An illustration of an electric scooterFirst, there was Uber and Lyft. Then there was Relay Bike Share. You may have recently noticed a new development in the sharing economy, devised as a way to reduce urban congestion: racks of electric scooters available for rent by pedestrians. Popping up across the country, these services offer what appears to be a fun, affordable, and green alternative to driving. Lime and Bird are just two of the companies renting scooters and vying for customers in Atlanta. As the industry appears to be aggressively expanding, we should take time to consider some of the potential hazards that these vehicles present.

A Fun and Easy Way to Get Around the City

Renting an electric scooter is surprisingly easy. Using an app on your phone, you can locate the nearest station to unlock and rent your scooter. When you’re finished, you return to any station you like. You lock up the scooter, snap a photo, and end your ride through the app, which also handles payment. No coins or cash is required, and you use it as much or as little as you like. You pay as little as $1, at a rate of 15 cents per minute.

A broken glass of liquor and car keysEvery year since 1981, December has been designated as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. It isn’t hard to see why – between Thanksgiving and New Years, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Family parties, office parties, concerts, and family get-togethers crowd the calendar, and it’s likely that alcohol will be served. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 10,874 fatal car accidents in 2017 that involved alcohol. In December of 2017, 8.1 percent of all total accident fatalities involved alcohol.

We here at Slappey & Sadd drive the same roads you do, and so we want to share some tips to get you home safely.

Drive Smart to Avoid Drunk Drivers

A knocked-over "caution - cleaning in progress" signWorkplace injuries are more common than you may think. In a news release issued earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2017. Of those injuries, almost 890,000 required the employee to miss work.  

For many of us, missing work means lost income. The situation gets even more complicated if your injury leaves you partially or totally disabled, even if the disability is only temporary. And unfortunately, many of these injuries are preventable. As a result of ever-increasing pressures to be profitable, many employers become careless with regard to their employees’ safety. Using statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), we’ll review some of the ways that employers routinely put the safety of their employees at risk.  

  • Inadequate fall protection and training. Employers can violate OSHA regulations by failing to install guardrails, provide safety harnesses, or take other measures to guard against falls. OSHA also mandates that employers provide sufficient training to employees in order to help them avoid fall hazards.

Man with his head in his hands sitting outside of a wrecked carThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its report summarizing crash statistics for 2016. While the report demonstrates a decrease in the number of fatalities, there were over 7 million car accidents that resulted in more than 3 million injuries.

Despite how common they are, car accidents can be a major disruption to your life, especially if you sustain serious injuries. Not only do you need to repair or replace your vehicle, but you may need prolonged medical treatment and physical therapy. You may have to miss work and deal with lost income. Meanwhile, bills are piling up and insurance companies are pestering you with questions. You can get overwhelmed very quickly and feel like you don’t know what to do next.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, this post will hopefully give you some direction to help you move forward and get back to normal.

A judge;s gavel sitting on $100 billsYou may not hear them every day, but injuries due to defective products can be very serious. Burns, electrocution, deep cuts, and other injuries can require hospitalization, time off of work, and other losses. Products designed for children can present additional dangers such as choking hazards. If you’ve been injured as a result of a defective product, this post will outline what you will need to prove in order to prevail on your personal injury claim.  

The Four Elements of a Products Liability Claim

Georgia law lays out the structure you have to work with if you’ve been injured by a defective product. In order to prevail on your claim, you will need to prove each of the following elements (or components) of your claim:  

An overturned and badly damaged semi truckAccording to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month, fatal accidents involving large trucks increased by 9 percent from 2016 to 2017. While this includes fatalities involving the occupants of the truck, the data reveals the shocking reality that large trucks pose to the public at large. In 2017, 841 truck occupants were killed in accidents, while those accidents resulted in 4,761 fatalities of other people. Interestingly, almost all other categories saw a decrease in accident fatalities, and none of the exceptions to that trend saw an increase as significant as the one associated with large trucks.  

The NHTSA hasn’t published data for non-fatalities, but it’s probably safe to assume that the overall number of truck accidents has increased. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, we’d like to take this opportunity to alert you to some of the unique issues involved.  

Truck Drivers – Encouraged to be Negligent?

IciclesWhile Georgia may not see much snow, we do get plenty of ice. We tend to worry primarily about ice when behind the wheel of our car, but it’s important to remember that ice can lead to falls and very serious injuries. Cuts, scrapes, and bruises may not require much treatment, but some falls result in broken bones, concussions, and other injuries that can require surgery and time off of work. In those cases, you may be entitled to compensation from the property owner for negligence, but it’s important to understand how to make your claim.  


Principles of Premises Liability

Whether or not a property owner should be held liable for someone else’s injury is typically determined by a negligence standard. Most people understand negligence to mean careless or reckless behavior. In the context of premises liability, a property owner is negligent when he or she fails to maintain the property according to a standard of ordinary prudence under the circumstances. For example, a property owner could be held liable if someone fell on a staircase that was the main entry to the building and in obvious need of repair. So, the questions that typically need to be answered in this scenario are as follows:

An empty operating roomFollowing an eight-year review of medical death data, Johns Hopkins Medicine released a report in 2016 that there are an estimated 250,000 deaths per year in the United States due to medical error. According to the Johns Hopkins study, this would make medical errors the third highest cause of death in the country. One of the concerns noted in the study was that the CDC does not adequately classify deaths due to medical error, and so it’s difficult to identify exactly how many of these deaths occur each year. It’s even more difficult to calculate how many deaths are attributable to specific kinds of medical errors.   

It has been estimated that thousands of people die each year due to surgical errors, making it one of the most common types of medical malpractice claims. If you’re suffering following complications from surgery, this post will review some of the common issues that we’ve seen in handling surgical error cases.  

Common Surgical Errors

A brown dog baring its teeth.We’ve written before about dog bite cases, but a couple of recent cases in Georgia make the topic worth revisiting.  

Eight-Year-Old Girl Attacked in Miamisburg

In July, an eight-year-old girl was hospitalized for her injuries after being attacked by a pit bull. The 911 caller reported to the dispatcher that she was “covered in blood.” The girl experienced a full recovery, but it was a harrowing experience. The owners of the pitbull surrendered the dog to animal control authorities, otherwise it would have been deemed a “dangerous dog.”  The dog was later euthanized.

The aftermath of a 3-car accidentCar accidents can be traumatic events that result in very serious injuries such as broken bones, organ damage, whiplash, and brain injuries. Unfortunately, many people tend to overlook the psychological trauma, which can be every bit as serious as a physical injury and often harder to treat.  

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may already be experiencing some of the issues we’ll discuss below. However, it’s important to keep in mind the psychological effects of a car accident may not be immediately obvious. In any event, don’t ignore the symptoms – talk to your doctor, seek counseling, or confide in a loved one. And keep in mind that you may be entitled to compensation for damage to your mental health, just like you may be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries.  

Depression

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