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Macon Personal Injury Law Blog

Avoiding truck accidents with five tips

Across Georgia and the rest of the U.S., thousands of commercial truck drivers are on the roads, working long hours and sometimes exceeding the number of hours allotted to them each day. Truck accidents are all too common, and they also tend to be the most impactful, resulting in catastrophic injuries or death. Below are five ways that trucking companies can help keep their employees and others on the road safe.

First is to raise awareness of safe driving practices among employees. Companies could, for example, set up professional training courses on how to properly load, secure and unload cargo. Having a local firm explain truck accident laws and federal safety guidelines to the employees is also a good idea.

Seatbelt use and liver injuries

Georgia residents who wear their seat belts may not avoid incurring liver injuries if they are in a motor vehicle accident. However, according to researchers, wearing a seat belt can reduce the severity of liver injuries and impact the expenses and consequences that result.

Motor vehicle crashes in the United States result in 2 million emergency visits every year, with abdominal trauma being the cause of a substantial portion of the injuries incurred. The crashes are also responsible for tens of thousands of fatalities and almost $1 trillion worth of annual costs to the healthcare system.

Software startup could prove useful to trucking companies

Considering that most of Georgia's freight cargo is carried by commercial vehicles, the trucking industry is a vital part of the economy. Unfortunately, some truckers are prone to accidents. Part of the reason is that many truck drivers work long hours -- as much as 70 hours, in fact, over the course of their eight-day workweek. This means they're often drowsy behind the wheel.

An estimated 100,000 truck crashes occur every year because of drowsy driving. However, the trucking industry may soon be hearing more about a startup founded three years ago by some Oklahoma University graduates. The company, which is called BlyncSync, is focusing on creating a software safety platform that encourages truckers to become better drivers.

Miscommunication, human error among top medical mistake causes

Before undergoing a serious medical procedure, you likely felt apprehensive but optimistic. The idea of having your condition cured or at least better managed by the treatment may have had you weighing the benefits of the procedure far above your nervousness surrounding your situation.

Afterward, however, you may have received devastating news that an error occurred during your operation or other treatment procedure. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may have found yourself in need of additional operations, at risk of developing a serious infection or any number of other harrowing potential events. Of course, while your mind spirals around all the negative possibilities of your predicament, you may ask yourself one question: How did this mistake happen?

Study casts doubt on effectiveness of distracted driving laws

The Georgia General Assembly passed a distracted driving bill on March 29 that bans the use of cellphones by drivers. Hands-free devices are still permitted under House Bill 673, but the results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas suggests that devices designed to allow drivers to keep their hands on the wheel may be just as dangerous as standard cellphones.

The researchers came to this conclusion after observing how sending and receiving text messages affected the driving of 20 student volunteers. The students were provided with a standard cellphone and a Google Glass device and placed in a realistic driving simulator. Google scrapped the wearable device in 2015 after receiving pushback over privacy issues, but the researchers chose to use one of the devices anyway because it can be controlled by voice commands.

Reaching a settlement in a truck accident case

Most victims of truck accidents in Georgia will decide to settle their cases outside of court. There are many good reasons to opt for a settlement over taking a lawsuit to court. For example, a settlement can be concluded in less time than litigation.

However, it is important to point out that an individual could receive less from a negotiated settlement than taking a case to trial. It is also important to note that an individual could be giving up his or her right to take any future legal action after a settlement has been negotiated. If a case is resolved through arbitration, the results are binding for both parties.

How to minimize nurse practitioner liability

Both nurse practitioners and primary care physicians could be liable in medical malpractice cases. Therefore, it is important that practices take steps to reduce the odds that this happens. The first way to do this is to figure out what a nurse practitioner can do in a given state. By following Georgia or other relevant state law, there are fewer opportunities for such a person to go beyond his or her scope.

By providing adequate supervision, doctors can be relatively sure that nurse practitioners are following office protocols. Without supervision or enforcement, rules or protocols are ineffective and can lead to liability. Examples of office rules could be to send a patient who is experiencing chest pains to the emergency room or to a specialist. Patients who have health conditions that are difficult to manage could be sent to a supervising physician.

Autonomous vehicles and human driving behavior

Drivers in Georgia who are interested in the rise of autonomous vehicles may be interested to know that the programming the vehicles are equipped with may make them safety hazards on the road. According to one computer science professor, the programs direct them to drive as humans would, and as a result, the vehicles are prone to making the same driving mistakes as humans.

The associate professor conducts research that is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. His research focuses on how the designs of cyber-physical systems dictate how the systems will behave.

For premises liability claims, you provide supporting evidence

From the time you were a child, you likely have fallen many times in life. This type of event affects almost everyone, and in many cases, the results are scraped hands and knees or simply feelings of embarrassment. Of course, falling can also cause much more serious injuries than those considered superficial.

Falls down stairs, from considerable heights or even those due to tripping over an obstruction could lead to broken bones, head injuries or any number of other severe outcomes. While these events can occur due to your own clumsiness, you may have suffered your particular injury due to the negligence of a property owner or operator.

Distracted driving on the rise alongside awareness

Drivers in Georgia and across the United States are aware of the dangers of distracted driving. However, a recent study shows that while many drivers recognize the risks posed by chatting on a cell phone, texting or emailing behind the wheel, they continue to engage in such activities. The survey was conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety as part of an annual Traffic Safety Culture Index.

The study found that since 2013, the number of drivers who say they have recently spoken on a handheld mobile phone while driving has increased by 46 percent. Moreover, 88 percent of the participants expressed an escalated concern about the risks that distracted driving involves. Almost half of the respondents said they had recently spoken on a mobile phone, and 45 percent of those who were surveyed said they had recently read an email or a text while behind the wheel. An additional 35 percent of the participants said that they had recently sent emails or texts while driving.