Articles Tagged with Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys noticed a scary story in the news this week about a 12-year-old boy on a skateboard who was hit by a car.

On Monday evening the 12-year-old, his brother, and friends were fooling around. The boy was on a skateboard on his stomach, with the others pushing him near the Pebble Point subdivision in Loganville. Then, as Loganville police Lt. John Fain said,  “The vehicle was passing them and somehow he was run over.” The boy was flown to the hospital by Life Flight from Bay Creek Elementary School. His condition is unclear, but police expected him to live.

Lt. Fain called it a “freak accident” and said the driver did not intend to hit the boy, but the incident is still under investigation. The accident prompted those concerned in the neighborhood to initiate a discussion about pedestrian and driver safety in their area though – a healthy dialogue for any community. One concerned neighbor, Daisy Duck, said the accident did not surprise her and that “The kids play in the street and the cars fly by.”  Another concerned neighbor said, “I live on Pebble Point and people speed down the road as if there were a fire to get to!  I wouldn’t ever bought a house on Pebble Point if I knew the cops could not pull you over for speeding. Speed bumps should be put on the street so our kids can play outside safely!” A third called for a safety inspection by the civil engineering department of the city.

Last week, our Atlanta truck accident lawyers saw another tragic story of a critically injured Georgian after a car vs. tractor trailer accident. In most cases it is the person in the personal car that is injured, as the large tractor trailers can be so much more dangerous on the road to smaller vehicles. This proved the case again in the accident that occurred last Wednesday on Georgia Highway 16 near Senoia.

Lynda Adcot, a 67-year-old woman from Senoia, was turning left in her Chevy Cobalt when she crossed the path of a tractor trailer in the westbound passing lane when her car was smashed by the tractor trailer. The truck, referred to by Senioa Police Major Steve Tomlin as “a commercial tractor trailer truck”, was being driven by 50-year-old Jeffrey Williams of Smyrna. The Cobalt was so mangled it took nine rescuers to get Ms. Adcot out. It took them about 15 minutes for the rescuers from the Coweta County Fire Department to get her out of the wrecked car and then she was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition. The next day she was still in critical condition.  Police say the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Whether or not Mr. Williams can be held criminally liable from the police investigation, unknown at the moment, in cases like this it is still possible to have a civil case to get compensation for the victim. Not only is it possible the truck driver could be liable, but also possibly the trucking company and/or the insurance company. For example, the trucking company may have policies in place that contribute to negligent driving behavior. Also laws require that trucking companies have a much larger insurance policy than passenger vehicles. And unlike in other types of vehicle accidents, in commercial trucking accidents the insurance company can be sued directly by the injured victim thanks to Georgia’s Direct Action Statute. This can help victims because often juries are more willing to give compensation from an insurance company than from a person or company.There is also the issue of many trucks coming from out of state, and thus a civil claim might be in a federal court, rather than a Georgia state court.

Last week, one bad driver following too closely to other cars caused a car accident. Our Atlanta car accident attorneys noticed the story and found it to be a cautionary tale about tailgating and other dangerous driving behaviors.

During evening rush hour on April 11, three cars were headed northbound on GA 400, two in the left lane and one in the right. The evening traffic forced all of the cars to slow down, but the behind car in the left lane had been following too closely the car in front of it. That car rear ended the car in front of it, pushing that car into the right lane and hitting the third car. The first two vehicles ended up in the median barrier before coming to a stop. The result was a three-vehicle accident during rush hour because of tailgating, showing how serious a problem these bad driving habits remain.

And they can cause injuries too. The tailgating driver in the car that started it all, 23-year-old Emily Thomas of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was driving a 2004 Acura Integra and was taken to North Fulton Hospital with injuries. Three others involved in the accident Ms. Thomas caused were also injured. Three members of the Moore family, Goodman, 65, and his wife, Nancy, 66, from Gainesville, as well as 39-year-old Connie from Dahlonega were also injured in their 2010 Ford Fusion. The person in the third car, a 2008 Mazda 3, 23-year-old Mallory Walden from Soperton, was fortunately not injured.

Teens and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an incredibly dangerous combination. Our Atlanta vehicle accident attorneys  know that inexperienced teenage drivers and drunk drivers, separately, both constitute dangers on highway but are also all too often combined.

Usually most people think of drunk driving accidents as involving cars, and that is most often the case. But there was a news story this week about a teen involved in a DUI while driving a motorcycle. Claire Bruce Thomas, a 17-year-old from Canton was driving southbound on Lower Bethany Road near Hornage Road in Cherokee County last Friday evening at around 8:30 or 9 pm when he swerved into oncoming traffic as he tried to round a curve in the road. Thomas hit a Chrysler Town & Country on the front driver’s side, driven by a 68-year-old woman from Ball Ground, injuring the driver but not severely enough that she had to go to the hospital by ambulance. She was treated at North Cherokee. Thomas himself had to be airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center hospital. And Georgia State Patrol allege that Thomas was under the influence when the accident occurred. He has been charged with DUI, failure to maintain lane, driving too fast for conditions, and driving in violation of license restrictions.

The National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that for 2008, the most recent year with data, the highest percentage of driver fatalities when the blood alcohol level was above the legal limit was for motorcycle riders. Motorcycles already have higher fatality rates than cars and other vehicles, so it makes sense that DUI fatalities are also the highest. In Georgia, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety showed that 28 percent of Georgia accidents were alcohol related. At the same time, young drivers (those under the age of 20) accounted for 8.5 percent of Georgia drivers, but 12.8 percent of those involved in road accidents in Georgia. These statistics show the deadly combination of factors that happened with 17-year-old Mr. Thomas, who is lucky that there were no fatalities, including his own, in the accident he caused with his impaired driving. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the US. The CDC states that in the country, seven teenagers die each day this way, which is about 2,700 teens per year.  And another 282,000 teenagers are treated for injuries related to vehicle accidents. The problem of teenage drunk driving needs to continue to be addressed and those responsible held accountable if these statistics are to improve.

Drivers trying to evade the law can be especially dangerous, as the adrenaline and irrationality, caused by fear of getting caught, causes them to take even more risks than they might have taken otherwise. Our Atlanta car accident attorneys know this is absolutely no excuse for causing accidents and hurting others while trying to get away from the police. But it is still a type of vehicle accident that happens all too frequently.

This is exactly what happened late last week with 20-year-old James Logan Moran, according to news reports. Moran’s Honda Civic was traveling westbound on Dothan Road when a police officer from the Decatur County Sherriff’s Department, Captain Pat Trolinger, clocked him at 75 miles per hour, which is 30MPH over the speed limit in that area. The police officer, naturally, turned on the flashing lights and sirens of his patrol car, but lost sight of Moran’s car in the evening rush hour traffic. Moran kept speeding, swerving around cars, and ran a red light at the intersecting corner of  Dothan Road and Newton Road. He then smashed into a Pontiac Grand Prix as the other car tried to turn into a parking lot. The driver of the Grand Prix was taken to Memorial Hospital by ambulance to treat his minor injuries. But even after hitting the other car, Moran kept driving in the parking lot until multiple cars from the Sheriff’s office finally cornered him, after the car chase and crash.

Moran was arrested and a search of his Honda Civil uncovered a bag of what appeared to be marijuana. Moran claimed he was speeding away from the cop car at such speed and with such reckless determination because he was driving with a suspended driver’s license and was afraid of getting caught. In the end, he was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, speeding, leaving the scene of an accident, driving while license withdrawn, and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.

This past week, there was news of a tragic accident involving a car and train in Gwinnett County. Our Atlanta car accident attorneys know that, although not often discussed, these types of accidents are very dangerous and often fatal.

On Tuesday, a 2003 Ford F150 was traveling south on Buford Highway while a 2003 Chevrolet Astrovan was traveling north on the same road. The Chevy attempted a left turn onto Amwiler Road but failed to yield, turning in front of the Ford. The two cars crashed into each other.  Unfortunately, this accident happened right next to a railroad line, and the Ford came to an uncontrolled stop right on the railroad tracks. Tony Lungaro, a 51-year-old from Lawrenceville, got out of the Ford and was possibly trying to help the Ford’s driver, Lorenzo Wilkerson. But a train hit Mr. Lungaro, killing him instantly. From the train crash, the Ford was on fire when emergency responders arrived, said Gwinnett police spokesman Jake Smith. Mr. Wilkerson was extracted from the Ford and taken to the hospital, where he remains in critical condition. The driver of the Chevy, Severin Gluschak, also sustained minor injuries from the original car crash.  The car accident is still under investigation. traintracks

This week’s crash is not the only accident involving trains in Georgia recently. The week before this fatal accident, a North Georgia woman was also killed when her car veered off the road and down an embankment, landing on top of train tracks in Chatsworth. The car was trapped between the train and the embankment, killing the 58-year-old woman. In February a man, this time a pedestrian, was killed by a train in the same area as this week’s car accident on Buford Highway.  The conductor saw the man walking along the tracks and blew the train’s horn, but the man did not respond. Officer Smith told reporters [about that incident] that they did not know whether it was intentional or not and speculated that the man, described as being in his 30s or 40s, might have had headphones in and did not hear the train’s horn.

In Columbia County Superior Court this week, Lucky Wade Jackson plead guilty to first-degree vehicular homicide and running a red light. The Criminal Case involved the tragic drunk driving car accident death of 19-year- old Jordan Elizabeth White on September 12, 2012.

Last September, 43-year-old Mr. Jackson was driving his Ford F-250 pickup truck while intoxicated on Washington Road. Later tests confirmed that his blood alcohol level at the time was 0.281, well above the legal limit. Jackson ran a red light at the corner of Ronald Reagan Drive, smashing into Jordan White’s car, a 2001 Honda Accord. The Honda slid onto the grass in front of a bank and Mr. Jackson’s truck went into the other lane, hitting a tractor trailer stopped at the red light. The teenager died later at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital from injuries sustained in the car crash. Her two passengers were treated for minor injuries. A Georgia grand jury indicted Jackson for the crimes above, and also for failure to wear a seatbelt.

Due to his guilty plea, prosecutors in the case recommended to Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. that Jackson receive a sentence of 12 years in prison. Judge Brown sentenced him accordingly – 12 years, plus four more of probation, in addition to community service, alcohol treatment, and restitution. The community service ordered was specified at 500 hours of speaking publicly about the consequences of drunk driving and substance abuse. At the sentencing, Mr. Jackson appeared contrite, saying to the White family, “There’s not enough words I can come up with that tell you how sorry I am. If there is anything I could do to change it or to take Jordan’s place, I would.” Jordan’s mother, Jackie White, said, “Today, there are no winners, just huge loss.”

No matter how many horrible stories we hear about drunk driving, the problem continues and more people become victims. Death and injury due to drunk driving is entirely avoidable and unnecessary, which is why it is even more devastating to those impacted and frustrating to those who work with the victims, like car accident attorneys.

This past weekend drunk driving claimed yet another victim. The accident occured on Sunday on I-285 and Chamblee Dunwoody Road. At about 2:15am, a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe slammed into the rear-end of a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis after the Grand Marquis stalled on the road.  Originally, the call to Dunwoody police reported two persons stranded due to the stalled  car, but was then changed to reflect an accident with serious injuries after the Tahoe rear-ended them only moments later. Inside the Grand Marquis, the driver and passenger, Evelyn Ngoboworigha and Stoyer Butler, were both severely injured and placed on ventilators – Ms. Ngoboworigha at Atlanta Medical Center and Mr. Butler at Grady Memorial Hospital. The driver of the Tahoe, 26-year-old Francisco Rodriguez-Vazquez, did not possess a valid driver’s license and was driving under the influence of alcohol. He attempted to flee from the crash on foot but was caught by police in the area almost immediately and arrested.

Unfortunately, that is not the end of this tragedy. Ms. Ngoboworigha, 57-years-old, died from her injuries at Atlanta Medical Center on Monday, according to Dunwoody police spokesman Tim Fecht. The other victim, 35-year-old Butler, is now in critical condition in a medically induced coma at Grady Memorial Hospital. The perpetrator of all this misery, Mr. Rodriguez-Vazquez, is in Dekalb County Jail, charged with vehicular homicide, serious injury by a vehicle, DUI, reckless driving, hit-and-run, driving without a license, and obstruction of officers.

This blog has discussed how technology has impacted car accidents by  contributing to distracted driving and also influencing court cases. Now our Georgia car accident attorneys noticed a strange, tragic, and sad news story related to a car accident victim in our state.

An Alpharetta, Georgia woman, Anna Lamb-Creasey, told reporters that she found out about her son’s death in a car accident from a Facebook message. Her son, 30-year-old Rickie Lamb, died after being hit by a car while he tried to cross Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro, just outside Atlanta, late on January 24. His mother only learned of his death three weeks later on February 14.  Clayton County police spokesman Kevin Hughes said the police department tried to contact Mr. Lamb’s family through conventional methods, including contacting other area police stations for information, but could not get in touch with anyone. He noted Mr. Lamb didn’t have a current ID to help identify his family.

But it still seems a bit bizarre to everyone how the police used a fake named account, for “Misty Hancock” with a picture of the rapper TI, to send Mr. Lamb’s family a Facebook message to inform them. The message went into Ms. Lamb-Creasey’s “other” folder on facebook because it was from an unrecognized sender, and she did not notice it. The family finally figured it out when Mr. Lamb’s sister, who also got the message, opened it 20 days after it was sent. The message only told the family to call the police station, and it was only when they did that they learned of Mr. Lamb’s death.

A deadly car accident occured over the weekend near the Alabama state line in LaGrange, Georgia. News stories confirmed that five people died in this horrible crash, and two more were injured.

The crash occured on Friday evening, around 6:40pm, on GA-14 in Troup County. Willie Hooks, 28, was driving a 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass at high speed. He moved into oncoming traffic to pass the car in front of him, even though he was in a no-passing zone. He smashed the Oldsmobile head-on into a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am. That crash killed Willie Hooks and four people in the Pontiac, injuring the two other Pontiac passengers. An eye witness, John Hart, said he saw the Oldsmobile speed past, and Willie had plenty of room to move back over into the correct lane but seemed determined to pass one more car when the Pontiac came around the other side of the knoll. Other drivers pulled over after the crash and tried to help the victims, who had to be cut out of the cars. The witness said the cars were silent, however, without even any moans or pleas for help. Mr. Hart describe the car, “The car was bent like an L and the back end was raised so you could see the gas tank and the shock absorbers.” 320px-MS1_on_stretcher

Georgia State Patrol’s spokesperson said that alcohol was suspected as a factor in Willie Hooks’ reckless driving and that a blood sample was taken. The four other victims were the driver of the Pontiac, Melanie Kay Lemmon, 23, and her passengers, 37-year-old Miranda Hurston, her 16-year-old son Tridarius, and one-year-old grandson, Quamauri. The two injured survivors were Miranda Hurston’s daughters, 18-year-old Shaquavious, mother of the deceased infant, and 15-year-old Jayvianna. Both young women were flown to area hospitals, suffering from head trauma and are fighting to live.