Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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We all know distracted driving is dangerous and can cause deadly accidents, but distracted walking can be just as dangerous to both pedestrians and motorists alike.

Distracted walking includes activities such as texting or emailing while walking, using social media apps while walking, listening to music and even playing a game on the phone while walking.

These days with everyone constantly on their cell phones, distracted walking accidents are increasing at an alarming rate.  According to the National Safety Council, over 6000 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2018.   Statistics from the National Highway and Transportation Safety Association show that most of these pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas, such as the metro Atlanta, on the open road, and at night.  The actual number of pedestrian injuries are probably even higher as these statistics focus on only the number of medically treated injuries and death.  The problem has gotten so bad that some cities and states have either banned using a cell phone while walking or will fine those who violate such laws.

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New data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals both good and bad news for drivers and pedestrians.

The good news is that the agency recorded an overall drop in traffic accident fatalities across the United States in 2018. The bad news is that while there was a drop in the number of people killed in car accidents in the country last year, there was actually an uptick in the number of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities during the same period of time.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a 2.4 percent drop in traffic accident deaths in 2018.  There were 36,560 traffic crash fatalities in 2018, compared to 37,473 deaths in 2018.  The fatality rate dropped from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018. This is also the lowest recorded fatality rate in five years.

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It may be surprising to learn that women are as much as 73 percent more likely to suffer serious injuries in a car accident compared to men. Yet, the country’s federal safety regulatory authorities continue to ignore the need for testing standards that focus on the unique physiological differences between male and female bodies.

Hopefully this will change soon as at least one lawmaker is calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to include crash test dummies that mimic the unique physiological and anatomical differences of females in 2019 in the design of its crash tests.

This is not the first time that attention has been drawn to the fact that women’s safety receives less priority when it comes to crash testing standards and auto safety. As far back as 1981, experts proposed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration use crash test dummies representing the average female occupant of a motor vehicle. However, no real steps have been taken to address this safety concern in the close to four decades since that first proposal was submitted. Even when female crash test dummies are used, the dummy is an outdated model that was designed in the 1970s and only represents 5 percent of American women today.  In fact, this particular dummy design is also actually used to substitute for dummies representing 12 and 13 -year -old child occupants.

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Spinal cord injuries can be caused by a variety of accidents, including auto or truck crashes, as well as motorcycle, pedestrian and bicycle accidents.  A serious fall accident can also result in a spinal cord injury.

Spinal cord injuries are a type of catastrophic injury and can be a life-altering injury.  Broadly, any spinal injury may result in loss of sensation or movement in one or all limbs, loss of bladder and bowel control, loss of sexual function, pain, difficulty in breathing and other complications.

If you suffer a spinal cord injury, your ability to live your life as it was before the injury will be dramatically affected. Oftentimes, there needs to be modifications made to your home and car to make it possible for you to move about or be independently mobile.  Most people who have suffered a spinal cord injury, however, require long term care or assistance with daily activities.  This type of care can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars and can be sometimes into the millions.

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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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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.

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In a recent criminal case in Georgia involving a hit-and-run accident, the court did not allow evidence that the car crash victim was not wearing a seat belt when he was ejected from his vehicle after impact and died.   The court stated that the victim’s failure to wear his seat belt was not relevant in determining the cause of his death.

Georgia law requires that all persons in the front seat of a passenger vehicle wear a seat belt.  The seat belt law applies to all occupants in any motor vehicle, including pickup trucks, vans, sport utility vehicles, and any vehicle designed to carry 15 or fewer passengers.

We all know that seat belts are one of the first lines of defense to protect you from injury while in a motor vehicle.  This is especially true in rear-end collisions, T-bone accidents and head-on collisions.  Wearing a seat belt is crucial in avoiding serious injury in such types of accidents.

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The North Georgia area is experiencing exponential growth in population.  And all these people moving to the area need a place to live.  In addition to the already existing number of apartments and rental properties, apartment buildings are being built all across the Atlanta area.    Many times people may feel forced or rushed to agree to live in a certain apartment because of either the lack of available apartments or the lack of affordable apartments to choose from.  Unfortunately, when a tenant is living in an apartment or complex that has been poorly maintained by the landlord or property owner, there is a high risk of injury to the tenant and their family members.  If this happens, the property owner could be held responsible.

A landlord has the duty inspect the rental property.  The landlord also has a duty to act with reasonable care to make sure the rented premises are kept in good repair.  A landlord’s failure to do so can make them liable for injuries caused as a result.  A landlord can also be held liable for injuries caused by defective construction.  A landlord of a leased apartment, house or other dwelling place cannot assign this duty to another party.  In other words, the landlord itself has the duty to maintain the property, and cannot blame anyone else for its failures to do so.

When people think of premises liability cases or claims against property owners, slip and falls, or trip and falls, usually come to mind.  However, with claims involving rental properties, a landlord can be held liable for far more.  In some recent cases, landlords and property owners have been held liable for a variety of defective conditions at their property.  Some of these include failing to repair the air-conditioning unit in an apartment building, causing the building to overheat to the point where it resulted in the death of an elderly disabled man.  Another case involved the property owner’s failure to maintain and repair the balconies of an apartment complex, which caused a balcony to collapse onto a child resulting in severe and lifelong debilitating injuries.

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The Fourth of July falls on a Thursday this year, which means most people will make it a long holiday weekend from work.  The Fourth of July is not only one of the country’s most popular holiday weekends, but it’s also one of the most deadly. The holiday accounts for hundreds of deaths every year, and this year’s July Fourth is not expected to be any different.

The National Safety Council predicts that this Fourth of July weekend will be just as deadly as previous years, with an approximate 565 people expected to be killed in motor vehicle and other accidents. It also predicts around 64,000 injuries in accidents occurring over the holiday.

These predictions were made based on previous crash data. For instance in 2017, there were a total of 601 fatalities in traffic accidents over the holiday weekend. That was a significant 23 percent increase from the previous year. At least 39 percent of those accidents involved a drunk driver.