Monday, 20 November 2017

Turkey Frying Safety

The holidays are notorious for sparking an increase in injuries, leaving many people struggling to handle the financial, emotional, and physical consequences of these unexpected accidents. While they are meant to be a joyous time, holidays such as Thanksgiving do unfortunately see an increase in these incidents. Many people have adopted the tradition of deep frying their turkey for Thanksgiving, as it is generally far faster than using an oven. However, by using a fryer of this size, you are risking quite a lot--though we do not recommend against using a deep-fryer for your turkey, we suggest you are careful to ensure you have a safe Thanksgiving.

Consider the following safety tips for deep frying your turkey:

  • Always deep fry outside and away from anything flammable, such as a wooden deck, plants, etc. Keep the fryer in a place with good ventilation.
  • Make sure everyone is aware of where the fryer is in order to avoid knocking it over.
  • Properly thaw the turkey, as the moisture could risk an explosion.
  • Follow any and all instructions specific to your fryer.
  • Protect your skin and eyes from oil splatters.
  • Keep an eye on the fryer’s temperature.

Contact Our Marietta Personal Injury Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident this Thanksgiving season, look no further for a trusted Marietta personal injury lawyer than ours at Jones & Swanson. We understand no one plans to be injured during this happy time, which is why our legal team wants to take the reins on your behalf. We will ensure we do everything in our power to deliver you the most positive and successful results possible for the compensation you deserve.

Don’t hesitate to speak to a member of our firm by calling (770) 884-6652.

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

What to Do After a Hit and Run Incident

Hit-and-run accidents have been a growing problem in recent years. If a driver strikes another vehicle (occupied or not) and leaves the scene without alerting authorities or exchanging information with the other driver, it is considered a hit-and-run. The reasons for a hit and run incident can vary – not wanting to file an insurance claim, being uninsured or unlicensed, illegal substances or devices in the vehicle, or even the at-fault party attempting to hide from law enforcement for some reason.

Regardless of the reason, Georgia state law requires drivers who are involved in an accident to stop. There can be serious consequences if someone chooses to leave the scene of an accident; especially when another driver is involved. Being involved in an accident can be a scary experience, but below are some tips that might help if you’re involved in a hit-and-run situation. The more details you can give to authorities, the better the chances of finding the other driving and holding them accountable.

  • Try to stay calm and park your car in a safe spot.
  • Immediately call 911 and request police to the scene.
  • Seek medical attention right away if necessary.
  • Write down as many details as possible – even if you think you can remember them it’s better to have them documented. Important details may include things like the date, time and conditions of the accident; as well as the color, make, model and license plate numbers of the other vehicle and a physical description of the driver if you saw them.
  • Attempt to locate witnesses and get their contact information. Witnesses can be crucial in hit-and-run cases.
  • Take photos of scene of the accident and your vehicle.
  • Only discuss details of the scene with law enforcement.

Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with in these types of situations. You should report the accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible, but do not make or sign any formal statements. For more information about what to do following an accident, call Jones & Swanson today at 770-427-5498. Even if there were no injuries involved, we’re happy to provide expertise and help in any way we can.

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Monday, 13 November 2017

Subverting the Constitution

Brett J. Talley

The news, if you care about the courts and the constitution, was pretty awful last week. The lede in this LA Times story was the the Senate Judiciary Committee rubber-stamping a grossly unqualified and incompetent judicial nominee.

How do I know he was grossly unqualified and incompetent? Because he is just three years out of law school and has never tried a case:

Brett J. Talley, President Trump’s nominee to be a federal judge in Alabama, has never tried a case, was unanimously rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Assn.’s judicial rating committee, has practiced law for only three years and, as a blogger last year, displayed a degree of partisanship unusual for a judicial nominee, denouncing “Hillary Rotten Clinton” and pledging support for the National Rifle Assn.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee, on a party-line vote, approved him for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.

And so while various politicos think and talk in terms of grooming judges for future higher judgeship where they can become activist in shaping policy and interpreting laws and the constitution in a way favorable to their political ideology, those of us in the trenches are forced to practice law in front of them. But this potential judge has never brought a case or even argued a motion:

“He’s practiced law for less than three years and never argued a motion, let alone brought a case. This is the least amount of experience I’ve seen in a judicial nominee,” said Kristine Lucius, executive vice president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Once upon a time, a judicial appointment was the capstone of a career spent in the law, with new judges bringing the wisdom of their decades of experience. Now it is turning into a political training ground for clueless baby lawyers.

But it is not enough to rail against Trump for doing this, because Trump only nominates. And nominating/appointing the most competent people to positions has not exactly been the hallmark of his administration.

Talley can only take the bench if the Senate says so. So far, the Judiciary Committee, which should know better than to sabotage the Constitution, simply bent over for Trump and took it. It is inconceivable that any person on that committee believes Talley has the competence for being a judge.

So what can go wrong? The people that will suffer are litigants who are force to come before him if the Senate continues the Judiciary Committee’s rubber stamping.

And if you think this will auger well for those of a conservative bent, under the theory that Talley is merely a political hack who will do their bidding, then I think you’re mistaken. Bad rulings lead to appeals. And delays. This is money and time. Getting a favorable ruling in the trial court only to be reversed on appeal is not a benefit.

There are many lawyers who, if a judge is about to commit reversible error, will stop the judge even if the ruling would favor them at trial. Because a tainted verdict is quite often a very bad problem. (Others, of course, will gleefully grab the bad decision and just worry about the ramifications later.)

The Senators know what they should do. The question is will they have the courage? Will they show respect for our Constitution? Will they allow incompetence to take the bench?

We will find out soon.

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Thursday, 9 November 2017

Myths About Auto Insurance Exposed!

Like all states, in order to legally drive on the public roads, all licensed drivers with automobiles are required by law to carry auto insurance. While most people comply with this law, not everybody understands the state’s actual insurance laws. In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around about auto insurance. Here, we’re going to bust some of the most common myths about auto insurance!

1. Only my age and driving record affects my rates. While those are both factors, where you live can play a key role as well. When you move to a highly-populated area, your auto insurance rates will likely rise because there are more vehicles on the road; therefore, the risk of a crash goes up. For example, the rates for a driver in rural Cairo, Georgia are probably lower than they would be in the populous city of Atlanta.

2. All young drivers pay high rates. Fact: Young male drivers almost always pay more insurance than young female drivers. Why? Because, statistically young male drivers cause more accidents and fatalities than young female drivers the same age. Statistics show that young male drivers between the age of 16 and 25 cause more accidents than anyone else, including females in the same age group. In effect, young female drivers pay less for auto insurance coverage.

3. Red cars cost more to insure. “A red car won’t cost you more than a green, yellow, black or blue car. Insurers are interested in the year, make, model, body type, engine size and age of your vehicle,” according to Geico. “Still, 53 percent of millennials believe this myth to be true. The same can be said of 45 percent of college graduates and 42 percent of Americans with an annual household income of $75,000 or more,” reported CNBC.

4. My insurance will cover theft, vandalism, hail and fire damage. Your vehicle is not covered for these things unless you carry comprehensive coverage, which pays for damage to a vehicle that does not arise from a car accident.

5. If I loan out my car to a friend, their auto insurance will cover them. As a general rule, auto insurance follows the car, not the driver. So, even if you loan your car to a friend who has excellent auto insurance, if they are involved in a crash and it’s their fault, your auto insurance will have to pay for the damages. You will have to file the claim and pay the deductible, plus your rates can increase. Our advice is to ask your insurance agent about what happens if a friend causes an accident while driving your vehicle.

To learn more, click here to read Georgia’s Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance.

To file a car accident claim in Smyrna, contact Jones & Swanson today!

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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Georgia's Dog Bite Law

If you were recently bitten or attacked by a dangerous dog, you’re probably wondering about your rights under Georgia’s dog bite laws. What if the dog has never bitten before? What if you were bitten while at a friend’s house? What if the dog’s owner is blaming you for the dog’s aggressive behavior? Read on as we explain Georgia’s dog bite law in further detail. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact our firm directly.

We’re the first to admit that dogs can be great companions, but that doesn’t mean that dogs can’t “snap” and bite or viciously attack an innocent person. After all, dogs are still animals. In many cases, a dog is made dangerous because of his or her interactions with humans. For example, a dog can become aggressive because they are not properly socialized from birth. This is common when a dog is attached to a chain or cord all their life and receive little, if any, human interaction.

Other times, a dog is physically abused, confined to a small cage all day long, or neglected by their owners. Sadly, when dogs are mistreated and abused, they become aggressive toward people and often other animals. In Georgia where there’s a lot of underground dog fighting, such dog owners are not only raising aggressive dogs, but they are knowingly creating legal liabilities. In other cases, a dog was given all the love in the world, but the dog developed aggressive behaviors anyways.

Does the Law Protect Me?

Like other states, Georgia has enacted a dog bite law, which can be found under Section 51-2-7 of the Georgia Code. In order for a dog’s owner to be held liable for any injuries caused by their animal, the injured party must be able to prove that:

  • The dog that bit or attacked them is dangerous,
  • The dog’s owner was careless and let their dog go at liberty, which caused the injury, and
  • The plaintiff did not provoke the dog.

Georgia law focuses on the dog owner’s negligence when determining liability. In other words, if the plaintiff can show that the dog’s owner failed to properly handle the dog and that failure caused the plaintiff’s injury, the dog’s owner should be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. For example, if a dog was known to be dangerous because it had bitten before and the dog’s owner allowed his dog to run loose around the neighborhood and the dog bit a child while she was riding her bicycle, the dog’s owner would likely be held liable for the girl’s injuries because he allowed his dangerous dog to run freely in the neighborhood.

To file a dog bite claim, contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation with a Smyrna personal injury lawyer!

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Dangers of Drugged Driving

The dangers of driving while under the influence (DUI) are well known. There are numerous advertising campaigns and awareness pieces dedicated to reminding people to use driver services like a taxi, Uber, Lyft, rideshare or designate a sober driver if consuming alcohol. DWI’s and DUI’s are typically associated with alcohol. And while alcohol is one of the main substances abused while driving, it is not the only culprit. In 2017, the number of drugged driver fatalities surpassed drunk driver fatalities in the United States. While driving under the influence of any mind-altering substance can be fatal, studies show that driving under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs can be just as dangerous – if not more dangerous – than drunk driving.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s 2015 statistics, 43% of deadly car accidents were caused by drugged driving while 37% of car accidents were caused by alcohol-related factors. It is important to understand the risks of driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Many individuals don’t think twice about driving under the influence of prescription drugs like codeine, OxyCotin, Ambien, Vicodin, Xanax, Tramadol, etc. If you have been prescribed these medications, be sure to consult your doctor before operating a vehicle.

Just because you’ve been prescribed a drug doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe to drive while under the influence of that drug. The directions and warnings on medication labels should be taken seriously, as well as physician instructions. And mixing prescribed medication with other substances such as alcohol, illegal drugs or other mind-altering substances can be a recipe for disaster while behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, driving while under the influence of illegal drugs is also on the rise. Even if you are not using illegal drugs inside your car, the effects of these drugs can linger and cause you to be in a mind-altering state for hours. Illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana should be avoided, but especially while driving. Driving while using these substances can put your life and the lives of others in great danger.

In 2011, 12% of teens had admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana – and that number is only getting larger. It is important to discuss the dangers of drugged driving with your teen and stress the importance of staying away from the wheel of a car while under the influence of any substance.

If you have been injured as a result of drugged driving, please allow the attorneys at Jones & Swanson to help you with your claim. Please call our office at 770-427-5498 to set up a free consultation today!

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