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Blog Archive - October, 2014

14 Articles

Many Vehicle Safety Recall Problems Never Repaired

October 28, 2014

Safety recalls have dominated the auto industry news over the last 18 months with millions of vehicles being recalled because of defects ranging from defective ignition switches to exploding airbags.  In 2013, 22 million vehicles were recalled in 632 total recalls according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Both were substantial increases from 2012 when 581 recalls were implemented that included nearly 16. 4 million vehicles.  During 2013, Toyota® was the vehicle manufacturer with the most recalls covering 5.3 million vehicles.  The vehicle recall situation was so bad that the auto industry recalled more cars than it sold in 2013.

Coping with Increasing Risk of Trucking Accidents: Why Bigger Big-Rigs Is a Bad Idea

October 27, 2014

While more expansive regulation of the trucking industry had led to declines in trucking accidents in recent years, the number of collisions involving semi-trucks has begun to creep in the other direction. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that the number of big-rig crashes increased by over eleven percent during a recent two year period. During a recent one year period, the agency reports that 3,757 people died in crashes involving large trucks. The American Association for Justice (AAJ) reports that semi-trucks comprise only 4.7 percent of the passenger vehicles on U.S. roadways, but they account for 12.4 percent of fatal motor vehicle collisions. Further, fatalities are 17 percent higher for large trucks based on a miles driven basis.

Studies Show the Public Drastically Underestimates Prevalence of Medical Malpractice

October 27, 2014

There is a tendency among many to view the practice of medicine as an infallible science practiced by extremely skilled practitioners.  This perception is shaped by the high level of esteem with which most doctors are viewed, as well as the extensive education and training required to practice medicine.  While most physicians are skilled and conscientious, the risk of being a victim of medical malpractice is far more common than many people would think based on a recent article published by the American Association of Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America).

Movie Director Sued for Refusing to Call 911

October 26, 2014

Many people presume that the law imposes a legal duty to assist people in physical distress rather than to simply ignore their peril.  Generally, the law does not impose a duty to act as a Good Samaritan in most situations. A recent lawsuit filed against movie director Bret Ratner, who directed the recently released animated film “Hercules,” raises the issue of an individual’s duty to aid someone who is injured or in peril.

Gwinnett County Jury Awards $2.5 Million to Passenger Injured in Drag Race

October 25, 2014

Drag racing is a classic example of unsafe driving which is considered so dangerous that punitive damages are often awarded to innocent victims of such conduct.  However, the issues involved in determining liability and awarding damages become more complicated when a party involved in the drag race is the person who suffers injury or wrongful death.  A recent case in which a passenger in one of the drag racing vehicles died raises a number of the complex issues involved in this type of accident claim.

New Radar Gun Might Soon Detect Drivers Texting on Cell Phones

October 24, 2014

If you have had the misfortune of rushing to work only to come across a police officer tucked away on the side of the road with a radar gun, you might not be a big fan of this technology. While speeding tickets are not something anyone is anxious to receive, law enforcement's use of radar guns can make speeding convictions easier to obtain. The higher conviction rate might provide more of a deterrent effect because speeding driver know they are more likely to get caught and punished. If radar guns slow drivers down, Georgia's roads are safer.

New 3D Printing Technology Could Offer Hope for Accident Victims

October 23, 2014

 A revolutionary new procedure could offer hope for those who suffer disfiguring head and facial injuries in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, falls and other accidents.  Many people are unfamiliar with revolutionary new computer printers that are reportedly able to reproduce 3D objects.  The capability of these devices is so sophisticated that lawmakers recently took up the issue of banning firearms made with this new 3D printer technology because it could result in people printing unlicensed firearms in their home.  While this application of this new technology has been controversial, application of a 3D printer to replace the crushed portion of an injury victim’s skull offers hope for serious head and facial injury victims.

Eleventh Circuit Rules Officer Who Accidently Shot Surrendering Teen Immune from Liability

October 23, 2014

The Atlanta federal court of appeals has ruled that a Fulton County police officer who accidentally shot an unarmed African-American teenager in the back as the boy was surrendering and kneeling on the ground is immune from civil liability under Georgia law.  The court reversed the U.S. District Court ruling that would have allowed the case to proceed to trial based on a state law negligence claim against the officer. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the Severity of Burn Injuries

October 19, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Severity of Burn Injuries – Georgia Attorney Explains

Burn injuries can be catastrophic, as many severe ones are permanent in nature and life-changing.  While musculoskeletal injuries are quite typical following car accidents and can be extremely painful and debilitating, so can burn injuries in really serious collisions.  The pain associated with burns can also be extreme, and even when the pain goes away, the scarring of the burns may remain forever.  Moreover, the need for skin graft surgery or other types of options involving plastic surgeons as well as the mental anguish associated with burn injuries can take its toll on the person injured as well as his or her loved ones.

Georgia DFCS Sued for $1 Million after Disabled Teenage Girl Dies of Starvation

October 01, 2014

Many in the Smyrna community were shocked by the tragic death of a 14-year-old disabled girl who was so malnourished when she passed away that she weighed 43 pounds.  WSB-TV Channel 2 Action News reports that the administrator of Markea Berry’s estate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $1 million against the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS).  The lawsuit alleges that the agency made multiple missteps during its handling of the teenage girl’s case.

Does Driving While Distracted by a Cell Phone Justify Punitive Damages in Georgia?

October 01, 2014

In Georgia and most other states, alcohol impaired drivers that cause fatal accidents can be subject to punitive damages because of the wrongfulness of their conduct and the priority of discouraging such conduct in the future. As the number of traffic-related fatalities associated with cellphone use rises, many traffic safety experts have drawn comparisons between alcohol impaired drivers and drivers distracted by cell phones. Some traffic safety experts claim that cell phone distracted driving is the "New DUI" because the types of risk and magnitude of risk associated with cell phone use while driving is similar to that associated with alcohol impaired driving.

Jury Awards $15 Million Against Company That Furnished Car to Employee with 15 Speeding Tickets

October 01, 2014

Habitual speeders pose a serious risk of harm to everyone else who travels the roadways of Georgia. When a driver speeds, the risk of a collision occurring and the potential severity of the collision both increase. When businesses hire employees who are furnished with company cars, they cannot simply turn a blind eye to a potential employee's driving record. Even if the employee is not engaged in the scope and course of employment, the employer can still be liable for negligent entrustment of a vehicle based on an employee's driving record. The liability of the employer in this situation can be especially important when the employee is uninsured or carries insufficient insurance coverage to compensate an accident victim for his or her damages.

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.