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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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As of 2018, a whopping 77 percent of the American population possessed a smartphone. A driver that is distracted because of cellphone use can produce devastating results because rather than focusing on the road, they are involved in tasks such as reading and answering emails and texts, engaging in social media and other highly distracting activities that can seriously impede a motorist’s concentration at the wheel.

Lawmakers in Georgia recently passed the Hands-Free Law which prohibits drivers from using a handheld cell phone, with very few exceptions.  This is good news for drivers in the Atlanta area as research shows that motorists in states that have a ban on the use of hand-held cell phones are less likely to use a cell phone or smart phone while driving.  This helps to reduce the risks of accidents on the roads keeping everyone safer.  There is a growing trend across the nation to ban cellphone use while driving.  Georgia was the 16th state to impose a ban on hand-held cell phones for motorists.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in its latest safety report focuses on distracted driving, especially cell phone use and its effect on driving safety. The researchers found that motorists in states that ban cellphone use, like Georgia, were less likely to be at risk of an accident caused by their cellphone use.

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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.

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Motorcycle accidents very often end in serious injuries, and even death, to the motorcyclist. Because of this, all motorcyclists should be aware of the most common causes of accidents and, more importantly, how to prevent them.  Below are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.

Many motorcycle accidents happen when the vehicle travelling in the opposite direction of the motorcycle makes a left turn in front of them. Left-turn accidents are very common, and usually the car making the left turn does so unexpectedly in front of the motorcycle. When this happens, it is often too late for the motorcyclist to stop or do anything to prevent an accident, and the result is a potentially serious crash. Reduce your chances of being involved in crashes like these by being very aware of the motorists around you and the actions they may take. Most car drivers will not see a motorcycle until it is too late.  If it looks like the car in front of you is going to make a left turn and you are unable to come to a complete stop, at least reduce your speed immediately. While it may not prevent an accident from happening, it can reduce the severity of the impact and your injuries.

Another common crash scenario happens when a car suddenly turns into the motorcyclist’s lane. Remember that motorists are usually not looking out for motorcyclists, so there is a good chance that a driver may not even see your motorcycle.  Therefore, always try to stay out of a car’s blind spots.

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Boating season will soon be ramping up all around Georgia and in its surrounding lakes.  To make sure your safe while enjoying one of the most popular activities in the area, you should know that your personal flotation device, more commonly known as your, is possibly the most important piece of safety equipment that you could wear on a boat. Therefore, it should be clear why it is of the upmost importance that you know how to use this equipment so that it can keep you safe in case of any accidents.

The life jacket, also called a life preserver, life vest or life belt, is intended to keep you afloat in the water and prevent drowning. Wearing a life jacket can mean the difference between life and death even for an experienced swimmer or boater.

Not all personal flotation devices are manufactured equally. It’s important to look for certain safety features that have been proven to keep a person safe in the water.

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Truck drivers have a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes.  This can make operating such a massive vehicle even more dangerous for not only the driver, but for other drivers on the road as well.   In Georgia and the Atlanta area, where the interstates are usually packed with tractor-trailers, truck drivers driving with unmanaged diabetes can increase the risks of accidents with other drivers.

According to recent studies, truck drivers have a risk of developing diabetes that is as much as 50 percent higher than the general population.  This is due in part to the long hours truck drivers are required to log, inconsistent eating schedules, lack of regular exercise and oftentimes unhealthy food choices.

Management of diabetes symptoms can be very difficult when you are a trucker. For one thing, diabetes is a difficult disease to live with, and there is no complete cure for the condition. The only way to ensure that you continue to live a happy and healthy life with diabetes is to manage the symptoms consistently.   However, truck drivers typically drive long hours without a break. Working such long hours can mean that a truck driver is less likely to take his medication on time every day. Failure to take medications on time can cause a catastrophic increase in sugar levels, making driving an extremely hazardous activity. In addition, the food options that are typically available to a truck driver often include greasy foods or foods that are high in sugar making management of symptoms even harder.

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The metro-Atlanta area has experienced consistent growth for the past several years and only continues to do so.  With it brings construction and construction jobs, both residential and commercial, all throughout the state.  If a construction worker is injured on the job, he most likely knows that he can file a workers’ compensation claim with his employer to get compensation for his injuries.  However, there are other avenues of compensation recovery that are beyond the scope of workers’ compensation. These are called third-party claims, and they are often filed in the case of certain types of accidents or injuries.

A third-party claim allows you to hold other parties besides your employer responsible for your injuries after a construction accident. A construction site is often susceptible to such claims since multiple employers have their own employees working on the site.  There are typically several types of contractors that are performing work at a construction site, and all of them bring with them their own employees, equipment, material and so on.

Say, for example, your accident was caused by equipment or debris left lying around by the employee of another subcontractor at the same site. In a case like this, you can file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer.  You can also file an injury claim against the subcontractor whose worker’s negligence caused your injuries. These claims are filed as personal injury claims, and are separate from your workers’ compensation claims.

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There may come a time for many of us when we need to think about caring for our elderly loved ones.  Georgia residents who want to place their loved ones in nursing homes need to be sure to do their due diligence to find facilities that meet acceptable quality standards.  This is especially so since, according to federal ratings, the Georgia’s nursing homes rank poorly on care indices.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has developed a ranking based on three care parameters. Georgia nursing homes were placed on the bottom of the list for their care standards.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rating was based on how facilities performed on three parameters – health inspections (evaluating the number and scope of defects found in the last two inspections), staffing measures, and quality measures. Staffing rankings were determined based on the number of resident nurses per resident per day, and the total staffing per resident per day. Quality ratings were determined on the basis of 16 quality measures.

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The Trump administration’s efforts to relax federal regulations could impact the ability of nursing home residents across the United States to hold the facility responsible for abuse or neglect.

President Trump has issued an executive order that requires federal agencies to relax regulatory expenses. This action could result in CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) rescinding an Obama era rule that makes it easier for residents of nursing homes to sue these facilities in cases involving abuse and neglect. In September 2016, the Obama administration banned arbitration agreements that residents were required to sign before admission into nursing homes. That move came in response to the need for greater protection of the rights of elderly residents of nursing homes. The rule was challenged in court by nursing homes, and a trial is still pending.

The Trump administration proposes to require that all residents sign an arbitration agreement upon admission to the nursing home which would eliminate their right to sue the nursing home in case of abuse or neglect, and would impose neutral arbitration as the only means of dispute resolution. A typical arbitration agreement will inform the resident that signing the agreement removes his right to legal recourse via a trial by jury or court trial.  It would also work to establish that any dispute will be resolved through a process of arbitration.

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Driving safety is a matter of concern for parents of most teens, and especially so for the parents of a teenager diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A new study finds that teenagers who suffer from ADHD are more likely than their peers to be involved in a motor vehicle collision.

After acquiring a driver’s license, a teen with ADHD has a risk of having a car accident that is 36% higher than non-ADHD teens who have recently been licensed.  The crash risk is the same for both boys as well as girls with ADHD. The study is not all doom and gloom, however. The same study finds that the accident risk for teens with ADHD is actually much lower than earlier studies have found.

Researchers believe that medication significantly reduces the risk that a teen with ADHD will meet with an accident.  At the time of the study, only 12 percent of teenagers were on any kind of ADHD medication.