Athens Georgia Personal Injury And Criminal Law Blog

Auto accidents a threat to road workers

Georgia drivers appreciate the men and women who work hard to keep the roads in good condition. When a road is in need of repair, these men and women must try to fix the problem as cars and trucks whiz by. Though surely, there are safety features in place to try to prevent injury or death to such workers, these men and women can quickly become the victims of auto accidents

Recently, a worker was part of a crew pouring asphalt on a Georgia roadway. There were police vehicles with lights and other caution warnings surrounding the job site. The driver of a pickup truck switched lanes to try to pass one of the police cars. Some of the lanes were closed to traffic at the time. 

New laws to affect DUI defense

Georgia laws have recently changed, a result of a ruling by the state's Supreme Court a few months ago. The changes may affect how a person prepares a DUI defense. Being accused of driving under the influence can be stressful, and many people unsure of their legal rights and/or how to respond to the formal accusations. 

It is important for drivers to know one's rights if they happen to be pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Many drivers may not know that they have the right to refuse to take a Breathalyzer test. The new law, recently signed by Gov. Kemp, states that police officers are no longer allowed to tell a driver that refusing to take such a test can be used as evidence against him or her in court. 

"Fat shaming" may qualify as medical malpractice

Georgia residents probably trust that their doctor knows what's best when it comes to his or her personal health. Since it has been established that being overweight can cause or exacerbate a slew of health issues, it is not uncommon for a doctor to recommend that a patient aim for a body weight considered to be healthier. However, many patients say they feel pressured to try trendy new diets that may have adverse health effects in an attempt to please the doctor, and some now feel that a practice often called "fat shaming" classifies as medical malpractice

Surely, in some cases, it may be appropriate for a doctor to suggest a little weight loss could improve a patient's overall health. But in other cases, the mere suggestion can do more harm than good. Perhaps a patient is taking medication for a condition and weight gain is a side effect. In such a case, there may be little a patient can do. 

Drug crimes and police corruption

Georgia residents are certainly aware that being convicted of a crime, especially a drug-related crime, can bring lasting consequences to a person's life. Due to a nationwide rise in the use of illegal substances, which some now refer to as an epidemic, drug crimes are taken seriously by law enforcement. It falls upon the police to investigate gather evidence to use in the prosecution's case, but not all police officers can be trusted to complete the job without giving into the temptation illegal drugs may have. 

Recently, corruption so severe was discovered in Georgia that a local narcotics task force was completely disbanded. The task force was responsible for making the community safer for residents by catching people involved in buying and selling illegal drugs, and helping to gather evidence against such suspects. Unfortunately, some of the officers involved chose to betray the oath to serve and protect, and instead dove into a life of crime themselves. 

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. 

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 PB & A Palmore Boenig & Associates
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