Utah change in legal BAC limit to 0.05 may save lives

This blog post addresses a change in DUI law designed to prevent wrongful deaths and serious injuries in automobile accidents involving alcohol impaired drivers. Earlier this week a new law went into effect in Utah lowering the legal BAC to 0.05. Other states will surely be watching to see what effect this change has in saving lives in DUI related traffic accidents.

The USA Today (link to story here) published an interesting piece regarding some of the statistics regarding DUI accidents and fatalities pertaining to the lower 0.05 BAC limit. The story cites and links to a study (link to study on National Institutes of Health website here) by James Fell and Robert Voas which “concluded that a .05 BAC limit would prevent 11 percent of fatal crashes involving alcohol and save nearly 1,800 lives each year.”

The USA Today story further cites NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) statistics which show that when a person has a BAC between 0.05 and 0.079 that person is seven times more likely to be in a fatal accident than a person with no alcohol in his blood.

They also cite statistics from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) which show a person can start exhibiting impairment from alcohol with a BAC as low as 0.02 and that driving skills worsen considerably when a person’s BAC reaches 0.05.

Of particular note in the story, though 67% of fatality DUI accidents involve drivers with BACs of 0.15 and above, in 2016 there were 2,017 alcohol related fatalities nationwide involving drivers with BACs of under 0.08 (the legal limit currently in Georgia).

It will be interesting to see what effect this change has on traffic fatalities in Utah in 2019. If it has any significant impact on saving lives I would predict other states will soon follow by changing their laws. The USA Today story notes that most developed countries already have stricter DUI limits such as Utah’s new 0.05 legal limit.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a Georgia traffic accident with a DUI driver, please contact Gwinnett County based personal injury lawyer Richard Armond at (678) 661-9585 for a free consultation. 

Attorney Richard Armond of The Armond Firm, LLC, handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. He is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Georgia and is based in Lawrenceville, one mile down the road from the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Call him today for a free consultation at (678) 661-9585. The information above is for informational purposes only as of the date of publication and should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the reading of it form an attorney-client relationship. Always consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.

Georgia Pedestrian Fatalities on the Rise This Year

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians are up 16% in Georgia this year. Georgia's new hands-free law goes into effect on July 1, 2018, but experts are looking for additional ways to prevent this increase in pedestrian fatality accidents. The AJC story notes that increased horsepower and larger vehicles may be a factor in the increase. This blog post by Richard Armond, a serious injury and wrongful death lawyer in Lawrenceville, Georgia, briefly highlights some of the sobering statistics involving pedestrian deaths in Georgia.

The AJC story linked above includes statistics which demonstrate the dangers to pedestrians in Georgia. Pedestrian fatalities appear to have been, in general, increasing over the last decade. Last year there were 260 pedestrian fatalities and there have been 111 so far this year. Further, Georgia had the fourth most fatal hit and run crashes in the United States in 2016, with 72 fatalities. Those numbers also appear, in general, to have been on the rise over the last decade. 

Please keep these statistics in mind when utilizing roadways and sidewalks as both a pedestrian and a driver to keep everyone safe and healthy. 

If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident or you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a pedestrian traffic accident, please contact Gwinnett County based personal injury lawyer Richard Armond at (678) 661-9585 for a free consultation. 

Attorney Richard Armond of The Armond Firm, LLC, handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. He is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Georgia and is based in Lawrenceville, one mile down the road from the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Call him today for a free consultation at (678) 661-9585. The information above is for informational purposes only as of the date of publication and should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the reading of it form an attorney-client relationship. Always consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.

Georgia Dog Bite Prevention for Children

Preventing Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite cases in which a child is killed or seriously injured are some of the most traumatic and emotional cases for children and their families, as well as for lawyers in the personal injury and wrongful death practice areas. We hear all too frequently on the news of children who are mauled by vicious dogs and left with serious disfigurement, scarring, and with death sometimes even resulting. This blog entry is by Lawrenceville, Georgia, based serious injury and wrongful death attorney Richard Armond, who handles cases in Gwinnett County and throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. 

CHOA article highlights safety tips for children around dogs to prevent bites

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) is not only a top flight medical organization for metro Atlanta children, but they also frequently provide useful information for parents to use to keep children safe. One particular resource they have is an article on dog bite prevention (click here for the CHOA article). They note "[m]ore than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year in the United States, and 800,000 require medical attention—at least half of them children."

The informative CHOA article includes dog safety tips for children, signs that a dog may bite, and what to do if a dog bites your child. Of particular note is that parents should teach their children how to behave around a dog and should always supervise their children around dogs. If a child is bitten, immediate medical attention should be the number one priority. 

The article mentions in closing, and this is very important to protect you and your child's rights to recovery in a civil lawsuit, that you should always report a dog bite to (1) your local animal control and (2) the police in more serious bite cases.

It is important to report dog bites to local authorities

I have written before on Georgia law regarding what must be proved to establish a dog bite case (click here for that previous entry with a more in-depth summary of Georgia law on dog bites). In general, one must establish the dog owner's knowledge of the "vicious propensity" of a dog to prove a claim (unless there was a violation of an ordinance such as a local leash law at the time the bite occurred). That is why it is so important to report dog bites.

There may be no public record showing a past vicious propensity of a particular dog, but local animal control may have knowledge of past issues with a dog in which no formal record was made. It is also, in general, good to have official documentation of an incident. Even in minor dog bite cases the documentation at least makes a record should the dog do harm to another person.

If your child has been attacked by a dog

If your child has been attacked by a dog or other domesticated animal and you would like to speak with a Georgia personal injury and wrongful death lawyer please contact Richard Armond at (678) 661-9585 for a free consultation today.

Attorney Richard Armond of The Armond Firm, LLC, handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. He is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Georgia and is based in Lawrenceville, one mile down the road from the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Call him today for a free consultation at (678) 661-9585. The information above is for informational purposes only as of the date of publication and should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the reading of it form an attorney-client relationship. Always consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.

What to tell the other driver's insurance company after a car accident in Georgia

Let me start this post with a personal story of a car accident I was in several years ago. My wife and I had taken our dogs to the park and were heading home. We came upon a line of cars stopped for someone waiting to turn left. There was nothing sudden about our stop--it was normal, safe driving.

After being stopped for several seconds I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the other car immediately before impact. Screech!. Bang! The other driver was not paying attention and had his cell phone in hand when he collided into the back of our car. He was going pretty fast and did not brake until just before impact.

To make a long story short, my wife and I declined having the police officer call an ambulance. We were both full of adrenaline and very concerned about our dogs. Neither of us felt any injury when the police officer arrived and wrote her report.

My wife began to feel abdominal pain about an hour after the wreck where her seatbelt had been. Did I mention she was four months pregnant at the time?

My mother, a registered nurse, who had come to pick us up after the wreck because our car could not be driven, let us know my wife needed to be taken to the emergency room immediately. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries to my wife or child.

How fast do insurance adjusters begin to handle auto accident cases?

Some companies have their adjusters respond to the scene and begin photographing and taking statements immediately. In our case, I received a call on the way to the hospital. It was the "friendly" adjuster from the other driver's insurance company.

The call was being recorded for "quality assurance" (I was not their customer, why would I care?). He wanted to "help" us get a claim started to "take care of" the damage to my car and "help" us get set up with a rental. But first, he wanted to let us know he was glad there were no injuries and to "make sure" everyone was okay (i.e., document in that recording that there were no injuries in the wreck). I politely told him to pound sand by informing him that my wife and I were being driven to the hospital and that I could not speak with him.

Is the other insurance company really trying to help you get a claim started, get a rental car, etc.?

No. They want to pay as little as possible for the damages their insured caused. Even little things you say after a car accident can have big impact if you are injured.

It is completely common to not feel hurt right after a wreck when the adrenaline is flowing.

It is completely normal to report to an EMT or nurse or doctor that, for example, your head hurts and that is why you need help when, in fact, on a pain scale of 1 to 10 your head is an 8, your shoulder is a 4, and your leg is a 4. The next morning your head is a down to a 4, but your shoulder is an 8, your leg is an 8, and your back and neck are 9s. The insurance company will say you only had a head injury when you reported your injuries.

In the fight to settle your case months or years later, the insurance company will use your statements against you as proof that you were not injured or that you have exaggerated your injuries because they were either minor or involved one area of the body.

What should you do after a car accident that was not your fault?

1.  If you are hurt to the extent you need immediate medical attention, call 911 or ask someone to call on behalf. 

2. Be completely truthful with the police and any medical providers such as EMTs, nurses, or doctors. Do not exaggerate injuries. You need proper medical care. But, if any part of your body was hurt you need to let the medical professionals know. Even if you have one injury that seems worse than others, let the doctor or nurse know of ALL of your injuries. Your medical charts are one of the first things an insurance company will look at in evaluating a case.

3. If able to, document the accident scene by taking photographs of the damage to all vehicles involved and any other evidence such as skid marks. Your health and safety come first and you should only do this if you are physically able to and if existing traffic conditions allow for it to be done safely.

4. If any witnesses stopped and are on scene, if physically able and existing traffic conditions are safe to do so, ask for their names and phone numbers and/or jot down their license plate numbers. Many times this information does not make it into police reports and crucial witnesses cannot be found later. 

5. Politely decline to speak with the insurance adjuster. Again, they are trying to document their file to demonstrate a claim that minimizes the amount for which they are liable. 

6. Follow all advice of treating medical professionals including following through on their treatment plans. You have a requirement to mitigate your damages. If a doctor recommends you do physical therapy or any other follow up treatment and you do not do it, the insurance company and, potentially, a jury may discount your actual damages. If a medical professional says you need treatment, get treatment. They are the medical experts. You should follow their advice and never follow the advice of an adjuster or lawyer on how to care for your injuries. 

7. Promptly call personal injury attorney Richard Armond at 678-661-9585 for a free consultation. This is listed after the part about calling 911 if hurt and getting treatment because your health and well-being come first. However, the earlier I get a case the more value I can often add. Evidence has a way of disappearing if it is not retained quickly. If you need help finding a doctor to treatment your injuries and do not have insurance I can help. If your injuries exceed the other driver's policy limit or the other driver was uninsured, you may have a uninsured motorist coverage to protect yourself, but these policies typically have strict time deadlines and requirements. I can help. But the earlier, the better.

Q: The answer to what to tell the other driver's insurance company after a car accident in Georgia?

A: Nothing (or, I just met with Richard Armond and he is my attorney, speak to him).

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in Georgia, please contact Gwinnett County based personal injury and wrongful death lawyer Richard Armond at (678) 661-9585 for a free consultation. 

Attorney Richard Armond of The Armond Firm, LLC, handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. He is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Georgia and is based in Lawrenceville, one mile down the road from the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Call him today for a free consultation at (678) 661-9585. The information above is for informational purposes only as of the date of publication and should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the reading of it form an attorney-client relationship. Always consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.

Gwinnett County Man Killed in Oconee County Car Accident

This entry by Lawrenceville, GA personal injury and wrongful death lawyer Richard Armond focuses on a recent news story involving a tragic car accident. According to the AJC, a Gwinnett County man was killed and his wife was seriously injured in a car accident on Ga-316 in Oconee County yesterday. The report indicates another vehicle turned in front of the Gwinnett County couple and that charges are expected to be filed against the other driver.  The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash. 

Incidents such as this one result in lost lives and catastrophic injuries which severely change lives. It is important to have an experienced car accident attorney handling any homicide by vehicle or serious injury by vehicle case. 

Anyone has driven Ga-316 has seen firsthand the dangers of this highway. Most of 316 has a speed limit of 65 mph and cars and trucks drive like it is an interstate highway. However, smaller roads intersect 316 across Gwinnett, Barrow, and Oconee Counties, and many of these intersections do not even have traffic lights. 

Please keep your thought and prayers with the woman who was seriously injured and lost her husband. If you drive Ga-316 please be careful.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a car accident in Georgia, please contact Gwinnett County based personal injury and wrongful death lawyer Richard Armond at (678) 661-9585 for a free consultation. 

Attorney Richard Armond of The Armond Firm, LLC, handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. He is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Georgia and is based in Lawrenceville, one mile down the road from the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Call him today for a free consultation at (678) 661-9585. The information above is for informational purposes only as of the date of publication and should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the reading of it form an attorney-client relationship. Always consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.