Human Trafficking and Negligent Security in Georgia

human trafficking negligent security

While New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft had reason to celebrate after his team’s historic win in Super Bowl LIII, his legacy may be forever stained by criminal charges brought against him for allegedly soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Kraft originally pleaded not guilty to the charges and subsequently rejected a deal offered by the Florida prosecutors. To be clear, Kraft is not facing human trafficking charges but the charges brought against him did stem from a broad investigation into prostitution and human trafficking in Florida.

Florida’s crackdown on human trafficking as well as the 169 sex-trafficking-related arrests made in or around Atlanta on the day leading up to Super Bowl LIII are a stark reminder of the evil that is present in our world. It was no coincidence that the sting coincided with Super Bowl LIII, as law enforcement expected a surge in sex trafficking due to the increase in visitors from out of state. All told, the arrests included 26 sex traffickers as well as 34 individuals caught attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor. Nine different under-aged victims were recovered during the operation, with the youngest only 14 years of age.

The joint operation involved a wide array of law enforcement groups. It was headed by the Violent Crimes Against Children/Human Trafficking Program Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation (MATCH) Task Force. The task force includes other entities like the FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, the GBI, and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

How to Help Stop Child Sex Slavery

There are several ways that each and every one of us can help reduce this horrific epidemic of sex slavery in Georgia and across the United States. First, we can donate to CLAWS (Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery). CLAWS is a non-profit organization that uses the civil justice system to bring pro bono lawsuits on behalf of survivors of sex slavery.  We should also contact our elected officials and let them know that stopping child sex trafficking should be a top priority when passing laws and formulating state and federal budgets. A good resource for finding your elected officials can be found here.

Collateral Consequences & Negligent Security Lawsuits

The effects of these arrests reach beyond those directly involved in criminal conduct. For example, property owners and occupiers could also face civil liability in a negligent security premises liability lawsuit brought by the crime victim. That’s because Georgia statutory law, O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1, requires the owners and occupiers of property to use ordinary care in keeping their premises safe for tenants and visitors.

Similar to a slip and fall case, liability of the owner or occupier is contingent upon actual or constructive knowledge of the danger as well as foreseeability. In Georgia, a property owner or occupier may be liable for criminal acts occurring on its property if the occurrence of crime was foreseeable.  See e.g. Walker v. Aderhold Properties, 303 Ga. App. 710, 712-13 (2010).

Foreseeability may be established in many ways, one of which is through evidence of similar criminal activity occurring on a property. Suppose a hotel owner knows that its property has been a hotbed of criminal activity including shootings, sex crimes, and other violent offenses. If the hotel owner does not take reasonable measures to protect its guest from the criminals that frequent the property and a guest is attacked by one of these criminals, the victim may bring a negligent security lawsuit against the hotel owner or manager.

The same civil laws apply if a hotel owner or manager knows or should know that children are being sold for sex on its property. In those circumstances, the owner or manager has a duty to take reasonable security measures to guard against this type of despicable activity. If the owner or manager does not take reasonable action to stop this activity from occurring, the victim could bring a negligent security lawsuit against the hotel owner or occupier.

Negligent Security Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a violent crime at an apartment, hotel, or other commercial establishment, you should always report the incident to the proper authorities. You may also want to consider contacting a negligent security attorney to see if you have a valid claim for civil damages. If the case is strong, a negligent security attorney can bring a lawsuit against the apartment complex or hotel in an effort to obtain compensation for the injuries caused by the lack of proper security.

If you would like to learn more about negligent security lawsuits in Georgia before you contact a law firm, you can watch this YouTube video where I explain negligent security claims in more detail. When you are ready to speak with a negligent security attorney, you can contact our office for a free consultation by calling (404) 389-1035.

100,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled for E. Coli Contamination

Products Liability Kennesaw GA

Swift Beef Company has recently recalled nearly 100,000 pounds of ground beef due to E. coli contamination. The beef was mostly shipped to distributors to be sold in grocery stores and restaurants. The recall went into effect on November 16, 2018. Labels for the recalled beef can be viewed here.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service, government inspectors confirmed that ground beef produced by the company contained E. coli on November 15 and moved quickly to put the recall in place. The inspectors confirmed that Swift Beef Company was the sole source supplier of the beef in question. Thankfully, there have been no confirmed reports of anyone getting sick due to consuming the affected beef.

Symptoms of E. coli Poisoning

The primary symptoms of E. coli poisoning are dehydration, diarrhea, and stomach pains. Most people recover within a few days; however, more serious long-term complications can arise. Especially true for young children, elderly adults, or anyone with a compromised immune system. Anyone concerned that they may have E. coli poisoning should contact a healthcare provider.

Food Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforces safety standards for all foods sold in the United States. Despite this, food recalls happen frequently. There were nearly 40 food recalls in the United States in the month of November 2018 alone, and this number is typical. The good news is that food recalls create bad press for companies and are expensive for them to deal with, so they are usually very quick to act in fixing the problem.

Product Liability Claims Involving Defective Food Products

Companies that produce or sell food in the state of Georgia have a duty to ensure that what they are selling is safe for consumers. Not only do these companies have to follow state and federal regulations for food safety, but they can also be liable under Georgia’s product liability laws if they sell or distribute food products that are unsafe.

Georgia’s product liability law is centered on O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11, which holds that any company that sells any product “as new property directly or through a dealer or any other person” is liable for any harm that occurs as a result of product defects. This law applies to producers and sellers of food.

When companies negligently or intentionally sell unsafe food, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people may be affected. For this reason, product liability claims are often carried out through class action lawsuits or multi-district litigation. However, individual claims are also sometimes possible. A personal injury lawyer familiar with product liability claims can help you understand your legal rights and options.

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, Today

Product liability claims are complicated, and large companies pay heaps of money to avoid liability. For them, defending against product liability claims are simply a cost of business. For victims of defective products, claims for compensation mean much more. If you have been harmed by any type of defective or dangerous product, the experienced product liability attorneys can help you understand your case and work to get you the compensation you deserve.

Joel Williams Law, LLC, offers free case evaluations and accepts cases on a contingency fee basis. Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, we serve clients throughout the state in both state and federal court. If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, by calling (404) 389-1035.

Tips to Help Parents Recover for Medical Bills Incurred on Behalf of Their Minor Child

Tips to help parents with medical bills when child has been injured in an accident

Tips to Help Parents Recover for Medical Bills Incurred on Behalf of Their Minor Child

There are few things parents fear more than their children suffering serious injuries. But as much as parents try to keep their children safe, accidents are bound to occur from time to time. Under Georgia law, parents have a right to seek compensation for medical expenses if their child is injured due to the negligence of someone else. Parents can also seek compensation on behalf of their child for pain and suffering. To recover compensation for medical bills incurred on behalf of a minor child, parents should ensure that they understand their rights, plead their case properly, and adhere to the statute of limitations for tort claims.

Parents Have a Right to Recover for Medical Bills

As mentioned, parents have a legal right to recover for medical bills if their child is injured due to someone else’s negligence. Other parties may also have a right to recover if they paid the medical bills in question and were acting as a guardian over the child. Parents should know that they have “standing,” or legal authority, to bring claims of their own for medical bills, as well as on behalf of their child for harms the child suffered.

Legal Standards Are Different for Children

Many children are injured because they are doing something unsafe, like wandering onto a neighbor’s property without invitation and getting hurt playing with a dangerous object. If an adult did something like this, they would likely not be entitled to compensation because they would be deemed at-fault in causing their own harm. But the legal standards governing the conduct of children are relaxed and there is a higher standard of care owed to children. For instance, a neighbor may not have any duty to prevent you from falling into their pool, but they do have a duty to keep a fence around their yard to prevent a toddler from doing the same. Similarly, companies have no duty to make products free of risks that are open and obvious to consumers, but they do have a duty to make products free of any obvious risks if they are marketing products to children.

Georgia’s Statute of Limitations

If your child has been injured due to a wrongful act, it is crucial to remember that under the Georgia statute of limitations a tort claim brought to recover for medical bills must generally be brought within two years of the date of the accident. Once the statute of limitations period has run, a parent’s claim for compensation for medical bills will be barred completely. However, a child’s own claim for pain and suffering damages can be made either by the parents or when the child turns 18 years old.

Distinguishing Medical Bills From Other Damages

It is important for parents or guardians bringing a claim on behalf of a minor to recognize that although they are entitled to compensation for medical bills, damages awarded for things like pain and suffering are solely the property of the child. Parents receiving money from a settlement or award on behalf of their child have a duty to only use that money if it is for the benefit of the child. Georgia also has laws in place to ensure that the proceeds from these settlements or awards are safeguarded properly and go toward the benefit of the child. Under the Official Code of Georgia Title 29 Chapter 3 Section 3, settlements of more than $15,000 must be approved by the court. When a child receives an award of more than $15,000 from a personal injury claim, the parents must also be bonded as conservators to safeguard the money until the child turns 18. If an award is less than $15,000, the law simply states that parents “shall thereafter hold and use all or part of the personal property for the benefit of the minor and shall be accountable for the personal property.”

If Your Child Has Suffered an Injury, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, to Schedule a Free Consultation

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, are dedicated to getting justice for injury victims throughout the state of Georgia. If you would like to discuss your case or would like more information, contact Joel Williams today by calling (404) 389-1035.

Wrongful Death Claims in Georgia

wrongful death claims Georgia

There are few things harder to cope with in life than the loss of a loved one. This is especially true when a loved one dies due to a preventable accident. If a person dies due to the wrongful conduct of someone else, family members of the victim generally have the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties. A lawsuit can never replace what was lost, but under law, certain family members are entitled to fair compensation in these cases based on the “full value of the life of the decedent.” 

Georgia wrongful death claims are governed by The Official Code of Georgia Title 51 Chapter 4. These are claims made by family members that are intended to compensate them for their own loss. Wrongful death claims are usually brought alongside so-called survival claims that are made by the decedent’s estate. Survival claims are intended to provide compensation to a victim’s estate for any pain and suffering endured by the victim because of the wrongful conduct. 

Only Certain Family Members Can Bring a Wrongful Death Suit 

There are strict limitations on which family members can bring a wrongful death claim. Under Georgia law, the following persons are entitled to bring a claim: 

If there is a surviving spouse, they are entitled to bring the claim at the exclusion of all others; 

If there is no surviving spouse, surviving children may bring the claim at the exclusion of all others; 

If there is no surviving spouse or children, surviving parents may bring the claim at the exclusion of all others; and 

If none of the above family members are alive, the claim can only be made by the estate. 

Wrongful Death and Survival Action Damages 

Survival claims are brought by the administrator of a decedent’s estate whereas wrongful death claims are brought by family members of a victim in their own right. Wrongful death claims compensate family members for things like loss of companionship, loss of shared income, and loss of services that the decedent provided. A survival claim compensates the decedent’s estate for things like medical and funeral expenses, and also for any pain and suffering that the decedent endured. 

The Statute of Limitations 

Wrongful death claims must be made within the timeframe set out by the Georgia Statute of Limitations. Under this law, wrongful death actions must generally be brought within two years of the date of the death. After two years from the date of death passes, a claim is generally completely barred. For this reason, it is important for family members to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. 

Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, to Discuss Your Case 

The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, are dedicated to helping Georgia clients get the compensation they deserve when they have lost a loved one due to the wrongful conduct of someone else. If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, at (404) 389-1035 today to schedule a free consultation.

Bicycle Safety Tips

bicycle safety tips

For many people in Georgia, cycling is an efficient, healthy, and enjoyable way to get around. For others, it is their exercise of choice or an occasional leisure activity. Whatever the reason cyclists are going for a ride, they should remember that it can be a dangerous activity. Bicycle accidents can be devastating because cyclists are in such a vulnerable position. Drivers have an enormous responsibility to be alert for cyclists and to safely share the road with them. But it is also important for cyclists to do their part by exercising caution when riding and following the rules of the road. 

Things to Remember When Riding Your Bicycle 

  • Follow the Rules. Many people don’t realize that bicycles are considered “vehicles” under Georgia law and that cyclists must generally follow the same rules of the road as those governing motor vehicles. There are also several special laws that apply specifically to cyclists. Cyclists should be aware of these rules and follow them. 
  • Communicate With Drivers. Even drivers that are paying attention sometimes hit cyclists. It happens most often when a driver had no idea what a cyclist was doing. Cyclists should make appropriate hand signals and when possible, attempt to make eye contact with drivers before crossing through an intersection. 
  • Maintain Control of Your Bicycle. Yes, this one is obvious. But it is worth repeating. Accidents are caused every day because a cyclist was going too fast, was distracted and lost focus, or attempted to do something unsafe. Georgia has several laws intended to prevent cyclists from losing control. For instance, it is illegal for more than one person to ride a single-person bicycle at the same time, cyclists cannot legally attach themselves to a motor vehicle as they ride, it is illegal for cyclists to ride if they are carrying something that prevents them from being able to hold both hands on the handlebars at once, and cyclists can get a DWI just like motor vehicle drivers. 
  • Ride as Close to the Right Side of the Road as Possible. Cyclists should stay as far to the right as they safely can, except when turning left or avoiding hazards. This safety rule is also legally required
  • Wear a Helmet. You can reduce the risk of head injury by always wearing a helmet. In Georgia, riders under the age of 16 are legally required to wear a helmet. 
  • Be Visible. It is always a good idea to wear brightly colored clothing when cycling. If you ride at night, you should have a light and reflectors as well. 
  • Ride With Traffic. It is safer to ride with traffic. If you are riding against traffic, drivers will not be expecting you and may not notice you. By riding against traffic, you also reduce reaction time to avoid an accident. 

If You Have Been in a Bicycle Accident, Joel Williams Law, LLC, Can Help 

Unfortunately, even safe cyclists get into accidents. If you have been in a bicycle accident and been injured as a result, it is important to be aware of your legal rights and options. For more information or to schedule a free case evaluation, call Joel Williams Law, LLC, at (404) 389-1035 today.

Bicycle Wrecks

bicycle accident wreck injured

Each year in the United States there are hundreds of thousands of accidents between automobiles and bicycles. Because of their vulnerable position, these accidents often have severe consequences for the cyclists involved. It is crucial for both motorists and cyclists to understand their rights and duties under Georgia law.

If you have been injured in a bicycle wreck and someone else was at fault, you need a qualified and experienced bicycle wreck injury attorney to represent you. Joel Williams Law, LLC, is dedicated to getting accident victims the compensation they deserve. To discuss your case, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, to schedule a free case evaluation today online or by calling (404) 389-1035.

Duties of Motorists and Cyclists to Each Other

Motorists and cyclists each have a duty to act with reasonable care while on the road. Drivers, as well as cyclists, must follow the “rules of the road” outlined by Title 40, Chapter 6 of the Georgia Code. If either a cyclist or motorist violates a traffic law, they can be considered at-fault in an accident. In some cases both parties are at-fault, and the issue becomes determining to what degree each party was at fault.

Specific Laws Applying to Cyclists

There are a few specific laws that apply to cyclists in Georgia. These are found in Chapter 6 Article 13 Part 1. Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294, “every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, except when turning left or avoiding hazards to safe cycling.” This generally means a cyclist must remain in a bike lane or on the shoulder of the road unless they are turning left; however it is important to note that if there is a “hazard to safe cycling” then cyclists are allowed to move into the main lane of traffic temporarily.
Bicycles must only be used by one person at a time, unless it is designed to carry more than one person. When riding at night, bicycles must have a white light in the front and a red light or reflector on the back. Adults are not required to wear helmets when riding a bicycle; however children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet. Cyclists should also remember that riding a bicycle while legally intoxicated is illegal.

If You Have Been in a Bicycle Wreck, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, to Discuss Your Case Today

Bicycle wreck accidents claims, like other types of personal injury claims, can be complex. It is imperative for victims of harm to have qualified and experienced legal counsel on their side. A Kennesaw, Ga personal injury attorney that understands bicycle wreck cases and is familiar with local courts can ensure that your compensation is maximized.

If you have been involved in a bicycle wreck, the qualified bicycle wreck attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, can help you understand your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. If you would like more information, Joel Williams Law, LLC, is here to help. Call today to schedule your free consultation at (404) 389-1035.

Boating Accident Attorneys Kennesaw, GA

boat accident attorney Georgia

When people think of personal injury claims, the first thing that comes to mind is usually auto accidents, however boating accident claims are also frequently filed in Georgia. If you have been injured in a boating accident and someone else is at fault, it is important to have a qualified and experienced boating accident attorney represent you. The attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, have developed a deep knowledge of boating accident claims in Georgia.

Kennesaw, GA Personal Injury Attorney Joel Williams and his team have recovered millions of dollars for clients in personal injury cases. Joel Williams Law, LLC, offers free case evaluations. If you have been injured in a boating accident because someone else made a mistake, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, to schedule your free consultation online or by calling (404) 389-1035.

COMMON CAUSES OF BOATING ACCIDENTS IN GEORGIA

• Alcohol. Boating and alcohol do not go well together. Unfortunately, accidents involving alcohol pop up in the news all too often. Under the Georgia Boat Safety Act, “operating any boat, sailboat, personal watercraft, water skis, sailboard or similar device while intoxicated” at over the legal limit of .08 BAC is a crime. If you have been injured because someone else irresponsibly consumed too much alcoholbefore boating, you are entitled to compensation for your harm.

• Negligent or reckless operation of a watercraft. Many accidents occur because the boat operator was going too fast, too close to other watercraft, or wasn’t paying attention to where they were going. In some of these cases, the boat operator simply didn’t know what he or she was doing. While it is understandable to make reasonable mistakes, it is unacceptable for a person to attempt to operate a boat or other watercraft when they lack the knowledge to do so safely.

• Overloading or improper loading. Some accidents occur because a boat was overloaded or improperly loaded. A boat that is overloaded is at risk of capsizing. Overloading or improperly loading a boat constitutes negligent operation in Georgia.

• Watercraft defects. Manufacturing or design defects sometimes cause watercraft to be dangerous to use. If you have been injured because of a defective product, you have a right to bring a products liability claim to attain compensation for your harm.

• Life vests were not worn. Failing to wear a life vest may not cause a boating accident, but it can make the consequences much worse. A government study recently found that operators wearing a life jacket were 80 percent less likely to die in the event of a boating accident.

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC

If you have been in a boating accident and would like to discuss your case, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, to schedule a free consultation at (404) 389-1035 today.

Halloween Safety Tips

halloween safety tips law

Halloween is just around the corner. Trick-or-treating and Halloween parties are fun, but they also pose risks. This Halloween, the Joel Williams Law legal team wishes everyone in Georgia a safe and fun holiday. Below are a few safety tips to consider.

Keep Your Kids Safe While Trick-or-Treating

Parents or other guardians should ensure that their children have a safe trick-or-treating experience. This means making sure that the child’s costume is safe and that the child has age-appropriate supervision. Innovative costumes are integral to Halloween’s fun, but parents should make sure that their child can still see and move safely. If they will be trick-or-treating at night, children’s costumes should also be visible to drivers.

When older children are out trick-or-treating without supervision, they should always do so in a group and carry a cell phone to use in the case of an emergency. Children should also understand that they should watch for traffic and follow pedestrian traffic rules, stay in well-lit areas, only go to homes that have a front porch light on, and avoid taking short-cuts through back-yards or alleys that may not be safe.
It is also important to make sure that nothing a child received while trick-or-treating is dangerous. Parents should inspect their children’s treats to makes sure they are safe for them. For candy, this means ensuring that the treat does not present a choking hazard and is still in its factory-sealed condition.

Avoid Premises Liability

If you live in an urban or suburban neighborhood, every Halloween you should assume that children will come onto your property. Even if you don’t want them to and you leave your porch light off. So make sure you don’t have anything dangerous in your yard or on your front porch, and clearly mark any risks. If you are a homeowner and a child is injured while on your property, you could be considered at-fault under a theory of premises liability.

Drive with Extra Caution

With so many child pedestrians walking around, it is extremely important to drive with caution on Halloween evening. Not only will many children have a poor understanding of traffic rules, they may be dressed in costumes that make them difficult to see. Stay focused behind the wheel, and take extra care when turning or going through intersections.

There will also be more people out on the road on Halloween and over the weekend before Halloween, so it is important to drive defensively to avoid getting in an accident with a Halloween party-goer. And of course, if you are going to a Halloween party yourself, never drink and drive.

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, Today

The experienced Kennesaw, GA personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, are dedicated to helping injury victims get the compensation they deserve. Joel Williams Law, LLC, is located in Kennesaw, Georgia, and serves clients throughout the state. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the wrongful actions of someone else, call Joel Williams Law, LLC, to schedule a free consultationtoday at (404) 389-1035.

One Dead After 8-Car Accident on I-16 in Twiggs County

victim accident dead attorney

Early on the morning of September 2, 2017, an 8-car accident claimed the life of one person on the eastbound lane of I-16 near exit 18. The Twiggs County Sheriff’s Office reported that six other victims were sent to the hospital. The interstate was shut down for several hours following the crash.

Because driving an automobile is something most of us do every day, it is easy to forget just how dangerous an activity it is. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there are more than 115,000 injuries due to auto accidents each year on Georgia roadways. It is important to remember how dangerous driving can be and remain alert and focused behind the wheel.

As Sergeant Bert Clifton of the Georgia State Patrol stated following the September 2 crash on I-16: “Wear your seat belt, slow down, don’t be distracted, don’t be texting and driving, and give plenty of time to get to where you’re going. Nothing’s worth getting into a crash and not making it to your destination.”

Common Causes of Accidents in Georgia

• Speeding. Traffic can be frustrating, but it is important to be patient when you are driving. Defensive driving is one of the most important thing drivers can do to avoid car accidents. Most of us occasionally go slightly over the speed limit from time to time, but speeding is a terrible habit. Not only does speeding raise the chances of an accident occurring, but if you are speeding it can create a presumption that you were at fault if an accident does occur.

• Fatigued driving. Everyone knows that driving while intoxicated poses a huge risk, but many fail to also understand that driving while fatigued can be dangerous as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that tens of thousands of accidents are caused by drowsy driving each year.

• Distracted driving. Always stay focused. When people use their cell phones to text, check email, or go online while driving they put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk. Moreover, texting or reading messages from the Internet on a phone while driving is against the law in Georgia.

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC

Even when you do everything right, accidents can still happen because of another person’s negligence. Driving is an inherently dangerous activity. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, it is imperative that you are aware of your legal rights and options. A qualified and experienced auto accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

The experienced personal injury legal team at Joel Williams Law, LLC, is dedicated to helping injury victims and their family members get justice. The Joel Williams car accident legal team has deep knowledge of Georgia auto accident law, Joel Williams Law, LLC, is located in Kennesaw, Georgia, and serves clients throughout the state. Don’t hesitate to call today to discuss your case and schedule a complimentary case assessment. Call Joel Williams Law, LLC, at (404) 389-1035 to schedule your consultation today.

Georgia Child Booster Seat Laws

booster seat car children law

In 2002, John Creeks resident Jenny Harty was traveling with her husband and two small children when their car was struck by an SUV in rural Georgia. She told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “a logging truck ran the stop sign, ignored the rumble strips and hit the tail end of [an oncoming] SUV. And the SUV lost control, hit us and literally shaved off the left side of our van.” Nobody was killed in the accident, but six-year-old Abby Harty was injured and five-year-old Madison Harty needed five surgeries to repair her arm. According to reports, the children’s booster seats “absolutely” saved their lives.

Since that the accident, Jenny Hart has been a staunch advocate for tougher child passenger safety laws in Georgia. She became a car seat technician and has worked with Georgia legislators to get new safety measures passed. Her efforts – and the efforts of like-minded safety advocates – have largely been successful. Georgia used to have somewhat lax child passenger safety laws, but now has laws requiring the use of child seats that are in-line with federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards.

Just like the Georgia law requiring drivers and front seat passengers to wear a seat belt, the law requiring children to be secured in car seats or booster seats is intended to save lives in the event of an auto accident.

Georgia Child Passenger Safety Law

Under Title 40 Chapter 8 Section 76 of the Official Code of Georgia, children under the age of 8 years old are required to sit in a car seat or booster seat. These car or booster seats must be secured in the rear seat, but appropriate for the child’s height and weight, and meet all U.S. federal standards. However, there is an exemption for children under 8 that have a height of over 4’9”.

The precise requirements of the Georgia car seat laws are as follows:

• Children under the age of 4 and under 20 lbs must be in a rear-facing car seat.

• Once a child is over the age of 1 and weighs over 20 lbs, they must be placed in a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat.

• Children aged 4-7 must be placed in a rear or forward facing car seat if they weigh less than 40 lbs.

• Children aged 4-7 that weigh more than 40 lbs must be placed in a forward-facing car seat or a booster seat plus lap and shoulder belt.

The Georgia Office of Highway Safety also recommends that children remain in a booster seat until they are big enough to fit properly in a seat belt.

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, are dedicated to helping auto accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Joel Williams Law, LLC, is located in Kennesaw, Georgia, and serves clients throughout the State of Georgia. If you would like more information about Georgia’s child safety passenger laws or if you have been in an accident and would like to discuss your case, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, at (404) 389-1035 to schedule a free personal injury consultationtoday.