injury. Lesser known or acknowledged is the long-term emotional damage inflicted by these injuries.

We know enough about some of this damage. For instance, we know that brain injury patients tend to have a higher risk of falling into depression in the months after the injury. Other mental health issues like anxiety may also be seen.  Did you know that brain injury patients may also suffer from severe anger and rage control issues?

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