Articles Posted in Personal injury

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Effective on July 1, motorists must adhere to a new law that aims at keeping bicyclists safer and preventing accidents involving these vulnerable road users.

If you are a motorist in the metro Atlanta region, you must know of the new 3-feet law that recently went into effect. The law specifically requires motorists to maintain a minimum distance between their car and a bicyclist riding next to them. The law requires that motorists maintain a minimum of 3 feet in distance between their car and the bicycle next to their vehicle.  Keeping a greater distance between a cyclist and a motor vehicle can help prevent unnecessary accidents on the roads.

Drivers under the new law are required to move over onto the next lane while passing a bicyclist if it is safe to do so. If this is not possible, the law requires motorists to drop speeds to 10 mph below the speed limit when they are around a bicyclist, or at least 25 mph. Maintaining 3 feet of distance around the bicyclist all the time is key.

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Slip and/or fall accidents can cause serious injuries and result in long-term disability to a person’s life.  Spinal injuries are often the result of fall accidents.  A fall does not have to occur from an elevation for the person to suffer a spinal injury. Even a fall from a low height, like a few stairs, can result in an injury that is serious enough to result in lifelong consequences.

Reduced bowel function is just one of the many consequences of a spinal injury. New studies find that physical interventions that include walking with the help of exoskeleton devices can actually enhance bowel function in these patients.

An exoskeleton is an external device, that is worn by a spinal injury patient who has limited mobility as a result of his injury. The device works like a scaffolding of sorts to hold the patient up. It can help the person walk and stand independently without support. Exoskeleton devices have been found to be of great help to spinal injury patients who are suffering from some degree of paralysis and cannot walk or stand without support.

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A brain injury is one of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer after an accident.  The road to recovery after a brain injury can take months and sometimes years.  Brain injury patients who suffer from fractured or disrupted sleep may have a much more difficult path to a complete recovery from their injuries.

Brain injuries are some of the most serious injuries that can result from a slip and fall accidents. And when a person falls from an elevated area, such as a ladder or a higher floor, he is very likely to sustain serious injuries to the head. This can cause a brain injury, which may result in possibly long-term damage.

A new study finds that brain injury patients benefit from sound and significant amounts of sleep.  Unfortunately, the injury itself may cause patients to suffer from sleeplessness or fragmented sleep. This, in turn, can slow down the healing process, making it even more difficult for the person to move towards a complete recovery from his injury. The study found that patients who had trouble sleeping were much more likely to suffer from physical and mental symptoms after a concussion, compared to patients who enjoyed better sleep. This indicates that sleep patterns can affect a person’s recovery after a brain injury.

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Brain injuries are some of the most severe and complex injuries that a person can suffer. However, there are many misconceptions surrounding these injuries.

Brain injuries in the United States are far more common than you think. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, every 9 seconds, one person somewhere in the United States suffers a brain injury. At least 2.8 million people across the United States suffer a brain injury every year.

Most of the brain injury cases that Atlanta personal injury attorneys come across are related to blunt force trauma or a blow to the head or neck. Typically, these injuries occur in car accidents, motorcycle accidents and bicycle and pedestrian accidents. These injuries are severe, and can lead to long-term impairment and disability.   According to the Brain Injury Association of America, one in 60 people lives with a disability that is related to a brain injury.

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Speed racing or drag racing is surprisingly not uncommon in Atlanta, but much to people’s dismay, these races have become much more widespread during the pandemic. Georgia’s Governor is throwing his weight behind proposals, that would significantly penalize persons for street racing or drag racing.

When the pandemic hit, shelter-in-place restrictions went into effect and there was initially a marked reduction in the number of vehicles on Georgia’s roads. That, unfortunately, led to an epidemic of street racing by drivers using the newly empty streets to race against each other in reckless and dangerous behavior. Such behavior has become even more dangerous now as shelter-in-place restrictions have eased and more motorists are travelling again on the roads and highways. Street racing increases the racer’s risk of being involved in an accident and endangering innocent motorists who may be sharing these roads with them.

Georgia’s Governor has shown his support for new pieces of legislation that aim at keeping residents safer by increasing penalties for street racing and drag racing. These new proposals would penalize not just the street racers themselves, but also promoters of street racing. In fact, one bill would also penalize people who are watching these races. The goal is to discourage such rash practices that endanger the lives and safety of Atlanta residents.

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The weather is getting warmer and the roadways have been emptier than they normally are.  This combination can make for a motorcyclist’s dream.

The National Safety Council has deemed the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.   This is the time to bring awareness to both motorcyclists and drivers alike to the special safety challenges faced by motorcycle riders.

Although riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, it also comes with some sobering statistics.  Fatal accidents among motorcycle riders and passenger vehicles have more than doubled in the past 20 years.  Since 2017, motorcycle accidents account for 14% of all traffic related deaths.  Of these motorcycle death, older riders, age 50 and up, accounted for 36% of the deaths.  What’s more, 91% percent of those who died in motorcycle accidents were male.   And in a recent study, statistics showed that more motorcycle accidents occurred during the weekday versus the weekend.  The study also released that accidents that occurred at night were more serious, and often fatal, than those accidents that occurred during the daytime.

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During the difficult recent times, there are limited options for people to engage in outdoor or recreational activity.  For those who own a boat, being out on the lake may be one of the few options left. Boating at anytime of the day or year must be approached with skill and care.  However, boating at night presents its own unique challenges.

Boating at night time is not something we recommend, because of the diminished visibility as well as the fact that sudden surprises or dangers might blindside you on the water in the dark. However, many Atlanta boaters do enjoy being out on a boat after sundown. In some cases, people may find themselves inadvertently stuck out on the water well past sundown, and have to make their way back to shore.

There are safety precautions that you can follow, however, to keep yourself and everyone on your boat safe at night. For one, understand all of the safety precautions that you follow during the day also apply, and even more stringently, at night. Most importantly, you absolutely must not be operating the boat without any boating experience or without basic boat safety training.

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If you are injured in an accident, oftentimes the last thing that may be on your mind is starting a lawsuit.  However, your injuries may be severely impacting your ability to work, to interact with your family and to live your daily life.  And, more often than not, if your injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence, your attempts to recover compensation from the other party’s insurance company may not be as successful as you would like.  That’s the time when you may have to consider filing a lawsuit to recover for your injuries.

When it comes to filing a lawsuit, timing is critical.  All states have a time limit for when a lawsuit must be filed.  This is called the statute of limitations which defines the time limits in which an individual may file a civil claim. This time limit ensures that claims are filed while evidence is still available, and it also prevents a party from threatening to sue long after a conflict has been resolved.

In Georgia, the statute of limitations varies significantly according to the type of claim. There is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injuries and fraud, while the state enforces a four-year statute of limitations for trespassing, debt collection, and injuries to personal property. A civil suit alleging libel or slander must be filed within one year, and medical or other professional malpractice claims must be made within two years or a maximum of five years after the act.

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Being in a car accident is enough to ruin anyone’s day.  But when you are a victim of a hit and run accident, it can double a person’s frustrations.

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, Georgia law requires a driver to stop after an accident and provide identifying information to the other people involved.  In any accident which results in injury or death to a person, or damage to a vehicle, a driver is required to stop at the scene of the accident and provide his or her name, address, and registration number of their vehicle.  The requirement to information applies to any driver who is involved in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who is at fault.  There are some who may think that they are not required to exchange information with the other vehicle if the police are not called to the scene of the accident.  However, this requirement also holds true even if the police are not called to the accident.

Georgia law also requires a person to provide reasonable aid or assistance if a person is injured as a result of the motor vehicle accident.  This can include calling an ambulance or even transporting the injured person to receive medical care.  If the injury victim is unconscious or unable to communicate, the other driver is required to make reasonable efforts to contact the police and emergency medical treatment.

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In a recent case in New Jersey, a pedestrian was struck by a city bus in an intersection.  The bus’ impact caused catastrophic injuries to the pedestrian including permanent brain injury, as well as multiple fractures and broken bones.

What is as, if not more, troubling about this accident is that the driver of the bus had a record of being involved in over 50 accidents during his 30-year course of driving for his employer.  What’s more, the driver had over 40 violations during his employment for issues ranging from distracted and careless driving, driving with a suspended license, and failing to follow police instructions.  Yet, the bus company allowed the driver to continue to drive buses despite the egregious driving record the employee had.  When this happens, an employer can be held responsible for their employee’s negligence.

Under Georgia law, and in most states as well, if an employee commits a negligent act while on the job, the employer can be liable for their employee’s negligence under the theory of respondeat superior.  An employer can also be held independently liable for injuries caused by their employee’s actions under the theory of negligent hiring, supervision or retention.  If the injury victim can prove that the employer knew or should have known that the employee had the tendency to engage in certain behaviors, such as careless driving, and that the accident and injuries were caused by similar behavior, the employer can be liable for failing to properly hire, supervise or retain the employee.

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