CBS AtlantaIf you have lived in the Atlanta area for any length of time, you know that Atlanta drivers like to speed. If you get onto I-285 when the traffic is clear, very few people stick to the posted 55 MPH speed limit. In some areas, it’s so common to speed that going at the speed limit can confuse drivers and cause accidents.

The Georgia legislature is now making a move to perform traffic studies on the major freeways in order to raise the speed limits. In a vote of 157-7, the House of Representatives voted to raise the limit in metropolitan areas with populations above 50,000. If the bill passes the Senate, traffic studies will be performed to see if it is safe to raise the limit to the suggested 70 MPH limit.

Whether or not this will make driving safer or not remains to be seen, but one thing we can agree on is that faster speeds do cause more severe accidents. Getting into an accident on the interstate at full speed is extremely dangerous and has a high likelihood of injury and fatality.

If you have been involved in a car accident on the interstate, you will need …

David Tulis / AP

Yesterday, Atlanta was hit with a snowstorm that rivaled the ‘snowmageddon’ that happened in 2011. Cars were stranded, buses fell off the road into ditches, and ten minute commutes expanded into 3 hour commutes. There were reports of people taking upwards of six hours to get home.

It started snowing early in the day and began to pile up.  By the time that businesses called it an early day and sent people home, it was too late to save them from traffic snarls that lasted for hours. Schools tried to let out their students around the same time, further compounding the traffic issues.

The snow didn’t let up until the early evening, leaving at least three inches on the ground.  While this may be child’s play to Northern cities, Atlanta does not have the infrastructure to handle snow and ice well. As a result, over a thousand calls to police were made last night alone for traffic accidents. Police, fire, and rescue personnel were dispatched to the most severe of crashes.

In response to all of the stranded motorists, the people of Atlanta started to create impromptu shelters.  Churches, Mexican restaurants, Home Depots, and other places raised their hands …

CBS Atlanta

When a close family member dies in an accident, especially a young person, parents may feel that the actions of the court are not enough to punish the people in the crime. Lawsuits and criminal charges can only go so far. Sometimes a parent will decide that they need to take their demands to the legislature and ask lawmakers to change the laws.

That is what one family is doing after a young woman was killed in a road rage crash last October. According to police, a truck crashed into the 20-year-old’s SUV head-on.  Both drivers were killed in that accident, though the passengers in the woman’s vehicle survived. Police say that the truck driver got angry when he couldn’t pass another vehicle that was in front of him. When he tried to get in front unsafely he crashed into the woman.

The perpetrator paid the ultimate price, but the family wants to make sure that this sort of accident doesn’t happen again. They are working with State Rep. Kevin Tanner to create the Chelsea Gerrish Law. The parents are seeking stiffer penalties, including felony charges and license suspension for 6-12 months.

Time will tell if the proposed legislation …

Credit: SkinheadSportBiker1It’s important to know that there can be other reasons for another driver crashing into you and causing injury. Mechanical failure on a vehicle could cause someone to go out of control and crash. While there might still be some liability involved, depending on the circumstances, the payout might be less than desired.

Take this accident that happened on Tuesday on I-75 south of Jodeco Road. The accident blocked traffic for four hours while police investigated the problem. They believe that problems with one of the tires caused the F-150 truck to overturn and throw out the two individuals in the car. The passenger of the truck was killed on the scene while the driver was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The truck was the only vehicle involved in the accident.

Family members are still being notified. Depending on circumstances, they could file a wrongful death suit against the man. However, it would be difficult to prove that it was the driver’s negligent care of the vehicle that caused the accident. Sometimes an accident is just that.

When you call our law offices we will examine all the factors of the case and give you an honest assessment …

A recent rollover accident on Interstate 75 in Morrow left a pregnant woman hospitalized. According to accident witnesses, Taneka Grace was driving a Toyota on the interstate near the Jonesboro exit when the automobile unexpectedly flipped and became airborne. The Toyota allegedly flew over another vehicle that was traveling on Interstate 75 before coming to rest upside down on a set of railroad tracks. Morrow Police Department Captain James Callaway stated Grace’s vehicle began leaking gasoline immediately following the crash.

Rescue crews reportedly found Grace unconscious and still wearing her seat belt inside of the Toyota. Callaway stated the pregnant woman was incoherent once she regained consciousness. Emergency responders purportedly transported Grace to the Atlanta Medical Center’s Trauma Unit in serious condition. The driver of the other vehicle, Melissa Stenson, and her passenger, Randolph Vaughn, were allegedly taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released.

Callaway stated the exact cause of the crash is currently under investigation. He also said the accident will likely be recreated in order to determine Grace’s speed when she exited the freeway. Callaway called the accident one of the strangest he has ever seen.

According to the Georgia Department …

Late last month, a 24-year-old Danielsville man was severely injured when the log truck he was driving rolled on Georgia Highway 98 in Commerce. According to a representative from the Georgia State Patrol, Steven Brock was headed west on the highway in a 1988 Kentworth semi-truck when he came upon a passenger vehicle that was stopped to turn left onto Neese-Commerce Road. Brock allegedly rolled the truck when he attempted to avoid striking the passenger vehicle from behind. Following the accident, emergency rescue crews reportedly transported Brock via emergency helicopter to Grady Memorial Hospital in serious condition.

Although the exact cause of the crash is still under investigation, an officer with the Georgia State Patrol said the semi-truck did not appear to be properly maintained. He found that the log truck had unacceptable tire tread and braking mechanisms. Additionally, the semi-truck was being operated despite that its registration was expired. Brock was reportedly issued a citation for operating an unsafe vehicle, driving a vehicle with an expired registration, and failing to maintain his lane. Following the accident, the officer also allegedly contacted the Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division to investigate the matter further.

Fortunately, no one was …

If you are injured in an accident and accept a structured settlement, you will get a long series of payments that will total more than you would get if you took a lump sum of cash up front.

A structured settlement starts with a lump sum that is invested in an annuity, which then pays you a set amount every month or every year, usually for the rest of your life. The entire payment is tax free because it is all considered to be received for a personal injury. In contrast, if you take a lump sum for your personal injury and invest it yourself, the lump sum will remain tax free, but the interest you earn on your investment will be taxable. The result is that with a structured settlement, you’ll end up with more money in your pocket.

Here is an example of how a structured settlement can be helpful. As an Atlanta injury lawyer, I represented two children who received a very, very substantial settlement – about $1.75 million – for the accidental death of their father. The first alternative would have been to put the money in a trust fund that would have paid the children …

On April 11th, a Cumming man was killed on Georgia 400 near the northbound entrance ramp from Haynes Bridge Road in Alpharetta. 67-year-old Edward Kivlin died after his Nissan Pathfinder was reportedly struck by a Honda Civic that was trying to merge onto the Georgia 400 roadway. According to the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety, a preliminary investigation revealed that both drivers lost control following the collision and the Honda left the roadway. After the initial crash, the driver of a Dodge minivan traveling on the entrance ramp reportedly collided with Kivlin’s Nissan. Kivlin’s vehicle then struck a guardrail and rolled repeatedly down a grassy embankment.

Kivlin died at the scene of the crash. The driver of the Honda Civic was taken to North Fulton Hospital with apparent injuries. Meanwhile, the driver of the Dodge minivan was reportedly not hurt in the accident. The collision closed the entrance ramp and two lanes of Georgia 400 for several hours. The Alpharetta Department of Public Safety also closed portions of the roadway on April 19th in an attempt to reconstruct the fatal accident.

In Georgia, we spend a lot of time in our vehicles. Unfortunately, an unexpected car crash can occur at …

Last month, a Hall County, Georgia school bus headed to East Hall High School left the roadway and flipped onto its side. The accident sent the bus driver and 15 of the 22 students aboard to a local hospital. According to the Georgia State Patrol, the accident occurred after the bus driver, 55-year-old Doug McClure, suffered a medical emergency. The accident occurred about one mile from the school after McClure reportedly lost consciousness.

At the time of the accident, the school bus was traveling very slowly and none of the students suffered life threatening injuries. One student who was suffering from neck pain was taken to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville by ambulance. The rest of the students were taken to the hospital using another bus. All of the teens were released to their parents by the afternoon.

The driver also suffered neck pain as well as contusions to his face and head. McClure has been employed driving school buses in Hall County since 2008. Prior to the accident, he had a spotless driving record.

Americans spend a great deal of time in motor vehicles each year. Unfortunately, so much time spent in automobiles means accidents such as …

Yamaha manufactures the Rhino, a two-seater vehicle with no windows or doors. The Rhino does have a steel roof, bucket seats, handholds, foot guards, and a floorboard to “brace” the passenger’s extremities in case the vehicle tips over. A warning sticker within the vehicle advises passengers of severe injury or death should they use an arm or leg to stop a rollover. The safety warning instructs occupants to keep their extremities inside the vehicle at all times.

Roger McTaggart, a gravedigger in Blue Ridge, Georgia, used his Rhino to build fences, carry equipment, and haul dirt and feed. He was injured on May 14, 2007 as he was making a right turn. The Rhino flipped over onto the driver’s side, rolling onto his leg. McTaggart suffered a severe laceration on his left leg. He filed a product liability action against Yamaha, alleging the Rhino was defective because it lacked a door. The jury awarded McTaggart damages for pain, suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. Yamaha appealed, contending the trial court erred in denying its motion for a directed verdict because McTaggart assumed the risk of his injuries. The appellate court reversed.

Assumption of risk is an affirmative defense barring the …

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