Tailgating Causes Accidents

“Tailgating”, which is a term for when a person drives too close to the vehicle in front of him or her, is a common cause of traffic accidents. It happens all too frequently on the highways, and it creates a dangerous situation if the car in front has to slow down or stop suddenly. Tailgating can be caused by distracted driving, as when drivers do not pay attention because they’re texting or talking on their cell phones, or it can be a result of driver impairment due to substance abuse, or it can even occur because of a road rage situation, where the tailgating driver is narrowing the distance between cars in order to harass the driver in front. It is a problem that is on the rise, and statistics show that drivers in certain types of vehicles are the worst offenders. Almost 23 percent of drivers in sport utility vehicles (SUV) tailgate, for example. You should never tailgate another driver, and one good reason is that if you are responsible for a collision due to tailgating, you can be liable for damage and injury claims. If you are the victim of tailgating, it is important to establish that the driver behind you was driving in a reckless or negligent manner, and you may need to have supporting evidence in the form of medical reports, witness testimony, and police reports. If you or someone in your family have been a victim of a tailgating accident in Georgia, contact Michael W. McElroy, P.C., for a free...

Establishing Who is at Fault

If you get into a car accident that involves serious injury and/or property damage, there’s a good possibility that a police officer will show up on the scene. The officer will have immediate responsibilities (determining if anyone needs medical attention, getting the damaged cars out of the way of traffic, etc.), but afterward he or she will file a report about the accident to establish who is in fault. These reports can be a critical factor in deciding who is at fault for the accident, and they are used by insurance companies and the legal system in making financial awards. The police report will have the officer’s best determination as to how the accident happened and who was at fault. Police officers will usually take statements from the people involved, so it’s important to be careful about what you say. Unfortunately, most of us are somewhat upset and traumatized after a serious accident, and we may not be thinking clearly when we talk to the officer. People will often say things that can be taken the wrong way, even admitting fault for the accident, and will regret what they said later. If you are in this situation it can seem bleak, because the other driver’s insurance company may use the police report as leverage to get you or your insurance company to pay for any medical costs or damages. All is not lost, however, even if the police report says that the accident was caused by you. With the help of a personal injury attorney who is experienced in dealing with unfavorable police reports, you can get a much...

Phone Apps Are Deadly for Drivers

There are thousands of smartphone apps available these days, and they range from entertainment oriented ones to apps that serve serious purposes like dieting, exercise, budgeting, maps and directions, news, and much more. People rave about their apps, and with good reason, but apps can also be quite deadly, if they’re used in the wrong place at the wrong time. One of those wrong places is inside a car if you’re the driver. The New York Times recently reported that there has been a significant spike in car accidents in the past few years, and experts are blaming phone apps for that trend. In the first half of 2016, alarmingly, there were 17,775 collisions. This is a 10.4 percent increase over the same period in 2015. It’s understandable. Operating a vehicle that weighs several thousand pounds while you’re traveling at speeds of 45 mph or more and negotiating all the ins and outs of traffic demands full attention, but a phone app can split your attention in ways that are deadly. Young drivers, who are especially at risk anyway, are increasing their chances of getting into an accident by using apps like Pokemon Go, in which they use their phones to search for virtual creatures while they’re out driving. If drivers cause an accident while using a phone app, they can be held legally responsible for damages. If you or someone in your family have been a victim of a distracted driving crash in Georgia, contact Michael W. McElroy, P.C., for a free...

The Distracted Driving Debate Heats Up

The national debate about distracted driving has moved into another phase with the announcement of a lawsuit by a Texas family against the Apple computer company, holding them liable for the death of their daughter from a crash involving a driver who was using Apple’s FaceTime application when the crash occurred. The family claims that Apple has already patented software that could disable the FaceTime app when the iPhone detects that a user is driving a car, and that Apple should have installed that software on all its iPhones to prevent distracted driving. Whatever happens with this lawsuit, it’s an indication that technology companies are going to be held more accountable for the growing problem of distracted driving. And it is a problem that is growing sharply. In Georgia alone, estimates are that in 2015, about 1,125 fatal accidents were caused by distracted drivers, which is nearly 75 percent of the total traffic fatalities that year. There are already strict laws on the books in regard to texting — it is not permitted in Georgia while driving — and cell phone use in a moving vehicle is forbidden for drivers under 18. Whatever happens with the Apple lawsuit, it’s important that parents tell their young drivers — who are most at risk for distracted driving — not to use their phones while they drive. There is too much at stake for a teenage driver, or any driver, for that matter, to try to split their attention between the road and their phone. If you or someone in your family have been a victim of a distracted driving crash in...
When Bad Road Conditions Cause an Accident

When Bad Road Conditions Cause an Accident

Winter is pothole season in much of the U.S., and depending on the amount and size of the potholes (which is determined by the temperature and/or construction sites), they could cause millions of dollars of damage to cars and trucks. Drivers often don’t see potholes, which can appear overnight, and if they are traveling at a high enough speed when they hit the hole, it can cause serious damage to the tires, the suspension, and the underside of the car, among other things. Even when drivers see the pothole in advance and try to avoid it, they will sometimes swerve without warning into an oncoming lane of traffic, which can result in a collision, serious injury, or even death. Potholes aren’t the only kind of poor road conditions that can cause an accident. Others include eroded roads, missing traffic signs, nonexistent guardrails, poorly marked construction zones, metal plates, icy road surfaces, improper or missing lighting, and just bad engineering and construction in general. If poor road conditions have caused damage to your vehicle or injury to a driver or passenger, you may want to think about taking legal action. The public agency responsible for that stretch of road may be liable for not doing enough to correct the road conditions, and you may be able to receive compensation. However, there are some criteria that have to be met before you have a case. You must prove the road conditions did cause the problem, and you must prove the agency had a reasonable amount of time to discover the problem and fix it. Here is an example of how the...
Get Expert Legal Advice After An Accident

Get Expert Legal Advice After An Accident

There are more than five million automobile accidents in the United States annually, according to recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Almost two million drivers or passengers involved in those accidents receive serious injuries. To be a party in a traffic accident is a shattering thing, especially if it is more than just a minor, “fender bender” type of event. Accidents happen suddenly, and there is often confusion about how they happened and what actually occurred. Besides the initial shock and trauma, there are often other medical problems that crop up as time goes on. It can be a disturbing, scary time as the full effects of the accident begin to sink in. This is exactly why accident victims need the services of an experienced attorney like Michael W. McElroy, P.C. A top flight personal injury attorney can help you navigate the confusing landscape of legal, insurance, and medical issues that result from a serious traffic accident. Dealing with insurance companies in particular can be challenging for the layperson, and it’s advisable to get expert legal advice before you agree to any kind of financial settlement. There are many cases where victims have agreed to quick settlements to cover their initial medical bills, but the money is not enough to cover long term treatment for ongoing medical issues that result from the accident. If you or someone you love has been involved in a traffic accident, you need expert advice to help you get the best legal outcome. In Georgia, that means contacting Michael W. McElroy, P.C., for a free...