Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 11.24.59 PMLocal News Update

69-year-old Syble Cooper, of Flowery Branch, was reportedly killed in a Hall County dump truck collision Wednesday afternoon, April 8, 2015.

According to Gainesville Times, a dump truck crashed into an SUV near the intersection of Poplar Springs Road and Circassian Place, shortly after 2:00pm.  It appears that the dump truck pushed the Honda SUV for sometime before coming to a rest in an adjoining yard. Sybil Cooper, the SUV driver, reportedly succumbed to injuries sustained during the crash.

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating and believes the dump truck may have lost control due to a “tire malfunction,” per media reports. Authorities have not yet announced whether the dump truck operator or owner will be facing charges.

Our Legal Take

The Murray Law Firm is following media updates of the accident closely and questioning what factors, such as speed or a lack of safety inspections, may have contributed to the tragedy.

It appears the dump truck pushed the Honda SUV well off the roadway. The speed limit on Poplar Road, near Circassian Place, is marked at 35mph. How fast was the dump truck traveling when it lost control?

Do tire treads and vehicle service records indicate when the dump truck tires were last inspected and changed? Does this tire model have a history of malfunction and, if so, what efforts have been made by the manufacturer to recall and repair this issue?

As the details of this tragic accident continue to emerge, and if the dump truck owner or operator is deemed to be at-fault, the family of Syble Cooper may seek to pursue a legal claim for negligence with the trucking company’s insurance carrier.  Additional negligence claims may also be filed with the tire manufacturer, should a catastrophic malfunction have contributed to this accident. Negligence, under the law, is generally defined as a lack of the degree of care which would have been exercised by an ordinarily prudent person under the same or similar circumstances.  Where negligence exists, the injured person or that person’s family may be entitled to an award of damages that could include, among other items, compensation for: pain and suffering; past and future medical expenses; loss of wages and future earning capacity; loss of consortium; and, emotional distress.  If the facts of this matter warrant a negligence claim, it would not only be an avenue of justice for Ms. Cooper’s family, but would also serve as a critically-needed warning to all truck drivers to mind speed limits and to perform frequent safety inspections.

Based upon its prior experience in handling accident claims, The Murray Law Firm suggests that photographs and a thorough inspection of the scene and the vehicles involved will need to be performed immediately on behalf of Ms. Cooper’s family before any evidence may be repaired, altered, damaged or destroyed. It is imperative that all evidence be preserved to ensure that the family’s best interests are protected.

Choosing the Right Attorney

Selecting the right attorney for you or your family is highly important. You must feel confident that the attorney you hire has a complete understanding of the law applicable to your particular case, and has successful experience in handling such cases.

Important: Do not hire a lawyer who has violated the Rules of Professional Conduct!!!

You should not hire an attorney who calls you or visits you unsolicited, or anyone that contacts you directly to offer legal services. This activity is strictly prohibited by Rule 7.3 of the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which states as follows:



If an attorney, or someone acting on behalf of an attorney, contacts you in this manner, that attorney is in violation of this Rule. This unethical and unprofessional activity on the part of the lawyer is good sign that you should stay away. It is imperative that you are represented by an attorney who is capable of advocating for you within the confines of the law, and an attorney who fails to abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct is probably not the best fit. In fact, any such attorney should be immediately reported to the local State Bar Association. If you have been contacted in such an unsolicited manner, contact us and we’ll assist you in filing a report.

We are here to Help. Contact us for a Free Consultation.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive and sucessful experience in representing victims of motor vehicle accidents such as this one, and we offer our legal expertise in this potential claim, if desired.  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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Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Wyoming Tribune Eagle

High School students taking part in the “It Can Wait” program, sponsored by AT&T, are using a virtual driving simulator to learn the perils of texting while driving.

Students at Cheyenne South High School were among those to take part in the “It Can Wait” program. Teens took turns driving through a virtual city, negotiating turns, avoiding traffic hazards and watching other vehicles, all while trying to respond to text messages received through a provided cellphone.

The resulting virtual accidents showed students the potential risks of texting while driving on real roads.

“It shows in just three to five seconds what can happen when you’re distracted, and the consequences can be fatal,” said Debbie Maljian of the Laramie County School District. “It can wait. No message is worth texting and driving.”

Read the full story at the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. 

Visit the Teen Page for more educational resources and information on preventing distracted driving.

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The tragic August death of GSU freshman, Michael Gatto, has rallied many in support of Michael’s Law, a bill which would keep underage patrons and bouncers out of bars. House Bill 152 passed the Georgia House of Representatives on Friday, March 13th and now awaits review in the Georgia Senate.

Connect Statesboro Reports:

Since the death of GSU freshman Michael Gatto at Rude Rudy’s last August, Statesboro has been a hotbed of contention over underage alcohol sales and bar attendance. Police charged Grant James Spencer, then 20 — a bouncer who was at the club but reportedly off-duty at the time — with aggravated battery and felony murder. Gatto had arrived as a freshman at Georgia Southern University about two weeks earlier. Spencer, who was also a GSU student, remains in jail awaiting trial. Rude Rudy’s closed after Gatto’s death, and the club’s owner surrendered his alcohol license to the city.

In response to their son’s death, Gatto’s parents have been working to pass a bill that would keep underage people out of bars and away from alcohol. Last Friday, March 13, the Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 152, which proposes several changes to alcohol regulation laws statewide.


Here are the bare bones: The Georgia House of Representatives approved legislation to define what bars are, make 21 the minimum age to enter one or work as a bouncer, and place new demands on cities, counties and businesses to report alcoholic beverage violations.


What’s a bar?

According to the new legislation, a bar is a place that derives 75 percent or more of its revenue from alcoholic beverages. The Department of Revenue will be able to look at the monthly sales tax reports of each venue to determine where its revenue is coming from.

Under this definition, Statesboro technically doesn’t have any “bars” — only restaurants that serve alcohol but derive more than 50 percent of their revenue from food sales, or “sports restaurants” required only to have a food permit. However, if any Statesboro venues were to be audited and found to derive 75 percent of their revenue from alcohol sales, they would have to change their status to “bar” and enforce the under-21 restrictions.

The 21 rule

Under HB 152, a person have to be at least 21 years old to enter a bar. That applies to employees as well as customers, although the bill doesn’t explicitly include bartenders or servers.

Bouncers—defined as “individual(s) primarily performing duties related to verifying age for admittance, security, maintaining order, or safety, or a combination thereof” — must also be 21 years old.

Required reporting

Alcohol license holders must self-report any violations of local, state or federal alcohol laws to the Georgia Department of Revenue within 45 days of the violation.Cities and counties must also report any violations within their jurisdiction to the Department of Revenue. The revenue commissioner can issue fines of up to $750 for license holders who fail to report violations


Not exactly. The bill has been passed in the Georgia House of Representatives and still has to go through the Georgia Senate. The Senate could alter the bill or hold off on passing it, meaning it wouldn’t come up again as a potential law until next year. Also, to become an official law, it’s going to need the governor’s signature.

Read the full article at Connect Statesboro and follow House Bill 152 at the Georgia General Assembly.