Athens Georgia Personal Injury And Criminal Law Blog

Auto accidents a serious threat to roadside workers

When approaching a construction area on a Georgia highway, extra caution must be used. Each year, workers are injured on the side of the road, even if there are clear warnings to drivers. Auto accidents are a serious threat to the hardworking men and women who brave the danger to maintain and improve the roads. 

Recently, a Georgia worker was standing on the trailer of a construction vehicle on the shoulder of the highway. The truck had flashing lights and safety equipment to warn approaching vehicles to switch lanes, in an effort to prevent injury or death to the workers on foot. One driver chose to disregard the warnings and tried to go around the truck. 

Dangerous compassion? Medical malpractice suits on the table

Georgia residents are likely among the millions of Americans who put trust in a medical professional to make the right call regarding proper treatment for what ails them. While certainly, most doctors have a patient's best interest at heart, and do the best they can to make a patient comfortable, some behave in a careless manner that can cause further harm to a patient who is already suffering. When a doctor administers a heavy-handed dose of pain killers, a patient may even die, leaving loved ones to consider filing a medical malpractice suit. 

A similar situation has recently come to light in another state. It seems that, after a female patient died after a doctor administered what many consider a lethal dose of a powerful painkiller, a peek into the doctor's past revealed a deadly trend. It was found that nearly 30 patients had died under similar circumstances while under the doctor's care. The hospital fired the doctor in question, but the investigation continued. 

Law changes may help present a DUI defense

Georgia residents are probably familiar with the Breathalyzer test. This is a way for law enforcement to immediately detect if a driver is under the influence. Previously, if a Georgia driver refused to take one of these tests, prosecutors could use the refusal as evidence in court. A new ruling has changed this procedure, which may help accused drivers present a DUI defense in court.

The new ruling overturns a prior law that required drivers to submit to a Breathalyzer test if police determined they may be under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel. If a driver refused the test, prosecutors could use the refusal as evidence against a driver attempting to present a DUI defense in court. Georgia lawmakers have now determined that this violates rights set forth by the constitution, under the category of self-incrimination. 

Why having MedPay benefits victims of auto accidents in Georgia

Most Georgia residents navigate high-traffic roadways during the normal course of their daily lives. Whether they commute to and from work or drive children to school or other activities, most travelers wind up in traffic, sometimes wondering if they will safely reach their destination when other motorists speed past or follow too closely behind. Drivers likely don't spend all their time worried about auto accidents; if they did, they would probably be too scared to drive.

However, taking time to think ahead and plan for what one might do in the unfortunate event that an accident occurs, resulting in injury, can save a lot of time and money down the line. Many motorists do not understand how beneficial it can be to carry MedPay insurance. In fact, some have never even heard of it. MedPay is insurance that covers the medical expenses of an injured accident victim; it is insurance that the victim has, not the driver who was at-fault.

Unfair alcohol laws and criminal defense for college students

The legal drinking age in Georgia is 21, like most other states. Many college students say the law is unfair, because for other adult matters that require great responsibility, like voting, serving in the military, purchasing a gun or working a full time job, a person need only be 18. Many college students admit that they often partake in the responsible consumption of alcohol, despite the law. Unfortunately the law has yet to change, leading to a need for criminal defense for college students who are accused of violating it. 

The students are asking legislators to fix this discrepancy and cite several points. Most students on a college campus do not turn 21 until their third year of college, and yet, alcohol is prevalent at college gatherings because some students are of legal age. Also, in cases where a student may have consumed too much alcohol, many are afraid to seek critical medical help out of fear that they will be punished for breaking the law. 

How much will your DUI cost?

College is supposed to be the time of your life. Your classes are preparing you for a great career, you're making friends and enjoying your time away from home. Whether it's going out dancing on a Friday night, celebrating a Bulldogs victory or hanging out at home with your friends, alcohol may be involved. But if you've been drinking, you might want to consider the potential costs involved with driving.

Anytime you drink and drive, you take serious risks. Wrecking your car or causing property damage may seem like minor details compared to the possibility of seriously hurting or even killing yourself or others. And, Georgia's driving under the influence (DUI) laws hold serious consequences.

Vague marijuana laws may increase need for DUI defense

Georgia drivers are likely aware that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to legal trouble. However, the state of Georgia might soon legalize the personal use of marijuana, and marijuana is still considered to be an illegal drug on the federal level. Due to the vague wording of several laws, people who use marijuana may need to present a DUI defense in court. 

Here is where the matter gets a bit tricky. There is no specific limit of marijuana that must be found in a driver's system, usually established with a blood test, to be considered a DUI. Unlike alcohol and some other substances, marijuana can remain in a person's system for months. It is very difficult to prove when the substance was consumed by a driver, because a driver that regularly uses marijuana may have higher levels than an occasional user, regardless of when the marijuana was consumed. 

Investigation into medical malpractice reveals broken system

Georgia residents would probably say that they trust their doctor. While certainly, many medical professionals do everything they can to provide exceptional care to their patients, medical malpractice suits are on the rise. A nationwide investigation into the matter has revealed several problems that put patients at serious risk of becoming a victim. 

One of the obvious dangers is that, shockingly, a doctor guilty of malpractice in one state may be able to resume operations in another state. Though doctors convicted of malpractice are entered into a database, many hospitals and doctor offices do not check to see if a doctor has been negligent in the past. This puts unknowing patients in the hands of a doctor who has been proved careless in the past. 

Police initiative may result in need for DUI defense

Across Georgia, and the nation as a whole, friends and family prepare to gather together and celebrate the holiday season. Many people choose to take a vacation in the winter months, and thousands of college students revel in the opportunity to leave the dorm and return home for a few weeks. Holiday travel combined with throngs of shoppers bargain hunting for last-minute deals leads to increased traffic, and police are warning the public that they are focusing on violations that may lead to accidents, leaving some in a position that may warrant presenting a DUI defense in court. 

Statistically, the number of DUI arrests in Georgia is highest during the last few weeks of the year. This does not necessarily mean more people are guilty of driving over the legal limit, it simply indicates more drivers are accused of DUI. Police have stated that they will pay special attention to factors that could indicate a driver has been drinking, and they will not hesitate to make arrests if they feel a person is driving under the influence. 

Teen drivers and auto accidents: young drivers, adult charges

Teen drivers are statistically at high risk for making mistakes on the road. Many new drivers do not realize the absolute importance of obeying traffic laws and practicing defensive driving. Especially when friends are along for the ride, a young driver might be tempted to show off by speeding, texting or other unsafe practices. Teen drivers in Georgia who are involved in fatal auto accidents can be criminally charged the same as an older driver if they are found to be at fault for the injury or death of another person. 

Recently, a teen driver with a car full of friends failed to maintain control of the vehicle. Though investigators have not released many details as to the exact cause of the crash, they have stated that speed was likely a factor. The front seat passenger was killed in the crash. 

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 PB & A Palmore Boenig & Associates
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