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Local News

Three people were hospitalized following a collision involving a tractor trailer and a pickup truck on US 301 Monday morning, May 11, 2015.

According to Fox 54 News, the accident occurred one mile north of Smith State Prison in Glennville. Two people were reportedly airlifted to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah. Another victim was transported by ambulance to Claxton hospital.

Our Legal Take

As police continue to investigate, The Murray Law Firm is questioning what factors may have contributed to this accident.

Do cellphone records, traffic surveillance footage and roadway markings indicate whether speed, distraction, weather, or a vehicle malfunction may have contributed to this accident?

As the details of this accident continue to emerge, the injured victims may seek to pursue a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.  Under such a claim, the victims may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation for damages such as: pain and suffering; past and future medical expenses; loss of wages and future earning capacity; disfigurement; and, emotional distress.  If the facts of this matter warrant a such a claim, it would not only be an avenue of justice for the victims, but would also serve as a critically-needed warning to all Georgia drivers to maintain vigilance while on roadways.

Based upon its prior experience in handling Georgia motor vehicle accident claims, The Murray Law Firm suggests that, given the multiple injuries involved, the victims and their families should secure legal representation without delay.  Insurance proceeds will most likely be limited, so it is imperative that the victims pursue a claim before any possible coverage is exhausted.  Additionally, photographs and a thorough inspection of the scene and the vehicles will need to be performed immediately on behalf of the victims before any evidence may be repaired, altered, damaged or destroyed.  All evidence must be preserved to ensure that the victims’ interests are protected.

Call us Now for Representation or Assistance. Consultations are Free.

The Murray Law Firm has collected millions of dollars for victims of motor vehicle accidents, 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 912.385.9690. Consultations are free and confidential.

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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:

ABA Center for Professional ResponsibilityA LAWYER “SHALL NOT” CONTACT A PROSPECTIVE CLIENT THROUGH A “LIVE TELEPHONE” OR AN “IN-PERSON” VISIT.

– RULE 7.3, ABA MODEL RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT.

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.

SAC EM Update

CarseatGeorgia and Tennessee state law enforcement officials confirm a spike in unrestrained motorist and passenger accidents. Sadly, these statistics extend to teens and young children who were injured or killed in accidents without being properly restrained.

The Murray Law Firm hopes this new data will serve as a grave reminder to all parents, drivers and passengers to buckle up.

News 12 reports:

Vehicle crashes involving unrestrained motorist and passengers are increasing in both Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia.

Georgia and Tennessee state law enforcement officials confirmed the statistics during a major press conference at Erlanger Medical Center.

“We’ve seen a spike in crashes. Interstates have seen a 22-percent increase in crashes this year,” said one Georgia State Trooper.

Within the 12-county Chattanooga district for the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the numbers are considered disturbing. 

Since 2012, more than 1,100 unrestrained people have been injured in crashes. 142 of those cases resulted in death. Hamilton County had the highest unrestrained fatalities with 33. 

Since January of this year, 86-unrestrained motorists and passengers were injured in crashes. 28-of those injures happened in Hamilton County. But those numbers mainly account for adults.

“We still see kids in our trauma unit that weren’t restrained properly or weren’t restrained at all,” Erlanger Trauma Surgeon Dr. Lisa Smith.

Georgia had nine straight years of reduced road fatalities. But this year, numbers have spiked.

“This year, we’re up almost 20-percent in the first quarter and it’s troubling,” said Georgia Governor Highway Safety Representative Harris Blackwood.

A great majority of those fatalities involve teenage drivers.

“We’ve buried too many of most valuable resources; our children. And many times they’ve done that because they were not wearing their seat belt,” Blackwood said.

Read the full story here.

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.

WHAT IT DOES

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.

BREAKING IT DOWN

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

SO IS THIS A DONE DEAL?

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.