Blog Archive - July, 2014


33 Articles

Montlick and Associates Notes New Evidence Showing Rear Facing Car Seats Keep Kids Safer

July 31, 2014

Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates are firmly committed to promoting child safety. We are involved in a number of programs designed to increase awareness about child safety issues, especially those involving motor vehicle safety. Because of our commitment to this goal, we have reviewed with great interest a recent study that suggests rear facing car seats might keep children safer.

Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys Support New Campaign to Prevent Child Heat Stroke in Vehicles

July 30, 2014

Our community was the subject of national media this past summer when a child died after suffering heat stroke in a car.  The four-year-old Cobb County boy died when his father allegedly forgot to drop the boy off at daycare on the way to work.  While this type of mistake might seem unimaginable, parents overwhelmed by distractions and stress sometimes make horrific mistakes.  The USA Today reports that more than 500 children have lost their lives after being left in a vehicle in extreme heat during the last 14 years.

The Used Car You Are Thinking About Purchasing Might be Subject to a Safety Recall

July 30, 2014

With daily coverage of the spiraling number of GM vehicles that may be subject to recall, which is currently at 27 million, motorists might well forget that there are other vehicles that pose safety risks.  While purchasers of new vehicles can rest assured that new car dealerships should not sell vehicles that have unrepaired safety recall issues, there is no legislation requiring that safety recall issues be repaired before used vehicles are sold.  This means that many drivers who buy used cars, pickups or SUV's could be driving around in a vehicle that has safety issues serious enough to justify a recall.

Liability for Injuries Suffered in Georgia Dirt Bike Accidents

July 29, 2014

During the summer, many people engage in adrenaline producing recreational activities that can cause serious injury. One common form of potentially dangerous summer activity involves off-roading on dirt bikes. There are hundreds of children who die, and thousands more who are injured annually in accidents that involve a minibike, dirt bike, trail bike, motorcycle or moped or motorscooter. A CDC report found that the majority of these accidents that cause injuries to children involve male dirt bike riders (also known as "trail bikes" and "off-road bikes").

Drivers Who Use Cell Phones Likely to Engage in Other Unsafe Driving Practices

July 29, 2014

As if using a cell phone while driving is not risky enough, a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that drivers who engage in this dangerous driving practice are more likely to engage in other unsafe driving practices.  The study revealed that motorists using cell phones are more likely to engage in drowsy driving, speeding or driving without a seat belt.  Ironically, the report revealed that 89 percent of those in the study believe other drivers talking on a cell phone threatens their safety, but 69 percent of individuals in the study admitted to doing just that during the preceding thirty day period.

New Studies Provide Insight into Factors Contributing to Drowsy Driving Epidemic

July 28, 2014

While it has long been acknowledged that drowsy driving is extremely unsafe, two new studies provide insight into factors that might explain why accidents related to sleep deprivation are on the rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 100,000 police reported crashes per year are caused by sleep-deprived drivers. These accidents claim the lives of 1,550 people and cause injury to 71,000 more. The annual estimated economic cost of these accidents is $12.5 billion.

Cell Phone Conversations and the Myth of Multi-Tasking

July 28, 2014

While Georgia prohibits all motorists from text messaging while operating a motor vehicle, talking on the phone is not subject to a universal ban. Georgia's disparate treatment of text messaging and talking on cell phones when driving is mirrored by a number of other states. Georgia does restrict ALL cell phone use for novice drivers and bus drivers. However, our state's treatment of cell phone calling and driving is based on the misconception that people can effective multi-task behind the wheel. The reality is that using a cell phone for any purpose while driving is potentially dangerous.

Lawsuit Claims Psychiatric Ward Held Patient for 20 Years Based on Misdiagnosis

July 15, 2014

Mental hospitals are intended to be places of therapy and treatment for those suffering from mental illness. However, the poor condition of many mental health facilities because of underfunding has been well-documented. While the prospect of landing in a mental health facility that is short on funds and staff might be a disturbing proposition, the prospect is far more alarming if you are erroneously diagnosed and locked up for decades.

New Report Finds Over 2,500 Georgia Doctors Do Not Carry Medical Malpractice Coverage

July 28, 2014

Our Georgia medical malpractice insurance attorneys at Montlick and Associates recognize that patient's seeking medical care typically presume that their doctors are competent. While most physicians are skilled professionals, preventable medical errors and omissions account for approximately 98,000 deaths per year according to the Institute for Medicine. To put this number in perspective, this would make medical errors the sixth leading cause of death if it were included as a category by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the American Association for Justice (AAJ), approximately half of U.S. physicians admit failing to report incompetence or mistakes.

Why UM/UIM Coverage Is a Necessary Tool for Financial Security

July 16, 2014

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident or a collision with an uninsured driver, uninsured motorist coverage provides valuable financial protection. Although Georgia insurance laws do not make uninsured motorist (UM) coverage mandatory, many Georgia drivers take this supplemental form of coverage, which makes sense given the number of uninsured drivers in our state. The risk of being involved in a collision with an uninsured driver is higher in Georgia than many other states. While national statistics indicate that one in seven drivers is uninsured, the rate is one in six drivers in Georgia.

Man Loses Fingertips on Amusement Park Ride

July 15, 2014

During the summer, families flock to amusement parks like Six Flags Over Georgia with the expectation of experiencing fun, thrills and recreation.  While most of these excursions occur without incident, amusement park accidents can cause injury or death because of defective rides, poorly maintained premises, improperly trained or supervised employees and other forms of negligence.  A recent accident at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida provides a reminder of the potential risk of injury associated with amusement park ride accidents.

Family of 10-Year-Old Boy Who Died of Rat Bite Fever Sues Petco

July 15, 2014

When people visit a local store to purchase a family pet, they expect to bring home a loving pet and the items necessary to take care of their new edition to the family.  They do not expect to bring home an animal with a dangerous contagious disease.  The family of a 10-year-old boy who died after suffering a bite from a rat has filed a lawsuit against Petco, the national pet shop chain.  The lawsuit alleges that the boy died after contracting rat bite fever from a rat purchased at the pet shop based on a report from the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office.

Are There TIme Limits For Pursuing an Accident Based on Drowsy Driving Accidents?

July 15, 2014

While the issue of time limits and deadlines may seem like an inconsequential matter of “procedural housekeeping,” auto accident victims need to understand the importance of meeting timing requirements in the legal system.  For example, if a person suffers a permanent spinal cord injury and brain damage that will make the person dependent on caregivers forever, the injury victim can forfeit his or her ability to obtain compensation through a civil lawsuit by not properly filing a claim and meeting all requirements before the statute of limitations has run (i.e. expires).  When a person suffers this type of horrific life-altering injury, the harsh impact of failing to file a lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitation may seem unfair.  However, the judge does not have discretion to disregard the statute of limitations or make an exception for those who fail to comply with this time limit.

Can I Recover Damages If I Am Hit by a Speeding Emergency Vehicle?

July 15, 2014

If you regularly watch the news, you have undoubtedly viewed scenes where police cars are pursuing a motorist in a high speed chase while weaving through traffic. Alternatively, you probably have had an ambulance or fire truck speed past you before blowing through a stop sign with its lights and siren activated. Georgia law permits drivers of emergency vehicles to violate traffic safety laws under certain circumstances in the performance of their duties. Predictably, emergency vehicles sometimes collide with innocent motorists. Given that the emergency vehicle frequently is moving at a  high rate of speed, it is probably not surprising that the occupants in the other vehicle may suffer severe injury. The injured party might incur significant medical bills and time off work, so the liability of the government entity becomes an important question in determining whether the victim is entitled to compensation.

Common Questions About Red Light Running Accidents (Part I)

July 15, 2014

Georgia drivers engage in many unsafe driving practices, which include clearly illegal conduct like drunk driving, and some that may appear less obvious such as driving practices like talking on a cell phone.  Running a red light constitutes one of the most dangerous driving practices.  When motorists fail to follow to obey stop signs, yield signs and traffic signals at intersections, these violations pose a significant risk of causing a crash.  The high risk of collisions at intersections necessitates meticulous coordination of cross traffic.  Because red light accidents are a leading cause of traffic-related injuries and fatalities, our experienced DeKalb County personal injury attorneys have provided some common answers to questions about red light accidents.

Tracy Morgan Files Trucking Accident Lawsuit after Release from Hospital

July 15, 2014

Comedian Tracy Morgan has been released from the hospital to an aggressive outpatient treatment program after the limousine he and several others were riding in was hit by a tractor-trailer.  Mr. Morgan also has filed a personal injury lawsuit related to the injuries he suffered when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by a Wal-Mart truck.  He reportedly suffered broken ribs, a broken leg and other injuries.  Comedian James McNair, whose stage name was Jimmy Mack, died in the crash.  Two other vehicle occupants, comedian Ardley Fuqua and another passenger Jeffrey Millea, were also injured in the wreck.

RV Accidents Pose Increased Risk to Vehicle Occupants during Summer Vacation Season

July 11, 2014

This is the time of year when people take their travel-trailer or recreational vehicle (RV) out of storage to embark on excursions to visit family and/or to enjoy the outdoors. While RVs and Fifth-Wheel trailers offer comfortable camping trips, they also can be more difficult to maneuver and stop than smaller, lighter vehicles. Although towing a trailer or driving a motorhome is more challenging than driving a smaller passenger vehicle, no special driver's license or training is required by Georgia or the federal government.

Here We Go Again – GM Recalls 7.6 Million More Vehicles

July 10, 2014

In what has become a far too frequent refrain, General Motors is again recalling millions of vehicles worldwide because of faulty ignition switches. This new recall, which covers another 8.1 million vehicles, brings the total number of vehicles recalled by GM to an almost unfathomable 28 million vehicles.

New Study Finds Excessive Alcohol Consumption Causes 10 Percent of Fatalities of Working-Age Adults

July 09, 2014

While it probably comes as little surprise to most people that alcohol consumption can increase the risk of injury or death, a new study quantifies the relationship between binge drinking and fatalities. The new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that excessive alcohol use claimed the lives of 88,000 people between 2006 and 2010.

ATVs Are a Popular and Potentially Dangerous Form of Recreational Fun

July 09, 2014

With summer in full swing, children and adults are both searching for recreational activities to enjoy together. One popular summer activity involves off-roading on ATVs. Although these vehicles can be exciting to ride, their use also has the potential to cause serious injuries and fatalities. The popularity of the sport is on the rise as shown by the fact that ATV ownership has tripled during a recent 12 year period. A couple of recent tragic ATV accidents serve as a reminder of the potential danger associated with this form or recreational activity.

Judge Approves Settlement in NFL Concussion Lawsuit

July 09, 2014

The long-term impact of concussions in football and other contact sports has become a major health concern. This focus on sports-related head injuries is the result of former NFL stars publically disclosing the impact of repeated head trauma on their quality of life. The issue of traumatic head injuries in football has permeated all levels of the sport from the professional ranks to youth football leagues. Many people have been watching the NFL concussion litigation to assess how the issue might be handled at the college, high school and youth league levels.

Answers to Common Questions about Dog Bite Claims in Georgia

July 08, 2014

Some people presume that they are entitled to compensation for their injuries if they are attacked by a neighbor's dog, such as while returning misdelivered mail. This is a notion that seems both fair and reasonable. However, Georgia dog bite law is not this straightforward, so victims of vicious dogs need an experienced Atlanta dog bite lawyer when pursuing a personal injury claim. A sad reality that many do not know is that in some situations Georgia law favors dog owners not bite victims. The Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Montlick & Associave have provided some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) to clear up some common misconceptions about dog bite claims.

Another 3.3 Million Vehicles Recalled Because of Faulty Ignition Switch

July 07, 2014

Vehicle manufacturer General Motors (GM) has just announced the recall of another 3.36 million vehicles because of the faulty ignition switch issue that has now resulted in more than 20 million GM vehicles being recalled. The ignition switch problem in the vehicles subject to the new recall has been linked by GM to eight crashes according to a CBS News report, although there are other accidents that are being investigated. The faulty ignition switch can rotate out of the run position, which disables the vehicle's power steering and power brakes, causing a dangerous loss of control of the vehicle. According to reports when the key bears additional weight in the form of a simple key chain, the switch can jostle out of position when the vehicle hits bumps or potholes.

How Proximate Cause Can Impact an Atlanta Auto Accident Claim?

July 07, 2014

Car accident victims might not think that causation is really much of an issue when pursuing a collision-related injury claim. This assumption is understandable in the straightforward situation where a driver reading a text message plows into another vehicle that is stopped at a red light. However, many situations are not so straightforward. For example, someone could be hit by two different negligent drivers (such as where a car is struck and pushed into the path of another vehicle who should have avoided the accident. Or a road might be negligently constructed or maintained by a public entity, so a driver hydroplanes and slams into another vehicle. There may be different percentages of liability attributed to different parties in a situation such as these, but first, it is necessary to determine what was the proximate cause of the accident.

Why Georgia Curb Trip and Fall Cases Are Challenging

July 07, 2014

Our Atlanta trip and fall attorneys at Montlick & Associates often receive inquiries from people who have been injured after tripping over a curb. These folks may have suffered significant injuries like broken bones, fractures, or other painful injuries. They often are frustrated because they have talked to other law firms, which have turned down the case with no explanation for the firm's decision. We understand the sense of unfairness that injury victims feel in this situation; therefore, we have used this blog to help explain why cases like these can often pose a tough challenge for injury victims.

Tire Maintenance Can Reduce Car Accident Risk During Summer Travel

July 06, 2014

Summer travelers still spend lots of time behind the wheel.  Whether you are visiting family, an amusement park or the beach, proper tire maintenance is a critical component of vehicle safety.  Although tire maintenance constitutes one of the most critical safety issues for vehicle owners, many drivers neglect to check their tires.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately 11,000 vehicle collisions are caused by tire-related issues annually.

100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers: Parents Establishing Ground Rules Can Make Their Teen Safer

July 03, 2014

With schools out for the summer, parents need to be hyper-vigilant about the safety of their teen behind the wheel. The hundred most dangerous days for teen drivers are during the period form Memorial Day to Labor Day. During this period in 2012, almost 1,000 people died in crashes involving teen motorists, and 550 of those who died in auto accidents were teens according to the National Safety Council (NSC), which analyzed National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) crash data.

Road Debris Can Cause Serious Atlanta Motorcycle Accidents

July 02, 2014

Motorcyclists are uniquely vulnerable to road hazards that might not be noticeable to drivers in a car, pickup, or SUV. Because motorcycles are less stable and have narrower tires that provide less traction, remnants of broken pavement from a road construction project or spilled gravel from a tractor-trailer can pose potentially deadly obstacles. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that road debris causes 25,000 accidents annually in North America for all motorists. However, the lack of safety protections on a bike lead to many more severe injuries when bikers crash.

Devastating Injuries Caused by Metal Bats Continue Despite Design Changes

July 02, 2014

If you are a parent of a little league baseball player, there is a good chance you have witnessed your child, teammates or opponents using aluminum baseball bats. Although these bats are widely used by little league players of all ages, the increased exit speed of a ball off an aluminum bat can cause devastating injuries. When manufacturers of metal bats fail to make their product reasonably safe or to provide adequate warning of the potential dangers they pose, the bat manufacturer can be liable. The issue surrounding injuries caused by aluminum baseball bats are complex because the injury victim is not usually the person who purchases the product causing injury.

Senate Advances Bill to Reverse Recently Revised Trucking Restart Rule

July 01, 2014

The United States Senate has advanced an amendment to federal law that would reverse anti-fatigue trucking rules that were implemented last summer by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in order to combat the danger of truckers who spent too many hours behind the wheel. The change would permit commercial truck drivers to log 82 hours a week behind the wheel rather than the 60 or 70 hour per week limit currently in place. This is a reversal of the law that went into effect in July 2013. The change was made part of a transportation spending bill earlier this month.

Victim of Dump Truck Accident Caused by Improperly Maintained Truck Awarded $10 Million

July 01, 2014

Dump trucks constitute a vital piece of heavy equipment on many roadwork and construction projects. However, the massive size and weight of these vehicles can make them extremely dangerous when poorly maintained or improperly operated. An appellate court in another state recently upheld a $10 million jury verdict against a company that owned a dump truck that was beset with mechanical problems. The defendant's failure to perform necessary maintenance on the vehicle was so egregious that the appellate court affirmed over a million dollars in punitive damages in the case.

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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.