Blog Archive - September, 2013


15 Articles

$11.5 Million Jury Verdict for High School Football Player against Helmet Manufacturer

September 23, 2013

A recent jury verdict against Riddell®, a manufacturer of football helmets, could be a significant harbinger for those who have suffered serious adverse effects because of concussions.  The Colorado jury awarded $11.5 million in damages to a high school player who suffered severe brain damage and paralysis on the left side of his body according to a USA Today report.  While the helmet manufacturer had indicated its intention to appeal the verdict, the case serves as a positive omen for others who have suffered head injuries while playing football.  There are a wave of similar lawsuits against helmet manufacturers across the country including those involving former NFL players.

Court Rules Drinking & Driving Did Not Bar Recovery for Collision on an Unsafe Road

September 23, 2013

Sometimes drivers who are injured in car accidents presume that they cannot bring a legal claim for financial compensation because they assume that they were at-fault.  While insurance companies routinely contend that unsafe driving by an injury victim was a factor in causing a collision, this does not necessarily mean that someone who is seriously injured in a car crash is without a legal right to financial compensation.  A recent decision by the state’s highest court in another jurisdiction provides compelling evidence that car accident injury victims should always seek legal advice following an accident when they suffer injury even if they believe they might have caused the crash.

Novel Appellate Court Decision Finds Liability May Be Imposed for Text Messaging a Driver

September 23, 2013

While most people recognize that a texting driver can be liable for causing a car accident that results in personal injury, property damage and/or fatalities, this knowledge provides little solace to car crash victims hit by an inattentive driver without insurance.  Even when liability is clear because a driver rear-ends someone who has stopped because traffic is not moving, fault of the other driver will not provide much satisfaction if there is no way for the distracted driver to pay a jury verdict or settlement.  A novel new appellate court decision by a New Jersey court suggests that judges may be prepared to apply liability to a new party in personal injury cases involving text messaging according to a USA Today report.

Government Sponsored Website Offers Tips to Promote Safe School Commuting for Kids

September 17, 2013

Now that summer is over, kids throughout Atlanta and the surrounding areas of Georgia are back in school.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a new campaign called “Safe on the Move” on the Kids Central website, which is designed to discuss the best options for getting your kids back and forth to school safely.  While many parents are hesitant to have their kids ride the school bus because they presume using the family vehicle or a carpool with friends is safer, the NHTSA site confirms a fact that might be unexpected to some – the big yellow bus is statistically the safest way for kids to travel to school.  Because we know that one of the most important concerns for parents as school starts again is the ability of their kids to commute back and forth to school in the safest manner, we have provided a summary of safety issues discussed on the Kids Central Website.

Trucking Accident Evidences the Disproportionate Risk of Fatalities in Semi-Truck Collisions

September 17, 2013

Collisions involving semi-trucks tend to have devastating results for occupants of passenger vehicles involved in such accidents.  A tragic fatal crash last week provides recent evidence of the danger posed by tractor-trailers to the occupants of other vehicles.  Two people died and another person suffered serious injury in a collision between a semi-truck and a PT Cruiser in Gwinnett County according to an 11 Alive news report.  A law enforcement spokesman indicated that the passenger car was negotiating a turn when the semi-truck slammed into the vehicle.  The crash is still under investigation so it is unclear whether formal criminal charges will be filed.  Our Atlanta semi-truck accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates express our deepest condolences to the victims and their families.

Are Roadways Safer with Higher Speed Limits & Fewer Speed Traps?

September 16, 2013

Many motorists will be excited to learn that so-called “speed traps” appear to be headed the way of the dinosaur, but they might find it surprising that a growing number of traffic safety experts and law enforcement agencies support raising speed limits.  The decision to eliminate speed traps is based on a finding that lower speed limits can actually increase the risk of a collision according to an article published on the Time website.

Disabled Vehicle Collision in Morrow Proves Fatal for Siblings Changing a Tire

September 16, 2013

If you have ever experienced a tire blowout or engine stall while traveling on a highway, you know that being stranded in a disabled vehicle can be frightening and dangerous.  Although the risk of an auto collision is even higher if you are unable to safely maneuver your vehicle off to the shoulder and away from moving traffic, there are many people who suffer permanent life-changing injuries or lose loved ones after being struck by another vehicle while waiting for emergency assistance on the side of the roadway.

Recent Report Indicates Kids and Teens Are Most Common Distracted Pedestrians

September 15, 2013

Many parents are providing their kids with cell phones whether they are in high school, middle school or even elementary school.  Because mobile phones allow parents to maintain contact with their children, they can provide a valuable safety tool in the event of an emergency.  Anyone with kids or teens also knows that Android phones, iPhones and similar handheld electronic devices provide access to games, social media sites and other distractions that can make it virtually impossible to get your kid’s attention.  Unfortunately, these distractions can present hazards for kids crossing the street that trump any potential safety advantages according to new research.

NHTSA Considering Incentive to Induce Automakers to Install Seatbelt Interlock Devices

September 10, 2013

While seatbelt use by vehicle occupants reached 86 percent in 2012, drivers who did not buckle up still accounted for more than half of all fatalities involving motor vehicle occupants according to the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.  When one considers that 52 percent of those who die in traffic accidents are not wearing seatbelts despite the fact that the percentage of unbuckled occupants is relatively small, the effectiveness of seatbelts in preventing severe injury and wrongful death becomes apparent.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now considering a change that could result in virtually all vehicle occupants (at least in the front seat) using a seatbelt when traveling the roadways of Atlanta and the surrounding areas of Georgia.

Tragic Death of Professional Football Player Focuses Attention on Assisted-Living Facilities

September 10, 2013

A new documentary focuses attention on the potential risk to elderly loved ones suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in assisted-living facilities.  The documentary entitled “Life and Death in Assisted Living” provides a frightening perspective on the danger of falls, wandering and other accidents when these facilities are not adequately staffed.  While the focus of the documentary involves the death of a George McAfee, a former professional football player, his story is only one of many accounts of serious injury or wrongful death that occur in understaffed assisted-living facilities.

Twelve People Suffer Injury When Pest Extermination Foggers Cause Explosion and Fire

September 09, 2013

An explosion and fire caused by the dangerous mix of chemicals and an oven pilot light that was not turned off provides a cautionary tale for those who use foggers in their home to combat bug and insect infestations.  While many people use bug bombs to rid their home of ants, roaches and other household pests, they have become increasingly popular in the wake of the bed bug epidemic in many parts of the U.S. despite the fact the devices are not designed to exterminate bed bugs.  A recent accident in which the use of bug bombs caused a building fire and explosion serves as a warning that these devices can be dangerous under certain circumstances.

AAA Study Finds Distracted Drivers Tend to Engage in Other Dangerous Driving Practices

September 09, 2013

The national data on the dangers presented by distracted drivers is so overwhelming that vehicle safety advocacy groups and federal agencies have called for a universal ban on the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices when driving.  While the high number of accidents caused by inattentive drivers is usually considered a direct result of a driver averting his or her eyes or attention from the road or removing the driver’s hands from the steering wheel, a new report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA) suggests that the situation is more complex than previously understood.

NTSB Report on Fatal Bus Accidents Re-Ignites Debate over Equipping School Buses with Seatbelts

September 03, 2013

Beginning with their initial trip home from the hospital following the birth of a child, most parents routinely secure their child in a special child safety restraint and require their kids to wear a seatbelt when riding in a motor vehicle.  Ironically, many kids never travel in a motor vehicle without a seatbelt until they climb aboard a school bus to head off for their first day of school.  Approximately 26 million children travel to school on buses, but only twenty percent of the 480,000 school buses in the U.S are equipped with seatbelts according to a recent AP article.

Harvard Study Indicates Mandatory Seatbelt Laws Reduce Traffic Fatalities

September 03, 2013

Although Georgia has a mandatory seatbelt law, many lives are lost annually both within Georgia and across the U.S. because vehicle occupants elect not to buckle up their seatbelt.  Our experienced Georgia auto collision attorneys at Montlick and Associates are firm advocates of using safety restraints, because we see the avoidable consequences of choosing not to use a seatbelt.  While the merits of legislation that requires motorists to engage in behavior for their own safety is open to debate by policymakers, an important consideration in this discussion is whether mandatory seatbelt laws actually increase the percentage of vehicle occupants who buckle up and prevent crash-related fatalities.  An interesting study conducted by researchers at Harvard University Department of Economics provides some insight into the impact of seatbelt laws on traffic fatalities.

Drain Entrapment of Usher's Son Provides a Reminder of Potential Danger of Swimming Pools

September 02, 2013

The near drowning of the 5-year-old son of the rapper Usher last year serves as an important reminder of the potential danger posed to small children who are in the vicinity of swimming pools.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported that the boy was in the care of a relative when he became entrapped in the pool drain.  The relative along with three other people were able to extricate Usher’s son from the force of the suction.  A contract worker on the premises who helped free the boy from the drain was able to administer CPR and revive the boy according to the AJC report.

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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.