Blog Archive - November, 2013


71 Articles

The Rights of Personal Injury Victims to Attend Their Trial & Preventing Unfair Bias

November 30, 2013

Judges have a broad array of tools that they can employ rather than excluding the plaintiff from his or her personal injury trial. If evidence is more prejudicial in playing to the sympathy of the jury than what it offers in probative value, it may be excluded. Opening statements and closing arguments also may be restricted. There also are standard jury instructions that may be supplemented when the risk of sympathy is higher than normal. As a final protection, the jury's verdict may be reviewed by the trial court and again on appeal to ensure that it was not the product of bias rather than fact and law.

The Harsh Reality Behind Hands-Free Devices & Texting While Driving

November 30, 2013

Generally speaking there are several myths associated with the use of cell phones and driving. Specifically, many people feel that if they use a hands-free device, they will be safer. Moreover, there are others who think that talking on a cell phone is safer than texting, influencing them to call a person back rather than respond to their text. The reality is that both of these actions cause thousands of accidents each year. In other words, they still lead to serious and sometimes fatal crashes, which makes it important to examine why this is happening. Consider the following questions:

Commonly Asked Questions About Georgia Nursing Home Abuse and Injuries

November 29, 2013

When family members entrust elderly loved ones to the care of a Georgia nursing home, they justifiably assume that their loved one will receive appropriate care to meet their loved one's needs and that the staff will not subject the loved one to abuse. Unfortunately, these reasonable expectations are sometimes left unfulfilled when nursing homes elect to place profits above quality of care. Nursing homes in Atlanta or the surrounding areas of Georgia may fail to provide adequate staffing levels or otherwise fail to implement appropriate policies for elderly residents who suffer from age-related cognitive limitations caused by Alzheimer's disease or dementia or physical limitations that make them prone to falls. In such scenarios, the nursing home may be liable for injuries or wrongful death caused by its failure to provide adequate care and supervision.

What Every Car Accident Victim Needs to Know about Atlanta Accident Reports

November 28, 2013

Many families throughout Atlanta have their lives impacted by negligent drivers whose failure to exercise care and diligence causes severe car accidents. Although it may be tempting to presume that motor vehicle collisions only happen to others, there were six million people involved in crashes in Atlanta during a recent seven year period according to the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT). There were almost a million people injured and over 11,000 people who died in these traffic accidents. This data reveals that the prospect of being involved in an auto collision in Atlanta is much more than a mere theoretical possibility – it is a real and present risk.

Johnson & Johnson Reportedly Considering $3 Billion Settlement Involving Hip Implants

November 27, 2013

Our Georgia Defective Medical Device Attorneys at Montlick and Associates welcome the news of a possible agreement reached by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) settling personal injury claims related to defective hip implants manufactured by J&J's DePuy Orthopedics subsidiary. There have been well over 10,000 lawsuits filed against the medical device manufacturer related to the hip replacement device related to concerns over an abnormally high failure rate and elevated levels of the heavy metals chromium and cobalt. J&J is rumored to have agreed to a settlement of as many of 11,500 lawsuits for in excess of $3 billion, which amounts to approximately $300,000 per claim according to a Bloomberg report.

Frequently Asked Questions about Georgia Fire and Explosion Injury Claims

November 28, 2013

Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates recognize that whether an injury victim is injured in a house fire, fiery car accident or an explosion on a construction worksite, the consequences usually are devastating physically, emotionally and financially. Combustible or incendiary materials can ignite or explode when these materials are not handled properly and/or safety procedures are disregarded. Because of the severe nature of injuries suffered in fires and explosions, those who suffer injuries in these types of accidents often must cope with staggering medical bills, long-term disability from employment, grueling courses of rehabilitation and dramatic changes in their daily life experiences. Although not every explosion or fire is the result of negligence by a party, carelessness and lack of attention can be extremely hazardous around flammable and explosive materials. We have provided answers to a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) about fire and explosion personal injury claims.

Fatal High Speed Collision of NFL Player Provides a Cautionary Tale

November 27, 2013

The recent fatal car crash involving former NFL linebacker Thomas Howard, who was cut last week by the Atlanta Falcons, serves as a tragic reminder of the danger associated with driving at excessive rates of speed. When motorists exceed the speed limit or drive at a rate of speed that is inadequate given existing road conditions, the probability of a collision and the seriousness of any injuries increase significantly. A spokesman for the highway patrol in the state where the collision occurred indicated that Howard's BMW was traveling at a rate of 100-110 miles per hours according to witnesses at the scene of the accident. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates express our deepest condolences to the victims of this crash and their families.

The Role of Atlanta Auto Accident Reports in Personal Injury Claims

November 27, 2013

If you or a family member experiences serious injury or the loss of a loved one during a traffic collision in Georgia, the Atlanta Accident Reports prepared by the law enforcement officer can be very important because this will include the names and contact information for the parties and their insurance companies, an itemization of the evidence gathered during the investigation, information about witnesses and the basis for any officer's conclusions about fault. While the accident report is not dispositive on the issue of liability, the information contained in the report provides the foundation for an initial assessment about the cause of the accident.

Frequently Asked Questions about Georgia Wrongful Death Claims

November 26, 2013

Few experiences are as emotionally devastating as the loss of a family member or other close loved one, but the pain can be intensified when the death is caused by the negligent, reckless or intentional actions of another individual. When you lose someone you love, the accompanying sense of overwhelming grief and loss tends to make concerns about insurance issues and legal claims a low priority. Unfortunately, these pragmatic matters generally cannot be put off until the process of coping with one's grief has run its course. When a family loses the primary wage earner in the family, the financial recovery in a Georgia wrongful death settlement or judgment can provide the ability to maintain the family's standard of living, finance the decedent's kids' college education and provide financial security for family members.

Mistakes Pro Se Litigants Make that Negatively Affect Their Personal Injury Cases

November 26, 2013

Unfortunately, sometimes people do not realize why an attorney is helpful. In fact, some parties (known as pro se litigants) may try to handle their own personal injury claims in court, but the unforgiving nature of the civil litigation system can exact devastating consequences for non-compliance. The following are a few of the most common reasons why pro se litigants often face difficulties when choosing not to hire an attorney:

Don't Text and Drive Public Service Campaign

November 26, 2013

At Montlick and Associates, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys regularly see the devastating impact of texting and driving on accident victims and their families.  While it can be tempting to check your cell phone when the familiar sound of an alert indicates that you have a new text message.  Every driver needs to consider whether any text is worth their life or the life of another.  Our personal injury lawyers are committed to motor vehicle safety, which is the motivation behind our Don’t Text and Drive Public Service Campaign television spots, which have aired throughout Georgia since 2009, in addition to our digital billboards, and television news segments in Atlanta.

How Can Cell Phone Related Accidents be Prevented?

November 26, 2013

To answer this question, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has called on states to enact a comprehensive ban on the use of portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. Although the political optics of this type of ban may be appealing, the question left unanswered is why this strategy would succeed given the general lack of effectiveness of current state laws that ban cell phone use while driving.

Drunk Driving Fatalities Spike during Thanksgiving Holiday

November 26, 2013

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, people are busy making plans to travel throughout Georgia to visit family and to celebrate this special time for families to reflect on the many blessings that we often take for granted. While many will celebrate this holiday with spiked egg nog and other alcoholic beverages, we urge friends, family, neighbors and members of the Atlanta community to always use public transportation, a taxi or a designated driver if they will be enjoying the holiday with beer, wine, liquor or other spirits. Our Atlanta Drunk Driving Accident Injury Attorneys see the tragic consequences that result when drivers operate motor vehicle when under the influence of alcohol far too often.

Overview of Theories of Liability When Defective Products Cause Injury or Wrongful Death in Georgia

November 25, 2013

If a defective product causes a severe debilitating injury, then a product liability claim or lawsuit may offer the best alternative for the injured party to seek redress for his or her diminished quality of life, along with financial compensation for the victim's medical bills, lost income and other forms of tangible and intangible loss. Product liability law keeps forces manufacturers to take responsible for the safety of the products they create and sell. While most of the commercial products sold each day across the nation do not pose a risk to consumers, there is still a substantial number of poorly designed and manufactured products in the marketplace that can cause injuries. Still other companies that produce unsafe products fail to warn consumers about unseen, potential hazards.

Research Suggests Elderly Drivers Support Measures to Prevent Advanced Age-Related Crashes

November 25, 2013

Elderly drivers in most states, which includes Georgia, are not required by law to submit to age-based retesting to determine that they still possess the physical and mental ability to drive safely. However, some researchers have explored accident prevention strategies to protect both elderly drivers and others with whom they share the road. These suggestions range from DMV imposed requirements for re-testing or providing a doctor certification of competence to people voluntarily creating advance directives authorizing a trusted person to determine when their driver's license should be revoked.

Seeking Financial Compensation as a Violent Crime Victim in Georgia

November 24, 2013

If you or anyone close to you has ever been seriously hurt during the commission of a crime by a third party, then you understand the lasting trauma and long period of recovery that faces many victims of violent crimes. Criminal attacks affect victims in many different ways, including both physical and emotional effects. While the police and prosecutor may seek justice in the form of punishment of the perpetrator of the criminal act and restitution to the victim this restitution is often woefully inadequate to fully compensate a person for their medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, diminished enjoyment of life experience and other losses.

Fan Sues Professional Baseball Team after Eye Injury Caused by Mascot Throwing Hot Dog into Stands

November 23, 2013

There have been a growing number of incidents in ballparks and stadiums resulting in serious injuries which include falls from stadium bleachers, head injuries from errant fly balls and assaults committed by drunk and unruly spectators. While ball park owners may be liable for injuries experienced by spectators, the circumstances of the incident and nature of the hazard determine whether the venue owner or organizer of the event at the stadium are liable for such injuries or attacks.

Sexual Abuse of Georgia Nursing Home Residents

November 22, 2013

When elderly loved ones require more extensive supervision and care than family members can provide, the selection of a nursing home facility can be a daunting task. While most families would never suspect that their elderly family member might become the victim of someone that the facility knows is a registered sex offender, a recent story in the USA Today reveals that this false sense of security may be misplaced.

Recovering Financial Compensation for a Fall from an Unsafe or Collapsing Balcony

November 21, 2013

People traveling throughout the U.S. often book hotel or motel rooms that have a view of a lake, mountain landscape or the ocean. Patrons typically pay a premium for such rooms because they offer a breathtaking view from the room's balcony. Our Georgia Balcony Fall Accident Attorneys recognize that this premium room upgrade can pose a serious injury hazard due to a poor design or inadequate maintenance of the balcony that may cause a tragic and even fatal fall. Our motel balcony injury attorneys represent clients that have been injured in balcony accidents in hotels, motels, inns, apartments, stores, parking lots, restaurants and other premises with unsafe balconies.

New Study Confirms Safety of Many New Models of Booster Seats

November 20, 2013

Parents regularly engage in product research to ensure that they are purchasing safe children's products, such as cribs, playpens, highchairs, car seats and other products. Many children are injured each year when poorly designed or constructed and improperly tested products intended for use by kids are sold to unsuspecting parents. The good news is that many of the new models of booster seats, which constitute one of the most important forms of safety equipment for kids, received high safety ratings following a recent study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).

Instagram Fad Constitutes Newest Distracted Driving Accident Risk

November 20, 2013

Our Atlanta Distracted Driving Injury Lawyers at Montlick and Associates have previously addressed the risk posed by motorists using cell phones on the streets and highways of Georgia. Although traffic safety experts and legislators have focused a significant amount of attention on making calls or texting while driving, the increasing sophistication of cell phones has caused these risks to morph and grow along with the size of the market for apps for iPhones, Android phones and tablet computers. Whether cell phones are being used to read books, keep current on the news, post updates on social networks or engage in other activities that cause motorists to direct their eyes, mind or hands from the road, cell phones continue to cause many unnecessary injuries and traffic-related fatalities.

Life-Threatening Hospital Infections Can Result from Doctors Not Washing Their Hands

November 28, 2013

Many patients who suffer harm because of medical malpractice accept the premise that hospitals and doctors always strive to do their best even though they are inundated by "frivolous lawsuits." The reality can be quite different as even basic hygiene standards designed to prevent the risk of infection are frequently neglected in a hospital setting. The prospect of seeking medical attention in a Georgia hospital for a minor ailment but contracting a serious infection is a sobering thought. Unfortunately, the risk of contracting a life-threatening infection because a member of the medical team neglected to wash his or her hands is a genuine hazard in many hospitals.

Big-Rig Blind Spots Constitute a Common Cause of Serious Wrecks Involving Tractor-Trailers

November 20, 2013

Collisions involving semi-trucks occur for a variety of reasons, and many of those reasons are directly related to the inherent physical characteristics of semi-trucks. Big-rigs are longer, taller and heavier than other passenger vehicles, which means they pose unique risks because they offer a commercial driver less visibility, handling and braking distance. These characteristics pose a severe risk of severe injury and wrongful death to all other motorists who share the road with semi-trucks.

Factors that Affect Damage Awards in Drunk Driving Accident Claims

November 29, 2013

Generally speaking, proving liability and causation in drunk driving-related accidents is highly complex. Specifically, there are many evidentiary challenges that can arise in these types of cases, which can negatively impact the amount of monetary damages that victims ultimately receive. There are also additional factors that can surface in drunk driving cases, which can also affect the level of compensation awarded. These are as follows:

Special Issues for Passengers Injured in an Atlanta Car Crash

November 20, 2013

While the realization that a car crash cannot be avoided immediately prior to impact is a harrowing experience for drivers, the anxiety and fear increases exponentially when you are a mere passenger in the vehicle. If you are simply riding with someone else, you have no ability to prevent the crash, which can promote an intense feeling of hopelessness. The overwhelming emotions and excruciating physical pain often experienced by passengers involved in an Atlanta car crash creates an atmosphere where it can be difficult to know how to proceed to protect your rights. If the motorist who was driving the vehicle you were riding in caused the accident, you may feel even more conflicted and uncertain because you presumably have a personal relationship with the driver.

A Picture May Be Worth a Thousand Words: Use of Video Evidence in Personal Injury Claims

November 20, 2013

While there is an often repeated saying that "a picture is a worth a thousand words," this saying was coined long before video footage was common. The value of video in some situations can be far more compelling than photos, documents, physical evidence and expert opinions so depending on the case, our Atlanta personal injury lawyers may use different sorts of videos in a serious injury case to craft a more persuasive presentation for use in mediation, arbitration or trial. Although video evidence can be compelling, sometimes it is neceessary to to use legal precedent to influence the judge to permit such evidence to be used at trial. We have provided some key information about how videos can be used in Georgia personal injury claims and lawsuits.

Why the Defense Lawyer Wants Your Personal Injury Case Removed to Federal Court

November 19, 2013

While most cases are settled without the necessity of litilgation, when a lawsuit is necessary our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates file most though not all of our cases in state courts, but sometimes the defendant will seek to have the case removed to federal court. There are important differences between federal and state courts that explain the motivation of defendants to seek removal of a case to federal court. While there are situations where a plaintiff in a personal injury case may be best served in federal court, state courts usually provide a better option when there is a choice. We have provided an overview of why a defendant seek to have a personal injury or wrongful death claim removed from state court to a federal court.

Bizarre Atlanta Auto Accident Involving a Sleeping Hit-And-Run Driver Raises a Range of Issues

November 19, 2013

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys occasionally run across a story about a local collision where the facts are so disturbing that it serves as a wakeup call regarding for the scope of the risk faced by drivers. A recent accident reported by WSB-TV Atlanta provides a cautionary tale for those who navigate our streets and highways. A driver was caught on video stopped in a lane of traffic with the engine running on a busy Georgia highway while he slept with drool dribbling down his chin. When a Georgia Department of Transportation HERO unit arrived on the scene, the HERO worker tried to wake the driver and remove the driver's keys from the ignition of the vehicle. The driver did wake up but scuffled with the HERO work and nearly ran him over before colliding with several vehicles while fleeing the scene.

What Food Poisoning Victims Need to Know - Symptoms and Causes

November 19, 2013

If you have become ill from a case of food poisoning you may have wondered whether you have a potential legal remedy. Just as in other areas of personal injury law, your legal options and rights depends on the circumstances surrounding the illness. The duration of time that passes between when you consumed the food or beverage and the onset of symptoms is a major factor when evaluating a food poisoning-related personal injury claim. If too much time elapses, this generally will make it harder to successfully pursue a successful personal injury action based being served food that is contaminated. If what you suspect is a case of food poisoning – also referred to as foodborne illness or contamination – has been identified by a state or federal health agency, then the claim is much stronger than an isolated, single case. Before you decide to pursue a personal injury claim for food poisoning, it's wise to familiarize yourself with the basics of such a claim and whom you would actually be making a claim against or suing to win compensation for your suffering.

Prescription Drugged Driving May Constitute the New DUI Epidemic

November 19, 2013

In recent years, traffic safety experts have observed a "good news-bad news" scenario in term of auto accidents caused by substance impaired drivers. While the number of alcohol-related collisions and fatalities has consistently declined due to more aggressive enforcement, tougher penalties and public service campaigns, the elation over this improvement has been tempered by the offsetting increase in crashes caused by prescription drug impairment.

New Research Reveals Drivers Suffering from Colds and the Flu Pose a Serious Accident Risk

November 18, 2013

Although most drivers understand that fall and winter weather can pose increased driving hazards that include decreased visibility and wet or icy roadways, they may completely overlook another common winter driving hazard – the winter cold or flu. It may be tempting to dismiss the idea that being sick with the flu or a cold constitutes a serious auto collision risk, but a recent study conducted in England by Halfords Autocenters revealed that approximately 2,500 crashes per week are caused by cold and flu suffers reaching for a tissue, blowing their nose and sneezing. This means that in the UK alone, 130,000 car crashes per year are caused by flu and cold symptoms.

Debunking Common Fallacies about Medical Malpractice

November 18, 2013

Medical malpractice insurance carriers, the American Medical Association and others who support tort reform have promoted a broad spectrum of misinformation and myths designed to discourage injury victims from bring medical malpractice claims. This misinformation often amounts to the representation that skilled doctors who have competently performed medical procedures are forced to settle "frivolous" lawsuits to avoid the cost of litigation. In reality, this stereotype perpetrated in the media by those who wish to avoid imposing liability on medical professionals is rooted in false assumptions. Our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at Montlick and Associates have exposed some of these myths in this blog post.

What Georgia Seniors Should Know about Slip and Fall Accidents

November 18, 2013

Uneven floorboards, a loose area rug or perhaps a surface slick with a spilled liquid can easily be overlooked conditions that cause of a fall that leads to serious injuries, a lengthy hospital stay and major medical bills. Statistics collected from across the country reveal that about 2.5 million older people visit the emergency room each year as the result of a fall according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The most commonly reported injury from a fall is a fracture, with a fractured hip among the most serious and potentially fatal.

Should Georgia Follow the Lead of Other States in Criminalizing Drowsy Driving?

November 17, 2013

Sergio Bichao was driving home during twilight hours after not sleeping for more than thirty hours. Although he was exhausted as he drove home from his college campus, he did not stop and sleep. When he fell asleep at the wheel, he crashed into the rear of another vehicle transporting a young child. His chest slammed into the steering wheel and the windshield shattered.

Do Elderly Drivers Pose a More Serious Risk of Causing Pedestrian Accidents in Georgia?

November 17, 2013

There are some people who believe that elderly drivers pose a greater risk of hitting pedestrians because of age-related declines in vision, reflexes, memory and other factors. However, a study published in Accident Analysis and Prevention suggests that this simplistic generalization about which age group of drivers poses a greater risk of causing pedestrian accidents does not tell the whole story. The researchers conducted the study following a perceived increase in the number of pedestrian-car accidents involving elderly drivers. The results are particularly relevant as baby boomers approach their senior years.

Are Electric Vehicles More Prone to Vehicle Fires and Explosions?

November 17, 2013

The Obama Administration has aggressively promoted the development of electric cars to increase fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions. The current administration has expressed the goal of having a million electric cars traveling U.S. roadways by 2015. Although this new technology may offer the benefits of increased energy independence as well as environmental and economic benefits, any new technology can raise potential safety concerns. Although it is still premature to determine whether electric cars pose safety risks that are not present with gas powered vehicles, recent fires associated with flammable materials used in the lithium-ion batteries installed in electric cars have raised some concerns.

How a Pre-Existing Injury Can Enhance the Value of a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim

November 15, 2013

When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, the insurance company for an unsafe or distracted driver or other responsible parties will typically use the discovery process to request a broad range of medical documentation. Although the insurance company generally has a right to request such information, injury victims benefit from allowing an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney respond to such requests so that personal information that you are not required to disclose is not inadvertently furnished to the defendants' insurance companies.

Montlick & Associates Reviews The Importance of a Personal Injury Claim for Traumatic Brain Injury Victims

November 15, 2013

A brain injury, whether it's caused by a car crash on a busy Atlanta road or by a falling two-by-four on a job site, can be a life-changing event that forces injury victims to cope with pain and financial difficulties for years. The permanent debilitating nature of a serious brain injury can mean a lifetime of medical expenses and/or supportive care as well as severe limits on both an individual's quality of life and economic self-sufficiency.

The Serious Motorcycle Accident Injury Risk Faced by Georgia Riders

November 14, 2013

The risk of injury for a motorcycle rider is very high no matter what type of collision or other vehicle is involved in the accident. Whether it's a collision with a tractor-trailer on a busy interstate or a low-speed parking lot wipeout, riders almost always suffer injuries that are much more serious than those experienced by other motorists. Unlike the basic protection afforded by a car or a truck, motorcycles lack the structural protection of a vehicle around them. This leaves them exposed and very vulnerable in a crash regardless of whom or what causes it.

How a Criminal Investigation for Boating Under the Influence Can Help Drunken Boating Accident Victims

November 14, 2013

In 2012, there were over 4,500 recreational boating accidents, which caused over 651 deaths and over 3,000 injuries nationally according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta indicate that alcohol is involved in about a third of all recreational boating fatalities. The agency also indicates that Boating under the Influence (BUI) is just as dangerous as driving a motor vehicle under the influence. Because a BUI conviction and evidence collected by law enforcement when investigating a BUI offense may be critical evidence in a personal injury lawsuit, our Georgia drunken boating accident attorneys have provided an overview of the types of evidence that may be developed to establish intoxicated boating as well as relevant BUI laws.

New Research Suggests Drowsiness Causes More Car Accidents than Previously Suspected

November 14, 2013

While federal traffic safety officials and the media have increasingly focused on the dangers posed by drowsy driving, a recent study suggest that drowsy driving may be a lot more widespread than the official numbers suggest. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) that is used to collect official federal government data regarding fatal motor vehicle accident indicates that two percent of traffic-related fatalities are caused by a drowsy drivers who is fatigued or asleep behind the wheel.

Pedestrian Train Collisions Have Spiked to Record Pace

November 13, 2013

While the injuries caused by a collision between a train and a motor vehicle are typically devastating, the extent of the danger is much greater when the collision involves a pedestrian for whom such an incident is typically fatal. Although it may seem unlikely that a pedestrian would risk crossing train tracks, the number of pedestrian fatalities in train crashes in the U.S. has risen by 25 percent during the first three-quarters of 2013 according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). At the current pace, the number of pedestrians killed in train accidents will reach a level unseen in a decade based on data from the federal government.

Helmets Are Critical Safety Equipment for Kids Bicycling, Skating & Skateboarding

November 13, 2013

Anyone traveling the streets of Atlanta is likely to see kids engaged in bicycling, inline skating, skateboarding or roller skating without a helmet. Many kids suffer serious head injuries during falls when engaged in these types of outdoor recreational activities, which could have been prevented with the use of appropriate protective head gear. The risk associated with the failure to use a helmet when riding a bicycle is evidenced by the fact that sixty percent of fatal bicycle accidents involve head injuries according to a Rush University Medical Center report. The decision not to wear a helmet when biking or engaging in similar types of recreational activities can have a dramatic impact given that 88 percent of brain injuries would be prevented by helmet use based on a study published by the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

Fatal Cobb County Car Crash Poses Grim Reminder That Alcohol and Speed Are Deadly Mix

November 13, 2013

A fatal Cobb County road departure collision that resulted in the death of a Marietta man provides an emphatic reminder of the danger of mixing speed and alcohol when navigating the highways and streets of Georgia. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported that the BMW convertible left the roadway and struck a mailbox as the driver tried to negotiate a left turn. The vehicle then began to roll before slamming into a utility pole causing the death of the driver and injuries to a passenger. According to the AJC report, the police believe that speed and alcohol were a factor in the fatal Cobb County car crash.

Tragic Fatal Rollover Crash Provides Warning about Importance of Tire Maintenance

November 12, 2013

When blowouts occur because tires are inadequately maintained, defectively manufactured or expected to travel an excessive number of miles, the consequences can be fatal collisions. The risk is especially serious when certain types of vehicles, such as those that have a high center of gravity like fully loaded tractor-trailers, SUVs and buses, are involved in a crash. A fatal tire blowout accident this month involving all three of these types of vehicles provides a tragic example of this danger.

Georgia Lawmakers Considering Allowing Evidence of Lack of Seat Belt Use to Reduce Recovery

November 12, 2013

Georgia law may soon change so that insurance companies can introduce evidence regarding a plaintiff's seat belt use to reduce financial recovery in Georgia car accident lawsuits. The Georgia seat belt law requires that all adults over the age of 18, who are sitting in the front seat of a passenger vehicle wear a seatbelt. In addition, minors between the age of 8 and 17, sitting in the front or backseat of a passenger vehicle, are required to wear a seatbelt. In 2010, Georgia expanded the law to include pickup trucks as passenger vehicles. Georgia's seat belt law is a "primary enforcement" law, which allows law enforcement to pull a driver over for suspicion of not wearing a seat belt even without evidence of any other type of traffic violation.

Business Calls by Distracted Drivers Constitute a Serious Hazard for Atlanta Motorcyclists

November 12, 2013

Studies of fatal motorcycle accidents reveal that drivers making cell phone calls or texting constitute the fastest growing hazard for motorcycle riders on the roads of Georgia. The sobering reality is that a driver placing a sales call to maximize efficiency during a commute is far more likely to miss a stop sign and crash into a motorcyclist. The results of this kind of collision are often tragic, with families left devastated both emotionally and financially.

The Relationship between a Criminal Conviction and Civil Liability in Georgia

November 11, 2013

An issue that often confuses personal injury victims and families of those who have suffered wrongful death is the relationship between criminal and civil court proceedings arising out of motor vehicle accidents. While criminal charges for vehicular homicide caused by an intoxicated driver is the most common scenario where this issue arises, it can also be caused by other forms of reckless driving, such as street racing that results in criminal prosecution for causing serious injury or a fatality.

Fatal Hit-and-Run Chain Reaction Crash Reminds of Special Recreational Vehicle Accident Risks

November 11, 2013

Although Georgia does not impose any special licensing requirements before a driver can operate a recreational vehicle (RV), this does not mean that motorhomes and other types of recreational vehicles are not more dangerous to vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. RVs offer less precise handling and longer breaking distances so that they are more unforgiving when drivers make mistakes. Not only are these vehicle more difficult to operate safely, but they also pose a greater risk of serious injury or wrongful death because of their size and weight.

Loss of Consortium Damages in Georgia Personal Injury Claims

November 11, 2013

When a spouse suffers a severe injury in a car accident or other incident caused by the unreasonably careless conduct of a third party, the spouse's husband or wife may experience enormous financial hardships. If an injured spouse must undergo a long period of physical recovery, this financial pressure along with the emotional and physical toll on the spouse who is caring for an injured loved one may seriously impact a marital relationship. The spouse of a personal injury victim may be entitled to pursue his or her own claim for damages for loss of services and companionship.  This is referred to as a claim for "loss of consortium."

Unsafe Guardrails May Pose Dangerous Road Hazard on Georgia Highways

November 10, 2013

While many highway accidents are caused by motorists who disregard traffic safety laws and prudent driving practices, sometimes failure to safely design or maintain a highway can play a role in causing an accident, or can contribute to more severe injuries. As public entities face fiscal challenges, funds that are needed to make deteriorating roads and highways safer may be diverted to other expenditures. Public entities that are legally responsible for the design, maintenance, and construction of a highway or other roadway may be financially responsible for dangerous highways and other unsafe roadways when road defects lead to serious accidents.

Long Term Emotional Disorders Following Motorcycle Wrecks

November 09, 2013

Some of the most frequently reported motorcycle crash injuries are broken bones, scrapes, road rash and bruising.  These are the kinds of injuries that are typically treated either on scene by medical crews or shortly afterwards in a hospital emergency room. With this type of wound, the problems are visible and the rider has a clear idea of the nature of the injury as well as how long it will take to heal.  But the unfortunate truth for many motorcyclists is that there are some injuries that escape detection right away only to develop into something much worse over time. These types of injuries can be more difficult to treat, and sometimes doctors can only speculate on how long recovery will take – or even if recovery is possible.  This unfortunate category of injury may include brain trauma from a concussion or damage to the spinal column.

The Relationship between Bankruptcy and Personal Injury Law in Georgia

November 09, 2013

The issue of the interplay between bankruptcy and personal injury claims is a topic that is not widely discussed but can have an enormous impact on injury victims that seek bankruptcy protection. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, a fall from a scaffolding on a construction site or a pedestrian accident in an Atlanta crosswalk, or any other accident, the possibility that you may file bankruptcy is an important issue that should be disclosed to your personal injury attorney. While it may seem strange to discuss bankruptcy in the context of an Atlanta personal injury blog, damages recovered as part of a personal injury claim may constitute an asset that must be disclosed to the bankruptcy trustee and creditors in a subsequent Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.

Liability of Commercial Carriers for Obesity-Related Trucking Accidents in Georgia

November 08, 2013

Most motorists have driven by a serious collision involving a tractor-trailer and wondered what caused the collision. Although passing motorists might speculate that such a collision is caused by driver fatigue, speeding, mechanical failure and similar factors, fewer people would suspect the accident was caused by truck driver obesity. However, medical conditions that are related to obesity, such as diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea can play a role in collisions involving commercial big-rigs.

New Study Provides Evidence of Dangers of Taking Antidepressants during Pregnancy

November 08, 2013

One of the most difficult ordeals faced by parents is the discovery that their new born infant has suffered a serious birth defect that was preventable. The March of Dimes reports that approximately 150,000 babies are born each year with some form of birth defect. While birth defects can vary substantially in term of their severity and degree of debilitation, they constitute the leading cause of death among new born infants. A birth defect technically refers to any form of abnormality that is present at birth which impacts metabolism, function or the physical form of a child. When a child is born with a severe birth defect, the child may suffer permanent impairment of physical and/or mental functions. Although a child may suffer a birth defect because of genetics or a medical error by a physician, another common cause of birth defects involves harmful side effects from drugs taken by pregnant moms.

Study Finds Stressful Life Events Increase the Risk of Serious Falls Involving Seniors

November 07, 2013

Many people justifiably presume that motor vehicle accidents cause the greatest number of injuries and fatalities among adults. However, those who are elderly face a greater risk of suffering a debilitating or life-threatening injury from a fall according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The scope of this risk is significant given that one in three adults who are 65 or older suffer a fall. During a recent twelve month period, 2.3 million seniors 65 or older sought emergency room treatment for fall-related injuries while over 660,000 seniors are hospitalized. A new study suggests that the risk of a fall involving seniors may increase in the aftermath of stressful life events.

Fatal Douglasville Pedestrian Accident Provides a Cautionary Tale & Valuable Lessons

November 07, 2013

A recent fatal hit-and-run pedestrian accident in Douglasville provides a number lessons that cover a range of issues involving personal injury claims arising out of these types of accidents. The 18-year-old driver reportedly failed to notice the man who had only been released from a holding facility for public intoxication a short time before the fatal pedestrian crash according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) report. Our condolences go out to the victim and his family as well as the family of the teenager who also are likely overwhelmed by this tragedy. We have provided an overview of some key issues that this type of deadly pedestrian accident can raise that may be relevant to others.

Fatal Atlanta Rear Impact Collision Dispels the Myth of the Low Impact Rear-End Collision

November 07, 2013

Although rear-impact crashes are the most prevalent form of car accident, these auto accidents often are mischaracterized as “low impact rear-enders.” Insurance adjusters try to minimize rear-end crashes in this manner partially because these cases can pose the greatest difficulty for insurance companies attempting to dispute liability. Many rear-enders involve an injury victim that was stopped at a red light or stop sign on an Atlanta street, or stopped for traffic on a congested Georgia highway. As a general rule of thumb, a driver that slams into another vehicle from behind usually will be primarily at-fault for causing a collision. This probability that the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit arising out of a rear impact crash will be considered primarily or exclusively at-fault provides ample motivation for insurance companies to aggressively dispute the severity of injuries.

Avoiding a Collision by Laying Down a Motorcycle

November 07, 2013

Not all motorcycle accidents involve a direct collision between the bike and another object or moving vehicle. In some accidents, a motorcycle rider is forced to "lay down" the bike to avoid impact. This last-resort maneuver might avoid a collision, but unfortunately can still result in death or serious injuries that cause great pain and expense for riders and their families. Sometimes we are asked by motorcyclists whether laying a bike down under these circumstances means that the rider cannot recover compensation for his or her injuries.

Compensation for Those Victimized by Sexual Abuse or Molestation

November 06, 2013

The impact of sexual abuse by a trusted counselor, pastor, priest, therapist, teacher or other adult can take a devastating emotional and physical toll on a survivor. Although sexual molestation, rape, child abuse and similar acts of misconduct constitute criminal offenses that may result in incarceration and other penalties for the perpetrator, this does not compensate the victim for the devastating physical and emotional impact of being victimized by a sexual offender.

Montlick & Associates Reviews Reasons for Increased Risk of DeKalb County Car Accidents at Night

November 05, 2013

Although most people are aware that certain forms of conduct, such as text messaging, speeding and intoxicated driving increase the risk of suffering severe injury in a DeKalb County car accident, the impact of driving at night may be overlooked as a car crash risk factor. The reality is that it generally is far more hazardous to drive at night for a variety of reasons related to both the way nighttime driving impacts an accident victim, as well as its impact on other drivers. Our experienced DeKalb County Car Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates recognize the increased risk associated with driving at night because we have been representing those injured in motor vehicle crashes since 1984.

Impaired Drivers Constitute an Especially Serious Danger for Motorcyclists

November 05, 2013

When a motor vehicle operator under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs causes a traffic accident, the result is often death or severe injury. Victims and their families frequently are left with devastating injuries and emotional distress that can take months or years of recovery time. When the victim of these all-too-common accidents happens to be riding on a motorcycle, the consequences are usually even worse. Motorcyclists are exposed to a much greater risk than car or truck drivers for painful injuries, such as broken legs and arms, cuts, head trauma, and road rash. Some injuries heal quickly, but others only grow more painful over time. In some cases, riders are eventually able to completely recover and get on with their lives. But other injuries, such as brain injury or spinal cord damage are life-altering and lead to financially ruinous medical bills and long-term emotional consequences and pain and suffering.

New Study Provides Mixed Signals of Teen Compliance with Driving Safety Restrictions

November 04, 2013

A new report from the National Safety Council (NSC) provides new data on the driving patterns of teenagers.  While concerning in some respects, it also provides some good news about teen drivers' text messaging patterns. Because prior studies have shown that parental input, modeling of driving behavior and close supervision has a greater impact on teen driving patterns than peer pressure from classmates, we have provided these findings in the hope that they may prove guidance to parents of teens. At Montlick and Associates, our Atlanta Car Accident Injury Attorneys are committed to making the roadways of Atlanta safer and reducing the number of tragic teen driving fatalities.

Injuries Employees May Not Know Qualify for Georgia Worker's Compensation Benefits

November 03, 2013

Many people who suffer job-related injuries never pursue financial compensation under Georgia's worker's compensation system because of a misconception about what constitutes a covered work injury. Many people presume that the injured employee must be involved in a sudden traumatic workplace accident like a fall from a scaffolding or fire that results from OSHA violations or other unsafe conditions in the workplace.

Montlick & Associates Reviews Rules of Thumb Regarding Liability in Common Types of Georgia Car Accidents

November 03, 2013

Our Atlanta Car Accidents Lawyers at Montlick and Associates often receive calls from individuals who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident with questions about fault. In some cases, the driver will have received a traffic citation or a law enforcement accident report indicating that the injured driver committed a traffic violation or otherwise caused the accident. If you are injured in an auto accident and concerned about fair compensation for your injuries, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, lost earnings and other forms of loss, it is understandable that you many not find the prospect of being designated the at-fault driver a welcome development.

Manufacturing Defects Cause Numerous Trucking Accidents in Georgia

November 02, 2013

While the majority of truck related accidents are caused by driver negligence (whether the driver of the truck or another vehicle), they can also be caused by a truck's manufacturing defects. Truck drivers, especially those that haul goods in large 18-wheelers, rely heavily on the safety of their vehicles. When their truck fails, it can create a serious safety hazard for others on the road, leaving the truck driver, and quite possibly his employer, with huge potential liability exposure. Moreover, the truck manufacturer can also be held financially responsible if the cause of the accident, in whole or in part, can be traced to the specific manufacturing defect.

What Are Your Rights and Obligations When Encountering an Atlanta Car Accident?

November 02, 2013

What happens if you come across a car accident where a is person lying in the road next to a vehicle engulfed in flames?  Insurance companies and certain businesses benefit when the public accepts negative stereotypes about personal injury attorneys and plaintiffs.  Therefore, many people who happen across an injured motorist at the scene of a traffic accident or someone else in need of medical assistance may be hesitant to volunteer help after hearing the widely accepted myth that a layperson or medical professional can be liable for this type of charitable assistance.

Common Mistakes That Damage an Atlanta Personal Injury Claim

November 01, 2013

Many people who suffer incapacitating injuries, or lose a loved one to a drunk driver, from a foreseeable and preventable act of violence or an a castrophic injury caused by a texting driver or and exhausted big-rig driver, do not receive the recovery they should because they make mistakes that damage their personal injury or wrongful death claim. While it may seem reasonable to see how the other party’s insurance company will proceed in handling your claim, insurance companies are not in the business of expediting the full value of an insurance claim to injury victims. That is not how they make money.  Further, most insurance companies are staffed with a knowledgeable and experienced team of attorneys, experts, adjusters and others with the objective of reducing the amount paid to injury victims.

Trucking Accident Claims Based on Negligent Hiring and Retention of Commercial Drivers

November 01, 2013

Because big-rigs dwarf the average passenger car, the trucking industry is subject to extensive regulation. While these regulations are designed to ensure that commercial drivers operate big-rigs in a safe manner and that trucking companies properly inspect and maintain their tractor-trailer, another important aspect of these regulations is to ensure that commercial carriers do not cut corners when making hiring and retention decisions about employees. While most truck drivers are professional and dedicated, the hiring and retention of a truck driver that the trucking company knew or should have known could not be safely entrusted to operate a massive tractor-trailer is an independent basis for liability that may be asserted against commercial carriers as part of a trucking accident legal claim.

Cameras Providing an Effective Pedestrian Safety Tool for Kids Riding Cobb County Buses

November 01, 2013

Statistically school buses provide the safest method for children to travel to school. In fact, sadly many children who are injured or killed in school bus accidents are struck while crossing the street to board or disembark from the bus. Although buses use flashing lights and swing-out stops signs that deploy from the side of the bus as safety measures to prevent pedestrian accidents, these warning devices provide limited protection from distracted or intoxicated drivers who fail to notice these warning signs.

A Potential Solution to the Drunk Driving Epidemic in Georgia

November 01, 2013

Alcohol impaired drivers claim the lives of approximately 10,000 people per year across the U.S. according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The fact that one-third of all traffic-related fatalities still involve alcohol impaired drivers suggests that neither more effective law enforcement tools, such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, nor stiffer penalties for those convicted of DUI have been successful in eradicating the DUI epidemic.

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Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.