accident claim

When you’re in a car accident, the minutes immediately following the impact are critical. As soon as you’ve made you and the other involved drivers are okay, it’s time to collect some essential information.  In the days after your accident, you’ll work with your insurance company to repair your car and cover the expenses for repairs. You’ll also determine if the other drivers are responsible for your pain and suffering from the accident.  What kind of information do you need? Keep reading to make sure you know everything to collect for an accident claim.  Pictures Tell the Best Story You’ll provide plenty of written information when you file a claim, but pictures can tell a better story.  When you’re safely out of the way of traffic, and you’ve called emergency responders to your accident, use your phone to take photos of the scene. Capture the condition of both vehicles. Show the direction of travel and any conditions that led to the crash.  Be sure you get close-up photos as well as pictures that include the intersection, road, and traffic signs. Your insurance adjuster can use photos to help make a case on your behalf during a claim.  Collect Names and Contact Information Law enforcement will collect names and phone numbers for witnesses, and you should do the same thing. You can’t force a witness to provide their information, but it’s okay to ask for your records.  When working through your insurance claim, your adjuster might contact witnesses to get more insight into what caused your accident.  Be sure you also get the names and information from the other drivers and the passengers in the other vehicles. Jot down the other driver’s insurance information and driver’s license number, too. Most police reports include this information for everyone involved in the accident. Still, it doesn’t hurt for you to collect it while on the scene—as long as you’re not interfering with police or emergency medical services on the scene.  Gather Medical Information  Did you receive medical attention at the scene of your accident? Were you taken to the hospital in an ambulance? Did you see a doctor in the days following your car crash? Recovering out of pocket expenses to treat an accident-related injury requires documentation of your injury and the bills for your treatment.  Make sure you gather all of the medical bills and doctor diagnoses that relate to injuries sustained in your automobile accident. Your insurance adjuster will need that information when working through your automobile insurance claim.  Keep Your Receipts If you can’t wait on the results of the claim to repair your car, be sure you keep your receipts. Your insurance adjuster needs to know your repair costs to help reimburse your out of pocket expenses while you want for the claim to come through in your favor.  Get the Police Report You might feel like it’s obvious that the other driver caused your car crash, but you still need documentation to help support what happened during the accident. The police report is critical for a successful insurance claim.  Within a few business days from the date of your accident, the police report should be available to you. The police report provides the factual details of what happened that day, including: The date, time, and location of the accident Names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information for identifying information for parties involved in the accident—including passengers The type of and location of damage to all vehicles involved Contact information for witnesses A diagram of the accident Conditions at the scene and potential contributing factors, including weather, the roadway, and lighting  Witness statements Statements from the involved parties Details about citations given as a result of the accident Notes about violations of law Opinions as to cause of the collision and a determination of fault While the police report can include the officer’s input about who is at fault in your accident, that opinion doesn’t mean you’ll automatically win the insurance claim if the other driver is responsible. However, a determination of fault for the other person can help your insurance adjuster fight for the claim to go in your favor.  What Happens If You Lose Your Claim? In Georgia, you have two years to file a claim for your automobile accident. The more time that passes between the date of the accident and when you file the claim, the more difficult it can be for your insurance to win the claim.  Not every car accident is a clear case of fault. To win an accident claim in Georgia, the fault must clearly be the result of the other driver’s negligence. Negligence can include: Speeding Distracted driving Ignoring traffic signs and signals Tailgating or driving too closely Drunk driving When you’ve suffered an injury as a result of another driver’s negligence, you shouldn’t be responsible for repair costs or medical expenses as a result of the accident.  If your insurance adjuster can’t win a claim in your favor, you need legal help to receive compensation for your expenses. Don’t Give Up On an Accident Claim When it comes to your financial losses or medical recovery following a car accident, don’t give up on an accident claim. Work with your insurance to begin the process, and call us to work with your insurance company.  Georgia Auto Law investigates the accident and reviews all of the information you collected following your accident. We help make sure you get every penny you deserve to recover car repair expenses, costs for medical bills, and compensation for pain and suffering.  Contact us for a free case evaluation! If you’re suffering from an injury from an auto accident, we’re here to help.

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commercial motor vehicle

In 2017, 4,102 people died as a result of large truck accidents. 68 percent of those deaths were occupants of other vehicles. A commercial truck can weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger cars, which is one of the many reasons why those accidents are often fatal. In 2018, the number of deaths by commercial truck accidents increased. Whether it’s a truck or not, a commercial motor vehicle accident is not just another auto accident. Company vehicles and their drivers are insured by commercial policies. When a crash occurs, there’s much more to investigate as the fault could lie with the driver, the company they work for, or even the truck’s manufacturer. If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial driver, it’s essential to know what to do. Keep reading to learn more about why commercial vehicle accidents are different and what to do if you’ve been in one. What Is a Commercial Vehicle? A commercial vehicle is defined as any motor vehicle used for transporting goods or paying passengers. A FedEx truck is a commercial vehicle, and so is an Uber car. In addition to trucks, any passenger vehicle that’s used or maintained for the transportation of people is a commercial vehicle.  Even if a driver only uses their vehicle on occasion to transport people or goods, their vehicle must still be registered commercially. What Are the Leading Causes of Commercial Driver Accidents? There are 3 primary causes of commercial driver accidents. Poorly Maintained Vehicles Commercial vehicles are often driven thousands of miles in short periods. Thus, if they aren’t adequately cared for, they can quickly become dangers on the road. Because most commercial vehicles are large trucks, minor defects can lead to significant accidents on the road. A poorly maintained vehicle can be the fault of the driver, who is responsible for maintaining a healthy truck while making deliveries. However, it could also be the company’s fault for not keeping up with the required checks and repairs. Driver Error Sometimes commercial truck drivers drive recklessly, despite the size and impact of the vehicle they drive over long periods. Plus, companies often push their drivers to reach mileage goals. And if a driver doesn’t get adequate sleep or drives while under the influence, an accident is more likely to occur. Improperly Loaded Cargo Cargo must always be loaded on the beds of commercial trucks according to the law. If the contents spill out as a result of improper loading, they can cause accidents and injuries on the road. When Does Negligence Occur? Commercial truck drivers operate big and heavy vehicles. Especially when driving long distances, these drivers must take extra care so as not to be negligent. Some of the ways in which companies and their drivers are negligent are: Careless maneuvers during adverse weather conditions Lack of training Fatigue Speeding Driving under the influence Aggressive driving If you’ve been in a commercial vehicle accident, there are many ways in which your life could be worse for the wear. What Should You Do If You’ve Been in a Commercial Vehicle Accident? As with any other accident, the first thing you should do in the event of a crash is to make sure you and your passengers are out of harm’s way. Once you confirm that you’re safe from additional harm, move everyone and your car out of the way. If your car is drivable, pull over to an area where there’s no chance of you being hit again. Call the police and take note of any witnesses. Call an ambulance for anyone who’s been injured. Don’t be polite or apologize for your role in the crash. Wait for the police to determine fault and investigate the scene. While you wait, if you feel ok to do so, take as many photos, and document the crash to the best of your ability. Take pictures of all vehicles involved, from all angles. If there are any witnesses, ask them to take photos or videos of the same wreck. Get their contact info. As scary as accidents are, try to remain calm while you wait for help to come. Make sure you get a copy of any police report and get checked out by a doctor as soon as you can. Many people who are hurt in an accident don’t feel pain right away because they’re in shock. Injuries can be realized and felt later on, so it’s essential that you see a doctor as soon as possible. Call a Lawyer If you’ve been in a commercial accident, call a lawyer who specializes in what you’ve just experienced. Aside from injuries, there are so many ways a car accident can affect your life, from emotional trauma to missed work. Plus, when it comes to commercial vehicle accidents, there is a lot more investigating to be done. It’s not like your typical car accident where the police will determine fault and insurance companies have the final word. When a commercial vehicle is involved, there are so many other people who could be held liable. And if the accident wasn’t your fault, why should you have to deal with medical visits, injuries, trauma, missed work, and a damaged car without compensation? A reputable auto accident lawyer will be able to get you the injury compensation you deserve. A Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident Requires the Help of a Lawyer Most commercial vehicles are 20 to 30 times bigger than passenger cars. Plus, commercial vehicles are maintained by their drivers and the companies that own them. Trucks aren’t always loaded by their drivers, and sometimes those commercial car manufacturers make mistakes in their manufacturing of the vehicles. Even if your accident involved a commercial driver of a passenger car, it’s still in your best interest to call a lawyer. Have you been in a commercial motor vehicle accident and want to know how we can help?  Contact us for a FREE case evaluation so that you can get some peace of mind in a better understanding of your situation. We are here...

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electric scooter accidents

As use continues to rise, there have been many serious electric scooter accidents, including some fatalities.  This has led to a split in public opinion about electric scooters. Some believe that they are a great way to move people throughout the city.  But, others find them to be a public nuisance and want them banned. Regardless of which camp you fall in, this post is designed to shed some light on electric scooter accidents in Georgia.  If you have been injured while riding a scooter, or have been hit by one, you should make sure your legal rights are protected.  You may be able to receive monetary compensation for the injuries and damages that you have sustained.  Read on below to find out more.  What is an Electric Scooter? An “e-scooter” is another name for “electric scooter.”  These e-scooters are motorized scooters that carry the rider without much energy at all–unlike the old scooters that you actually had to push.  These electric scooters can be very convenient if you have to travel a short distance.  There are many different providers, but the overall idea is the same: you locate a scooter anywhere, rent it in the relevant phone app, and then you can leave it anywhere when you are done with it.  The entire platform is “dockless”–meaning, there is no set location from which you rent and return the scooter. How Does the Process Work? These battery-powered scooters have recently been fitted with wireless connection and GPS capability, allowing “scooter-share” apps connect with the thousands of e-scooters out in the world. Here is how the process works: Download the app on your smartphone Create an account and login Accept all of the terms and conditions (with small print disclaiming liability for any damages that may occur while using the scooters) Add credit card payment information Use the GPS maps part of the app to locate the nearest scooter (which also shows battery levels) Tap a button in the app to unlock the scooter Start riding When done, you “check-in” the scooter and leave it anywhere. The range of these e-scooters will vary based on battery life, but most can go for about 15 miles on a single charge.  Then, representatives of the company will come around a collect the scooters, charge them, and put them back out for use. The prices vary by app, but usually there is an “unlock fee” of $1-$2 then there is a charge per minute of use.  For example, the company Bird charges $0.15/minute. Today, you will find e-scooters throughout most of the major cities in the U.S. and they are very popular on college campuses. Problems With Electric Scooters The electric scooter craze is not showing any signs of slowing down.  However, the more time that passes means that more accidents are happenings.  This has led to increasing controversy surrounding scooters. One problem is with the approach taken by the scooter companies.  When they all started, they adopted a “dump scooters in city first…ask questions later” approach that caught many off guard.  The big scooter companies released the scooters without any regard for local laws and regulations. They also did so without notifying local officials or police. Read more about Georgia’s electric scooter laws. Additionally, the scooter companies have attempted to deny all liability or responsibility for bad behavior by riders. If you have ever ridden one of these scooters, you know that they have more power than you might think.  The electric motors are quite strong and provide a lot of “get up” when you hit the throttle. This means that they have the potential to cause serious accidents which can put riders at risk as well as pedestrians and cyclists. One report on scooter accidents found that there have been a minimum of 1,545 electric scooters accidents since late 2017. Another problem is rider behavior, and bad rider behavior has created a host of problems: Very few riders wear helmets while riding.      Many riders ride on sidewalks (which is against City ordinance) People leave the scooters in dangerous areas Riding multiple people on a single scooter This has led to some pedestrians to file lawsuits against scooter riders who have hit them.  But, there have also been many injuries caused by malfunctioning, defective, or damages scooters as well as dangerous road conditions.  As we said above, one of the best things about the scooters is the ability to leave them anywhere and not have to worry about it again.  However, this has led to riders ditching scooters in places such as: Sidewalks Bike paths Wheelchair access ramps Entrances to businesses  Private driveways There has also been a surge in scooter-related vandalism.  Some reports have found scooters being thrown at vehicles causing serious property damage. Government officials were caught off guard and are now trying to respond with laws governing scooters.  Some cities have enacted “scooter laws” to try to address some of the growing concerns. With all this, be sure and check your city’s local laws to make sure you are following the rules when riding e-scooters.  And, always wear a helmet! Risks of Motorized Scooters The following are some of the key risks that motorized scooters pose: Stability: Electric scooters only have two wheels, so they can become unstable if not properly handled. Visibility: E-scooters are very small compared to cars, and even compared to motorcycles.  So, they are sometimes not viable to other motorists on the roadway.  Lack of Protection: Just like when riding a motorcycle, scooter riders are completely exposed to the dangers on the roadways.  Unlike occupants of a car, scooter riders have no seatbelts or airbags to protect them. Poor Road Conditions: Bad roads containing potholes, gravel, and uneven pavement can be a serious problem.  Most cars simply roll right over this stuff, but the small tires on an e-scooter are more susceptible to crashing.  Lack of Rider Experience:  Many riders are jumping on one of these scooters for the first time.  Just like riding a bike,...

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truck accident injury compensation

It is a sad truth that there are so many deaths and injuries caused by large trucks on the road.  It is our job to make sure our clients, or their families, are properly compensated for their loss after a devastating truck accident. When people are injured or die due to a truck accident, there can be a very large settlement for the injured party and their family.  Semi-truck accidents result in nearly $20 billion a year in settlement payouts, and most of that is to injured victims who have suffered a lost quality of life. The FMCSA requires that all motor carries have commercial insurance.  Large trucks that haul loads must carry between $750,000 and $5 million in bodily injury coverage to pay injured victims.  This amount varies based on what is being hauled and whether it is hazardous material. How Truck Accident Injuries are Calculated If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, you are likely facing the following issues: High medical bills Pain and suffering Long recovery times Drastic life changes Loss of enjoyment of life Lost time from work and lost wages All of these things are recoverable from the at-fault truck driver and trucking company in some cases.  Your truck accident lawyer should compile a list of all of these “damages” in order to make sure you get the true amount of compensation that you deserve.   Rehabilitation Can Be Long and Painful Clients often as us: what is included in the calculated semi-truck accident damages? The truck accident attorneys at Georgia Auto Law work very hard from the beginning of your case to make sure we compile all possible damages to claim.  We even include expenses such as: Parking and gasoline for getting to medical treatment Prescriptions Lost time from work Lost time from family activities Future expenses you will have from the injury Our attorneys include these special damages so that you can get your life back on track without having to worry about how you are going to make ends meet.  Truck Accident Pain and Suffering Damages In addition to the medical expenses, being involved in a semi-truck accident also takes an emotional toll on you.  Many truck accident victims suffer from emotional and psychological harm that can affect the person for a long time. For example, truck accident victims often suffer from the following emotional, mental, and psychological damages: Loss of sleep Nightmares Depression Anxiety Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) These effects of a truck accident can have an impact on the victim for a long time after the crash, and can be very difficult to cope with. Truck insurance companies always try to pay as little as possible to compensate truck accident victims for these “emotional” damages.  But, the truck accident attorneys at Georgia Auto Law always include substantial evidence to show nonphysical injuries so that we can get as much compensation as possible. Our attorneys also include claims for punitive damages if the case calls for it.  These damages are awarded when the at-fault party’s behavior was particularly bad such as road rage or drunk driving.  In these cases, the amount of damages can be much higher.  Truck Accident Injuries are Very Serious and Can Leave Permanent Damage Injuries suffered in an accident with a large truck can be wide-ranging.  Because the severity of the crash can vary, injuries also vary from case to case. The types of truck accident injuries we see often from an accident with a truck are:  Spinal and neck injuries Back injuries Broken bones Head injuries Traumatic brain injures Organ damage Soft tissue damage  It is also possible to suffer burns due to a fire or explosion in the truck accident.  Burns are especially harmful because they are incredibly painful and often require significant post-accident treatment.  Burns can also cause death due to infection. These truck accident injuries take a physical toll, but they also require long hospital stays and extended periods of rehabilitation and physical therapy.  Truck accident injury cost is very high and can lead to enormous medical debt. Combine this with the fact that the truck accident victim is likely missing work, then the financial burden is made even worse. Truck Accident Injury Compensation Because of the significant financial impact a truck accident can have, substantial truck accident injury compensation is needed to get you back on your feet.  Georgia Auto Law stands by you to provide exactly that. We know how much your life can be changed by a truck accident, and our truck accident attorneys will help you get a settlement that will get your life back on track.  Or, if a wrongful death is involved, help the family get the financial security they need. Truck Accident Statistics: Where and When Crashes Happen Most Collisions with trucks occur most often on certain types of roads.  Over half of all 18-wheeler truck accidents occur on freeways, interstate highways, or in rural areas.  This is because of the fast speeds involved on highways and potential for a head on collision on rural highways.  Time of day also play a role in truck accidents.  Most truck crashes occur between noon and 3:00 pm.  The safest time to drive, according to statistics, is between midnight and 3:00 am due to the reduced number of cars and trucks on the roads. Additionally, weekdays account for the largest number of truck accident fatalities.  Many people think weekends would have the highest number, but it is actually Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  According to the FMCSA, half of the accident deaths due to collisions with large trucks occurred on these days. Truck Crash Attorneys at Georgia Auto Law The truck accident attorneys at Georgia Auto law specialize solely in these types of accidents.  We are experienced in investigating the true causes of truck accidents to secure maximum compensation.  Our investigations include police reports, video footage, photography, witness accounts, accident reconstruction, and black box reports.  Our vast experience in truck accident cases means that...

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truck accidents statistics

The Ugly Truth About Truck Accidents Road crashes and truck accidents are on the rise.  More and more drivers are on the roads, and more and more trucking companies are out hauling loads.  By 2030, road crashes are expected to be the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Stop and read that again. If we look back to statistics in 2017, 4,889 roadway fatalities were caused by a crash with a big rig truck or a bus.  This was a 9-percent increase from 2016. Overall, there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks between 2009 and 2017. Looking at non-fatal crashes–there were 334,000 injury crashes involving big trucks in 2017. So, what does all of this data mean?  It means that large trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Where Do Truck Cccidents Happen? The most common places where big rig truck crashes occur are rural areas and on Interstate highways.  Approximately 57 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas, 27 percent occurred on Interstate highways, and 13 percent fell into both categories by occurring on rural Interstate highways.  What Do We Mean by “Big Rig” Truck? What is a “big rig” truck? When we talk about “big rig” trucks, we are talking about 18-wheelers, coal trucks, buses, cement trucks, dump trucks, etc.  But, the most prevalent among big rig trucks are tractor-trailers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 72 percent of fatal truck accidents in 2017 involved tractor-trailers. There are around 15.5 million trucks on the road–2 million of which are tractor-trailers.  So, the statistics point to the fact that tractor-trailers are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the roadway.  Period.  Main Causes of Big Rig Accidents Vehicular weight and long stopping distance are two of the key causes of truck accidents.  However, there are many other factors that cause truck accidents. Knowing these factors can help us explain why these dangerous truck accidents happen so often.  Weight and stopping distance of big trucks leading causes of truck crashes.  The weight of the average motor vehicle is about 2.5 tons–thats about 5,000 pounds.  Whereas, a tractor-trailer can weigh up to 40 tons–80,000 pounds! This means that it takes a much longer distance to stop a tractor-trailer than it does to stop a normal car.  For example, if a car and a tractor-trailer were both traveling at 40 mph and begin braking at the same time, the tractor-trailer would come to a complete stop up to 200 feet further than the car. A normal passenger car needs about 300 feet to stop after braking, but a tractor-trailer needs about 530 feet!  That is about the length of 1.5 football fields. The speed at which the vehicles are traveling is also very important.  The faster the tractor-trailer is traveling, the longer it will take to come to a complete stop. This is why fatalities and injuries in truck accidents are so common.   Another key cause of large truck accidents is speeding around curves.  We see many clients who were involved in truck crashes because the truck driver was driving too fast around a curve and caused the crash.   Truck Accident Statistics Show A High Percentage of Fatalities The FMCSA releases car crash statistics that also includes separate data for large trucks.  The number of crashes involving large trucks has been increasing year over year since 2009. And the number of fatalities is also on the rise as is the compensation for injuries and wrongful death due to truck accidents. While it is difficult to attribute a tractor-trailer accident to one single factor, the following factors are leading causes of tractor-trailer accidents: Mechanical failure Poor vehicle maintenance Following too closely Overcompensating while steering Driver fatigue (driver falling asleep at the wheel) Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol  Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help At Georgia Auto Law, every member of our team specializes exclusively in auto and truck accident cases.  We are the only law firm in Georgia handling only auto accident cases. This means that we do not focus our time, research, or resources on anything except winning you the most money on your car accident case. You are welcome to call one of our auto attorneys at any time, day or night, at (404) 662-4949.  You can also complete our consultation form, and one of our truck accident specialists will reach out to you within minutes.  With our No Fee Pledge™, you pay nothing. We are here for you.

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georgias electric scooter laws

If you have been anywhere around recently, you have probably seen electric scooters seemingly stranded on sidewalks, bike racks, roads, fields, everywhere.  The truth is, they are not stranded at all–they are waiting to be rented by anyone who needs a ride. These “dockless” scooters allow a rider to check-out a scooter, ride it to their destination, and then leave it for another rider to use later.  When the scooters get low on battery, designated “chargers” come around and collect the scooters to take them home and charge them. Then, they re-release the scooters back into the wild for continued scooting.    Whether it’s good or bad, the “scooter-share” phenomenon seems to be here to stay.  Because of this, our lawyers have been getting a ton of questions about Georgia’s electric scooter laws.  Given that the “scooter-craze” is such a new concept, it is normal for people to have questions about scooter laws. In this article, I will provide an overview of Georgia electric scooter laws so that you can not only scoot safely, but also scoot in compliance with Georgia scooter laws. If you’ve been injured in an electric scooter accident, read this post on what you need to know. Riding on Sidewalks When it comes to scooters laws, sidewalks are off limits.  In Atlanta, scooters are not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks and crosswalks. However, a rider is permitted to dismount the scooter and walk on a sidewalk or through a crosswalk.  When walking the scooter, you are considered a pedestrian and not a rider.  Therefore, you can use the sidewalks and crosswalks when walking the scooter.   After all, they are called “sidewalks” not “sidescoots”. Multiple Riders on One Scooter As fun as it may seem, grabbing a friend and sharing a scooter is also in violation of scooter laws.  Under city ordinance, electric scooters shall not be operated by more than one person at a time. This scooter law certainly makes sense.  If you have ever ridden one, you know how unstable the scooters can be.  So, tell your friend to get their own scooter–it will be more fun anyway.  Following the Rules of the Road When riding a scooter on the roadway, a rider is required to obey traffic laws.  This includes stopping at stop signs, obeying traffic lights, and following all rules that apply to cars on the road. Additionally, scooter riders must follow the flow of traffic and yield to pedestrians. This is the same law that applies to cyclists.  If you are operating an electric scooter on the roadway, follow the rules of the road or you might see the blue lights pulling you over.  Texting While Scooting It is also against scooter laws to use a cell phone while on an electric scooter.  City of Atlanta ordinance states that “no individual shall physically hold a wireless telecommunications device, including cell phones” while operating an electric scooter (Ordinance 18-0-1322). This is one that is very important.  As we all know, using a phone and driving (anything) can be very dangerous.  Add in the fact that a scooter has a serious balance component to riding, then taking a hand off the handlebars to send a text can be a one way ticket straight to the pavement. Electric Scooters Follow Local Parking Laws This is one of the biggest questions we get all the time.  The idea of riding something and then leaving it behind forever and forgetting about it is a new concept.  For example, until now we are accustomed to keeping track of our own belongings. This is not the case with electric scooters.  There is something about abandoning a motorized vehicle that riders really like.    In fact, this is one of the most attractive features of the electric scooter craze: you can ride straight to your destination and forget about the scooter. However, you are not allowed to drop the scooter at the entrance to the coffee shop you scooted to and walk right in.  City ordinance does not allow a scooter user to park a scooter in any of the following places: On vegetation  Over a grate or manhole cover In a loading zone, driveway, vehicle travel lane, bike lane, or shared use path Where they obstruct vehicle parking Where they obstruct pedestrian or wheelchair access to buildings In a bus stop Within 5 feet of a bikeshare location Where it may obstruct traffic or regulatory signs Where it may obstruct emergency service infrastructure (fire hydrants, etc.) (Ordinance 18-0-1322).  Further, electric scooters are required to be parked upright at all times.  So, kick out that kick-stand and make sure you leave the scooter standing.  Always scoot safely The above scooter laws are in place to keep people safe and having fun.  There is no doubt that the electric scooter launch has brought more transportation options for people.  However, they have also introduced some safety concerns that need to be kept in mind.  Be sure to always wear a helmet while riding and follow scooter laws to stay safe and secure while scooting! Our specialized accident attorneys can help you. At Georgia Auto Law, every member of our team specializes exclusively in Georgia auto and motorcycle accident cases.  We are the only law firm in Georgia handling only auto accident cases. This means that we do not focus our time, research, or resources on anything except winning you the most money on your car accident case. You are welcome to call one of our auto attorneys at any time, day or night, at (404) 662-4949.  You can also complete our consultation form, and one of our car accident specialists will reach out to you within minutes.  With our No Fee Pledge™, you pay nothing. We are here for you.

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At what age can my kid ride in the front seat in Georgia?

How old does my child have to be to sit in the front seat? Our auto attorneys answer the question about when it is safe to allow your children to sit in the front seat according to Georgia law.  This includes both with and without a booster seat. The following is a question I was recently asked by a family friend who has a child that really wants to sit in the front seat. Question: My daughter is 7 years old, is she allowed to sit in the front seat?  Is it safer for her to sit in a booster seat? Answer:  This is a great question.  Our attorneys and staff get this question very often from parents who want to follow the law and also keep their children safe.  Georgia laws are designed to keep your children safe. So, it is important to make sure you are not moving your child up to the front seat to soon.  According to the Georgia front seat law, all children under the age of 8 whose height is less than 57 inches must ride in the backseat of a car.  Georgia experts advise that any child under the age of 12 should ride in the back seat. According to these experts, the back seat is the safest location for children. Additionally, all children under the age of 8 must be properly restrained in an appropriate child passenger safety seat or booster seat. The actual language of the law states that “every driver who transports a child under eight years of age…shall provide for the proper restraint of such child in a child passenger restraining system appropriate for such child’s height and weight…” (O.C.G.A. § 40-8-76) Even further, if you can show your child’s height is over 4 feet and 9 inches, your child should be restrained in a safety belt as required in Code Section 40-8-76.1. So, this arguably means that if a child is 8 years or older or is at least 4’ 9” or taller, then the child does not need to be in a child restraint system, and can sit in the front seat according to Georgia law.  In this case, you are allowed to use a lap and shoulder belt. Like I said, our lawyers get a lot of questions from parents about this issue.  We often get questions about Georgia car seat laws as well.  I hope this helps!

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georgia car seat laws

What are Georgia Car Seat Laws? According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia car seat laws are: All children under the age of 8 whose height is less than 57 inches must ride in the backseat of a car All children under the age of 8 are required to be in a booster seat or car seat that is suitable for their age and height If there is no back seat in the vehicle, or other restrained children are in the backseat, Georgia law allows a child under the age of 8 to sit in the front seat if restrained in the proper car seat or booster seat and the child weighs at least 40 pounds Penalties for Violating Georgia Car Seat Laws According to Georgia Law, Georgia Primary Safety Belt Law allows police officers to issue a driver a citation if they simply observe a seat belt violation.  Some other states require that the officer stops the driver for another offense first, however this is not the case in Georgia. A police officer can pull you over if they observe an improperly restrained child in your vehicle.  A violation for an improperly restrained child can lead to a fine of $50 and one point on your license.  A second offense can lead to a double fined and doubled points. Car seat laws protect your child in the car The penalties for an improperly restrained child are relatively small, however the most important thing is for your child to be safe in the car.  In the United States, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children between 1 and 12 years old.  I am not pointing this out to scare parents, but to inform parents. Child fatalities due to car accidents are real, but can be avoided.  The most important thing is to follow Georgia car seat laws.  They are in place to protect children, and they really do work.  You should also put your child in the proper car seat based on age and weight.  Also be sure that the car seat is properly installed.  The following are a few tips that experts suggest to ensure the safety of your child in a motor vehicle: All children under the age of 13 should ride in the backseat Do not use a child car seat that has been involved in an accident Do not hold a child in your lap or place a car seat in the front seat Secure your child even for short trips According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52% of all collisions in the United States occur within a 5-mile radius of the home, and 69% occur within 10 miles Booster Seats Booster seats are one area that people overlook when it comes to car seat safety.  A booster seat is designed to reduce the risk of injury by helping the seat belt fit properly. Booster seats are recommended for children 4-7 years old who are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall. Here are some tips for using a booster seat: If your vehicle has low seats and no headrests, use a high back model If your vehicle has headrests, you can use a backless model. Use the booster seat until your child meets the weight limits or can fit into a normal seatbelt properly Proper installation is key One of the biggest problems with car seat and booster seat usage is improper installation.  You should make sure you have the right model for your child AND that it is properly installed in your vehicle.  According to the NHTSA, 80% of car seats are incorrectly installed. To do this, you should seek out expert help.  Contact your local fire department for free installation and inspection help.  You can also find car seat inspection sites in your area by visiting http://www.seatcheck.org.  In addition, here is a list of NHTSA’s inspection sites. Our specialized, car accident attorneys can help you. At Georgia Auto Law, every member of our team specializes exclusively in Georgia auto accident cases.  We are the only law firm in Georgia handling only auto accident cases. This means that we do not focus our time, research, or resources on anything except winning you the most money on your car accident case. You are welcome to call one of our auto attorneys at any time, day or night, at (404) 662-4949.  You can also complete our consultation form, and one of our car accident specialists will reach out to you within minutes.  With our No Fee Pledge™, you pay nothing. We are here for you.

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what is a commercial vehicle?

When is a vehicle considered a commercial vehicle? It is important for every truck accident attorney to know the difference between normal vehicles and commercial vehicles.  But, it is also important to know when a vehicle could be a non-traditional commercial vehicle. At first glance, a car or truck may not appear to be commercial.  But, your attorney needs to look deeper to see if it may still be a commercial vehicle.  Meaning, the vehicle may not be not an 18-wheeler, but it still could be subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) due to the weight limits. A commercial vehicle is not always what it appears to be Would you ever think that a normal pickup truck can be considered a commercial vehicle?  Probably not. Under the federal regulations, a pickup truck can be considered a commercial vehicle even though it is not an 18-wheeler or big-rig truck.  If a lawyer is handling a severe injury or wrongful death case, and a pickup truck is involved, the lawyer might be leaving a lot of compensation on the table by failing to realize that a commercial vehicle is involved. Often, a lawyer who does not look at the potential for a commercial vehicle could be leaving hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars on the table.  This is a huge mistake that, unfortunately, happens when inexperienced lawyers try to take on a truck accident case. What is a commercial vehicle? Most of us have an idea of what a “commercial vehicle” is.  We think of large box trucks, buses, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and tanker trucks.  All of these commercial trucks are regulated and subject to the FMCSR. However, many attorneys who take on truck accident cases make a mistake by thinking these are the ONLY commercial trucks.  This is a misunderstanding by many lawyers who handle truck cases, and it can lead to lower recovery for the client. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, a commercial vehicle is defined as a motor vehicle that: “ . . . has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater.” (49 CFR § 383.5(1)) So, what does this mean?  It means that a commercial vehicle is NOT defined by the actual weight.  Instead, it is defined by the weight rating.  Lawyers need to be careful not to fall into the trap of missing out on commercial vehicle status by failing to understand the difference between actual weight and gross weight rating.   Can Ordinary Vehicles Qualify? The following are other ways that a normal vehicles might actually be classified as a commercial vehicle: Transporting passengers If a vehicle is designed to transport passengers, your truck accident attorney should focus on the number of people the vehicle is designed to transport.  If that number is 16 or more passengers, then the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle. (49 CFR § 383.5(3)). Gross Vehicle Weight Rating If the vehicle has a gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, then it is a commercial vehicle. (49 CFR § 383.5(2)).     Transporting Hazardous Materials Also, vehicles that are used to transport hazardous materials as defined in the FMCSRs are considered commercial. Gross vehicle weight rating issues for attorneys to remember Truck accident attorneys need to remember that the regulations provide another definition for a commercial motor vehicle.  In 49 CFR § 390.5, a commercial motor vehicle is a vehicle that “has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater.” (49 CFR § 390.5(1)). Further, under 49 CFR § 390.5(2), attorneys can get an ordinary vehicle into the “commercial vehicle” category if the vehicle “is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation.” It is important to note the distinction between § 383.5(3) and § 390.5(2).  The difference between 16 passengers and 8 passengers is compensation. Meaning, when the vehicle is being used to transport more than 8 people–for compensation–then we are in commercial territory.  Practice Pointer for Truck Accident Lawyers I encourage every single truck accident lawyer to investigate the truck weight limits and gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicles involved in the case.  If the vehicle in your case is used for business, and it weighs more than 10,001 pounds, or 26,001 pounds–then a truck accident lawyer should be immediately thinking that you have a semi-truck or a motorcoach. Also, always be on the lookout for a trailer.  If a trailer is being towed by a vehicle, then you should investigate whether the vehicle and trailer combination move the overall auto or truck into the commercial classification.  What I do on every accident case. As a truck accident lawyer, I always keep the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations close by at all times.  I can not tell you how many times I have seen other lawyers fail to realize that they were dealing with a commercial vehicle.  And this leads to lower compensation for the client (and also possibly legal malpractice). A deep knowledge of the regulations is a requirement for any lawyer who is taking on truck accident cases.  So, whenever I start working on a new case, the first thing I do is determine whether there are any commercial vehicles present in the case.  I do a thorough investigation in the beginning to see if I can move any of the autos involved into the “commercial vehicle” territory. This can turn a case from a minimum policy limits case of $25,000 to one with a minimum policy limit of $750,000 (or more). But, what really matters here is safety.  And the regulations are in place to keep the roads safe by requiring these big companies to be...

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why are crotch rocket motorcycle death rates so much higher?

Below, our team of motorcycle attorneys examine the extreme dangers posed by crotch rocket motorcycles and are continuing to increase at a rapid rate. Studies show that “crotch rocket” motorcycle riders are much more likely to die in a motorcycle crash than other types of riders.  Some estimates show that the increase can be as much as four times.  I have also observed this same trend in my own practice as a motorcycle accident lawyer, because we have a much higher percentage of motorcycle accident victims who sustain serious injuries riding crotch rockets. What is a “Crotch Rocket”? A “crotch rocket” is a high-speed, high-performance, sport motorcycle that generally has an aerodynamic body shape which requires or encourages the rider to lean forward.  Crotch rockets are often called sport bikes, super bikes, supersport motorcycles, or racing bikes.  These motorcycles are light-weight, aerodynamic, and built on racing platforms that have been adapted for street-legal use. The appeal of crotch rocket motorcycles is the same thing that can make them so dangerous if not handled properly: high speed.  We have all had that moment driving in our cars down the interstate and hearing a loud engine scream by and be out of sight in no time.  Crotch rockets and “supersports” motorcycles have significantly more horsepower than “normal” motorcycles, and some can reach speeds upwards of 200 mph! Motorcycle accident injuries are more likely to be severe or fatal It is important to note that motorcycle riders have an increased chance of serious injury or death in a crash.  Studies have shown that motorcycle riders are over 25 times more likely to die in a crash than in a car. They are also five times more likely to be injured than car drivers or passengers.  Further, even though “crotch rockets” only account for less than 10 percent of motorcycles out on the road, they account for over 25 percent of motorcycle rider deaths. Combine these statistics with the fact that Georgia motorcycle fatalities are steadily on the rise, and you can see that “crotch rocket” motorcycles are the most dangerous way to injury yourself on the road.  Crotch Rockets: Need for Speed The reason riders like a “crotch rocket” is the speed.  They want to go fast. After all, that is the whole point of a sport motorcycle.  However, there is a downside to this speed and adrenaline. This serious speed can significantly increase the risk of death and serious injuries in a motorcycle crash.  Studies show that speed is one of the most significant factors contributing to fatal motorcycle crashes in Georgia.  In fact, over half of “crotch rocket” motorcycle fatal crashes are a direct result of excessive speed. Further, Georgia statistics show that young riders are the most likely to die in a “crotch rocket” crash.  The age group 20-29 has the highest percentage of supersport motorcycle deaths in Georgia.   Regardless of the type of motorcycle you ride, always be sure to wear protective equipment and ride safely.  It could save your life.  Have you or a loved one been injured in a motorcycle accident?  Our motorcycle accident attorneys can help you. If you or someone you know has been in an motorcycle accident, read our guide on what you should do immediately after getting in a motorcycle accident. At Georgia Auto Law, every member of our team specializes exclusively in Georgia motorcycle, car, and truck accidents.  We are the only law firm in Georgia handling only these case types.  This means that we do not focus our time, research, or resources on anything except winning you the most money on your motorcycle accident case.  You are welcome to call one of our motorcycle accident attorneys at any time, day or night, at (404) 662-4949.  You can also complete our consultation form, and one of our motorcycle accident lawyers will reach out to you within minutes.  With our No Fee Pledge™, you pay nothing. We are here for you. 

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