Blog Archive - April, 2013


43 Articles

Fatal Railroad Crossing Accident Reminder of Lack of Investment in Safety Improvements

April 30, 2013

A tragic collision between a motor vehicle and a freight train provides an important reminder of the danger of disregarding lowered railroad crossing gates.  An Iowa mother elected to proceed around a lowered railroad crossing arm and across a double set of tracks although her visibility was obstructed by a train resting on the first set of tracks.  The railroad crossing accident resulted in the tragic death of two of her daughters and the hospitalization of her third child.

Liability When Shootings Occur Involving Children Playing With Firearms

April 26, 2013

As Congress and the President continue the debate about the merit and Constitutionality of additional gun controls, it is an appropriate time to discuss the liability rules that apply when children are accidently shot when playing with firearms.  There can be no dispute that sometimes accidental shootings involving children occur when insufficient care is exercised in securing a firearm so that it is inaccessible to children.

Peer Pressure May Be Effective Tool against Teen Distracted Driving

April 25, 2013

Because parents, teachers and other teen mentors are aware of the negative impact of peer pressure, we often fail to focus on peer pressure as a tool for improving teen motor vehicle safety.  The term “peer pressure” usually refers to teen drinking and driving, texting behind the wheel or other forms of unsafe driving when applied to the risks associated with teen car accidents.  However, a recent study suggests that peer pressure can also be a valuable resource to prevent teen car accidents when properly harnessed.

Elderly Face Greatest Risk for Involvement in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

April 24, 2013

Many people presume that young children face the greatest risk of suffering permanent injury or wrongful death in a pedestrian accident.  This belief is based on the lack of maturity of young children and a lack of experience with judging distance and speed.  Despite the reasonableness of this assumption, new data indicates that the elderly are more likely to be involved in a fatal pedestrian accident.

Horrific Fertilizer Plant Explosion and Fire Reminds of the Danger of Industrial Accidents

April 24, 2013

Industrial accidents that result in explosions and fires can cause devastating injuries and even wrongful death.  A tragedy this week serves as a tragic reminder of the potential danger posed by industrial accidents in industries that work with hazardous, toxic and explosive materials.  Our condolences go out to the victims and families that lost loved ones in the horrific explosion at West Fertilizer located near Waco, Texas.  The deadly explosion and fire may have claimed the lives of as many as fifteen people while causing injury to 160 more.

Another Day . . . Another Airbag Recall

April 24, 2013

Automakers have become more aggressive about implementing new and improved vehicle safety features, such as crash avoidance systems, improved stability control, fatigue warning features and more. One major change is the increase in the number and location of airbags in passenger vehicles.

Trucking Accident Award of $58.5 Million Provides a Primer on Trucking Industry Negligence

April 23, 2013

Our  Georgia Truck Accident Lawyers have written a number of blog articles on the unique hazards posed by truck drivers who ignore fatigue, and trucking companies that tacitly encourage violation of hours of service rules. We also have previously addressed the importance of working closely with an experienced Georgia trucking accident attorney if you or someone close to you is injured or dies in a trucking collision because of the unscrupulous practices sometimes employed by trucking companies to avoid liability.

Hit-and-Run DUI Child Pedestrian Accident Reveals Challenges in Seeking Financial Compensation

April 22, 2013

The tragic death of an 11-year-old boy in a hit-and-run DUI accident serves as a sad testament to the continuing risk posed by drunken drivers. The driver was not only under the influence when he struck the child pedestrian with his motor vehicle and drove away but was also driving on a suspended driver’s license, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The driver eventually surrendered to Clayton County police who turned him over to Atlanta police. The hit-and-run driver who ran down the child pedestrian is charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and driving on a suspended license.

Ford and Hyundai Announce Recalls Associated with Fire and Collision Risks

April 21, 2013

While any product with a manufacturing or design defect may have the potential to cause injury, motor vehicle defects pose a more substantial risk because so many people are injured or die in motor vehicle accidents annually.  Two recent recalls serve as a reminder of the importance of vehicle safety in preventing potential injury in motor vehicle collisions.

Litigating Trucking Accidents in Georgia

April 21, 2013

Bordered by several states, Georgia is frequented by trucks of all shapes and sizes, especially 18-wheelers necessary to transport large loads of goods for cross-country delivery.  Unfortunately, however, with more and more truckers using Georgia highways each day, there is a much greater likelihood that serious accidents will occur.  Alarmingly, one out of every six fatal traffic accidents in Georgia involves a truck.

Think Aviation Accidents Are Never Caused by Drunken Pilots . . . Think Again

April 20, 2013

We frequently discuss the danger of operating motor vehicles when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but this discussion usually focuses on cars, SUVs, pickups, motorcycles and tractor-trailers. While the prospect of an intoxicated driver speeding down the highways of Georgia at sixty mph is an unnerving possibility, the danger posed by a pilot operating a commercial airline flight while under the influence is even more terrifying.

New Study Suggests Daydreaming Poses Most Serious Distraction than Cell Phones

April 20, 2013

There has been extensive focus on mobile phone use as a form of distracted driving by federal regulators and lawmakers, but a recent study suggests there may be another form of distracted driving that is a greater cause for concern. According to new research by Erie Insurance Group, drivers who are daydreaming pose five times the risk of that posed by drivers talking or texting on cell phones.

Concerns Grow about Risks of da Vinci® Robotic Surgery Based on New Report

April 19, 2013

While the da Vinci® robotic surgical device has become common in surgical rooms across the country, the robotic surgical device is coming under stricter scrutiny in the wake of an increasing number of reports of adverse incidents including several fatalities. These safety concerns have been accompanied by fears that the increased cost of surgical procedures performed by the da Vinci® robot are not justified by offsetting medical benefits, according to a new AP report.

Wrongful Death Victim Awarded $35 Million for Failure to Warn of Asbestos Risks

April 19, 2013

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is caused exclusively by asbestos exposure but many workers in construction, shipyards and other occupations were unnecessarily exposed to the carcinogen by employers, business owners and property owners who failed to warn of the danger. The family of a man involved in a wrongful death product liability lawsuit against Crane Co., which manufactures industrial products, was recently awarded $35 million in an asbestos-related lawsuit.

Vehicle Manufacturer May Be Liable for Defective Windshield Despite Intervening Criminal Act

April 17, 2013

Manufacturers of consumer goods have an obligation to design, manufacture and market products that do not have defects that cause foreseeable injuries to consumers.  A recent court decision out of California found that the manufacturer of a motor vehicle may be liable for injuries sustained because a windshield is not designed or manufactured with sufficient impact resistance.  The accident victim suffered a tragic brain injury when a 15-year-old threw a two and a half pound block of concrete from an overpass that struck the windshield of the vehicle.

Court Rules That Hands-Free Cell Phone Restriction Applies to GPS Function

April 17, 2013

Anyone who follows this blog knows that our Georgia personal injury law firm takes the issue of distracted driving very seriously. Texting or talking on a cell phone can divert a driver’s concentration, hands and eyes from the important task of driving safely. However, a recent appellate court decision out of California indicates the potential dilemma facing policymakers when enacting laws on the issue of distracted driving. The appellate court found that utilizing the mapping function on a cell phone constituted a violation of the state’s “hands-free law” in upholding a driver’s conviction for distracted driving.

New Study Reveals Kids Are Bigger Driving Distraction for Parents than Cell Phones

April 12, 2013

Most drivers are well aware of the dangers posed by distracted driving. While motorists may assume that many car accidents that cause permanent, debilitating injuries and wrongful death involve drivers who are distracted while talking or texting on cell phones, they might find the results of a recent study surprising. The study reported by ABC Nightline suggests that a distraction that may be just as deadly but receives little attention is the distraction of parents by their kids.

Unsanitary Dental Office Raises Issue of Infections Acquired When Receiving Medical Care

April 11, 2013

The recent story about a dentist in Oklahoma who is accused of exposing as many as 7,000 patients to the risk of HIV and hepatitis because of unsanitary practices may give some pause about the cleanliness of the offices of medical providers, hospitals and dental offices. According to a media report, the local Department of Health for the state is offering free screenings for the diseases to thousands of Dr. W. Scott Harrington’s former patients.

Fatal Pit Bull Dog Mauling of Georgia Toddler Serves as Reminder of Risk Posed by Dangerous Dog Breeds

April 11, 2013

A tragic fatal dog mauling of a toddler in southeast Georgia serves as a reminder of the potential danger posed to small children by certain vicious breeds of dogs. The AP report indicates that the toddler slipped outside through a dog door and was fatally mauled by seven pit bull and pit bull mix dogs while adults inside the home remained unaware of the deadly dog attack. The toddler’s clothes were strewn across the yard evidencing the harrowing incident in which the dogs viciously dragged the girl around the backyard.

75 Vehicle Car Accident Reveals Danger of Collisions When Driving in Dense Fog

April 10, 2013

A 75 vehicle chain reaction pileup that occurred in Virginia over Easter weekend, which was widely reported in the national media, serves as a grim reminder of the danger posed by adverse weather, nighttime driving and other conditions that impair visibility. While it may seem hard to imagine that a motorist would not observe the carnage of dozens of vehicles piled up until it was too late to avoid a collision, vehicles can travel the length of a football field in only a few seconds at highway speeds. While three people died and another twenty suffered injury in the fog-induced collision, the tragedy could have been worse given the number of vehicles involved in the multi-vehicle collision.

New Study Suggests Certain Type 2 Diabetes Drugs May Cause Pre-Cancerous Pancreatic Cell Growth

April 09, 2013

An article published by Bloomberg indicates that new research suggests that popular diabetic drugs like Januvia®, which is manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., may promote pre-cancerous pancreatic cell changes and proliferation. The new report from UCLA researchers follows an FDA statement earlier this month indicating that the federal agency was reviewing unpublished findings suggesting that abnormal pre-cancerous cell changes may be linked to a category of Type 2 diabetes drugs referred to as incretin mimetics, which includes Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY)’s Byetta®.

Proving Liability in Your Georgia Car Accident Case

April 09, 2013

Oftentimes, fighting over who’s at fault in a car accident becomes the game of he-said, she-said. In other words, proving liability can sometimes be a daunting task, especially when the question of liability is not readily apparent to you or the other party. As such, it is important to consult with an experienced Georgia auto accident attorney who can review and obtain evidence from police reports, medical records, eye-witness accounts, and other relevant sources in order to make a well-informed assessment of the viability of your case, determine its value and develop a legal strategy.

My Health Insurance Wants Part of My Personal Injury Recovery: What is Subrogation?

April 09, 2013

While each case is different, some personal injury claims and lawsuits may take many months if not years to resolve before the victim receives compensation for his or her injuries. Typically, an accident victim’s medical expenses will be covered by his or her own health insurance company in the interim. If you don’t have health insurance, an experienced personal injury lawyer can frequently help make sure you receive the treatment you need. In many cases payment can be deferred until your case is resolved. What accident victims generally do not expect once they finally receive compensation in a personal injury settlement is that their health insurance company may file a claim to be reimbursed for the amounts they have paid for the medical costs associated with their policyholder’s injuries.

Poor Road Conditions Contribute to Auto Accidents in Georgia

April 08, 2013

Several factors may contribute to the cause of an accident. However, many people do not realize that poorly designed and improperly maintained roads lead to thousands of accidents throughout the United States. With respect to poorly designed roads, have you ever avoided a specific intersection knowing that a lot of car accidents have occurred there? Or, have you ever read the editorial section of your local newspaper where people are screaming for something to be done about the poorly designed merger lanes on the local highway? For several reasons, poor roadway design can lead to an increased incidence of car accidents, such as by making it difficult to see other drivers or pedestrians, having inadequate or confusing signs and signals, not being properly lit at night, having uneven or inadequate surface material, or containing roadway material that creates hazardous driving conditions during inclement weather.

What You Should Know About Georgia Workers Compensation Claims Based on Catastrophic Injuries

April 08, 2013

Workers suffer injuries on-the-job caused by a variety of sources, such as worksite accidents, industrial exposure to toxic substances and repetitive motion tasks on a daily basis in Atlanta and throughout the surrounding areas of Georgia. While many injuries suffered in the workplace will justify temporary benefits and medical care, some forms of work-related injuries may be categorized as “catastrophic.” Under Georgia workers' compensation law, this term refers to situations where the Georgia Board of Workers' Compensation designates a serious injury as being severe enough that it is unlikely the injured worker will ever be able return to work.

Vicarious Liability & Trucking Accidents

April 08, 2013

Sometimes it can be difficult to ascertain who is responsible for causing your Georgia trucking accident, whether it be the truck driver alone or his company. To illustrate, while some truck drivers work for themselves, others are directly employed by trucking companies, which can lead to confusion as to who should be held responsible for accidents that arise while truck drivers are on the clock. Moreover, sometimes the same company owns the truck that employs the driver, while others simply rent out the truck and hire independent drivers to haul their freight. Whatever the situation presents, it is crucial to speak with a Georgia trucking attorney who has the experience to ascertain the correct parties, so that the legal and notice time deadlines are fully complied with to avoid jeopardizing your rights, and so that all available insurance and responsbile parties are identified.

Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet Can Save Your Life

April 07, 2013

In many states across the U.S., motorcyclists must wear a helmet, and it makes perfect sense why when you consider the statistics. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, between 1984 and 2006, motorcycle helmets saved almost 20,000 bikers’ lives who were involved in accidents. The NHTSA also provides that if all motorcyclists and their passengers had worn helmets during this time period, an additional 12,000 lives could have been saved.

Fatal Wisdom Tooth Extraction Raises Dental Malpractice Questions

April 06, 2013

Our posting of two articles on this Georgia personal injury blog on the issue of dental malpractice within a matter of days is somewhat unprecedented, but so is the death of an apparently healthy young man during a routine wisdom tooth extraction. This incident has been widely reported in the national media as the family of a 24-year-old man is considering a wrongful death lawsuit after he died following removal of his wisdom teeth last month.

SUV Plummets Fifty Feet from Atlanta Overpass When Driver Suffers Medical Emergency

April 05, 2013

A scary crash involving an SUV that slammed through a guardrail and fell fifty feet from an overpass apparently was caused by a medical emergency involving the driver of the SUV. While the news report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution indicated that the vehicle occupants suffered only minor injuries, this type of road departure collision off an overpass or embankment typically results in far more extensive injuries.

DeKalb County Uses New State Law to Crackdown on Unlicensed Elderly Care Facilities

April 05, 2013

Elder abuse and neglect is a serious problem that is growing worse as aging baby boomers stretch available resources to provide appropriate care to seniors. While residents of nursing homes that are inappropriately staffed or funded often experience acts of chronic neglect and even physical or sexual abuse, these facilities are licensed and monitored so that some mistreatment of elderly residents has a chance of being exposed through that process. However, DeKalb County is cracking down on a form of unlicensed care that may be more ominous. Four unlicensed personal care homes (also called group homes) for disabled and elderly residents were shut down, and two caregivers associated with the homes were recently arrested under a new law according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reports.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed after Soldier's Death Allegedly Caused by Jack3d® Containing DMAA

April 05, 2013

The Army is currently investigating a supplement called dimethylamylamine (DMAA), that is commonly used by those engaged in workout activities, following the death of two servicemen according to a Healthline report. The substance, which is also referred to as “geranium extract” because it is derived from Chinese geraniums, is a powerful stimulant. The substance is a component in a number of products, such as Jack3d®. While products that contain DMAA have been banned by a number of both professional and amateur sporting organizations, it is still available through stores that sell nutritional supplements like GNC®.

Case Involving $21 Million Verdict May Determine Future Liability for Defective Generic Drugs

April 04, 2013

When most people go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription from their doctor, they are usually happy to receive the generic version of the medication because it is much less expensive. This practice is so common that most states have laws that permit a pharmacist to substitute the generic version of a drug for the equivalent brand name when filling a prescription. Four in every five prescriptions are filled using a generic medication, but consumers may soon be asking for the brand name, depending on the Supreme Court’s ruling in a pending case, according to a Reuter’s report.

The Main Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents in Georgia

April 04, 2013

Have you ever gotten nervous while driving along side of a huge 18-wheel tractor trailer? Not surprisingly, the answer is probably yes. Each year, a mounting number of trucking accidents are caused by the inability of a truck driver to see other cars on the road due to its numerous blind spots.

Negligent Hiring as a Cause of Trucking Accidents

April 03, 2013

It is the duty of every trucking company to make sure it hires drivers which are fully qualified to drive. Should the company fail to meet those obligations and an accident involving the hired driver occurs, the trucking company may find themselves liable for their conduct, and could be charged with negligence for improper hiring. Trucking companies are required by law to conduct extensive background checks into their potential driver’s history, and most companies also have additional hiring policies which could render them negligent should those policies not be followed to the letter.

Keeping Children Safe: Reducing the Risk of Serious Injury in Atlanta Auto Accidents

April 02, 2013

Serious car accidents that result in the death of vehicle occupants are always a tragic event, but the sadness and heartbreak can be even greater when the victims are children. Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for young children. A terrible auto collision near Decatur that caused the death of one adult and one child passenger, and hospitalization of the remaining four passengers, including two other children, serves as a tragic reminder. The child passengers were traveling in an SUV that collided with a red sedan when it fled from police according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report.

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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.