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Editorials

What to Know About Georgia’s New Distracted Driving Law

Joel Williams
Joel Williams Law, LLC
Kennesaw, GA

Distracted driving as a cause of car wrecks has garnered increased attention from the media, scholars, and lawmakers over the past few years. The CDC warns that distracted driving is a major cause of accidents, and statistics from the Georgia Department of Transportation show that fatal highway accidents are on the rise as a result of these behaviors. According to the New York Times, talking on the phone while driving is just as dangerous as driving with a blood alcohol level at the legal limit, text-messaging drivers are eight times more likely to be in an accident than other drivers, and overall, drivers distracted in some way are four times more likely to be in an accident. The NYT put together an excellent video that highlights the unfortunate reality that even though drivers understand the risk of these activities, they continue to take part in them while they drive.

Instructive Differences Between Premises Liability and MVA Cases

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By: Michael Neff

The Law Office of Michael L. Neff, P.C.

 

“Premises liability cases are really different than car wreck cases.”  I say this phrase a lot to lawyers in Georgia and around the country.  Most adults I’ve met have driver’s licenses.  Thus, most people are familiar with the need to follow the rules of the road to keep people safe.  Jurors often have a heuristic that they can use to assess liability in a car wreck cases.  Further, because of this shared experience, many lawyers don’t have a steep learning curve when learning to handle car wrecks.

 

The same is not true in a premises liability case.  The average person doesn’t have experience owning, managing, or operating commercial real estate.  Thus, they don’t know about safety rules that exist to keep workers and invitees safe. As a result, jurors don’t have a schema for assessing liability.  They have to be taught the right way to manage property to eliminate or mitigate the risk of serious injuries.

Getting Maximum Results in Trucking Cases

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By Joe Fried

Fried Rogers Goldberg, LLC

Many personal injury lawyers treat truck wreck cases as if they were simply big car wreck cases; and in so doing, they miss unique opportunities to maximize results for their clients. The focus of my practice is handling truck crash cases in Georgia and around the country (I have handled cases in over 25 states), usually on referral from, or in a co-counsel arrangement with, other personal injury lawyers. In this process, I have worked with many great lawyers and have learned a tremendous amount about how to best handle truck crash cases. What follows are a few points that every personal injury lawyer should know to maximize recoveries in truck collision cases.

Last in Line, First to Die!

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By Christian Searcy

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.

INTRODUCTION:

When you are the last vehicle in a long line of emergently stopped vehicles on an interstate or other large highway, even in broad daylight with no view obstruction, you are the first to die from an 18 wheeler crushing your stopped vehicle because its driver was impaired. It matters not whether the driver was impaired due to alcohol, drugs, fatigue or preoccupation with onboard computer/communication devices, you are still dead! I have observed this unforgivable phenomena occurring throughout my 40 years of law practice, but we have observed a dramatic increase in the number of such occurrences over the past 15 years. What, if anything, can be done to protect society from these outrageous occurrences? How can we best represent the victims of these outrageous occurrences?

In It to Win It – Lessons from the Courtroom

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By Darren W. Penn

Harris Penn Lowry LLP

One of the questions most often asked by law students and young lawyers is, “What does it takes to win in court?” My initial response is that I could literally spend all day talking about success and failure in trials. However, my answer always ends up the same: It takes a lot of different things coming together that, even when all are properly employed, still does not guarantee success. After trying somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 jury trials (who is counting?), I have found there are a few constants for success in the courtroom:

WHEN PARADISE BECOMES HELL: PROOF AND ARGUMENT OF DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF CONSORTIUM

INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW

Our working definition of the word or term “consortium” must be as follows: A close and meaningful bonding, togetherness and relationship between persons created and developed by birth, marriage, adoption, or some other form of bonding where the persons have had an existing relationship and have or should have an existing relationship into the future, but where such relationship – whatever its level of existence – does not have to have been perfect to have been strong and meaningful.

Navigating ERISA Liens in Catastrophic Injury Cases

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Huntington M. Willis
Martin & Jones, PLLC
Raleigh, North Carolina

Any member of the bar who currently practices in or near the world of torts involving personal injury probably knows that the academic “flavor of the month” that many practitioners labor over is the extent of the right of reimbursement that a qualified, self-funded ERISA health plan may have on any potential claim. In fact, in the current climate, many practitioners lament that the laborious undertaking of getting to your client’s favorable judgment is only the first step in a case. What follows is a painstaking negotiation process with the various lien holders. And thanks to the United States Supreme Court, the lien with the most severe potential impact on a plaintiff’s recovery is the self-funded ERISA lien.

The Future of Patient Safety

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By Tommy Malone

Malone Law Office

The battle to deny victims of medical carelessness access to the court system rages on as Tort Reform advocates continue to demand an overhaul of the current civil justice system. They claim the current system increases the cost of healthcare, pointing to costly liability insurance and defensive medicine as primary causes.

A Primer on Birth Injury Cases and How to Keep Them Simple

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By Nelson Tyrone

Tyrone Law Office

Our firm recently had success in a birth injury case in Gwinnett County, Georgia. In that case we represented a family against the labor and delivery team that delivered their daughter and the hospital where they worked. Following her delivery, their daughter was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. The term “Cerebral Palsy” refers to several different kinds of permanent brain injuries that occur before, during, or shortly after birth. Victims of Cerebral Palsy can suffer a variety of symptoms including: limited movement, speech difficulties, learning disabilities, visual problems, hearing problems, and epilepsy, seizures or spasms. She suffered from many of these. By the time of trial, she was a ten year-old who suffered grand-mal seizures, had limited use of her right arm and leg, and whose intellectual development had stopped at the level of a three year-old.