Articles Posted in Driver’s Safety

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Despite a recent settlement, litigation against General Motors (GM) continues for accidents re-lated to the company’s faulty ignition switches. According to an article by the New York Times, the settlement involved the parents of a 29-year-old Georgia woman who was killed in an accident while driving a GM car equipped with one of the faulty switches. Terms of the settlement were not made public, but it is believed that the settlement is in excess of $5 million.

car-key-588147-mEven with the settlement, GM is still being sued for the faulty switches in what has been dubbed “multi-district litigation.” The multi-district litigation includes several cases against the car maker that have been consolidated into one case. It is estimated that nearly 70 people have died in cars equipped with the faulty switch, while another 115 or so have been seriously injured.

While the case involving the Georgia woman is now settled, information obtained during the discovery phase of the case will most certainly be used by plaintiffs in the multi-district litigation. Based on documents reviewed by lawyers in the settled case, it is argued that GM was aware of problems with the ignition switches for about 10 years. The litigation also revealed what the plaintiffs’ claim to be unexpectedly loose safety standards within the company.

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A Georgia woman being transported by an ambulance for a non-emergency situation was killed in a fatal accident involving the ambulance she was being transported in. According to Georgia news reports, the accident occurred around midnight last Wednesday. Evidently, the ambulance was driving westbound on East Highway 34 when it traveled onto the shoulder of the road. After going off the road, the ambulance slammed into a ditch and proceeded to hit another embankment, which resulted in the ambulance becoming airborne. After becoming airborne, the ambulance crashed into a pole and rolled over.

ambulance-665107-mUnfortunately, the patient being transported was killed in the accident. The two paramedics did not suffer any severe injuries, although they were hospitalized with minor injuries. Currently, the Georgia state police are investigating the accident to determine if anyone was at fault for the accident. Reports indicate that charges are pending.

Wrongful Death and Sovereign Immunity in Georgia

In most situations, if an individual wants to collect damages because of an injury they sustained, or if a family wants to bring a suit because of the wrongful death of a loved one, the individual or family may bring a personal injury or wrongful death suit. An exception applies when the person they are suing works for a government agency. Unfortunately, to bring a suit against government employees, there are many additional elements that must be considered because of the doctrine of “sovereign immunity.”

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Nissan recently recalled a series of vehicles because of their passenger airbags. A local Georgia newspaper reported that these airbags had the potential to explode and shoot shrapnel at individuals in the vehicle. Officials who have been investigating the cars explained that the shrapnel and shards of metal could cause serious injuries to the occupants. Thus far, there have been about three injury claims from the passenger airbag.

airbag-850338-mThe number of vehicles that are covered by this recall went up from 30,000 to over 52,738. And currently there are about eight states that are affected by this recall, including Georgia. Nissan and Takata Motors have reported that the airbag inflator will be replaced at no cost, and if that is not available, a certified Nissan dealer should disconnect the airbag and advise individuals not to use the passenger seat.

Products Liability in Georgia

There are many types of products liability cases and a few theories that one can claim against a manufacturer, designer, or seller of a defective product. Products designed for consumers can be dangerous if they do not contain appropriate warnings and usage directions, or are defectively designed or manufactured.

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According to a local newspaper report, late last week two prominent Marshallville residents were killed in a head-on collision in Macon County.

peaches-1048682-mApparently, the well-known peach farmer and councilwoman were driving on Winchester Road when the farmer’s Toyota veered out of his lane into the center of the road. Unfortunately, his car directly hit the councilwoman’s Lincoln Town Car. The accident caused an explosion, and both cars caught on fire.

No other individuals were injured as a result of the accident, but both drivers were killed at the scene of the accident. Georgia State Troopers are still investigating the accident. The investigation has not yielded many results as of yet, but there was no indication that the Toyota was malfunctioning at the time of the accident.

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In a tragic accident out of Miami-Dade County last week, a multi-vehicle accident claimed the lives of two and injured two others. According to a report by a local news source, the accident occurred on Interstate 24 near the Wildwood exit.

communication-4-1088345-mEvidently, the driver of a black Ford Mustang crossed the median of I-24 and T-boned a Chevy Trailblazer. After that initial collision, the Mustang rotated clock-wise and collided with a Nissan head-on. The Mustang then clipped the side of a nearby Jeep, which overturned as a result of that collision. In all, four vehicles were involved in the accident.

According to the report, the woman had a cell phone in her hand at the time of the accident. While preliminary reports do not show that there was any kind of medical emergency justifying the use of the cell phone while driving, the medical examiner will be conducting an autopsy to determine the exact circumstances of the accident.

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Earlier this week, eight members of a Georgia family were taken to the hospital after they were involved in a serious single-vehicle accident near Athens, Ohio. According to a report by Athens News, the accident occurred on Route 33, between Johnson Road and Ohio Route 682, at about 9 in the morning.

changing-a-tire-at-night-3496-mEvidently, the van was traveling east bound on Route 33 in the leftmost lane when the van’s tire blew. The force from the blown tire sent the van off the road and into the guard rail in two different places before it came to a rest in the passing lane.

Four of the passengers in the van, all children, were ejected from the vehicle during the accident. The children were apparently in child safety seats, but the seats were not properly fastened to the vehicle.

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Earlier this month a Georgia teen was killed when the car in which she was riding was involved in an accident in Henry County. According to a report by WSB-TV, the accident occurred at 1400 Pates Creek Road, near Noah’s Arc Road in Stockbridge, Georgia. A male student was driving two female students in his car when he got into the accident.

tachometer-1429578-mEvidently, the accident occurred when the driver attempted to swerve out of the way of an oncoming vehicle while driving in the opposite lane of traffic. As the car left the roadway, it rolled several times, sending all the passengers flying out of the car. Other cars were also involved in the accident, but nobody else suffered serious injuries.

However, one of the female students was killed in the accident. The other two students in the car were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Both are expected to survive.

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smart-phone-icon-1377498-mEarlier last week in Rome, Georgia, a tragic accident occurred, taking the life of a 7-year-old girl. According to a report by Online Athens, the girl’s mother was driving with her and her 3-year-old brother when the little girl dropped something, and the mother reached down to pick it up. As she did so, she lost control of the car and swerved off the road and into a utility pole. The young girl was tragically killed in the accident, and her mother and brother were taken to the hospital in stable condition.


Distracted Driving Deaths Are on the Rise Nationwide

With the increase prevalence of cell phones, GPS systems, on-board entertainment, and the like, more and more drivers are getting into preventable accidents due to distracted driving. Distracted driving is a fairly broad term that has come to encompass a wide range of conduct, including:

  • Driving while talking on the phone or texting;
  • Driving while grooming (shaving, painting nails, applying make-up, etc.);
  • Driving while reading;
  • Driving while eating or drinking;
  • Driving while talking to a passenger or child in the back seat;
  • Daydreaming; and
  • Controlling the radio, GPS, or other on-board mechanical function.

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