lawyer standing next to a gavel with the scale of justice behind himPeople who have been injured in an accident have a lot to worry about. Your primary concern should be your health, and recovery can involve a significant period of time for treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery. In addition, you may now be missing days from work or unable to work at all. You’re worried about paying your mortgage or rent and other expenses, and the bills are starting to pile up. On top of it all, you’re in pain and suffering, unable to live your life the way you did before your accident. With all of this, trying to decide how to handle your personal injury claim can be overwhelming.  

Understand the Insurance Company’s Game

First and foremost, you should realize that the insurance company is not on your side, even if it’s your insurance company. Insurance companies are for-profit corporations that are primarily concerned with making money. They protect the bottom line by paying out on claims only as much as they absolutely have to. As a result, they typically “low ball” accident victims by offering a small cash payment in exchange for a full release of any further liability. You may be surprised at how quickly the make the offer – often it is within days of your accident. They will seem very friendly and willing to work with you, but you’ll soon discover that they aren’t willing to negotiate a higher amount.

A police carThe Atlanta Police Department has just suspended one of its officers as a result of being indicted in connection with a car accident that occurred back in February of 2018. The officer, Dejoira Phillips, was responding to a 911 call when she collided with another driver, Lisa Williams of Atlanta. Ms. Williams lost her left arm when it was severed in the accident.

The car accident is not only a startling reminder of the severe injuries that can occur, but it also raises a number of questions that should be asked in any car accident case.

Who is at Fault?

A semi-truck driving in the mountainsYou have likely heard about the horrific accident that happened shortly after the New Year on I-75 near Gainesville, Florida. Investigators still haven’t issued their final report, but it appears that a car and a semi-truck collided in the northbound lanes of I-75. The two vehicles then broke through a guardrail, crossed the median, and collided with another semi-truck and a church van loaded with children and headed for Disney World. As a result of diesel fuel spilled during the accident, the wreckage was consumed by a fire that burned so intensely it actually damaged the roadway. Tragically, 7 people were killed – 5 children and both truck drivers, with at least 8 others injured.

This accident is a sobering reminder of just how serious truck accidents can be. Reportedly occurring on a flat, straight stretch of I-75 in clear weather with good visibility, it raises the question of what you can do to avoid being involved in a similarly deadly accident.

Avoid Distractions

An illustration of the brainWe wrote a post not too long ago about traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), many of which are caused by car accidents. One of the most common symptoms of a TBI is memory loss, which is often difficult to diagnose and can be even harder to treat. If you’ve been in a car accident and are wondering if you may be suffering from memory loss, we hope that this post gets you pointed in the right direction.  

The Symptoms of Memory Loss

Memory loss can often be difficult to detect as the symptoms are mostly subjective. Even after an accident, many victims don’t want to admit to themselves that they are having memory problems, let alone anyone else. The accident may have also caused the victim to suffer from anxiety or depression as a result of the accident, which can also mask the symptoms of memory loss. Here are some common symptoms of memory loss following an accident:

An illustration of a head showing the brainBrain injuries occur far more often than many people realize. According to the Georgia Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission, 1.7 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Of those, 52,000 will result in death, and 275,000 will be hospitalized. In their most recent study, Georgians suffered 15,608 traumatic brain injuries as of March 2017, more than half of which were caused by car accidents. If you’ve been in an accident and hit your head, you may have suffered a brain injury that could lead to lasting complications.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Defined

The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury as “a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” The CDC notes that traumatic brain injuries encompass a range of injuries from mild to severe. The most common mild TBI is a concussion, but we know that even mild concussions can have long-term consequences.  

A judge's gavelIt may come as no surprise that car accidents result in the overwhelming majority of personal injury lawsuits filed in the United States. According to a new study just released by the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have found that unintentional injury is the primary cause of death for children and teens. Among those injuries, the number one cause of death is car accidents, accounting for 20% of the more than 20,000 deaths suffered by children in 2016. The good news is that death rates from car accidents have seen dramatic declines in recent years due to improvements in vehicle safety.  

We know that losing a child in a car accident is an unfathomable tragedy. If you’re in this situation and wondering what to do next, we’re writing this post to help you understand your options.  

The Wrongful Death Lawsuit

An illustration of two cars collidingIntersections can be dangerous places – traffic entering from different directions, vehicles stopping and going and making turns, often without looking. Then there are pedestrians and cyclists also entering the intersection, and sometimes in unpredictable ways. It’s no wonder, therefore, that so many car accidents occur at intersections.

When there is an accident, a dispute often arises over who had the right-of-way. The reason is simple: determining who had the right-of-way often determines who was at fault in the accident. If you were injured in a car accident while you had the right-of-way, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the other driver for your injuries and other losses.  In this post, we hope to clarify some common right-of-way scenarios that may be helpful to you if you’ve been in an accident.

Four-way intersection with stop signs for all drivers:

A badly damaged roadWhile most other motor vehicle accidents are caused by other drivers, some accidents can legitimately be caused, at least in part, by poor road conditions. Roads can be dangerous as a result of negligent maintenance, poor design, or other conditions that create a hazard for motorists. In a case that was settled for $550,000 earlier this month, a motorcyclist sued the Georgia Department of Transportation for injuries that were sustained due to a poorly maintained stretch of roadway. If you’ve been in an accident that you believe was caused by road conditions, this post will identify a few issues for you to consider.

Identifying the Hazard

The first step is identifying the hazard that you believe caused your accident. Here are some common types of hazards that lead to accidents:

A man driving a carYou have probably heard about Georgia’s new “hands-free” law that took effect on July 1, 2018. The law prohibits having your phone in your hand or touching any part of your body while talking on the phone. The law also prohibits drivers from sending, writing, or reading texts and watching or recording any video content. First-time offenders face a $50.00 fine and one point on their license, with increasing penalties for repeat offenders.

The CDC reports that approximately 390,000 people are injured per year in accidents caused by distracted driving. While cell phones do cause many drivers to become distracted, it’s important to remember that there are other sources of distraction that are very common. Putting away your phone is a good place to start, but safe driving means eliminating as many distractions as possible.

Three Ways to Get Distracted

A blood pressure monitor, pill case, and medications on a tableEarlier this month, Mylan Pharmaceuticals announced a recall of three blood pressure medications that were found to contain small amounts of a substance believed to cause cancer. The drugs all include a medication called “valsartan” which has been the subject of an ongoing FDA investigation. Mylan, a generic drug company, recalled three medications it has sold: valsartan tablets, and two other tablets that combine valsartan with amlodipine and hydrochlorothiazide. Mylan’s recall is the latest in a series of recalls that began in July.  

FDA Investigation

On December 11th, the FDA stated in a press release that it had sent a warning letter to the Chinese manufacturer of valsartan, ZHP, informing them that they are subject to an ongoing investigation due to customer complaints from 2016 and June of 2018. The FDA noted in its letter that batches of valsartan from their facility contained an ingredient that is internationally categorized as a probable carcinogen. The FDA went on to state that ZHP has failed to address and resolve these concerns, and thus concluded that the issue reveals “a disturbing lack of oversight” in ZHP’s manufacturing processes.  

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