Articles Posted in Personal injury

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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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Cities throughout the U.S., and over the globe, are increasingly encouraging alternative forms of transportation to ease traffic and improve air quality.  In response, bicycling as a means of transportation has gained popularity in many urban areas.  And with the increase of cyclists on the road, city planners and governments have been working to improve safety for both the cyclists, as well as the vehicles and other pedestrians that they share the road with.

Dedicated bike lanes are the most common protections cities have implemented to keep cyclists safe while travelling on local roads.  Forms of bike lanes vary from street level bike lanes with painted lane markings, street-level bike lanes with protective barriers, and protected bike lanes that are raised from the roadway.  Of these, the safest type of bike lanes are the protected bike lanes that are raised and separate from the roadway as these provide a permanent and solid barrier, such as a raised curb or sidewalk, between the cyclist and motor vehicles.  Statistics have found that the fewest number of bike accidents involving crashes with vehicles occur in these types of bike lanes.

Many people tend to think that a street-level protected bike lane, protected by physical barriers such as posts or landscaping, would be safer for cyclist than conventional bike lanes with just painted lines.  However, a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that this isn’t necessarily the case.  While the level of serious injury and number of fatalities may be less with street-level protected bike lanes, the number of injuries is actually more than the number of accidents that occur with conventional bike lanes.

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A large number of boating accidents on Georgia’s lakes and rivers are linked to alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, far too many boaters believe that the “no drinking and driving” rules that apply when they are driving a car no longer apply when they are operating a boat.

According to statistics, about 16 percent of all boating accidents are linked to boaters operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, far too many boaters believe that it is okay to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol, even though the same boater would never engage in drunk driving.

The effects of alcohol on your brain are the same whether you’re on water or land. In fact, the effects of alcohol may be even more dangerous on water for a number of reasons.   Being exposed to the sun, heat and humidity while out on the water can make you dehydrated and intensify the effects of the alcohol.   The frequent movements or rocking motions of the boat can lull an alcohol-impaired person into a false sense of complacency and security. The noise and vibrations of the craft can also make the effects of the alcohol more potent than they seem behind the wheel of the car.

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Summer is here which means more people are out walking or riding their bikes.  This also means that there more pedestrians and bicyclist are at risk of being struck by a motorist while enjoying their activity.  Preliminary data shows that pedestrian and bicyclist accident deaths increased last year, even though there was a slight drop in the number of traffic accident fatalities recorded in 2018.

The agency projected estimates of the total number of traffic accident fatalities for 2018, and believes that that number may be in the range of 36,750. That is a one percent increase from the number of deaths that occurred in 2018.

That is the good news. The bad news is that there was a significant 4 percent increase in the number of pedestrian accident fatalities recorded last year. Overall, pedestrian accident deaths increased from 12 percent of all traffic accident deaths in 2017, to 16 percent of all deaths in 2018.  Further, bicycling accident fatalities, according to agency data, are projected to increase by 10 percent.

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When you are being treated at the hospital, it is not uncommon for you to interact more with the nurses than with the doctors.   And because of that, the nurse’s role plays a critical part in your treatment.  Many patients are not aware, however, that a nurse’s emotional and mental well-being can have a significant impact on the safety of the patients under his or her care.

There is enough research indicating that hospitals need to invest more in the mental well-being of their nursing staff. Earlier studies have indicated that depression is a fairly common problem among registered nurses. A study published last year in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that far too many nurses report below-average emotional and mental health.

Out of the 1,790 nurses who were included in the study, more than half reported struggling with problems like depression and reported poor mental well being. The lack of well-being also seemed to be directly linked to the risk of medical errors.  In fact, the study found a 26 to 71 percent higher likelihood of the person committing a medical error as a result of their compromised mental condition.

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When you have suffered an injury as the result of a slip and fall accident, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. However, Georgia law has a provision called comparative negligence that essentially allows for a reduction of your compensation if it is found that you, the injured party, were responsible for your accident and injuries.

In any slip and fall accident claim, merely suffering a slip and fall accident on another person’s property is not sufficient for you to recover compensation for your injuries. You must be able to prove that the property owner was negligent in his duty to exercise reasonable care and caution in ensuring the premises are safe.  If the owner can prove that he could not possibly have known of the hazard on his property or the risk it posed, you may not have a successful claim.

Georgia’s comparative negligence laws make the burden on the plaintiff or the injured party bringing the claim even heavier.  These laws allow for property owners to claim that an injured party was at least partly responsible for his injuries. This allows the property owner to reduce his liability in the accident.

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A new pedestrian safety report lists Georgia as one of the most dangerous states in the country for pedestrians.

Georgia was ranked at No. 6 on the list of states that are most dangerous for pedestrians.  The August Richmond Country metropolitan area was ranked as the 20th most dangerous area in the country for pedestrians.   These recognitions are more than likely ones that Georgians and their policymakers would rather not have.

The report titled Dangerous by Design states that between 2008 and 2017, there were a total of 49,340 people killed in pedestrian accidents across the country. That makes it a staggering 13 persons killed each day in pedestrian accidents across the United States.

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Children with autism should begin swimming lessons before they begin any other kind of therapies to improve their quality of life.   This is according to safety experts who have recently stated that autistic children have a risk of meeting with a fatal pool accident that is approximately 150 times higher than for children who do not suffer from autism.

The researchers focused on 32 million accidental or unintentional deaths that occurred between 1999 and 2014, and found that nearly 1,370 people with autism died during this period of time. Overall, according to their research, a person with autism is much more likely to suffer an accidental or unintentional injury causing death. Persons with autism also have a life expectancy of approximately 36, compared with 72 for the general population.

More than 25% of fatalities involving autistic people are the result of injury, and most of these deaths occur as a result of suffocation, drowning or asphyxiation. Not surprisingly, a majority of those fatalities involve children. In fact, suffocation, drowning and asphyxiation account for approximately 80% of all injury-related fatalities involving autistic children.

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Georgia has unique wrongful death laws that govern the recovery of damages after a person is killed due to the negligence of another.

Under Georgia laws, a single claim will is usually not sufficient to recover the various types of damages that family members may be entitled to after the death of a loved one due to the recklessness or carelessness of another.  The law allows for the filing of two separate types of claims for recovery of wrongful death damages.

The first type of claim will help family members of the deceased recover damages to compensate for the full value of the life of the deceased. These damages can include damages that are directly related to the loss of the person. For instance, the claim will include lost income of the deceased, including lost wages as well as any benefits that he would have been eligible for if he had lived. Apart from these direct financial damages, this claim can also include compensation for the loss of the deceased’s care, affection, companionship and other non-financial losses.

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Pedestrian fatalities in Georgia and across the country continue to remain stubbornly high. Recent research, however, indicates that improvements in auto and road design may play a significant role in helping minimize these deaths every year.

In 2009, there were a total of 4,092 pedestrian accident fatalities across the country. That was a record drop from prior years, but since then the numbers have increased by an alarming 49 percent. In 2016, a total of 5,987 pedestrian accident fatalities were recorded nationwide, the highest number recorded since 1990. As the economy has improved, more motorists have returned to the roads, creating an increase of hazardous conditions for pedestrians.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety earlier this year studied pedestrian accident patterns across the country, and made some very interesting conclusions. The report found that more and more of these pedestrian accidents are occurring in suburban or urban areas, intersections and busy arterial roads. They are also more likely to occur in the dark, and involve large vehicles, like SUVs.