Adonis Hollingshed and Atty. Jeff Powers

Powers Law Group and Book ‘Em Helps Bloomfield Youth Baseball with Trip to World Series

Powers Law Group is committed to supporting those in our community who work to make it a better place to live, especially when their work involves improving the lives of children and young people. Yesterday, we saw a local news story about a team of young all-star baseball players from Bloomfield Youth Baseball League. The team highlighted is in the U6 League, or under 6-year-old league. They have been working, along with two other qualifying teams from Bloomfield (U8 and U10) to raise $3,000 in order to play in the USSSA’s All Star World Series in Gulfport, MS next week, and were still $1,000 short of their goal. They needed funds to pay for travel, lodging, and meal expenses for the trip. After working and practicing so hard from January through the final state tournament earlier this month, we knew we had to help these determined kids, and their dedicated coaches make this dream into a reality.

Today, we visited the Bloomfield Community Center, where an end-of-the-season celebration was taking place, to deliver a check to cover the remainder of the expenses. We had the privilege of meeting Adonis Hollingshed, the President of Bloomfield Youth Baseball, and several of the wonderful coaches who have gotten the teams to World Series status. Sadly, we were unable to meet the team members because they were working at a car wash a few miles away to continue to raise money. This speaks to the level of dedication these young boys possess to achieve their goal. For many of them, it will be their first trip outside of Georgia, and their first chance to visit the ocean.

We look forward to watching their games, which will be live-streamed here:

USSSA World Series

We will be cheering them on from Macon and hope that you will join us!

Additionally, Book ‘Em, our primary outreach project, brought over 100 brand-new books for the teams to have for the bus trip to Gulfport, and keep forever. Titles included “Jackie Robinson – a young reader’s biography,” “Clifford Makes the Team,” “Get a Hit, Mo!,” and “Little Shaq Makes a Decision.”

With all of the disheartening news of violence, shootings, and killings occurring on an almost daily basis, it is truly a God-send to know that there are many working daily in our community to be role models and leaders for our young people. These are the kind of “gangs” and “gang leaders” that we need. We salute Bloomfield Youth Baseball for their amazing work!

Proud Supporter of Book ‘Em to Improve Childhood Literacy

We are proud to support Book ‘Em’s efforts, in partnership with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, to improve childhood literacy rates in Macon-Bibb County!

Bibb County Sheriff’s Office deputies spent the morning with our partner Book ‘Em, at the Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia, Inc. Deputies helped hand out books and coloring books to children.

 

Our Bibb County Sheriff's Office deputies spent the morning with our partner Book 'Em, at the Rescue Mission of Middle…

Posted by Bibb County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, December 27, 2017

3rd Annual Santa in the Park Hosted by Book ‘Em

Book ‘Em was thrilled to participate in their 3rd “Santa in the Park,” event which is an annual outreach project of the Bibb Sheriff’s Office. Each year the Sheriff’s Office selects a public park to be the site of a pre-Christmas gift-giving event for children who might not otherwise receive any gifts on Christmas day. Every child who attends this annual event receives a brand-new toy or bicycle. Book ‘Em is also there to give at least one brand-new book to each child. From 2015-2017 Book ‘Em has given close to 1,000 books to children who attend Santa in the Park. This year’s event was held at the Buck Melton Community Center on Anthony Road.

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Lauren Giddings 5K

Lauren Giddings 5K

The Association of Women Law Students at Mercer University School of Law hosted the inaugural Lauren Giddings 5K yesterday during Mercer’s Homecoming weekend. The race took place at the Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, GA. Powers Law Group was one of the sponsors of this event

All money raised will go towards the Lauren Giddings Scholarship, benefitting a Mercer Law Association of Women Law Students member to go towards bar exam preparation expenses. Currently, the average amount that our graduates spend on bar prep and living expenses the summer after they graduate is over $8,000, and federal loans do not cover even half of that amount. Lauren Giddings was a 2011 Mercer Law School graduate. She was involved throughout the law school, including her membership in the Association of Women Law Students. She is remembered for her passion for giving back, including her work with The Habeas Project. It is an honor for Mercer Law AWLS to have a 5K and scholarship in her memory.

Books given away at The Mentor’s Project of Bibb County’s Annual Fall Festival

During Bibb County Public School’s Fall Break, Book ‘Em, along with Deputies S. Smith and T. Nelson, gave away more than 100 brand-new books. Books were given to students participating in The Mentor’s Project of Bibb County’s Annual Fall Festival.

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Book ‘Em Recognizes Community Helpers

Book ‘Em joined the Bibb Sheriff’s Office at a local daycare/Pre-K center for their special day recognizing “Community Helpers.”

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DUI Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Why All Drivers Need to Purchase Extra Uninsured Motorist Coverage

The following article is a prime example of why all drivers need to purchase extra uninsured motorist coverage from their auto insurance provider. The driver who caused this accident yesterday was charged with DUI, failure to yield to a stop sign, and driving without insurance. $25K doesn’t go very far if you’re hospitalized.

Macon woman’s car flips, man who hit her is charged with DUI

 

 

New Books for the Kids at Brookdale Elementary

Every Brookdale Elementary student took home five brand new books Thursday. The giveaway was hosted by nonprofit Book ‘Em in partnership with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department.

Read more:

Brookdale Elementary Students and New Books

Lawyers of Distinction Macon GA

Macon Personal Injury and Workers Comp Lawyers of Distinction

Lawyers of Distinction Macon GAMacon, GA — 12/09/2016 — The Lawyers of Distinction is pleased to announce that Jeff Powers of Macon, Georgia, has been certified as a member. The Lawyers of Distinction is recognized as the fastest growing community of distinguished lawyers in the United States.   Membership is limited to the top 10% of attorneys in the United States. Members are accepted based upon objective evaluation of an attorney’s qualifications, license, reputation, experience, and disciplinary history. Please see our website www.lawyersofdistinction.com for further details concerning membership qualification.

Attorney Jeffrey Powers is a personal injury attorney and workers compensation lawyer practicing in Macon, GA that serves and protects people’s rights.

Atty. Jeff PowersAtty. Jeff Powers has been practicing law for over 20 years in Macon, GA. Jeff holds a B.S. degree in Psychology from Florida State University(1989) and a J.D. from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University (1995). Upon graduation from Mercer Law, Jeff began work as an Assistant District Attorney in the Macon Judicial Circuit, where he worked from 1995 until 1998.

In 1998, Jeff and his wife, Katie, moved to his hometown, Orlando, FL in order to work with his father, who has a successful law practice. Jeff gained much experience from this and decided that rather than relying on his father’s connections to build a practice, that he would return to Macon and build his own successful practice.

Lawyers of Distinction shall not offer membership to more than 10% of attorneys in any given state. Lawyers of Distinction uses it own independent criteria, including both objective and subjective factors in determining if an attorney can be recognized as being within the top 10% of attorneys in the United States in their respective field. This designation is based upon the proprietary analysis of the Lawyers of Distinction organization alone, and is not intended to be endorsed by any of the 50 United States Bar Associations or The District of Columbia Bar Association.
Forsyth County Courthouse

Victory for Personal Injury Client in a Jury Trial

 

fosyth-county-courthousePowers Law Group represented a personal injury client in a jury trial this month in Forsyth County. The insurance company denied responsibility for our client’s injuries.  The jury was very conservative. Forsyth County residents are known for being some of the most conservative in the state of Georgia. The law requires that the case be filed the where the defendant lives, not where the accident ocurred. We faced many other challenges during the course of the trial such as these:

  • Lack of visible property damage to both cars
  • No complaint of injury at the scene from anyone in either vehicle in accident
  • The police officer recorded that there was no damage to our client’s vehicle
  • Our client delayed seeking any medical care for her injury

powers-law-group-forsyth-countyOur client continued to work as a hairdresser, not losing time from work. The defense hired a non-practicing neurosurgeon as an expert to testify on their behalf. This expert for the defense testified that the need for our client’s neck surgery was caused by looking up while decorating her Christmas tree seven months after the wreck.  Our client’s surgery was 14 months post accident. She returned to work within 6 weeks. The offer to settle before trial was $25,000, and the verdict in favor of our client was for $40,000. While we were pleased with the win for our client, we were also disappointed by the amount the jury awarded to our client, whose medical bills were significantly more than the jury’s award.

Bibb Mentors Project Bowl-A-Thon

Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser for Mentor’s Project

Powers Law Group is very proud to be a silver sponsor for The Mentor’s Project of Bibb County’s annual fundraiser, Bowl-a-Thon. This year’s Bowl-a-Thon will take place on Saturday, September 17th at 1:00 pm at the Gold Cup Bowling Center, located at 3720 Pio Nono Avenue, here in Macon. The Mentor’s Project is still in great need of sponsors for this event. Sponsorship levels are as follows:

  • Platinum $8,000
  • Gold $5,000
  • Silver $2,500
  • Bronze $1,500   
  • Banner $1,000
  • Trophy $500
  • Team $400
  • Bowler $100

*Sponsorships of $1,500 and more will have their logo printed on the Bowl-a-Thon t-shirts, banner, and a personal sign.

*Sponsorships of $1,000 and more will have a personal banner 3’ x 11’ and a personal sign

*Sponsorships of $400 and more will receive a sign sized 3’ x 5’
The money raised by Bowl-a-Thon helps to pay for a variety of services that are provided to the more than 300 children served by the Mentor’s Project of Bibb County. This comprehensive mentoring program, in additon to providing quality one on one mentoring to Bibb County Public School students in grades 7-12, also provides wrap-around services. These services include, but are not limited to: teen pregnancy prevention, food pantry, school supplies, school clothing/shoes, providing medical and dental care, rental assistance, healthy lifestyle education, anger management, financial literacy, drug awareness, etiquette classes, college scholarships, HIV/AIDS education/prevention, and a leadership academy. We know of no other organization in our community that has done as much as the Mentor’s Project has for OUR children in Macon-Bibb County. Last year, the Mentor’s Project had a 100% graduation rate. Please consider supporting the phenomenal work that they do by becoming a sponsor of their annual Bowl-a-Thon. Please contact June O’Neal at 478-765-8624 about becoming a sponsor today!

Workers Compensation Settlement for Faithful Employee

Today in Savannah, Georgia, Atty. Jeff Powers was able to achieve a settlement for a client in a worker’s compensation case. The client had been a faithful employee of the company she worked for in excess of 14 years. Our client wanted to return to work, however, the employer wouldn’t allow her to continue working. We love fighting for our clients.

Top Lawyers in Georgia: 2016 Rising Star Atty. Adam Beecher

Atty. Adam BeecherPowers Law Group is proud to announce that Attorney Adam Beecher has been selected to the 2016 Georgia Rising Star list by Super Lawyers Magazine. This is a distinguished honor as no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in Georgia are selected by this publication to receive this designation, which is awarded on an annual basis.  Super Lawyers creates “a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.

Super Lawyers GeorgiaSuper Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.” To be eligible for inclusion on the Rising Star list, a candidate must be under 40 years of age and practicing law less than 10 years. We congratulate Adam on this award!

Macon Car Accident Lawyer - Personal Injury

Macon Law Firm Achieves Justice for Car Accident Victim

Macon Car Accident Lawyer - Personal InjuryToday Powers Law Group achieved justice for a client who was injured in a car accident. Jeff Powers was victorious in a bench trial, receiving a judgment of more than twice what the insurance company had offered to pay. We never settle for less than what our clients truly deserve. The insurance company tried to limit the amount of money they had to pay to resolve this case. Powers Law Group represents all of their personal injury and workers compensation clients in this same fashion. Insurance companies know that we never settle for less than what our clients truly deserve.

arbitration

Arbitration: A privatization of the justice system

Deborah L. Pierce, an emergency room doctor in Philadelphia, was optimistic when she brought a sex discrimination claim against the medical group that had dismissed her. Respected by colleagues, she said she had a stack of glowing evaluations and evidence that the practice had a pattern of denying women partnerships.

She began to worry, though, once she was blocked from court and forced into private arbitration.

Presiding over the case was not a judge but a corporate lawyer, Vasilios J. Kalogredis, who also handled arbitrations. When Ms. Pierce showed up one day for a hearing, she said she noticed Mr. Kalogredis having a friendly coffee with the head of the medical group she was suing.

In Arbitration, a ‘Privatization of the Justice System’

Insight by Atty. Jeff Powers:

Be very careful the next time you sign paperwork when entering the hospital, being seen by a doctor or when placing a loved one in a nursing home. Many of these legal documents people sign daily contain a clause which will deny your right to a trial by jury should something go terribly wrong. Corporations are using binding arbitration to deny justice to victims of gross negligence. This means that an arbitrator – one person, who is usually on the side of the corporation will decide if you are entitled to any compensation for your loss. The right to a trial by jury in this country is being taken away by big business.

 

Product Liability Lawyer - GM Ignition Switch

GM to Pay $900M Fine for Fatal Ignition Switch Defect

GM to Pay $900M Over Ignition Switch Scandal; Cooper Criticizes Deal

General Motors has agreed to pay $900 million to resolve criminal charges for concealing a defective ignition switch linked to at least 169 deaths, federal prosecutors said Thursday in New York.

The agreement calls for two charges—wire fraud and scheming to conceal information from government regulators—to be dropped after three years if the automaker cooperates fully.

However, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara did not rule out the possibility employees could still face charges.

See Related Article: GM Pact Doesn’t Mean Its Legal Woes Are in the Rear-View Mirror

“They let the public down. It’s as simple as that,” Bharara said. “To sum it up, they didn’t tell the truth in the best way that they should have—to the regulators, to the public—about this serious safety issue that risked life and limb.”

Also Thursday, GM announced it that it will spend $575 million to settle the bulk of the civil lawsuits filed over the scandal.

The twin agreements bring to more than $5.3 billion the amount GM has spent on a problem prosecutors say could have been dealt with at a cost of less than a dollar per car. Those expenses include government fines, compensation for victims and the recall and repair of the millions of affected vehicles.

The statement of facts to which the company agreed describes in scathing terms GM’s deceitful and dismissive approach to handling a problem that was evident even before the defective switch went into production in 2002.

The design of the ignition switch was changed by a GM engineer, without any notice, in 2002, even though the supplier said the switch didn’t meet GM’s specifications. That fact was uncovered in April 2013 during an investigation by Marietta attorney Lance Cooper, who was representing Ken and Beth Melton’s lawsuit in the 2010 death of their daughter, Brooke, a nurse. She died on her 29th birthday after her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt went out of control and rolled off a highway, down a bank and into a creek.

On Thursday, Cooper issued a scathing response to the end of the GM criminal case.

“Today’s settlement announcement provides no consolation to the hundreds of families who were devastated by GM’s decade long coverup of the ignition switch defect,” Cooper said in a news release. “When individuals, through their reckless conduct, cause someone to die, they go to jail. When large corporations, such as GM, through their reckless conduct cause hundreds of people to die, they simply pay a fine, write it off as a tax loss, and move on.”

“Speaking on behalf of the families we represent, we had hoped that justice would be served in the criminal investigation of GM,” Cooper said. “Unfortunately, it’s the same old story—if you have enough power and money you can always buy your way out of truly being held accountable for your misdeeds.”

Cooper’s investigation discovered Brooke Melton’s car’s key was turned off, then later that the ignition switch was defective. The Meltons settled their case in 2013, then tried to give back the $5 million payment a year later when they discovered a GM engineer lied in a deposition saying he did not know about the defect. They refiled their lawsuit in 2014, adding allegations of fraud.

Cooper teamed up with Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles in Montgomery to deepen the investigation. But the Meltons settled again in March 2015 after more money was added to their deal from the fund controlled by GM’s mediator, Kenneth Feinberg.

Before the Meltons settled their suit, Cooper had expected their lawsuit to be the first ignition defect case to go to trial against GM. He said Wednesday he has now placed that hope on other cases he is investigating.

“We look forward to our first ignition switch trial against GM when a jury will have the opportunity to hold GM fully accountable for its reprehensible conduct,” Cooper said. He did not identify the case, and said he would make no further comments for the moment.

Beasley Allen founder Jere Beasley issued a statement saying GM was “getting off easy” on the criminal charges despite being fined nearly $1 billion. “In this country, we normally put criminals in jail, but corporations pay huge fines and keep on doing business,” he said. “I am afraid the public doesn’t fully realize that GM—a corporate entity—is guilty of a criminal offense, and because of the conduct of GM officers and employees, at least 124 innocent victims were killed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration dropped the ball and GM intentionally covered up for a full decade a known safety defect.”

Consumer advocate Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Automotive Safety, also bitterly criticized the settlement.

“GM killed over 100 people by knowingly putting a defective ignition switch into over 1 million vehicles,” Ditlow said. “Today, thanks to its lobbyists, GM officials walk off scot-free while its customers are 6 feet under.”

Bharara said he understands some victims’ families might be disappointed no individuals were arrested, but he added: “We apply the laws as we find them, not the way we wish they might be.” He also said GM was given credit for cooperating with the investigation, including sharing the results of its in-house probe.

With the settlements, GM is taking a big step toward moving past the scandal, which badly damaged its reputation but led to companywide safety reforms.

Later Thursday, GM chief executive Mary Barra appeared before employees in suburban Detroit and again apologized to the victims of crashes caused by the bad switch.

“We didn’t do our job,” she said. “We accept the penalties handed down today, because that’s what it means to be held accountable.”

As part of GM’s deal with prosecutors, an independent monitor will be appointed to review the automaker’s procedures for handling safety defects.

When GM employees, the media and some customers complained about the switch in 2004 and 2005, the company’s engineers left the switch alone, rejecting a cheap and simple improvement that would have significantly reduced the problem, court papers said.

Court papers said even though the dangers became plain in the spring of 2012, the company did not correct its earlier assurance that the switch posed no safety concern. Instead, Bharara wrote, it concealed the defect from regulators and the public “so that the company could buy time to package, present, explain and manage the issue.”

The wire fraud count pertained to the company’s assurances to customers over the Internet in 2012-13 that its used cars were safe.

Last year, GM recalled 2.6 million older small cars worldwide to replace the faulty switches. Those included the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion.

The faulty switches can unexpectedly slip out of the “run” position to “off” or accessory. That shuts off the engine and disables power-assisted steering, power brakes and the air bags. Some cars ran off the road or collided with other vehicles.

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration slapped GM with a civil fine of $35 million for failing to notify the government of a safety-related defect within five days of learning about it.

Also last year, GM established a fund to compensate victims. Lawyers administering the fund accepted 124 death claims and 275 injury claims. Families of those who died will get at least $1 million. GM has set aside $625 million to compensate people who accept a settlement with the fund.

Texas attorney Bob Hilliard represented 1,385 plaintiffs with death or injury claims who decided not to seek compensation from the fund. On Thursday, GM said it has agreed to spend part of $575 million to settle those lawsuits, which include 45 deaths.

The money also will be used to settle a shareholder lawsuit that said GM’s actions reduced the value of its stock.

Even with the settlements, GM cannot yet close the books on the scandal. It still faces 454 death and injury cases that have yet to be settled. Six cases have been scheduled for trial, including one set to start in January.

Amid the scandal more than a year ago, GM fired 15 employees, including engineers and lawyers, for failing to act to resolve the switch problem.

The recalls led to other changes at GM. Barra appointed a new safety chief who reports directly to her and added 35 product safety investigators. The company changed its product development process to focus more on safety. And it started a program that encourages employees to speak up if they uncover a safety concern.

GM also reviewed a backlog of safety issues in 2014 and ordered a record 84 recalls covering more than 30 million vehicles, including 27 million in the U.S. So far this year, it has issued 33 recalls covering 2.6 million cars and trucks.

The deal with GM comes a year and a half after Toyota agreed to a $1.2 billion penalty from the Justice Department for withholding information about deadly unintended acceleration in its vehicles.

Read more: http://www.dailyreportonline.com/id=1202737483345/GM-to-Pay-900M-Over-Ignition-Switch-Scandal-Cooper-Criticizes-Deal#ixzz3m6n9e2nj

Woman and Three Others Injured by Tractor-Trailer

A Cartersville couple — on a furlough from mission work in Italy — were on their way home when a tractor-trailer crashed into them Thursday night.

Kyra Karr, 30, died at the scene of the wreck. Her two young children and husband were injured when the tractor-trailer pinned their pickup truck against a guard rail, trapping the family inside, according to police in Bartow County.

The children, ages 2 and 4, were both in stable condition Friday at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. Reid Karr was in stable condition at WellStar Kennestone Hospital, according to police.

Kyra Karr was a graduate of the University of Georgia and grew up attending Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cartersville, according to IMB, the International Mission Board. The family, appointed as Southern Baptist missionaries in 2009, were about to start their third term of service in Italy after a brief assignment in the United States, according to IMB.

Investigators believe the tractor-trailer driver, identified Friday as Ivan Delgado, was outside of his vehicle conducting a safety inspection when it started to roll, Emerson police told Channel 2 Action News.

Delgado reportedly parked his tractor-trailer at a chemical plant in the 300 block of Joe Frank Harris Parkway or Highway 41 in Emerson — a town near Cartersville. Employees told police the man was acting erratic before the incident happened. Police said Delgado was under the influence of a mind-altering substance at the time of the wreck.

Mom killed by runaway semi truck near Cartersville was a missionary

Insight by Atty. Jeff Powers:

This tragic accident that took the life of a young mother, leaving her two children and husband injured also, was completely preventable. The gross negligence of the out-of-state driver in not deploying his parking brake while parked on a hill, caused the truck to careen down the roadway and into the path of this innocent family. The truck driver, according to witnesses was behaving very erratically before the accident occurred. It is likely that he was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. There need to be serious consequences, not only for the drivers whose recklessness causes accidents such as these, but also for the transport companies who avoid their responsibility for liability in these accidents by hiring drivers who are “independent contractors.” No amount of money will make up for the loss of this wife and mother to her family, however, the only way big trucking companies are going to improve their hiring and safety practices is by punishing them monetarily. Sadly, money is the primary motivator for these big transport companies. We, at Powers Law Group, have helped many victims of tractor-trailer accidents. These cases are highly complex and require an attorney who is familiar with all angles of the law regarding tractor-trailer accident litigation. If you have been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, call Powers Law Group for a free consultation today.

Macon Teenager Pleads Guilty In Crash That Killed Girlfriend

BIBB COUNTY, Ga.– Wednesday 19-year-old Grant Hoffman pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and vehicular homicide in Bibb County Superior Court.

Investigators said Hoffman drove more than 40 miles per hour over the speed limit, lost control of his car, and killed his girlfriend Abigail Hinson, 17, on Zebulon Road in July 2014.

Judge Howard Simms sentenced Hoffman to seven years probation.

As a condition of his sentence, he will complete a psychiatric program, family violence program, and complete a drug and alcohol assessment.

Prosecutor David Cooke said Hoffman is not allowed to have any driving violations.

Cooke recommended 90 to 180 days in jail, but Hinson’s family asked that Hoffman not receive jail time.

“I’m never going to fault a judge for following the wishes of a victim’s family and I understand why he did it. We recommended jail but I understand why he did that. He wanted to follow the wishes of the parents of the victim”, said Cooke.

Grant Hoffman is the son of Mercer Basketball Coach Bob Hoffman.

written by Noelle Kachinsky

Story Published on WGXA.TV

Action Needed for Georgia Highway Trucking Accidents

For the second time in less than one month, five innocent lives were lost on Georgia’s Interstate 16 when the driver of a tractor-trailer failed to stop — or even apply the brakes — before slamming into helpless drivers trapped in standstill traffic in front of them. These tragic crashes occurred just miles apart and have eerie similarities that highlight one very stark reality: lives are being lost at an alarming rate due to the recklessness, carelessness or otherwise lack of awareness by tractor-trailer drivers in Georgia and across the nation, and we as a country are not doing enough to change that.

For years now, highway safety advocates have called on Congress, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to address the disturbing number of commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries across the country. And, while incremental progress has been made in certain areas, there are still many options readily available that would immediately and significantly make our highways safer for everyone.

Already among the top priorities of highway safety advocates, it is universally agreed upon that requiring the installation and use of forward collision avoidance and mitigation systems and speed governors on all tractor-trailers would reduce the number and severity of truck crashes on our highways and, most importantly, save lives. Here’s how these low-cost and easily implemented systems work:

Forward Collision Avoidance Systems: This technology, which works by alerting the driver and taking over the brakes and engine of the tractor-trailer when an imminent collision is anticipated, is already fully developed and comes as a standard feature on most new automobiles. It is estimated that it would cost less than $500 per vehicle to retrofit current tractor-trailers to meet this standard. On average, according to NHTSA, two to three rear-end collisions involving tractor-trailers occur somewhere in the U.S. every hour.

Speed Governors: Every tractor-trailer manufactured since 1992 comes from the factory with a speed governor installed as standard equipment, which works by setting a predetermined speed limit that the vehicle cannot exceed. Unfortunately, many truck companies and individual truckers opt not to use them, choosing instead to put profits ahead of safety by racing the clock and risking countless lives in the process. However, the companies that voluntarily require the use of speed governors in their trucks report that, in addition to being safer on the roads, their tractor-trailers also are more profitable due to saved fuel, last longer because of the reduced wear-and-tear on the trucks and have lower liability costs as a result of the reduction in the number and severity of crashes.

The numbers don’t lie. Georgia is currently among the top five states in the U.S. in truck-related fatalities, and it is estimated by the U.S. Department of Transportation that there are nearly 100,000 injuries and 4,000 deaths nationwide each year as a result of tractor-trailer crashes.

How many more lives must be lost as a result of the under-regulated tractor-trailers on American highways before our leaders get serious about holding the trucking industry to the highest standards of safety? It is the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association’s top priority to save lives, and I am confident that requiring the use of forward collision avoidance systems and speed governors on all tractor-trailers would be counted among the most significant safety improvements to our highways in American history.

Written by: Darren Penn

Darren Penn serves as president of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. He is a partner with the law firm Harris Penn Lowry LLP in Atlanta and Savannah.

Source article from Macon.com

 

Insight by Atty. Jeff Powers:

What a tragedy to those families who lost their children in South Georgia on I-16.  Unfortunately, the trucking company only has $1 million in insurance coverage.  None of those families will be fully compensated for the horrific accident.

Insurance Subrogation: Insurer Taking Money From Beaten Fan

How an Insurer Is Taking Money From the Fan Beaten at Dodger Stadium

First he was assaulted for wearing the wrong team’s clothes. Then he was sucker-punched by the insurance system.

Dave Stow, 71, strains to push the wheelchair carrying his 250-pound son, Bryan, up a series of ramps and into the basement of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Capitola, Calif., for its Friday fish fry. Bryan Stow is greeted by ladies who kiss him, men who hug him, and a 103-year-old woman who grabs his hand and asks if he is walking yet.

Four years ago, Bryan Stow was a strapping paramedic who spent his days off biking with his son and daughter. That was before March 31, 2011, when he and three friends made the mistake of wearing San Francisco Giants garb to an Opening Day game against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. They were harassed and threatened in the stands. Afterwards, two Dodgers fans beat Stow so savagely in a parking lot that doctors had to induce a coma to save him. He was hospitalized for seven months.

The damage to Stow, 46, remains unmistakable. A scar runs from the left side of his forehead to the back of his head. On the right side, a shunt used to drain fluid from his brain protrudes from his skull. The thick black hair he once fussed over is now patchy and thin. Special stockings on his legs prevent life-threatening blood clots.
The beating of Stow drew national attention to sports hooliganism. It’s also brought to light a virtually unknown aspect of the legal system that cuts compensation to victims. In effect, Stow was sucker-punched twice: first by his assailant and then by his health insurer.

Read Full Article: How an Insurer Is Taking Money From the Fan Beaten at Dodger Stadium