Nicholson, Silverbach, & Watson

Kennesaw Personal Injury Law Blog

Automatic emergency brakes reduce chances of rear-end collisions

From 2013 to 2015, General Motors sold 10 vehicle models in Georgia that offered automatic emergency braking systems as an option. Researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compared accidents involving these vehicles to identify differences in collisions between those equipped with the emergency braking system and those that only sounded a warning if a collision was imminent.

Researchers collected data from police accident reports. They determined that vehicles with automatic emergency brakes that stopped a vehicle without requiring action from the driver avoided rear-end collisions 43 percent more often than vehicles without the automatic safety system. When looking specifically at crashes that caused injuries, researchers found that automatic emergency brakes reduced crashes with injuries by 68 percent.

Nearly 5,000 trucks put out of service during Brake Safety Week

From September 16 to 22, 2018, inspectors certified by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance stopped a total of 35,080 commercial vehicles in the U.S. and Canada as a part of Brake Safety Week. The inspection spree ended in 4,955 vehicles, just over 14 percent, being put out of service for brake violations. Truckers and truck fleet owners in Georgia may want to know more details.

Inspectors mainly focused on the vehicles that need antilock braking systems, an important safety feature. They sidelined 234 out of 5,354 hydraulic-braked power units (4.4 percent) for ABS violations. The next highest percentage of ABS violations were among air-braked power units: 2,176 out of 26,143, or 8.3 percent. Trailers saw the most violations with 2,224 out of 17,857, or 12.5 percent, being sidelined.

Survey points to drop in hospital infections

Hospital-acquired infections can cause big problems for patients. Given this, the numbers from a CDC survey are encouraging. These numbers suggest that recent years have seen a decrease in the likelihood of patients at American hospitals developing infections.

The survey was done in 2015. In it, a random sample of patients from around 200 hospitals in 10 states was looked at to see how many of these patients had health-care-associated infections. It found that around 3.2 percent of these patients had such infections.

What Really Happens If You Are In a Slip and Fall Incident?

There are certain things that retail or grocery store staff don't like to hear. It's never a good thing when the store intercom blares: "Cleanup on aisle two! Cleanup on aisle two!" Not only does that mean an employee has to spring into action with a broom and mop, but it also means there is a hazard for customers in the store.

What parents can do to combat teenage distracted driving

The last thing any parent wants is for his or her teen to get distracted behind the wheel. After all, parents are only too aware of the high level of risk teen drivers face. Their inexperience and impulsiveness mean they cause more than their fair share of accidents, and it could be argued that the most dangerous years of a driver's life are their first three years behind the wheel.

Any distraction increases those risks. You want your teen focused on the road and focused on safety. How do you make sure that happens?

Vehicle Coverage: Do You Have Enough Insurance?

If you have spent any time driving around metro Atlanta you know the city has some of the worst traffic congestion in the country. Maneuvering the streets and highways in Atlanta and its suburbs can be an adventure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 2,443,000 people were injured in accidents in 2015, with 35,092 fatalities. When someone else causes a collision, you expect the other drivers to have adequate auto insurance, but that's not always the case. Georgia Law requires that all drivers carry auto liability insurance. The motorist at fault in the wreck is responsible for the damages and injuries stemming from the wreck, and if they have insurance, it will cover those damages. What happens if you are involved in an accident and the other driver does not have auto insurance? First, hopefully you and or your passengers are not too injured. But even if you are not injured, your vehicle probably will be damages, which is where Uninsured Motorist Coverage comes in.  Auto insurance companies in Georgia are required to offer you uninsured motorist coverage when you buy insurance. While you aren't required by law to have UM coverage, everyone needs to have it.  Having UM means your auto insurance company will pay for to fix your car and pay your medical bills if the person who caused the wreck doesn't have insurance. Even if the at fault driver has insurance, though, if you are in a major accident, with physical injuries or multiple people involved, the minimum liability coverage is rarely enough insurance. This is where Silverbach Law can help you. In Georgia, drivers are required to have the following liability insurance coverage:

What Rights Do I have if I am Arrested While Driving?

The law is black and white.  It's written in a way that makes it very clear to understand what you can and cannot do.  The law is also clear when it comes to the consequences if you are convicted of a crime. If you speed, you may receive a citation and have to pay a fine. If you are caught shoplifting, you will be arrested and taken to jail. If you drive with a suspended driver's license, you will be arrested and face a judge in court. What's not always clear is how law enforcement officers will handle any given situation.  Officers have a tremendous amount of discretion in handling particular issues. An officer's attitude may depend on the attitude of the person they are dealing with. The police are expected to remain polite and professional at all times, but they are still human. The way they are interacted with could greatly influence how helpful they choose to be. Over the past several weeks, The Silverbach Group has received a number of questions via our website. We thought it would be a good idea to gather some of these questions together and answer them. It's important to remember that these answers aren't concrete and won't apply to every single situation. The following information will, however, give you a foundation as to what to expect if you find yourself wondering the same kinds of things. Question: I often drive alone at night in a rural area with my dog in the car. What is the best way to let an officer know that I am waiting for a safe place to pull over? What would happen to my dog if I were arrested? Answer: This is a great question. If you are in a rural area and have a police officer behind you what you shouldn't do is just keep driving. This will most likely result in more officers showing up, and your being removed from the car forcefully. If you are being pulled over and you are waiting for a safe place to stop, the best thing you can do is call 911 and let them know. Be very specific. Tell the operator what kind of car you are driving, exactly where you are and your tag number.  Stick to the facts. No complaining or arguing. The purpose of that phone call is so the dispatcher can let the officer know what your intentions are. If you are stopped with a pet in the car, the officer will do one of two things if you are arrested. He may call animal control to come and get the pet or he may ask you if there is someone nearby who can come and get the animal for you.  The officer's discretion is going to greatly depend on your attitude and level of cooperation. Question: If I am arrested, is there any way to contact my family without substituting my one phone call? Answer: First of all, your "one phone call" is a myth. That's purely television fodder. Those who are arrested and taken to jail have access to telephones before being processed to contact friends and family. The exception may be if you are arrested for a very serious crime like murder or rape. In that case, your "one phone call" is also a television myth. The police don't have to let you use the phone until they are ready to do so. They do, however, have to contact your attorney if you ask for one.  An officer may even call your family for you. That will depend on the seriousness of the situation. Question: When can the police impound my car? There are some situations when your vehicle will always be impounded. If you are cited for driving without insurance, your car will be impounded at your expense. The same is true for having suspended registration. In most other instances, if you are arrested the officer has the option to impound your car. The officer may also contact someone, with your consent, to come and get your car. That happens more often that you would think. The only catch is time. If you are arrested for driving with a suspended license and are headed to the jail, the officer may wait for a friend or family member to come and get your car to save you the impound expense. The officer will only wait for a reasonable amount of time. There isn't a set time frame, but the police probably won't wait for more than 15 or 20 minutes before calling a tow truck. These are just a few of the questions we have received. If you have a question you would like addressed by our experienced staff of attorneys, please email or call us. If you have been arrested and have an approaching court date, your next call should be to The Silverbach Group. You can reach us at 770-635-0334.  

Danger on The Road: What could happen if you are involved in an accident

Traffic in Atlanta is among the worst in the country. There are days when it seems like the morning rush hour becomes the afternoon rush hour without any relief. As we all know, heavy traffic leads to accidents. Commuters in Metro Atlanta see their fair share of car accidents.When an accident occurs, typically, one driver is at fault. Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a major wreck with injuries, there will be consequences for the driver the police deem at fault. These penalties can range from a simple traffic citation to much more serious criminal charges. There are also very serious civil penalties that can arise from traffic accidents.On October 13, a bus of senior citizens on the way to a casino in North Carolina collided with a tractor trailer in Gilmer County. The bus driver was killed and more than 40 passengers were injured. According to police reports, the tractor trailer was making a turn when the bus collided with it from the rear.According to news reports, preliminary findings from the Georgia State Patrol have indicated the tractor trailer driver was at fault. However no charges have been announced at this time.When such a serious accident occurs, especially one involving a fatality, there are a number of criminal charges authorities may choose to pursue. A typical fender bender may result in a citation like Following Too Closely or Failure to Yield. In the case of a death, however, criminal charges may arise even if there wasn’t an overtly reckless act by the driver.  Homicide by vehicle is the common charge in this situation. This charge, with a variety of subsections, addresses an at-fault driver who causes the death of another as a result of a car accident. These charges are typically felonies.Accidents that result in injuries, or even death, could also result in civil penalties. An individual, or the family of an individual, may seek remedies from an at-fault motorist through the court system. These types of lawsuits may cover vehicle damage or medical bills if an agreement can’t be reached with an insurance company. If the accident results in a fatality, the family or estate of the victim, may file a wrongful death lawsuit with the court system. A wrongful death lawsuit may target a company if a commercial vehicle was involved.The core of a wrongful death lawsuit will evaluate the death of a person as a crime or criminal negligence. In the case of an accident, that criminal negligence would most likely focus on what the at-fault driver did wrong and if criminal charges were filed. Any money awarded by a judge or jury would be based on “the full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence.”If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, no matter the severity, you should contact an attorney immediately. If you are facing criminal charges or a potential lawsuit, your first call should be to an attorney. The same is true if you have been the victim of an accident. Whether you are arguing with an insurance company about repairing your vehicle or paying your medical bills, or are the loved one of someone killed in accident, you need an attorney who will fight for you.Make your call to The Silverbach Group. We are experienced attorneys who will listen to you and be on your side. If you have been involved an accident and aren’t sure what to do, call us today 770-635-0334.

A Personal Injury Attorney Will Protect Your Rights

We live in a great nation, but unfortunately, our laws can be complicated and hard to understand. Who can you really trust when the legal system is confusing and you don't know what your options are? This is one reason why it is essential to hire an attorney who is experienced in personal injury cases, to represent you in your personal injury case. Going to court alone without thorough knowledge of state laws, statute of limitations, and other nuances such as living in a "no fault" state can be a huge disadvantage and will likely result in financial loss. Our advice to anyone who is involved in a court case is to have legal counsel on your side. An experienced accident attorney will have years of specialized education about our local laws, comparable cases, and have case examples and case studies to prove it.  There simply is no substitute for experience and success when it comes to legal matters.  When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you won't be at the mercy of an insurance company. Instead, you'll have someone in your corner to speak with about your case as it directly relates to you. Our attorneys know the law, and how to make it work for you. This is a huge benefit to how we represent you and your case: with personal attention. There are several ways an attorney can protect you and your case. The most important way an attorney can protect you is to advise you about the rules which must be followed during your case. Often times, It's what you don't know that can have the biggest impact on your case. At The Silverbach Group, our firm is built on guiding our clients toward decisions that serve their best interest. Call today or visit us online to schedule a free consultation. 770.635.0334

What Happens in a DUI: What Can I Do if I Get Pulled Over for a DUI?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. However, people make mistakes and DUI charges occur frequently. Receiving a DUI charge has very harsh repercussions, but that doesn't mean that there are no steps you can take to minimize the effects that it will have on you. Here's some advice if you start going through the nightmare of dealing with a DUI offense: If you are convicted of a first-time DUI in Georgia, you can expect to spend at a minimum 24 hours in jail, rarely a month. In addition, a one-year license suspension is usually given. However, if you are over the age of 21, you can generally complete an alcohol/drug risk reduction course, pay the appropriate reinstatement fee, and have a good shot at earning your license back in just 120 days and in the meantime obtain a limited driving privilege on a first offense affidavit that would permit you to drive to work, school, or medical appointments. Many people ask the question: Can I get my first DUI charge reduced? People want the charge to be reduced because of possible employment repercussions, the effect on their permanent record, the cost of heavy fines, etc. Fortunately, Georgia DOES permit a prosecutor to reduce a DUI charge to reckless driving. While hard to do, filing discovery plus motions to suppress and successful outcomes will generally garner such. Our lawyers have a 98% success rate in achieving this reduction. Another key thing to remember when facing a DUI charge is exactly how the situation occurred. You need to pay attention when you're pulled over to be sure that the police followed procedures correctly and that they had a legitimate reason to pull you over. Charges are often reduced, or even dropped, if any of the following occur: no Miranda rights were read, there was no reason to pull you over, or if a test was improperly administered. All of these things can help you with your DUI case, but nothing can help more than professional legal representation. If you have been convicted of a DUI, call Silverbach Law.    

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Nicholson, Silverbach, & Watson
2910 Cherokee St NW
Suite 101
Kennesaw, GA 30144

Phone: 770-615-7269
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