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Macon GA Personal Injury Law Blog

How much do you know about Georgia's helmet law?

When it comes to motorcycle helmet laws, it may surprise people to learn that there is a veritable patchwork of regulations across the 50 states. Indeed, 19 states have what are known as universal helmet laws, meaning all motorcycle operators and passengers must wear a helmet, while 28 states have laws requiring helmets for specific classes of riders. The remaining three states have no laws relating to helmets whatsoever.  

Interestingly enough, a lawmaker in neighboring Florida recently introduced a measure that, if passed, would make Florida the 20th state with a universal helmet law, effectively repealing a 2000 exemption allowing riders to go helmetless provided they are over 21 and carry a certain level of insurance coverage.

Older drivers may pose higher risk for Georgia car wrecks

Did you know that more than 40 million drivers in the United States are age 65 and older? Older drivers pose specific threats when it comes to car wrecks, largely because of physical changes that compromise their driving abilities. Studies show that older adults in Georgia and other states may experience age-related deficiencies in cognition and visual acuity, increasing the likelihood of an auto accident.

Older drivers can prevent some of the age-related declines by taking extra steps to stay safe on the road. These preventive measures include regular check-ups at the eye doctor to make sure that their vision is not deteriorating. Older drivers are also encouraged to avoid distractions in the vehicle while driving -- eating, talking on the phone and texting can be particularly troublesome for these drivers. Most elderly drivers are better served to plan their driving route in advance and avoid operating their vehicles in inclement weather.

Georgia officers could face suit in Taser wrongful death case

Two police officers could face civil litigation after their criminal convictions in the Taser death of a suspect. The officers were both convicted in mid-December, with the jury only requiring 30 minutes to deliver verdicts in connection with this latest in a string of police-induced fatal accidents. Police departments throughout Georgia and the rest of the nation have been facing increasing civil pressure from wrongful death suits, particularly those related to Tasers and stun guns. This is one of the few high-profile criminal cases that have resulted in an actual conviction.

In this case, the victim was reportedly shocked more than a dozen times as he was being taken into custody by the two officers. The man, who had fled the scene of an alleged domestic disturbance, lost consciousness shortly after the repeated shocks. Medical experts in the case found that the cause of death was directly related to the use of the Taser, though the decedent was also suffering from heart-related disease when he was fatally wounded.

3 children injured in Georgia highway car accident

Three children suffered serious injuries after the vehicle in which they were riding was struck by another vehicle in Jackson County, Georgia, in mid-January. The children -- two teens and an elementary-school student -- were riding with their father on the way to school when they were involved in the injurious car accident. Authorities say that the victims were taken to nearby hospitals, and one was transported via helicopter because of worsening injuries. State officers are currently investigating the collision.

Witnesses reported that the white sedan in which the children were riding was struck by a pickup truck while attempting to cross a highway during the trip to school at about 7:30 a.m. on U.S. 441. Another vehicle then struck the pickup truck, which flipped over because of that initial collision. It is not clear exactly who has been deemed at-fault for the crash.

Understanding the different kinds of burns

Almost everyone suffers a burn from time to time. Most are common heat burns caused by hot objects or liquids, steam or fire. Children and elderly people are the most susceptible to these, but anyone can suffer these types of burns. They are typically first-degree burns, which affect the top layer of skin. Second-degree burns injure the first and second layers, while third- and fourth-degree burns go deeper and require immediate medical treatment. Heat, however, is by no means the only cause of such injuries.

Are dangerous changes to physician training standards looming?

Back in 2011, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the private organization that establishes training standards for physicians, made history by limiting the number of hours that first-year residents (i.e., interns) could work per shift to 16. 

These changes were hastened by the findings of a 2009 study by the Institute of Medicine, which determined after a yearlong review that doctors who worked over 16 straight hours posed a very real danger to both the patients in their care and themselves. 

Where does Georgia rank in terms of fatal auto accidents?

During the holiday season, anyone who dares ventures onto the internet without a defined purpose will invariably find themselves inundated with not just advertisements, but a multitude of ratings for everything from home electronics and kitchen appliances to clothing and power tools. 

However, thanks to the recent efforts of researchers at the Auto Insurance Center, a news-driven website focused on "all things automotive," people can now browse an entirely new set of ratings that they may find both helpful and horrifying. 

Study shows why drivers need to make sleep a priority

Due to the rigors of everyday life -- going to work, attending school, raising children, managing a household, etc. -- many people find themselves operating on a sleep deficit on a regular basis. In fact, even those people who don't have these types of concerns can still find themselves sacrificing sleep, perhaps staying up late to read, watch television or spend time with friends.

While most people try to offset the loss of a few hours of sleep with an extra cup of coffee or two, the reality is that most will end up going through the day feeling altogether drowsy. As rough as this can be, it can also prove to be incredibly dangerous should they make the decision to get behind the wheel.

When the unimaginable happens in the OR, we can help

Every day, people across Georgia head to local medical offices for what they hope will prove to be uneventful visits, meaning their physical exams, blood work, and imaging tests reveal them to be in acceptable -- if not great -- health.

While this proves to be the case for the majority of patients, there are others for whom these visits can prove to be highly unnerving if not entirely nightmarish. Indeed, they might receive a less than stellar diagnosis from their treating physician who informs them that surgery is either necessary or at least worthy of serious consideration.

How graduated licensing programs help reduce driving fatalities

For the last twenty years or so, public policy around driving privileges and the ways they are licensed has been the center of an active and ongoing debate. One of the key topics when it comes to licensing drivers and regulating their safety has been the country's methods of training and licensing drivers. Many states have responded to pressures from public safety advocates and parents' groups by instituting graduated licensing programs. They claim these programs increase oversight and help teens learn to be more responsible on the road, pointing to the multi-stage process of earning various levels of driving privilege as evidence of a more adaptive learning curve when these laws are put into place.