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BikePedestrianLaneLocal News

Gwinnett County Police are reportedly calling on pedestrians to stay alert and use crosswalks after a recent surge in pedestrian fatalities.

According to WTVM 9 News, Gwinnett authorities report there have already been 11 pedestrian deaths this year, a steady increase from 7 last year and 5 in 2012. The majority of these accidents reportedly occurred after dark, between 8:00pm and 11:00pm. Several of these accidents took place along Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Singleton Road and South Norcross Tucker Road, according to Gwinnett County authorities.

Media reports allege many of these deaths may have been prevented had pedestrians used crosswalks and obeyed traffic control signals.

Our Legal Take

Advocates for cyclist and pedestrian rights at The Murray Law Firm find the media’s sole focus on pedestrian safety, rather than driver caution, a disturbing trend.

While pedestrians should always try to wear bright or reflective clothing and mind traffic laws, these fatalities should serve as an equally grave reminder to Gwinnett County drivers on the need to share our roadways with pedestrians and to city officials on the need to reevaluate pedestrian safety measures in these high-risk areas.

Why were the drivers in these incidents unable to stop, slow or swerve for the pedestrians in time? Do cellphone records, traffic surveillance footage and blood test results indicate whether distraction, speed or impairment were involved in any of these fatalities?

Given the apparent pattern of pedestrian fatalities along Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Singleton Road and South Norcross Tucker Road, what additional pedestrian safety measures, such as improved sidewalks, light-up crosswalks, caution signage, lower speed limits, and pedestrian bridges, have Gwinnett County officials implemented to protect pedestrians in these high-risk areas?

Should the drivers in any of these accidents be found at fault for distraction, speed, impairment or other negligence, the families of these victims may elect to file civil claims in their wrongful deaths. Claims of this magnitude would send a critically needed reminder to all Gwinnett County drivers on the need to share our roads with pedestrians and end distracted driving. Further, such claims would demand city officials finally improve pedestrian safety measures in these high-risk areas. Perhaps, through these legal claims, many other lives may be spared.

The Murray Law Firm works tirelessly for families devastated by distracted and negligent drivers and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 404.842.1600. Consultations are free and confidential.

SAC EM Update

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SafeKids Worldwide is promoting a new safety campaign targeting child pedestrians. They are calling on communities around the globe to support improved safety measures, such as street lighting, sidewalks, crosswalks, and crossing signals.

The Murray Law Firm is proud to join parents, teachers and other pedestrian safety advocates in making our roadways safer for children. Having represented countless families through devastating losses and injuries due to reckless, impaired, and distracted drivers, we encourage all drivers to stay alert, particularly in and around school zones and residential neighborhoods. We also call on community planners and local officials to make both rural and urban streets safer for children.

Take a moment to watch this video of children from all over the world, asking us to help make their streets safe. A simple stop sign, caution light, crosswalk or crossing guard could save thousands of lives.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwj8umCHVWA

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The Murray Law Firm is taking an active role to curb a practice commonly known as “ambulance chasing.” In each of our blogs, we are informing our readers that, pursuant to the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer or anyone acting on behalf of a lawyer may not engage a potential client “through direct personal contact or through live telephone contact.”

As a personal injury and wrongful death law firm, we have long been aware of the unscrupulous practices of some attorneys in this field who use unethical and illegal measures to obtain clientele.

SAC EM Square.jpgThe immoral practices of a few have, unfortunately, given rise to a public distrust of many. The term ‘ambulance chaser’ has become synonymous with a field of law, which at its best, exists solely to empower people over corporations and insurance companies, to serve those harmed by the negligence of others and to guide everyday citizens to justice through what is often a daunting and complex legal system.

We are saddened to acknowledge that some in the field have tarnished this noble mission through a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, which is why we are proud to announce we are taking an active approach to ridding our community of those firms and attorneys that would harm the people and practice, which we care for so deeply.

The Murray Law Firm has achieved the Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent rating, an honor achieved by meeting the highest ethical standards in our field, as attested to by judges and other attorneys who serve to better the practice.

In support of our commitment to high moral and ethical practices, The Murray Law Firm has founded the S.A.C.’EM Campaign (Stop Ambulance Chasing Ethical Movement), which is committed to rooting out lawyers who violate Rule 7.3 of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. Together, with our clients, the State Bar of Georgia and fellow attorneys committed to the highest ethical integrity, we will fight to stop this unethical practice that has become an epidemic in the legal profession.

If you have been injured and have been directly contacted by a lawyer or an individual acting on behalf of a lawyer, please notify The Murray Law Firm at 888.842.1616 and we will assist you in reporting the lawyer or individual to the appropriate authority.

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Pledge DOT.jpgThe Department of Transportation and the National Highway Safety Administration are urging the public to take the pledge to stop distracted driving.

In tribute to all of our clients who have been injured or lost loved ones to distracted driving, we’d like to encourage Georgia drivers to take the Distracted Driving Pledge and make the roads safer for our families.

Have you already taken the pledge? Spread the word! The NHTSA is looking for your pledge on Facebook.

“Pledge like a life depends on it. Because it does.”–NHSTA

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Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 4.50.47 PMLocal News

24-year-old Joshua Holmes and 22-year-old Troia Tillman, were reportedly shot and injured during an armed robbery at the RaceTrac gas station in Douglasville Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

According to Fox Atlanta News, a group of armed gunmen robbed the RaceTrac gas station on Fairburn Road early Tuesday morning, shooting two store employees. Both employees were transported to Grady Memorial for injuries. Troia Tillman was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg and has since been released, per media reports. Joshua Holmes apparently underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to the abdomen. His condition has not yet been released.

Our Legal Take

As the shooting occurred in a workplace setting, both victims will almost certainly be entitled to significant compensation under the Workers’ Compensation laws of Georgia.

Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies are often more concerned with limiting their financial exposure and returning employees to work quickly than providing employees with the compensation and long term medical care they deserve. Thus, it is imperative both Mr. Holmes and Ms. Tillman retain an experienced workers’ compensation attorney without delay to handle these complex negotiations and ensure their best interests are protected.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in protecting victims of workplace violence and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact The Murray Law Firm at 404.842.1600. Consultations are free and confidential.

SAC EM Update

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Local News

A fatal stabbing at the Deerfield Gardens Apartments in Atlanta reportedly claimed the life of 27-year-old Nicholas Roberts Wednesday, January 14, 2015.

According to the Atlanta Crime Examiner, Mr. Roberts was visiting his friend at the Deerfield Gardens Apartments, around 11:00pm Wednesday evening, when a fight broke out inside the complex. An unknown assailant apparently stabbed Mr. Roberts and fled the scene.

Police have not yet released a suspect or motive in the stabbing, leaving many residents terrified for the safety of their families.

Our Legal Take

As investigators continue to search for the assailant, The Murray Law Firm is questioning whether a fatal apartment security lapse may also hold responsibility in this tragedy.

January 2015 Crime Map of Campbelltown Road Neighborhood, Atlanta (spotcrime.com)

January 2015 Crime Map of Campbelltown Road Neighborhood, Atlanta (spotcrime.com)

Crime reports of the surrounding area reveal a staggering number of assaults, burglaries and shootings over the past month. What additional security measures, if any, were implemented by the apartment owner and management following previous neighborhood violence to protect residents and their guests and deter crime on property?

Was the assailant a resident or guest of Deerfield Gardens and, if not, how did he gain access to the property? What access-controls, such as security patrols, ID card entry systems, surveillance cameras, and gated entry, were in place and working at the time of the assault?

By law, Georgia apartment owners are required to protect all residents and guests legally on premises from any foreseeable harm. Should the Deerfield Gardens apartment owner and management be found at fault for failing in this duty, the family of Nicholas Roberts may elect to pursue claims against the property’s insurance provider. Claims of this magnitude will demand Deerfield Gardens, and other local apartment complexes, reevaluate property security and finally implement proper safety measures to protect residents and deter crime in these communities.

Photographs and a thorough, unbiased inspection of the property will need to be performed immediately before any evidence is repaired, damaged or destroyed. The Roberts family should retain an experienced premises liability firm without delay to ensure all evidence is preserved and their best interests are protected.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in protecting families devastated by apartment violence and property negligence and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 404.842.1600. Consultations are free and confidential.

SAC EM Update

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12000 Block Middleground Road, Savannah

12000 Block Middleground Road, Savannah

Local News

45-year-old Aaron Wurtsbaugh was reportedly injured during a robbery and shooting outside a Middleground Road apartment complex in Savannah Sunday night, January 18, 2015.

According to WTOC News, Mr. Wurtsbaugh  was delivering pizza to an apartment complex on the 12000 block of Middleground Road when a masked assailant attempted to rob him. The masked gunman reportedly opened fire on the victim’s vehicle as he attempted to flee. Mr. Wurtsbaugh suffered a gunshot wound to his arm during the assault, per media reports.

Police are still searching for a suspect in the robbery and shooting.

Our Legal Take

As investigators continue to search for the gunman, The Murray Law Firm is questioning whether a potentially fatal apartment security lapse may have also contributed to this shooting.

Have there been previous incidents of violence on or near property and, if so, what efforts were made by the apartment owner and management to deter crime on property?

What access-controls and outdoor security measures, such as a security patrols, gated entry, bright lighting, and surveillance cameras, were in place and working at the time of the armed robbery and shooting? How did these security measures fail?

Apartment owners and management are required by Georgia law to protect all residents and guests legally on property from any foreseebale harm. Should the apartment complex owner and management have failed in their duty to protect Mr. Wurtsbaugh, the owner and management may be held civilly liable for his injuries. Claims of this magnitude would demand the apartment owner reevaluate security on premises and send a critically needed message to other Savannah apartment owners. Photographs and a thorough inspection of the complex will need to be performed on Mr. Wurtsbaugh’s behalf without delay, before any evidence may be damaged, repaired or destroyed.

Additionally, as Mr. Wurtsbaugh was working at the time of his injury, he is almost certainly entitled to substantial workers’ compensation benefits, per Georgia law. As multiple claims may be involved, Mr. Wurtsbaugh should retain a firm experienced in both premises liability and workers’ compensation immediately to ensure all evidence is preserved and his best interests protected.

The Murray Law Firm works tirelessly to protect victims of property negligence and work-related injuries and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 912.385.9690. Consultations are free and confidential.

SAC EM Update