Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

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18 wheeler crash.jpgWe have all experienced the same fear as we drive on the highway: A huge eighteen wheeler (“Mack Truck”; “Tractor Trailer”) either in front of us or trying to pass us. The very thought of being next to one of these huge vehicles, as they speed down the highway, immediately invokes caution in drivers.

Unfortunately, about 500,000 trucking accidents happen every year in the United States. And of those, about 5,000 result in fatalities, death. Of the approximate 5,000 deaths caused by trucks (e.g., Mack Trucks, Eighteen Wheelers; Tractor Trailers; Freight liners), 98% of those fatalities occur to the people in the cars that were hit by the trucks.

Because these trucks are so massive and deadly, our U.S. Congress has passed an enormous amount of laws to regulate the trucking industry. These laws are complex and numerous, so you must obtain a good Georgia lawyer who understands how to litigate crashes that involve trucks.

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justice-scales-gavel-fb.jpegChoosing a good lawyer to help you with a case, such as wrongful death, contract dispute, employment termination; asset forfeiture, and excessive force, can be very difficult.

Many blog posts advise you to make sure that (1) you feel comfortable with the lawyer you choose and that (2) the lawyer you choose has sound experience and understanding in the area you need representation in. While all that is true, there is one area that also demonstrates the quality of representation you will be obtaining to handle your case: your lawyer’s willingness and ability to handle an appeal of your case in front of a higher court.

Foremost, you may not read a lot of blog posts that talk about handling an appeal of your case in front of higher courts, because that means something may have went wrong with your case in the lower court. But here’s the reality: when you are going up against cities, school districts; law enforcement officials; public officials; big corporations; and hospitals–whether you win or lose at the lower court (trial court), one party is going to appeal, or threaten to appeal the loss, to the higher court (Appeals Court).

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traffic.JPGGood Georgia Lawyer is very concerned about the Governor’s new plan to turn the emergency lane on the Ga. 400 into a travel lane. Governor Nathan Deal announced this new project to convert the highway shoulder that is typically used for an emergency lane as an additional lane for traffic. The emergency shoulder is currently used for ambulances, firetrucks, and police cars who need a speedy bypass for getting through congested traffic to reach an emergency or get a patient to the hospital in time.

Emergency services operators are all expressing their alarm. Even those who simply need to use the emergency lane in the event of a car break down now will not have an option to do so, thus increasing the dangers on this particular freeway significantly. Firefighters, police officers, and ambulance drivers are against the new plan believing it will put the public at risk.

Ga. 400 rush-hour commuters know how difficult this freeway can be as it has been recently ranked as one of the nations most unreliable commutes. Nevertheless, experts say that converting the emergency lane into a traffic lane will not ease the traffic that significantly and critics contend that the heavy price tag made up of safety losses make it not worth it.

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Tekila Mynon Glass, age 30, from Riverdale, Georgia was charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide as a result of the death on Sept. 18, 2011 of a 1-year-old child who was in a stroller at Lenora Park in Gwinnett County.

Witnesses who observed Ms. Glass strike the child in the stroller as she backed up with her 2005 Chrysler Pacifica through the parking lot at Lenora Park on Lenora Church Road are urged to contact the Accident Investigation Unit at 770-338-5675.

Tekila Mynon Glass, was charged with improper backing which resulted in the death of Olivia Hellwig. Broooke Hellwig was the mother of Olivia Hellwig. Ms. Hellwig was pushing Olivia in her stroller when her young daughter was killed.

Olivia Hellwig was transported to Children’s Healthcare at Egleston in Atlanta where very sadly she tragically died. Her mother, Brooke Hellwig, was also treated for injuries police said. Her greatest injury of course was the loss of her young daughter due to the negligence of Ms. Glass.

Gwinnett County police report revealed that Glass’ vehicle carried six passengers. The police request that anyone who has witnessed the accident and has yet to speak with investigators to please contact the Accident Investigation Unit at 770-338-5675.

Good Georgia Lawyer urges our legislature to craft stricter laws that will keep pedestrians safe and prevent terrible tragedies that result in the loss of life. In the event a Georgia citizen dies due to the result of someone’s negligence, then the negligent driver is generally held liable for a failure to exercise reasonable care while driving. Hopefully, it is the case that Ms. Glass carried an ample insurance policy so that the family of the young child she killed may receive damages—money given as compensation to assist a family in a personal injury suit.

In Georgia, there are two major types of damages–compensatory and punitives. Punitives punish and deter the offender from injuring someone in the future. Compensatory helps with medical bills, funeral costs, pain and suffering.

If you know someone who has experienced the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of a person or a corporation, we encourage you to seek legal advice immediately.

Good Georgia Lawyer implores all Georgians to drive carefully: always pay attention when backing up your vehicle in a parking lot. You never know what precious cargo may be in your path and your life as well as the life of someone else can change in a split second if you are not exercising caution at all times while driving.
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A very sad tragedy occurred for a Clayton County, Georgia family this past weekend. Franky J. Cassidy, a 24-year-old man was struck and killed while riding his motorcycle home from work. Marvlyn Eugene Martin, was drunk driving when he ran into Cassidy’s motorcycle head on at 4 a.m.

Police stated that Martin had a blood-alcohol count of .192 percent, more than double the legal limit. Martin was charged with driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle, having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle and other traffic violations.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that as of yesterday, Martin was held without bond on the homicide charge in the Clayton County jail.

The fact that Martin was driving intoxicated will certainly be admissible and would be the primary factor for proving punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. At a trial of any civil or criminal action arising from actions alleged to have been committed by any person in violation of O.C.G.A. 40-6-391, evidence of the amount of drug or alcohol in a person’s blood, breath, urine or other bodily fluid at the alleged time, as determined by chemical analysis shall be admissible. Cheevers v. Clark, 214 Ga. App. 866 (1994).

When a police officer requests a driver to submit to a chemical test because of actions alleged to have been conducted while driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the police officer arrests that persons, O.C.G.A. 40-6-392 requires that the police officer informs him at the time of the arrest of his or her right to an independent analysis to test the amount of drugs or alcohol present in the blood stream in order for the test administered by the police to be admissible at trial to prove the accused was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Carswell v. State, 171 Ga. App. 455 (1984).
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GA state patrol.jpgThe second fatal collision occurred last week in Moultrie, Georgia this time involving a motorcycle and truck. The Georgia State Patrol investigators reported that a 1996 Toyota Tacoma, driven by an 81 year old man named James Henry Smith, failed to yield when crossing a road, hitting a motorcycle that was driven by 30 year old Randy Larry Harris.

Very sadly, Mr. Harris was ejected from his motorcycle and died at the scene. Mr. Harris, a young man at age 30, tragically left behind a loving wife, children, and large extended family from West Berrien. He was a diesel mechanic and shop supervisor at the Berrien County Bus Shop, and a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church. The elderly driver who hit him was given a citation for failing to yield.

Very sadly, motor vehicle crashes such as this one are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States. The most recent 2010 report put out by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that motor vehicle crashes are the leading in fact the cause of death among those age 5-34 in the U.S. The financial impact is also significant: the lifetime costs of automobile crash deaths and injuries among Americans was listed at $70 billion a year just a few years ago.

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New Georgia biking law General Assembly House Bill 101, which went into effect July 1, provides for safer bicycle riding for bicyclists and the motoring public.

It also spells out minimum safety guidelines for bicycle lanes in Georgia.

Georgia bikers say they hope the new law encourages motorists and bikers to be more careful. Reports of accidents between motorists and cyclists in 2009 and 2010 faulted cyclists at 48 percent of the time and motorists around 39 percent of the time. The remaining percentage was for no fault or when both parties (the cyclist and motorist) were both to blame.

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belinda-mcmilan.jpgMARTA bus driver Belinda McMillan was arrested and charged with reckless conduct after being accused of dragging a 62-year-old woman– Lettie Robinson who was just trying to get off her bus this past Sunday night.

According to Atlanta Police, Miss Robinson was exiting MARTA bus 2977 on route 51 at about 8:30 p.m,when her pocketbook got stuck inside the bus. The MARTA bus driver continued driving while dragging her approximately 63 feet.

A passenger on the bus described the bus driver as acting agitated against the victim Miss Robinson even before she got off the bus. The passenger who wished to remain anonymous stated: “people were trying to notify her that she was dragging this person. It was like she had no regard. She just wanted to close the door and move as quickly as possible.”

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Good Georgia personal injury lawyers are needed whenever you have complicated legal issues concerning automobile accidents and other vehicle crashes.

These legal issues are not always as straightforward as they may seem. For example, just last year, the Georgia courts faced a question as to what does the law say if the meaning of the term “accident” in an automobile liability insurance policy if it is not expressly defined, and how do you determine if there was one accident or two when an insured vehicle struck one claimant and then very shortly thereafter struck another?

In 2010, in the case of STATE AUTO PROPERTY AND CASUALTY COMPANY v. MATTY et al. 286 Ga. 611 (2010), the Georgia Supreme Court decided the answers to these questions.

Here, a vehicle driven by the insured struck a bicyclist, killing him, and then struck a second bicyclist, seriously injuring him. An accident reconstruction expert testified that, assuming the insured traveled at a constant speed of 55 miles per hour, it would have taken her just over a second to travel between the two bicyclists.

The insurance company argued that this incident constituted one accident and that under the policy, it was responsible for providing only a single $ 100,000 limit of coverage; the policy contained a liability limit for bodily injury of $ 100,000 for all damages resulting from any one auto accident, regardless of the number of insureds, claims, and vehicles in the policy declaration or involved in the accident.

In order to answer these questions, the Georgia Supreme Court adopted the cause theory for use in liability insurance cases in Georgia, whereby courts looked to whether, after the cause of an initial collision, a driver regained control of the vehicle before a subsequent collision, so that it could be said that there was a second intervening cause and therefore a second accident.

The outcome of the case is that the Court concluded that the meaning of the term “accident,” when not otherwise defined in setting limits of liability, should be determined using the cause theory. The court held that this theory applied to the insurance contract at issue in this case and returned the case to the district court with directions to resolve the case by applying the cause theory to the facts of the case.
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