Back to School

shutterstock_76404991

Back to School

As summer comes to a close and the new school year starts, students will be rejoining the rush hour traffic frenzy. In this month’s guide, we present safety tips for the most common modes of transportation to and from school.  It is important to follow the rules of the road to make sure fewer injuries occur, especially to children.

School Bus

Buses can be difficult to maneuver so wait for buses to stop completely before approaching, and stop ten feet away from the school bus. Make certain that your child is seated on the bus before it departs. Also remind your child to wear a seat belt if it is available. Get to know your child’s bus driver. Make sure the driver is familiar with your child’s bus stop, and who is allowed to pick them up.

Educate your child on these tips for waiting on and boarding the school bus:

  • While waiting for the school bus stay away from traffic and up on a sidewalk when available.
  • Line up away from the street as the school bus approaches.
  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the doors open before stepping out into the road to board the bus.
  • Use the handrail when getting on the bus.
  • When driving, always maintain a safe distance behind the school bus, and never attempt to pass a stopped school bus. It is against the law.

CAR

Remember to buckle up. All passengers should wear a seat belt. Small children should be placed in an approved age-appropriate booster seat in the safest and proper location in the vehicle. Giving yourself more time to get where you are going will help you navigate the increased traffic. If a newly permitted or licensed teen is driving to and from school, limit the number of non-family passengers in the vehicle. Prohibit your new driver from eating, drinking, using the cell phone, including talking and texting, and engaging in any other activity which is distracting. Use a carpool. Carpooling reduces the number of vehicles on the road and decreases the chance of an accident.

WALKING

Avoid letting your child walk to school alone. Find a fellow student or friend to accompany them. Make sure your child knows the route well and remind your child to stop and look before crossing intersections. Before school starts, walk the route with your child to make sure your child is comfortable and able to walk to and from school alone, if necessary. Educate your child on how to be visible to drivers. Wear bright-colored clothes, and if it is dark carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing. Provide your child with a way to contact someone in case of an emergency.

RULES OF THE ROAD

Remember to always follow the rules of the road. Visit dmv.org and nhtsa.gov to

find the laws and safety information for your area.

CHILDREN ON THEIR OWN AFTER SCHOOL SHOULD

  • Be sure to know their home phone number (including area code) and address, the numbers of their parents at
    work and of another trusted adult.
    Know how to call 91 I in emergencies.

Establish rules for locking doors and windows and answering the door or telephone. Have an agreement regarding inviting friends over or going to a friend’s house. Never talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Contact a parent or neighbor when they arrive home if they are staying home alone after school.

Cyclists vs. Vehicles

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/man-headed-to-prison-for-killing-bicyclist-aspirin/ng29X/

Cyclist Injuries. Atlanta seems to have more cyclist-vehicle crashes than most places in the United States. As noted in today’s AJC, the man convicted of a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist who was pedaling to work has been sentenced to fifteen (15) years in prison.

Georgia passed an important law in 2011 mandating that drivers attempting to overtake a cyclist must leave at least three (3) feet in between the vehicle and the cyclist.  Many people do not follow this important law and seem to forget that in a car versus cyclist collision, the car is going to win.

What makes these collisions even more common are distracted drivers.  Georgia’s “no texting” law is designed to prevent distracted driving.  If you are a passenger in a vehicle sometime soon, take a look around at other drivers on the road.  The law is not being followed and more and more injuries are the result.

Even though in a car vs. cyclist collision the car is going to win, an injured cyclist may have a valid personal injury claim against the striking automobile’s driver and insurance company.  Glass & Robson have handled numerous cycling injury cases.

One way pedestrians and cyclists can protect themselves from distracted drivers is to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.  For example, in a 2012 injury case, Glass & Robson represented a woman that was struck by a motorcycle while riding her bike in north Georgia.  The motorcyclist carried the state-minimum insurance limits of $25,000.  Luckily, the cyclist carried underinsured motorist coverage so the end result was much better for the client.  Be sure and check your insurance policy to make sure you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.  It is very important for the protection of you and your family.

 

 

Atlanta Attorney Robert F. Glass Nominated to the ASLA Top 40 Under 40

Robert F. Glass of Glass & Robson, LLC was nominated on December 5, 2013 to join the prestigious American Society of Legal Advocates “Top 40 Under 40,” an honor limited nationally to the top 1.5 percent of attorneys in the United States.

ASLA is an invitation-only legal organization comprised of the nation’s most skilled lawyers.  It was founded with one central purpose — to identify and help promote only the most outstanding legal talent throughout the country.  ASLA only invites lawyers who combine stellar legal credentials with proven commitment to community engagement, leadership, and the highest professional standards.

Congratulations, Robert!

Atlanta Personal Injury Firm is a Top 100 Trial Lawyer Firm

Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys Robert F. Glass and James A. Robson were both elected to the 2014 “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the National Trial Lawyers, which is a huge honor:

Top 100 an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state in the nation who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile.

Robert is also a member of the National Trial Lawyer’s “Top 40 Under 40,” which is limited to the top 40 young lawyers in each state across the United States.  The Top 40 Under 40 is described as follows:

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is a professional organization composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or regions of certain highly-populated states who are younger than the age of 40.  Membership into The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those trial lawyers practicing civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law.  Invitees must exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

Each of our distinguished Top 40 under 40 members strives to encompass the knowledge, skill, experience and success held by only the best lawyers in America.  It is our mission to promote a unique and professional networking opportunity for young lawyers, while developing progressive ideas to pursue justice for those injured by the negligence of others, to educate the public about the importance of access to courts that are free of bias and undue influence, and to protect the right of trial by jury.

Car Crashes Around the Holiday Season In Atlanta and Around Georgia

Atlanta is a busy town with lots of traffic, especially around Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Last year there were an unprecedented amount of car wrecks and injuries arising over Thanksgiving weekend. In 2010, the Georgia State Patrol investigated 437 traffic crashes that resulted in 397 injuries and 8 fatalities. In 2011, there were fewer crashes but 15 fatalities. This presents a very clear danger to drivers on the road. One friend of mine told me that the rise in DUI-related crashes is because there are so many college kids home before exams and wanting to go out and see their high school friends.

The reason there are so many injuries resulting from car wrecks over the Thanksgiving period in Atlanta and throughout Georgia is primarily intoxicated drivers and drivers travelling too fast for conditions. There was a large increase in the presence of police officers and authorities in the Atlanta area last weekend but it did not seem to make a dent in the amount of injuries that occurred. There were 15 fatalities last weekend alone.

If you are in a wreck, you need a good lawyer to make sure you receive appropriate compensation for your injuries. This year alone, Robert has favorably resolved over twenty car wreck cases, including multiple DUI cases and pedestrian-automobile collisions. DUI cases are particularly troublesome for insurance companies right now and we have had great success in recovering many times the amount of the client’s medical expenses, including one recovery for almost 20 times the amount of medical expenses.

All car-related accidents or crashes, whether in Atlanta or throughout the state, arise in “tort.” This means that in order to recover damages for an injured victim of a car wreck, the individual (the plaintiff) must prove that the defendant driver breached his or her duty to exercise ordinary care to plaintiff, and that this breach caused plaintiff personal injury for which he or she is entitled to recover. In car wrecks, a guilty plea or paying a fine for a traffic violation in which another person was injured is an admission of guilt, and gets the plaintiff past the first two elements: duty and breach. The final two elements of a negligence action, causation and damages, are usually what comprise the bulk of a trial in a car wreck or trucking case.

If you are looking for legal representation in connection with a road wreck or traffic crash in Atlanta or throughout the state, be sure to call Robert Glass of Glass & Robson. What do we do different? Unlike the “volume” practices or some of the lawyers you may see advertising on TV or billboards, we receive almost all of our cases by referrals from former clients, friends, or other lawyers in the community. We spend a lot of time building up the client’s case both on the liability front as well as the medical front. One of the major differences in what we do and what others do is that we make sure we understand the medicine and have sufficient medical testimony from doctors and other professionals to explain how your injury occurred and will affect your life. We build up your case using the best sources of evidence and make it understandable to a jury to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Atlanta Airport Slip and Fall Case Settlement

In late November, we settled a slip and fall lawsuit where the fall occurred at the Atlanta Airport on very favorable terms for our client. This is a huge victory for our client and I think it would be instructive to tell the story of how the lawsuit went for those facing a future slip and fall case in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia.

In July 2008, our client was walking through Concourse E in the Atlanta Airport (client worked as a flight attendant). She was her way to make a connecting flight in another terminal. There was a gel-like food substance on the floor near the information booth and had not been cleaned up despite warnings of the existence of the hazard. There was another individual that had fallen in the substance and watched our client fall as well. In addition, there was another flight attendant that witnessed our client fall. Both witnesses played a tremendous role in helping get the case resolved on excellent terms for our client.

In Georgia, “premises liability” or “fall down” cases can sometimes be difficult cases to win. The Georgia code creates and imposes a non-delegable duty upon landowners toward “invitee,” which are also thought of as “business guests.” A person who is typically on the premises of a business or other commercial entity is considered an invitee. A landowner owes an invitee a duty to ensure that the invitee is entitled to reasonably safe conditions while on the property.

What are reasonably safe conditions? Georgia case law provides that a landowner must have actual or constructive knowledge of a hazard. Essentially this means that the landowner knew (actual) or should have known (constructive) of the danger but did not take reasonable steps to eliminate the hazard. This can be tough to prove and there are various ways to impute knowledge to a landowner. In our airport case, our theory was that the janitorial service and operating entity knew that the hazard existed because we had testimony that after our client fell, someone said they had already called the janitorial service to report the hazard but no one had come to the scene to remove the food. We bolstered this evidence from the two witnesses and believe that this hard work played a large role in settling the case for $107,500. The client had less than $15,000 in medical treatment. This was a great victory for the client and for justice. You can see more results on thewebsite.

Election 2012 and “Tort Reform”

Insurance companies and some of the country’s most powerful corporations have been engaging in a war against our constitutionally guaranteed right to a trial by jury for almost thirty years. So called “tort reform” has been an issue that you may have heard of in the media. In case you are not sure what “tort reform” means, I want you to know the underlying efforts behind this movement and potential ramifications of its enactment.

A “tort” is a civil wrong, an injury. Many states–Georgia included–have tried to limit your rights to bring a civil lawsuit against someone who harms you, whether it involves a car wreck or other injury. In 2005, Georgia’s General Assembly passed Senate Bill 3, which attempted to restrict many of your rights to bring a lawsuit against a wrongdoer. Some of the provisions of Senate Bill 3 have been upheld, but some other provisions have been ruled unconstitutional by our Georgia Supreme Court. One of the most drastic measures instituted by Senate Bill 3 was a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, capping damages for pain and suffering at $350,000. While $350,000 certainly seems like a large figure, what this meant was that a person who did not make a lot of money (whose damages would also include “economic damages) would be limited in recovery to $350,000 for all non-economic damages or pain and suffering for the rest of their life. If a child, for instance, or a retired person suffered a horrible injury from a botched medical procedure (such as the amputation of the wrong limb or the severance of an artery that caused permanent brain injury) that person would be restricted by law from recovering more than $350,000 from the doctor or hospital’s insurance company for pain and suffering. Thankfully our Georgia Supreme Court ruled this provision unconstitutional in 2010 and Georgia citizens are not subject to that limitation like citizens from some other states such as Texas, thanks to Rick Perry. Be careful when you hear politicians touting “tort reform.” It’s dangerous.

One of the more frustrating aspects of the tort reform battle is that the insurance company executives and corporate advocates seem to feel like people who suffer legitimate injuries as the result of the negligence of others are not worthy of their day in court. One need only look at the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees the right to a trial by jury. There is nothing more important in our freedom and way of American life than having the right to hold accountable the most powerful corporations and the insurance industry from killing, maiming, and injuring our citizens. That’s what we do at Cash Krugler & Fredericks and I hope that when the 2012 presidential election and other state-wide elections arise, you’ll know what the right response is to limiting your freedom and rights through tort reform.

Big Recovery for Fast Food Slip and Fall

Slip and fall cases in Georgia have often gotten a bad rap, but thanks to new law from the Supreme Court (AMC v. Brown), restaurant or other patrons at commercial establishments have a better opportunity to recover when they are injured as a result of a hazard that the management should have prevented.

I recently mediated a case against a large national commercial establishment that settled for a substantial amount. The client was a very deserving woman, only twenty eight (28) years old. She and her son were at the fast food restaurant eating lunch when the client slipped and fell on standing water in the bathroom. It turned out that the restaurant knew about a leaking pipe that had been causing water to pool in the bathroom. Despite knowing this, the management did not have the leak fixed and my client suffered a torn ACL as a result, which will likely require future surgery.

We put the case into suit after the restaurant failed to accept responsibility, we put the case into suit. After discovery concluded, the defense realized they were at risk for exposure and requested that we mediate the case. The end result was a very substantial recovery for our client and will give her the means to pay for surgery for her knee. Remember that Robert Glass only takes personal injury cases that he is ready to try. That mentality paid off in this case.

Bicycling Injuries in Atlanta and Surrounding Counties – Serious Danger

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting the tragic death of a cyclist that was hit and killed on Monday, April 30, 2012, in Decatur, Georgia. A link to the story is attached here. Apparently the cyclist was riding in the inside lane on North Decatur Road when he was hit by a Ford Ranger pickup early this morning. The cyclist was pronounced dead at the hospital hours later.

This story is a sobering reminder of the dangers that cyclists face while on the road. As a cyclist myself, I can tell you that there are countless times where I have been close to being hit by a passing vehicle that does not realize the dire implications of one false move — serious injury or death. When passing too closely or not maintaining a proper lookout for cyclists on the road, all it takes is a minor slip-up and the results could be tragic.

I have represented a number of cyclists in my practice and believe that as more people undertake the cycling as an activity, the number of injuries and deaths will increase. Drivers are held to the same rules of the road for ensuring the safety of cyclists who are riding on city streets. Thankfully, most insurance plans do not exclude injuries caused to cyclists as opposed to individuals driving motor vehicles. If you need to speak to an experienced trial attorney about a cycling-related injury, please let me know. I am always happy to help fellow cyclists.

Cycling Tragedy in Decatur, Georgia

When we are driving cars or trucks on the road, we often forget that we are operating moving tons of steel. This is why in my practice, some of the most devastating injuries come from pedestrians and cyclists that are hit by cars on the road. If you think about car wrecks, the person who is hurt inside the car is protected by those thousands of pounds of steel, whereas a pedestrian or cyclist is protected by nothing more than his or her own flesh and bone. It’s a scary thought and unfortunately we see the impact of this type of collision far too often. The role of an Atlanta injury lawyer is to help the client get back to where he or she was before the incident occurred.

There was a tragic cycling accident on April 30, 2012, in Decatur, Georgia that highlights what can happen when motorists do not take care to make sure they give cyclists (and pedestrians for that matter) enough room when passing. Paul Taylor, a father of two and a physician’s assistant, left on an early morning bike ride around 6:20 A.M. He was riding on North Decatur Road when he was hit by a man driving a 2004 Ford Ranger. The driver told the police after the collision that Taylor appeared to be kneeling in the road when he came upon him in the far right lane. One must wonder why the driver could not have stopped if he saw the fallen biker “kneeling down.” Mr. Taylor was killed. The Atlanta Journal Constitution posted an article on this story here.

Between 2003 and 2008, 28 people died in cycling-related injuries in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett Counties alone. During that time, there were 1,476 accidents and 137 of them were classified as serious. As a result of the continued and increasing number of bike related crashes, the Georgia General Assembly has passed a bill requiring passing motorists to give bikers at least three feet of room while passing. This is a good law and an important one. Please keep in mind when you are passing bikers that one false move could result in a serious injury or a very untimely death.

As an Atlanta personal injury lawyer, I represented a man in 2010 that was riding his bike along a road in Fulton County — in Roswell, Georgia — when a car tried to make a left-turn and cut the biker off. The biker was flung up into the air and came crashing down into the windshield of the driver’s vehicle. His head actually went through the driver’s windshield and was completely inside the vehicle. The pictures of the blood on the glass were grotesque. He was transported to the emergency room for several rounds of plastic surgery and was lucky to not have been killed. The insurance company for the driver ended up paying the full policy limits for the man’s injuries. He will be left with scars across his face for the rest of his life because there is only so much plastic surgery can do to fully reduce the impacts of serious trauma to our skin.

This is a good reminder that bad things happen to good people. Be careful when you are passing cyclists and remember that even if you have to wait a few extra seconds before passing, it may prevent a catastrophic injury that could have been avoided.

If you have been hurt in a biking collision, contact Robert Glass at 404-659-1710 or rglass@ckandf.com. Robert is an experienced Georgia trial lawyer that dedicated himself to his clients and pursuing their cases fiercely to trial.

Tragic Douglas County Georgia Tractor Trailer Trucking Wreck

As I’ve written about before, trucking collisions often cause the most serious injuries and can result in multiple fatalities if the impact is severe enough. Unfortunately, the impact of a 75,000 lb. truck is almost always devastating. Trucking cases are a large part of my practice and I hate to see when negligent drivers cause wrecks like this.

Two women were killed and four people were hurt in a major tractor-trailer collision in Douglas County Georgia on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. The tractor-trailer involved struck the driver’s side of a Nissan Sentra, hurdling both vehicles into the southbound land of I-20. The truck pushed the Nissan into two additional vehicles. The driver and the passenger in the Nissan were killed.

The tractor-trailer driver was not injured. Witnesses to the wreck claim that the tractor-trailer ran a red light and that’s what caused the collision. A link to the story can be found here.

These types of cases are complex but Robert Glass handles them and has a great track record of success. In 2010, Robert was involved in a trucking case where several family members were killed in a violent tractor-trailer collision in Pennsylvania. Our firm has the resources necessary to get you or your family back on track after a trucking wreck.

Trucking Cases Are Different – Georgia Trucking Attorney

Trucking cases are not like car wreck cases. We handle all types of commercial vehicle cases but the trucking cases are regulation-intensive, and this is a good thing. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations apply to both interstate and intrastate motor carriers. This means that whether the motor carrier operates in Georgia only or throughout other state as well, there are safety regulations that the motor carrier and driver must follow. These regulations range from maintaining driver logs to document the number of hours driven to requirements for inspections and post-accident drug testing. These regulations are critical for the safe operation of motor carriers because while we need safe transport or materials, the motoring public is at risk of serious injuries if these regulations are not followed.

When truck drivers and their carriers neglect the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, tragedies occur. Last night, October 15, 2012, a person was killed when a tractor trailer collided with three cars in Fulton County, near the Atlanta Airport. The crash happened just after 11:30 P.M. when the tractor trailer ran a red-light and t-boned another passenger vehicle, a Nissan Altima. The story can be found here.

Earlier this year, I handled a very important case highlighting how the failure to follow the federal regulations can result in serious injury. The case involved our client, who was driving down the highway when she was hit by a truck and run off of the road by a driver that should not have been behind the wheel of of the 56,000 truck. The case ultimately resolved for a confidential amount after the verdict was reached and was several multiples of the insurance policy limits.

Call Robert Glass if you need assistance in a tractor-trailer case. Robert is of counsel with the prominent plaintiff’s firm Cash, Krugler & Fredericks. He has been named a Georgia Super Lawyer “Rising Star” for the past two years in a row, an honor bestowed on just 2.5 percent of Georgia’s lawyers under the age of 40. Robert was also nominated as a National Trial Lawyer’s “Top 40 Under 40,” a similar national recognition. We only take the cases we intend to try – that’s how we get our clients the results they deserve. Robert can be reached at 404-659-1710 or through his website, www.robertglasslaw.com.