Atlanta Injury Attorneys Blog
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swimming-pool-100155245Summer safety reminders can help us better enjoy the summer months with friends and family. There is no more sobering reminder than pool and water safety as parents and kids spend more time around water sports and water activities. The tragic drownings we learn about every year, help remind us that we must always pay attention as kids swimming and play around water can quickly lead to drowning and injury. It is a tough statistic to think about, but the fact is that when a child drowns it is almost always within five minutes of a parent or adult or caregiver having just seen the child. That is all it takes. Five short minutes with eyes off a child near water and tragedy can occur. About 88 percent of child drownings happen within this time frame.

One of the more common ways a tragic drowning or serious injury can happen is when a kid’s clothing or hair is caught in the pool’s drain. One small tool can help avoid drownings in certain circumstances. Keeping an emergency pair of scissors near a pool, but out of reach of children can help save a life. Safety experts say that having an emergency scissors in close proximity to the pool can help bring the child back to the surface before tragedy strikes. Pool drains are a silent culprit in the mix of kids play around swimming pools. Being aware of this and ready in case of emergency is key to potentially saving a life.

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iStock_000016030629XSmallWhen parents create living spaces for their children and choose furniture, safety is part of the consideration. The last thing a parent wants is to worry that their child or children might be hurt or killed due to unsafe furniture. Once a week in America, a child loses his or her life due to tipping furniture or tipping televisions. A curious child putting weight on a piece of untethered or unanchored furniture can cause it to topple. And we know kids can unwittingly do something dangerous in seconds. In recent weeks, IKEA Group has recalled nearly 36 million chests and dressers in the United States and Canada due to child injuries or death caused by tipping dressers. These accidents ALL involve dressers that were not anchored to the wall. One of the IKEA dressers involved are in the group called MALM — this includes many versions of this dresser from small to tall. The dressers were made between 2002 to 2016 and can be identified by looking at the labeling on the inside top or side panel. IKEA is offering refunds/returns or repair kits for these dressers.

In recent years, three toddlers died in separate incidents when IKEA dressers fell on them. In all cases, the dressers were not anchored to the wall. IKEA is working with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on this massive recall. The CPSC has warned the public that these dressers have proven to be too dangerous when they are not anchored. Although there have now been six deaths associated with these and other dressers, this has not been an issue in other countries in which they are sold.

The recall is very expansive and includes those dressers that fail to comply with United States performance requirements. The problem with the recalled dressers is instability when not anchored. The company did offer a repair kit for the dressers after two children had already died from injuries suffered when the dressers fell on them. Sadly, even after the repair kit was announced one death and 17 injuries occurred with chests or dressers that were not anchored. Other dressers that have caused death are the GUTE 4-drawer, the RAKKE 5-drawer and the KURS 3-drawer. Parents can check the IKEA website to identify the dressers that are considered unsafe.

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Drowsy Driving Ends in Tragedy

The long summer days tend to make for longer driving days. This can become dangerous as drivers have more daylight to travel, but still need rest. With summer travel reaching its height and as we approach Independence Day weekend, we want to remind readers about driving while drowsy and the hazards this presents. Just this past week, the Associated Press reports that a Claxton, Georgia man lost his life when his co-worker likely fell asleep at the wheel. Sadly, the driver was allegedly warned to pull over and rest before continuing their deadly trip which ended in a head-on collision that killed five.

We may have some rare insight into what happened in this tragedy. Reportedly, a young man called his mom while traveling from Virginia back to his home in Georgia. He was heading home with two co-workers after a moving job. The young man called to say that he was worried about his colleague who was getting sleepy at the wheel. According to the mom, her son even passed the phone to the driver and she asked him to pull over at a rest stop before continuing to drive. Only a few minutes later, the driver crossed the median on Interstate 16 and struck another car. All three passengers in his vehicle passed away as did a woman and her step son who were hit by the sleepy driver. Although the mom’s account is not confirmed, the Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash and its cause.

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Truck4How often have you been driving on a highway, followed too closely by a truck? Unfortunately, this is a common experience and can lead to serious or fatal injury. This is because when velocity and weight combine, the truck driver can find out very quickly that stopping short of another vehicle or object can be difficult, if not impossible. Tractor-trailers can be some of the most dangerous vehicles traveling on American roads and highways. This past week a Georgia truck accident involving two tractor-trailers demonstrated just how dangerous and quickly out of control a situation can become with these massive vehicles.

The accident in Villa Rica, Georgia involved one tractor-trailer following another tractor-trailer too closely. This is not only extremely dangerous and likely to cause serious or catastrophic injury to the truck and its driver, it is very dangerous for all other vehicles in the vicinity. The crash closed I-20 for over two hours during rush hour. Unfortunately, once the rear end collision occurred, the driver of the truck that was following too closely went out of control, struck the guard rail and ended up on its side down a hill. The truck that was hit was able to remain on the road and pull over after the impact of the crash. This FedEx truck lost some of its content due to the crash … and the truck’s axel was damaged. Not surprisingly, both drivers needed to be taken to the hospital for medical care.

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iStock_000017099921XSmallMemorial Day is coming up soon. Many families and friends will get together over the weekend for picnics and cook outs. Many Americans will also visit cemeteries to honor those fallen fighting for our country — the original and still the poignancy of this holiday. Its a good thing to remember the origins of the holiday which used to be known as Decoration Day. It began after the Civil War, but was extended to WWI and those wars that followed. Although it is a time for fun, it is also a time to visit the graves of those who have served our country and honor their places of rest by leaving flowers or a flag. If that is not possible or preferred, telling our kids about those who fought for our freedom is another way to honor their memories and their service.

The holiday has become the unofficial start of summer. It has also become the official start of the travel season. Nearly 40 million Americans will get on the roads or otherwise travel over the Memorial Day weekend. In Georgia alone, over 1 million Americans will be traveling. We thought it would be a good idea to share the information we learned about regarding the most congested times to travel and the best times to travel around the Atlanta area. According to the information collected by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Thursday, Friday and Tuesday and the worst travel days. Most the the travel times are from mid-morning to afternoon. Tuesday afternoon is statistically the most congested time of travel. The best travel days include Saturday and Sunday.

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A horrific bus crash that took place in Texas this past week has investigators looking for answers. The crash was national news due to its severity. The bus was traveling between cities headed to a casino. The driver lost control of the bus and it rolled over. Eight fatalities and over 40 injuries were sustained as a result of this tragic accident. Those sustaining fatal injuries were ejected from the bus. Only five seats in the front of the bus were equipped with safety belts. Buses are not required to have seat belts, and ejection is not an uncommon occurrence in a major bus crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation and is not yet known. Although it may not have been raining at the time of the accident, the road was wet.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has noted that the bus was equipped with anti-lock brakes, but they may not have engaged in the crash. Anti-lock brakes help vehicles avoid skidding and help the driver maintain better control. This type of brake has been required on motor coaches and other large vehicles since 1998. This particular bus had anti-lock brakes installed, but it also may have had safety violations in the past.

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1175023_magnoliaThe tragic two-car crash near Athens, Georgia that took the lives of four University of Georgia students is still under investigation. Local authorities have been seeking answers to this unthinkable tragedy that has the campus and many Georgians reeling with sadness for these young lives. Authorities found no drugs or alcohol at the scene. The driver of the vehicle in which the UGA students travelled remains in critical condition. The driver of the other vehicle is not seriously harmed and made the call to 911 saying that a car had swerved in front of her vehicle. It is now thought that the driver of the vehicle that carried the now-deceased young women, might have over-corrected and lost control of her vehicle, striking the oncoming car.

Over correction is a well-known cause of accident. Often over correction involves vehicles veering off the road and can involve speeding. When a driver senses that a wheel is off the pavement or outside its lane that driver might try to steer the vehicle in the other direction, while losing control in the process. This loss of control of a vehicle sometimes causes it to slide sideways or roll over. Overcorrection accidents can result in a vehicle veering into oncoming traffic. Many have been harmed or fatally injured in over correction accidents.

There are ways to avoid the dangers of over correction, but they must be practiced to ensure they become more automatic when a situation arises. These techniques need to be a part of the education of all new drivers and experienced drivers should be reminded about them as well. These include remaining as calm as possible, avoiding braking and decelerating. Although we do not yet know for certain what caused this accident, the swerving as described by the other driver and the lack of other causes, has led authorities to suspect over correction.

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iStock_000016429140XSmallTomorrow evening at the University of Georgia, four students who lost their lives in a car accident over this past weekend will be memorialized along with all other UGA students who passed away this year. The most recent deaths have left the school stunned and in mourning. The loss of these lives hits close to home for many of us who are UGA alumi and who have traveled these roads many times over the years. As an Athens native, I have traveled this highway countless times, and I have driven and ridden on the two-laned highways leading in and out of the classic city for my entire childhood. This tragedy hits close to home. Personally, it is heartbreaking to me that the families of these girls will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. The investigation continues into exactly what happened, but that will do little to assuage the loss felt by the Athens community and the UGA family.

As the school year ends and students begin their summer break, four families, four communities and all of Georgia will be thinking about the loss of these young lives. The crash that ended the students’  lives is being investigated, but no obvious cause has been identified at this time. The sadness of this tragedy has hit home and was evident as the local authorities spoke about the tragedy.

What we do know is that the crash took place in the evening hours as the UGA students, all young women, were traveling north on Highway 15 only about 15 miles from Athens. There were five in one car. At one point in their journey, their vehicle crossed over the center line and struck another vehicle traveling south. The driver of that car was traveling alone and was taken to Athens Regional Medical Center in serious condition.

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Texting and drivingSocial media can be used for good. And it can be used for not as good. The culture that drives the creation of apps that allow us to share our lives with friends is at the center of an Atlanta injury lawsuit filed just recently. The case is already making headlines in the tech community. As TechCrunch reports, last September, a young Atlanta driver did something incredibly dangerous and in their words “narcissistic.” She decided that it would be interesting to post a photo on the app Snapchat that showed her driving at 100 miles per hour. Only she was traveling at 107. Snapchat allows a user to put a filter on an image that shows how fast a car or other motor vehicle is going. The feature is aptly noted by TechCrunch to be included as an option “for some reason.” This subtle reference to purposelessness is one we happen to share. Because, as one might expect, her actions resulted in a terrible crash in which her victim sustained traumatic brain injury. He is now in a wheelchair … all due to the fact that this young woman made one of the worst decisions of her life.

According to reports, the young woman had several co-workers in her vehicle, including a pregnant friend. She crashed into her victim’s vehicle while distracted trying to document her speed. Her drive home is now the subject of a lawsuit filed in Spalding County, Georgia in which she and Snapchat have been named as defendants. Snapchat claims that it warns users not to use the app while they are driving.Snapchat claims that it warns users not to use the app while they are driving. Perhaps implying that a wise user would allow a passenger to use the app, but not the driver who would become distracted. The catastrophically injured plaintiff is seeking to recover for his injuries and loss of work income. Ironically, he was an Uber driver at the time of the accident which has now changed his life.

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825017_crash_carIf you have been a vehicle owner for a while, chances are at some point you have received, or one day will receive, a recall notice. So what do you do when you get a recall notice? The one thing NOT to do is to ignore it. Many people believe that a recall will cost them money or don’t have time to take their vehicle in for the repair. In fact, recalls do not cost the vehicle owner anything. The manufacturer pays for the repair. In addition, there are times when a recall notice and repair is critical to your safety. Many recalls are intended to avoid serious injury or worse. There are easy ways to find out if your vehicle is involved in a recall. Just check this link at safer car.org and put your vehicles VIN number in to find out about your vehicle.

This issue has come back into the news recently after a young Texas woman was in a fatal auto crash due to a malfunctioning Takata airbag in her 2002 Honda Civic. The air bag did what many others have done, when it opened in a relatively minor rear-end collision, the air bag tossed metal shards into the vehicle, struck the young woman in the neck and ended up killing her. The authorities have said that the crash was moderate and that she would have survived her vehicle rear-ending the vehicle in front of her had the airbags not malfunctioned. Her family says they never received a recall notice for the vehicle and were not aware that their daughter’s vehicle was a part of the recall.

Now America’s car manufacturers are seeking support from motor vehicle insurers to get vehicle owners to bring their cars for repair after a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also pushing for ways to get the public to bring their vehicles in for repairs when a recall. A major industry group representing vehicle manufacturers is asking that insurance companies help with the efforts to remind and inform owners to get to the repair shop when they renew their insurance.

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