Articles Tagged with auto accident

ambulance1-resized-600-200x300Each year over 65,000 pedestrians are struck and injured by motor vehicles in the United States. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) most of these accidents occur on public roadways in urban areas. The majority of people never imagine the possibility of being struck by a motor vehicle during their walk to work or a leisurely stroll, but the reality is that injury and death caused by a motor vehicle strike is increasingly common. The exact cause of the prevalence of such accidents is attributed to the increase of distracted driving, however, there are instances where the pedestrian may, in fact, be at fault. Regardless of the situation, if you have been struck by a motor vehicle it is critical that you immediately seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will be able to answer any questions you may have and advise you on whether or not you are eligible for compensation due to the injuries you sustained.

Pedestrian Rights

In the state of Georgia, pedestrians have the right of way on all crosswalks. However, drivers are often oblivious to this rule or the existence of pedestrians on a busy street. Drivers will often try to shift the blame on pedestrians in the event that an accident occurs. In order for the pedestrian to prove that the driver was at fault, they must prove that the driver’s negligence led to the accident. In general, negligence is defined is the failure to take reasonable action to protect others from a foreseeable risk. To prove that a driver was acting negligently in an accident with a pedestrian the following must be proven:

crash5By now most people are familiar with the concept of self-driving cars, however, few are aware of the legal and safety implications this new technology presents. Companies like Alphabet, Inc. (Google’s parent company) and Tesla are leading the way in self-driving vehicles–more formally known as autonomous driving. While statistically far safer than human operated vehicles, many people are still very apprehensive about the idea of releasing the wheel and letting a computer take over. Part of the reason for this fear is due to the widespread media coverage of any crash an autonomous vehicle is involved in.

 Autonomous Driving & The Law

 In the near future, autonomous driving vehicles will begin to sweep across the nation. With heavyweight corporations investing large amounts of time and resources in self-driving programs it is only a matter of time until we see widespread fully developed autonomous vehicles. With these developments must come adequate a new legal framework to support this developing segment of transportation that society will partake in. As of 2016, only six states in the country have passed legislation regulating autonomous driving. In the coming years is Georgia is expected to pass its own legislation as the state house of representatives passed House Resolution 1265 in 2014 which laid the foundation for the development of a House of Representatives committee on self-driving vehicles.

car-accidentTypically, when you think of a hit-and-run accident, you think the worst, a situation where a driver hit a pedestrian and fled the scene. However, Georgia state law provides a far more broad definition of this term. Surprisingly, statistics suggest that nearly every driver will be a victim of a hit-and-run in their lifetime. The most common occurrence is when your vehicle is parked in a parking lot and is struck while you are away, and the driver leaves without leaving any information. Unfortunately, the number of serious injuries and fatal hit-and-runs are also on the rise in the United States.  According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 1500 American drivers are killed annually in hit-and-run collisions.

Hit-and-Run in Georgia

In the state of Georgia, a hit-and-run is defined as any incident where a driver fails to stop or return to the scene. This means that a hit-and-run is any occasion where a driver leaves the accident prior to identifying themselves. Regardless of if the collision involved personal injury or property damage, every driver must remain at the scene. Depending on the type of collision and severity of the damage, Georgia law lists potential penalties for drivers who flee the scene of an accident.

car accidentWhiplash injuries resulting from auto accidents are the most common type of personal injury cases. An auto accident occurs every ten seconds in the United States, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. In 2005 there were six million auto accidents in the U.S., resulting in 43,443 deaths and over 2 million injuries. Negligence is the most frequent cause of auto accidents. Some specific causes include distracted or inattentive driving, drunk driving, speeding, and reckless driving. Other causes include defective tires or brakes, malfunctioning traffic signals, and poorly maintained highways, roads and freeways.
SOFT TISSUE INJURIES

One common injury that victims of car accidents suffer is known as the soft tissue injury. A soft tissue injury is an injury to the supporting parts of the body that are not bones. These parts include tendons, ligaments, joints, and muscles. These soft tissues can be torn or stretched beyond their breaking point, causing pain, swelling, bleeding, and loss of function.

  • Common soft tissue injuries include the following:
  • Strains (damage to the muscle or tendon)
  • Sprains (damage or tear of ligaments)
  • Bursitis (inflammation of one or more bursae, which are small sacs of synovial fluid in the body)
  • Tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon)
  • Contusions
  • Bruises
  • Dislocations
  • Nerve damage

Soft tissue injuries do not appear on x-rays, so you may not know if you have been injured until symptoms appear. These symptoms can be immediate, but can take from a few hours to several days to present themselves. The two most obvious symptoms are pain and inflammation. Continue reading →

personal  injuryWhen it comes to injury cases, people often ask, “How much is my case worth?”.    To answer this question, it must be understood that each case stands on its own merits.   There is no quick answer to this question.

In automobile accidents, years ago, the settlement amount could expect to be approximately three times the amount of medical expenses.   For example, if the total chiropractic and/or medical bills were $4,000.00, the injured party could expect to receive a settlement in the amount of $12,000.00.   But this is no longer the case.

Years  ago,  the largest insurance companies gambled on the likelihood of lawsuits being filed by many of the largest legal advertisers who worked on sheer volume.  The insurance companies discovered that large legal advertisers working on sheer volume were not likely to file suit if offered small settlement  amounts.  Thus, the largest insurance companies began offering settlements as low as an amount equal to the medical bills or at times,  two-times the medical bills.  And  they found that,  in fact,  many  of  the larger  advertisers  would encourage their clients to accept  the offer.

To justify their low offers, insurance adjusters made arguments of “little vehicle damage”, or “all treatment was chiropractic only” or the injured party only treated for 30 or 60 days, etc.

Thus, to combat these low settlement offers, the firm representing the injured party must be willing and able to litigate the case on behalf of their injured client.  First and foremost, the case must be well documented.    If there is significant vehicle damage, there should be photographs to show the property damage.   Jurors will appreciate knowing that this was not just some very minor  vehicle collision.   Second, if there are visible injuries, photographs should show any visible injuries, scars, etc. Continue reading →

There is an old saying in the legal profession, “Any person who represents himself/herself has a fool for a client.”  There is a very good reason why it is not wise to represent yourself in court on a legal matter.  This article will discuss a few of those reasons and will provide a few expamples for you to consider.

First, in traffic matters, you will see many people representing themselves on minor traffic charges such as “no seatbelt”, “no proof of insurance”, etc.  But even in minor traffic matters, a lack of knowledge of the law and consequences far too often results in a loss of driving privileges or even incarceration. traffic offenses

I can’t recall the number of times I have sat in a traffic court and observed individuals (representing themselves) entering guilty pleas to traffic offenses.  The attorneys all glance at each other and shake their heads knowing that these individuals just subjected themselves to license suspensions or even incarceration.

And there are some municipal courts imposing fines as high as $4,000.00, with the requirement that the Defendant pay the fine instanter (immediately) or go to jail.  One such individual who chose to represent herself was incarcerated because she didn’t have the $4,000.00 to pay her fine before leaving the court building.  After she was incarcerated, her family members decided to hire me to represent her.  I was able to get her out of jail and convince the court to allow her to make monthly payments.  This could have been avoided had she retained legal counsel prior to going to court.  And, in fact, some of her traffic charges could have been reduced or dismissed. Continue reading →