Blog Archive - May, 2013


53 Articles

Can a Bystander Be Liable in a Georgia Hit-and-Run DUI Accident Lawsuit?

May 29, 2013

An unusual criminal prosecution involving a fatal hit-and-run accident from another state raises interesting questions about the reach of civil liability legal duties involving third parties.  In the fatal collision, the drunk driver who is standing trial for vehicular homicide is joined with two other defendants, that may not be as obvious.  One of the other defendants is the vehicle owner who lent her car to the at-fault driver who caused the fatal collision.  While this is a more common basis for imposing liability on third parties for wrongful death or personal injury arising out of hit-and-run car accidents, the fact that a bystander is charged with accessory after the fact is unusual.

Fulton County Unsafe Highway and Guardrail Accidents

May 28, 2013

While the majority of motor vehicle accidents are caused by careless or distracted drivers, some car accidents in Fulton County and the surrounding areas of Georgia are the result of highway defects and faulty guardrails. When a highway or guardrail is not properly designed or maintained, this may create an independent basis for imposing liability on the public entity under whose authority the roadway falls. Whether it is the state of Georgia, Fulton County or a municipality, the proper design, construction and maintenance of public streets, highways and their physical features are the responsibility of a government entity. When the public agency fails to uphold its responsibility to those who use the roadways by not building and maintaining safe roads, the result can be devastating injuries and wrongful death.

What DeKalb County Bicyclists Should Know about Bicycle Helmets

May 28, 2013

June brings warm weather and summer break for school kids, which means that many kids and families will be biking for exercise, fun and transportation.  Because bicyclists do not have much protection when they are struck by negligent motorists in DeKalb County, they need to be extremely alert for drivers who do not appear to be paying attention when approaching intersections or who may be drifting out of their lane because they are distracted by a cell phone.  While drivers who are impaired by alcohol, distracted by cell phones or driving recklessly pose a hazard to everyone else on the road, the risk is much more significant for bicyclists.

$6.5 Million Awarded To Nursing Home Fall Victim

May 28, 2013

Nursing home injuries and neglect are at an all time high within the United States according to numerous sources. Families are admitting their elderly loved ones into these nursing home facilities in order to make sure that their health and physical needs are taken care of properly. However, sadly each and every day for some people these facilities are hurting more than they are helping. Nursing home residents can face many obstacles such as physical and sexual abuse, bed sores, not receiving proper medications or not being tended to properly medically, and especially falling and seriously injuring themselves.

Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys Urge Caution to Avoid Injury in a Memorial Day Car Accident

May 27, 2013

While Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer for many, it also represents the start of a hundred day period when overall auto collision rates rise.  The increase is especially sharp for teen accident collisions.  Many aspects of the Memorial Day weekend contribute to the more extensive danger of being involved in a collision resulting in life-changing injuries and fatalities.  These factors include celebrations involving alcohol, increased traffic and drivers traveling unfamiliar roads.  Because we know that the danger of being involved in a collision is much higher during this holiday weekend, we urge all of our friends, neighbors and Atlanta community members to drive cautiously and to avoid drinking and driving so that everyone enjoys a fun and safe holiday weekend.

Teenager in Fatal Text Messaging Accident During Her First Solo Drive

May 27, 2013

If you have a teenager who is 15 or 16, you are probably very familiar with the excitement and anticipation of your teen toward the prospects of obtaining his or her driver's license. While obtaining a driver's license and embarking on a teen's first solo trip may be exciting, it also can be a dangerous time. Teen drivers are far more likely to take risks like speeding, text messaging and drinking, which account for the bulk of serious car accidents that result in permanent injuries and loss of life.

How to Avoid Being an Injured Passenger in a Georgia Auto Accident

May 26, 2013

As we all know, when you are a passenger in a car you have no control over the driver or other vehicles on the road. With nearly 7,000 passengers killed in automobile accidents across the country each year, it is crucial to understand that getting into an automobile with anyone is inherently risky.  As a passenger, while you cannot prevent harm caused by the negligence of other drivers, you can take measures to protect yourself if you are involved in a collision, by getting the medical treatment you need, by taking the necessary steps to protect your legal rights, and by pursuing a personal injury claim to recover the money damages that you are due.  Additionally, you can speak up if the driver of your vehicle is engaging in reckless behaviors that put you at risk.

Four deaths, nine injuries in 27 vehicle chain-reaction

May 25, 2013

Poor visibility led to a pile-up involving 27 vehicles, which tragically claimed four lives. The crash occurred in February around 8:10 am in the westbound lanes of Interstate 16 near Montrose, Georgia while motorists were picking their way through thick fog – possibly intensified by smoke from a nearby controlled burn - during their morning commute.

Tips on Avoiding Accidents with Intoxicated Drivers in Georgia

May 25, 2013

There are several reasons why accidents occur; however, driver negligence is certainly the top cause of accidents in Georgia. Negligence arises when people drive while distracted, fatigued, or in a reckless or aggressive manner. Additionally, driver negligence also occurs when people operate a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by drugs and/or alcohol. It goes without saying that driving while impaired can lead to serious consequences for all drivers and passengers involved, such as serious injury or death. Because people under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not as capable at reacting as sober drivers, accidents often become an inevitable reality.

Rescission Settlement Draws Focus on Bad Faith Health Insurance Practices

May 24, 2013

Whether you have medical insurance through your employer or you are self-insured, you know that health insurance is expensive.  Both premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed in recent years.  Those that struggle to afford the cost of escalating premiums are entitled to assume that they are paying for the security of adequate medical care if they should become ill and require medical treatment or hospitalization.

Whirlpool Faces 'Cancer Cluster' Lawsuit Based on Allegations of Dumping of Toxic Chemicals

May 24, 2013

There are many potential hazards that people are exposed to on a daily basis including negligent drivers, unsafe consumer products, unrestrained vicious dogs and more. However, most people that live in Atlanta and the surrounding areas of Georgia do not worry about their safety when they are asleep in bed or their children play in the backyard. Unfortunately, environmental substances like toxic chemicals, carcinogens and other unsafe materials released by manufacturing and processing plants in a range of industries can put those in surrounding neighborhoods at risk of developing serious illnesses.

Simply Put, Helmets Prevent Bicycle-Related Injuries in Atlanta

May 24, 2013

One of the best pieces of advice that our Atlanta bicycle accident attorneys can offer to bicyclists is to wear a helmet at all times. Unfortunately, not wearing a helmet substantially increases a bicyclist's chances of suffering from traumatic brain injuries and other serious and life-threatening conditions. Oftentimes, we notice bicyclists out and about in Atlanta who fail to heed this advice, making themselves highly susceptible to injury and sometimes death.

Massive Head-On Train Collision Provides Reminder of Risk of Injury in MARTA Accidents

May 23, 2013

When passengers climb aboard passenger buses and trains to commute throughout Atlanta and the surrounding counties, they may experience a range of benefits, such as avoiding traffic, the cost of gas, carbon emission and even car accidents. Although forms of public transportation like the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) are a good option, the consequences can be devastating when a commuter train or bus accident occurs.

The Incidence of Georgia Trucking Accidents Due to Improper Loading

May 23, 2013

Have you ever noticed a truck ready to topple over or with loose debris falling off and nearly hitting other vehicles? Unfortunately, you probably answered in the affirmative. Such conditions can not only be frightening to other drivers, they can also lead to severe and sometimes life-threatening car accidents. Specifically, a large truck that is overloaded can greatly affect its ability to maneuver, and since trucks already require more time to stop to begin with, this can lead to disastrous results. In other words, a truck that is already heavy as it is – some weighing in excess of 80,000 pounds - and is loaded past capacity is much more likely to cause rear end and other types of catastrophic collisions.

Georgia Theme Parks, Amusement Parks, Carnivals and Fairs Offer Fun and Danger

May 23, 2013

Many families in Georgia are planning vacations this summer including spending time at amusement parks, fairs and water parks. These facilities provide a fun way for parents and kids to share time together while enjoying the lazy days of summer. However, these parks also present risks that can cause life-changing injuries and even fatalities. When the operator of the fair or amusement park does not exercise appropriate care to prevent hazards to those who ride on their rollercoasters and other rides, they may be liable for the injuries caused by their failure to take sufficient measures to prevent invited patrons from experiencing an accident.

Motorhomes Primed for the Open Road in Georgia and RV Crashes as Summer Approaches

May 22, 2013

With June and summer vacation just around the corner, scorching temperatures and time off from work and school, families are motivated to schedule vacation travel. Many travelers who choose camping will start preparing their motorhome (RV) for the open road. However, motorhomes are heavy, long, and less responsive than an ordinary passenger car. These handling limitations, combined with lack of experience regularly operating a motorhome, can potentially endanger both motorhome occupants and those in the path of these massive vehicles.

Will Reversible HOV Toll Lanes on I-75 Increase Car Accidents?

May 22, 2013

While the new I-75 Henry County toll road project is intended to relieve the heavy traffic on this freeway faced by commuters traveling from their homes in Henry County and Clayton County into the city of Atlanta, there have been critics that suggest the design of the toll road is confusing and will promote car accidents.

Summer Camp Can Be Fun AND Safer When Taking a Few Precautions

May 22, 2013

Kids are now counting the days until the end of the school year while making plans for the summer. One option that many kids and their parents select for a source of fun, learning and recreation is summer camp. There are a virtually unlimited number of summer camps available, such as church camps, sports camps, 4-H camps and many more. While most parents and kids carefully research camp activities, costs and even the qualifications of those running the camp, they may not think to examine the camp's safety record. Many kids that board the bus to summer camp each summer return home with serious injuries that may result in physical and mental disability. We have provided an overview of the types of accidents that may occur when those who sponsor and operate activities at these kids' retreats do not take adequate care to prevent injury or harm to residents.

How Subrogation Impacts Your Auto Accident Lawsuit

May 20, 2013

If you are injured in a Georgia car accident, you may have significant medical bills. While you may have insurance that pays your medical bills, your health insurance carrier may seek reimbursement after you have received a settlement or judgment. This type of reimbursement claim is called subrogation.

What Types of Compensation Are Available in a Gwinnett County Motor Vehicle Accident Case?

May 20, 2013

When people suffer serious injury in motor vehicle collisions, they may be entitled to a range of types of compensation that are referred to as "damages." Generally, there are two types of damages: (1) pecuniary damages; and (2) non-pecuniary damages. "Pecuniary damages" essentially include actual out-of-pocket or future economic losses, such as the costs associated with medical treatment/rehabilitation, lost wages, vehicle repair or replacement costs and future lost income based on partial or total permanent disability. By contrast, "non-pecuniary" loss refers to intangible but sometimes more devastating forms of loss like pain and suffering, impact on one's quality of life, emotional distress and similar forms of damages.

Court Rules Liability of National Fraternity May Be Based on Hazing and Alcohol Policies

May 20, 2013

The moment that kids receive acceptance letters from a university where they aspire to enroll, parents may be filled with pride and excitement, but also apprehension regarding the pending transition. Many new college students participate in "rush week" and pledge fraternities, which can provide housing, a social network and extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, hazing and alcohol are also part of the college experience in many fraternities and other student organizations. While most universities have anti-hazing policies and the practice of hazing is a criminal offense in many states, the practice of hazing new members of student organizations continues at colleges throughout the U.S.

Fatal Off-Road Dirt Bike Accident Provides Warning of Unsafe Property Boundary Markers

May 16, 2013

As summer approaches, your kids may be making plans for summer recreation which include riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or dirt bike. While most Georgia businesses that operate tracks or off-road courses for motocross bikes or ATV's require a waiver be signed prior to using the facility, this does not necessarily insulate the company from liability when they act recklessly in maintaining the premises. Because dirt bike accidents and ATV crashes can result in serious and even permanent injuries like crushed bones, spinal cord or disc injuries, head trauma, perforation of internal organs and other debilitating injuries, it is imperative that property owners who provide facilities for such activities take reasonable steps to prevent increasing the probability of a serious accident.

NTSB Proposes National Reduction in Legal Limit for Drunken Driving to .05 Percent BAC

May 16, 2013

The focus on alcohol-impaired driving has led to many changes in recent decades, which include the reduction in national blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels from .10 to .08, increased law enforcement use of saturation patrols, and sobriety checkpoints and stiffer penalties including mandatory minimum jail terms. Despite the many changes to discourage DUI accidents, intoxicated drivers still claim the lives of 10,000 people per year and cause injury to many more. In an effort to further reduce the number of alcohol-related collisions, the National Transportation Safety Board announced a recommendation this week that all states lower the threshold at which a driver is considered impaired from .08 to .05 percent BAC.

The Heightened Importance of Seatbelt Use in SUV Rollover Accidents

May 15, 2013

Despite the rising price of gas, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) remain extremely popular for families in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Many new SUVs offer improved safety, such as improved roof strength to prevent roof crush injuries and electronic stabilization systems that assist drivers in maintaining control of their vehicles when taking sudden evasive action. While these safety improvements have made SUV occupants safer, the risk of rollovers involving these vehicles with a high center of gravity still makes seatbelts indispensable.

Will Law Penalizing Pokey Drivers Prevent Atlanta Road Rage Accidents?

May 15, 2013

Most motorists in Atlanta and throughout Georgia are well aware of the hazard posed to those navigating our roads and highways by those who are driving too fast. However, Florida has now shifted its focus to pokey drivers who obstruct the flow of traffic by driving significantly below the speed limit, but do not travel in the slow lane. The impetus for the legislation is to reduce a common cause of road rage incidents.

Special Considerations in a Georgia Personal Injury Lawsuit Involving a Child

May 14, 2013

Suffering through the loss of a child or dealing with a child who has suffered serious injuries due to an accident is emotionally devastating.

We try to keep our children safe from harm but that is not always possible. When accidents happen, children can be more vulnerable to injury than adults. Children can be injured in a variety of circumstances and accidents, including:

Important Lessons on 25th Anniversary of Most Deadly Crash in U.S. History

May 14, 2013

In the wake of the 25th anniversary of the nation's most deadly crash, it is appropriate to express condolences to the families that lost loved ones in the fatal crash and recognize the impact of the tragic disaster on driver safety. During he fatal collision, which occurred on May 14, 1988, an intoxicated driver slammed head-on into a school bus that was transporting 67 people returning from a church outing to an amusement park.

Why Do Personal Injury Attorneys Keep Rejecting My DUI Accident Injury Claim?

May 14, 2013

Many drivers and passengers that are the victims of drunken drivers presume that they have a "slam dunk" legal claim. These same victims are appalled when they are turned away from personal injury law firms that indicate they cannot take the case. When someone suffers significant injuries during a collision with an intoxicated driver, it can be extremely difficult to understand why a law firm would be hesitant to take such a case. While the negligence of the other driver may be clear and the victim's injuries significant, the problem might lie not in obtaining a judgment but in enforcing the judgment.

Montlick and Associates - How to Avoid Collisions When Pulled Over to the Side of a Freeway

May 13, 2013

Sometimes having to stop on the side of a busy highway cannot be avoided. Perhaps you got a flat tire or have to take an emergency call. However, this can turn out to be a very dangerous undertaking. While pulled over, cars whizzing by at high speeds are not as readily able to see you, especially at night. Other risks of pulling over include being struck by distracted drivers who decide that answering a text message is more important than paying attention to the road. Inevitably, taking your eyes off of the road, even if for just a second, can cause you to veer into other lanes and strike other drivers.

Lawsuit Filed against City of Atlanta for Accident Allegedly Caused by Police Officer

May 13, 2013

Law enforcement vehicles with lights and the siren engaged pose a significant risk to other motorists and pedestrians in Georgia when exceeding the speed limit, disregarding traffic signals and ignoring stop signs. While it may seem reasonable to presume that police officers have been adequately trained to engage in these high speed responses safely, a recent fatal tragedy suggests that this is not always the case.

An Overview of Catastrophic Car Accident Injuries in Georgia

May 13, 2013

On an annual basis, over 125,000 people in Georgia are injured in serious traffic accidents located throughout the state. Sadly, a signficant number of these individuals sustain a catastrophic injury, which is defined as an extremely serious and sudden injury that is life threatening and can greatly impact its victims. Such injuries often have devastating consequences, such as permanent disability, disfigurement, loss of income, inability to work, endless medical bills and more. Catastrophic injuries are typically caused by the negligence or misconduct of others, perhaps due to speeding, drunk driving, or driving while distracted.

Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Deny Atlanata Car Accident Claims

May 12, 2013

One of the worst things imaginable is being involved in a car accident, which can have serious emotional and physical consequences for all parties involved.  One of the most difficult challenges, other than getting over your injuries, is having to deal with your insurance company.  Specifically, insurance carriers are adept at denying valid car accident claims for a whole host of reasons.

Recent Study Reveals that Drivers Recognize Their Dangerous Driving Habits

May 11, 2013

According to a recent study commissioned by Ford and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, 99% of approximately 2,507 surveyed drivers believe that they are “good drivers”, despite the fact that: (i) over 75% admitted to eating or drinking when driving; (ii) 55% stated that they speed; (iii) over 50% admitted to talking on a cell phone when behind the wheel; (iv) 37% indicated that they will drive despite being overtired; and (v) 25% stated that they habitually check their phone messages and search for contacts while driving.

Lawn Mower Accidents Cause Serious Injury to Kids and Adults

May 11, 2013

There are many types of accidents that people may anticipate, which can pose a risk of injury to children, but one type of hazard that most parents do not anticipate are lawn mower accidents.  As the weather changes and lawn mowing season is upon us, it is important for parents to be aware of the potential risk posed by lawn mowers to young children. 

Liability of Vehicle Manufacturers for Defects Causing Car Fires and Explosions

May 10, 2013

When you are involved in a collision that causes a vehicle fire, the risk of painful and devastating injuries is significant. Fires can cause disfigurement and necessitate painful surgery, not to mention doing permanent damage to the respiratory system. There are many parties that may be responsible for a vehicle fire, including but not limited to a texting or intoxicated driver who causes a collision, an automaker who designs or manufactures a vehicle so that it has an increased risk of igniting in a fire, and others.

Bad Week for Novartis Pharmaceutical Company - Kickbacks and Defective Drug Liability

May 10, 2013

While the prospect of taking a drug or using a medical product when the medical risks have not been fully disclosed is a scary proposition under any circumstances, many consumers of pharmaceuticals would be shocked to know that some drug companies resort to kickbacks and bribes to induce medical professionals and others to promote their drug to patients. The recent False Claims Act lawsuit filed against Novartis provides a clear reminder that this practice continues in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries.

Use of Vitamin D Linked to Decrease in Falling Accidents Among the Elderly

May 10, 2013

Fall accidents are extremely serious and can cause severe injuries, especially when they involve the elderly. According to nationwide statistics, it is estimated that about thirty to forty percent of all maturely aged persons will sustain at least one fall per year. Unfortunately, a large proportion of these victims are never able to fully recover from their injuries and have a higher likelihood of death within a year after being injured. Medical treatment to address fall-related injuries for younger people are often routine and typically heal within a short period of time. However, when elderly individuals sustain falls, they may require highly invasive medical procedures and painful rehabilitation in order to restore their mobility.

Fatal Amtrak Crash Reveals Dangers Posed by Absence of Railroad Crossing Warnings & Barriers

May 09, 2013

When a collision occurs between an Amtrak train, freight train or commuter train and a car, truck or SUV, the carnage often is horrific while the injuries suffered by those in the passenger vehicle are usually life-altering or fatal. A tragic train crossing collision in Toccoa this weekend, which is about a hundred miles from Atlanta, provides a grim reminder. The deadly Amtrak crash occurred when the train T-boned the 2008 Mazda car occupied by three people from Austell, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC).

Fatal Fire Should Motivate Parents to Screen Limo Companies Before Making a Prom Selection

May 09, 2013

The end of the school year is close, so many parents are assisting their kids in getting ready for prom. Prom is an important rite of passage that many high school kids anticipate for months and remember for a lifetime. However, this happy time is also wrought with potential risks because your child may find that he or she is the passenger in a car with an intoxicated teen driver. A widespread practice among many parents to deal with this danger is to arrange for a limousine to transport their son or daughter and friends to prom. However, a tragic fatal limousine fire this month has prompted questions about the safety standards and regulations that apply to luxury chauffeured vehicles.

The reality is that there are good reasons to select a limo as the means of transportation for your teen's prom because you theoretically preempt the issue of intoxicated and distracted drivers by relatively inexperienced drivers. According to national accident statistics involving teen drivers, alcohol consumption is a factor in approximately sixty percent of teen driving accidents.

Evidentiary Implications of Recent Georgia Court of Appeals Case

May 09, 2013

Pursuant to dispositive Georgia law, judges typically exclude evidence of prior settlement awards in personal injury cases. In so doing, Georgia courts have relied upon Goforth v. Wigley, 178 Ga. App. 558, 560 (1986), a decision which concluded that evidence stemming from a settlement in a previous lawsuit is generally considered to be irrelevant, prejudicial, and thereby inadmissible in a subsequent personal injury matter.

Fatal Inflatable Swimming Pool Slide Accident Results in $20 Million Verdict Against Toys R Us

May 08, 2013

As the end of the school year gets closer and the weather begins to heat up, kids and adults alike will soon be seeking relief, fun and recreation in swimming pools throughout Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Although swimming pools often provide hours of entertainment for kids, they also can be the site of significant injury and even fatalities in drowning accidents, diving board accidents, drain entrapment accidents, defective equipment accidents and more.

Steps You Can Take to Remain Safe While Motorcycling in Georgia

May 08, 2013

Given the combination of beautiful landscapes and warm summer weather, it is not surprising that Georgians love to take their motorcycles out on the open road. However, the statistics regarding motorcycle accidents is alarming, and not surprisingly, increasingly on the rise across the United States. According to national highway statistics, over forty percent of two-vehicle motorcycle collisions involving death are caused by the failure of the other driver to see the motorcyclist.

Study Finds Three-Quarters of All Car Seats Are Improperly Installed Leaving Kids At-Risk

May 07, 2013

At Montlick & Associates our Atlanta car accident attorneys have been representing  injured vehicle occupants for over 30 years, so unfortunately we often see children who suffer avoidable injury because they are not properly secured in a car seat.  The lack of protection that many children receive in car accidents often has nothing to do with parents’ willingness or effort to ensure their child’s safety.  The problem often is linked to the improper fit between the car seat and vehicle seating configuration, or the lack of clear instructions and warnings provided by the manufacturer of the child safety restraint system.

Georgia School District Liability for School Accidents, Assaults, Bullying or Sexual Abuse

May 07, 2013

Georgia parents entrust their children to teachers, administrators and other school personnel on a daily basis with the assumption that these professional educators and support staff will exercise care and diligence in protecting their children from sexual assault, physical bullying, playground equipment accidents and other forms of injury.  When school personnel fail to take reasonable steps to respond to a risk of harm to school kids that they know or should know exists, the school district may be liable for the injuries suffered by the children entrusted to their care.  At the Atlanta personal injury law firm of Montlick and Associates we are committed to holding teachers, administrators, aids and others accountable for inadequate supervision and the failure to protect children from foreseeable injury.

Are Children Suffering Lead Poisoning . . . from Rice?

May 07, 2013

While it may get exhausting listening to the constant news reports about which food products are not healthy for us, a recent report by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) merits close scrutiny. Many parents justifiably worry about their children experiencing lead poisoning from sources like peeling paint, but it is much less likely that parents are worried about this same hazard because their children enjoy eating rice.

Blog Archive

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.