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Cartersville Personal Injury Law Blog

Injuries involving stairs are becoming more common

Emergency rooms in Georgia and around the country treat an injury involving stairs about every 30 seconds according to a recent study from the Nationwide Children's Hospital. Researchers from the Ohio-based pediatric hospital looked at emergency room data compiled between 1990 and 2012, and they found that ER doctors treated 25 million stair-related injuries during this time. The study was published by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine and released online on Sept. 20.

The study also reveals that injuries have soared in recent years. The number of stair-related injuries fell by 13 percent during the first six years of the period studied before surging by 24 percent between 1996 and 2012. Women were treated for these injuries 62 percent of the time, and injury rates were highest among men and women in their 20s, elderly individuals over the age of 85 and children younger than 3 years of age.

Driving an older car could increase risk of dying in a crash

As many Georgia motorists are aware, newer model cars come with many safety technologies and could be expected to perform better than older vehicles. But just how much better, with regards to safety, may come as a surprise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that someone who drives a car that is 18 years old or older has a 71 percent higher chance of dying in a serious crash than one behind the wheel of a car that is three years old or newer.

The NHTSA published a research paper in August 2013 on how the age of a vehicle relates to the severity of injuries in a crash. The safest cars are from one to three years old, according to the research, while cars from 4 to 7 years old put drivers at a 10 percent higher risk of fatality. That risk jumps to 19 percent for cars that are 8 to 11 years old. But the outlook becomes disturbingly bleak when a car is at least 18 years old. A 50 percent chance for a 15-year-old vehicle jumps to 71 for cars at or over 18 years old.

Smaller cars carry higher injury and fatality risks

Georgians who are thinking about buying new cars may want to take the vehicle sizes into consideration. While smaller cars may get better gas mileage, they also place vehicle occupants at much greater risk of suffering serious injuries when they are involved in accidents.

Smaller vehicles are lighter than larger vehicles and are much likelier to be severely damaged in wrecks. Since small cars have smaller front ends, there is less of the frame available to absorb the physical forces that are released in accidents. In front-end collisions, smaller cars will thus transfer more of the physical collision forces to the occupants inside of the vehicles.

Slow driving may be as dangerous as speeding

The risks of driving too fast are obvious, and speeding does lead to car accidents in Georgia and all over the country. However, driving too slowly can also be dangerous. In fact, a number of states have laws that penalize drivers for doing it. Slow driving can increase accident risk by causing confusion, disorganization or catching other drivers off-guard.

When a slower driver makes his or her way in the left-most lane of a multi-lane road, for example, other drivers may be forced to use the right lanes to pass. This can lead to an increased accident risk. Slow drivers often fall into one of four categories, distracted drivers, tourists, newly-licensed drivers and elderly drivers.

Distracted driving is a major concern

Distracted driving is a major issue for motorists in Georgia and around the country. In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 391,000 people received injuries in vehicle accidents caused by such inattentive motorists. and 3,477 people died in such accidents.

Progressive Insurance did an online study in August 2017. Approximately 1,00 licensed drivers aged 18 and older who are not Progressive customers responded. About one-third of the participants said that they felt secure texting while driving. But in excess of 90 percent believe that texting and driving should be prohibited.

Zooming through Atlanta - and suddenly stopped

At Glenda Mitchell Law Firm, we work with neighbors, college students, business travelers and people on vacation to obtain maximum compensation for injuries occurring along Interstate 75, Interstate 20, and other major routes into and out of the city.

Our view is that you should never settle for less than the actual damages you have sustained. 

Fall season poses extra risks to motorists

Autumn can bring some relief from hot Georgia summers. However, drivers also need to be mindful of how the season influences safety on the road. Adjustments in driving habits could reduce the chance of an accident during this busy season.

Traffic gets heavy at the end of summer with back-to-school activities. With many students crowding roads and sidewalks, drivers should slow down and give themselves extra time to reach destinations. Tourists on fall color vacations add to traffic in some places. Locals should give drivers with out-of-state plates extra room because tourists might stop unexpectedly.

The dangers of same-level slip and fall accidents for customers

Employers in Georgia may be underestimating the danger of slip and fall accidents on their premises. According to a study by New Pig, an authority in drips, leaks and spills, employers who ignore these potential hazards may suffer losses in productivity as well as significant medical costs and liability. New Pig sites data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that the highest number of workplace injuries are caused by same-level slip-and-fall accidents. According to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the cost for these falls was $11 billion in medical expenses and workers' compensation in 2016.

New Pig found that although 46 percent of respondents said there were three or fewer same-level fall risks at their work premises, the real number was actually much higher. More than 90 percent of organizations addressed the dangers of entranceways by placing floor mats. However, most failed to do anything to make other danger areas safer.

Collision avoidance systems reduce accident injury rates

Georgia drivers would of course like to see the prevalence of car accidents decrease. A report has shown that collision avoidance systems have led to a reduction in injuries as well as in car accidents in general. This could mean that as these systems become more widespread, there could be more positive results.

The study that was conducted by researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reviewed lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems. The researchers analyzed approximately 5,000 car accidents that took place in 2015 and that involved a collision resulting from changing lanes or cars not seen in a driver's blind spot. They found that, in the cases where drivers had collision avoidance technology in their vehicles, the injury rate was 21 percent lower. Sideswipes, head-on collisions and accidents involving just one vehicle were 11 percent lower for the group with collision avoidance technology as well.

Partially at fault for an accident? You can still recover damages

There is a common belief among drivers that, in the event of an accident, any indication of fault on a victim's part prevents him or her from collecting damages from a legal claim. In other words, they think negligence is an all-or-nothing situation.

In some states that may be true, but in Georgia, we observe modified comparative negligence laws. Below, we examine what this means and how it applies to you if you have recently been involved in an accident.

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Glenda Mitchell

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