In Georgia, pedestrian accidents can lead to serious injuries, often requiring legal action to recover damages. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) plays a vital role in this process, providing necessary coverage for those injured in such incidents. Understanding the intricacies of PIP and how it applies to pedestrian injuries is crucial for anyone involved in a pedestrian accident in Georgia.

Personal Injury Claims for Pedestrians

Victims of pedestrian accidents may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim, which requires proving four key elements. First, the defendant or negligent party had a duty of care to act in a manner that prevents harm, such as adhering to traffic laws. Second, there must be a breach of this duty, for instance, through distracted driving or ignoring pedestrian right-of-way. Third, causation needs to be established, linking the defendant’s actions directly to the injuries sustained. Lastly, the claim must demonstrate actual damages, encompassing physical injuries and the financial, emotional, and psychological impacts on the victim. Successfully proving these elements allows victims to secure rightful compensation and hold the responsible party accountable.

Drive Safer Sunday is November 26

this year nearly 30 million passengers will travel in their cars for the thanksgiving holiday

Senator Warnock (D-GA) and Senator Capito (R-WV) introduced and passed a bipartisan resolution to designate the Sunday after Thanksgiving as DRIVE SAFER SUNDAY.  The Sunday after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, and it’s also one of the deadliest.  We are thankful that Senator Warnock and Senator Capito introduced this resolution to help raise awareness about the importance of safe driving, especially during the holiday season.

In Georgia, there were 18 traffic crash deaths during the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday period. In addition to fatal crashes, there were nearly 600 traffic crashes statewide during this period, resulting in almost 300 injuries. From 2017 to 2021, 82 Georgians were killed in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period and there was a total of 16,171 traffic crashes reported that resulted in 5,727 injuries.

“Since the Sunday after Thanksgiving is one of the most congested road traffic days of the year and the day our son, Cullum, was killed while driving back to college, we hope that Drive Safer Sunday will encourage extra focus on safe driving that day,” said Steve and Susan Owings, Co-Founders of Road Safe America and Institute for Safer Trucking board members. “We also hope that this safety focus will be carried on during the holiday season and all year around.”

This Bi-Partisan Resolution encourages:

1.       K-12 schools, colleges, teachers, and administrators to launch campus-wide educational campaigns to urge students to focus on safe driving;

2.       Trucking firms to alert employees to focus on safe driving the Sunday after Thanksgiving and publicize its importance on the Citizens Band Radio Service and at truck stops;

3.       Clergy to remind congregations to travel safely when attending services;

4.       Law enforcement to remind drivers and passengers to drive safely;

5.       Americans wear seat belts and educate themselves about highway safety.

First introduced in 2005, this resolution has historically been a bipartisan effort led by one of Georgia’s U.S. Senators. The effort was started by Steve and Susan Owings, board members of the Institute for Safer Trucking from Atlanta, whose son Cullum was tragically killed in a truck crash after returning to college from their family Thanksgiving in 2002. Since Cullum’s passing, Steve and Susan Owings have advocated for safer trucking and have worked with Georgia’s Congressional delegation to introduce this resolution. As a member of the U.S. Senate committee overseeing the nation’s transportation policy, transportation safety will always be a priority for Senator Warnock.

I am wishing each of you a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.


Robin Frazer Clark is a trial lawyer who pursues justice for those who have personal injury claims as a result of being injured in motor vehicle wrecks, trucking wrecks, defective products, defective maintenance of roads, premises safety, medical malpractice and other incidents caused by the negligence of others.  Ms. Clark is the 50th President of the State Bar of Georgia, a Past President of Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, a Past President of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta and has practiced law in Georgia for 35 years. She is a member of the International Society of Barristers and of the American Board of Trial Advocates. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mrs. Clark is listed as one of the Top 50 Women Trial Lawyers in Georgia and the Top 25 National Women Trial Lawyers and is a Georgia Super Lawyer. Ms. Clark is the co-host of the podcast “See You In Court,” sponsored by the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation.  Ms. Clark has tried over 75 jury trials and argued in Georgia Appellate Courts over 45 times.

Robin Frazer Clark ~ Dedicated to the Constitution’s Promise of Justice for All.


Bostick-Lexus-2-300x225 Bostick-Lexus-3-300x225
A large part of my law practice is representing people who have been seriously injured in traffic or road collisions. This  includes not only drivers and passengers of vehicles, but also many pedestrians. The photographs above are just a small example of the carnage that occurs on Georgia roads every day. I am currently representing the family members of two separate families who have lost loved ones when they were killed as pedestrians on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in Atlanta.

Sunday marks the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.  It is a high-profile global event to remember the many millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and to acknowledge the suffering of all affected victims, families and communities – millions added each year to countless millions already suffering: a truly tremendous cumulative toll. This Day has also become an important tool for governments and all those whose work involves crash prevention or response to the aftermath of crashes, since it offers the opportunity to demonstrate the enormous scale and impact of road deaths and injuries, call for an end to the often trivial and inappropriate response to road death and injury and advocate for urgent concerted action to stop the carnage.

“As every year, the objectives of WDoR 2023 are to provide a platform for road traffic victims and their families to:

Blog-Images-Robin-Frazer-Clark--1024x576As consumers we interact with countless products daily, from the moment we wake up until we go to bed. Most of the time, these products work as intended, making our lives more convenient and enjoyable. However, sometimes, things can go terribly wrong, leading to serious injuries or even death. That’s when defective product claims come into play, and it’s an area of law that’s more complex and ever-evolving than you might think.

What is Considered a “Defect”

Product defects can take various forms. Most often, these defects are found in design, manufacturing, or marketing. In Georgia, as in many other states, a product is considered defective if it poses an unreasonable danger to its users, and this defect directly causes harm. It’s a simple and yet incredibly important concept because it directly impacts our safety.

In the past, we’ve discussed medical malpractice and wrongful death, but we don’t often consider exactly how someone with years or decades of training could overlook or outright refuse to treat patients with real concerns. Overweight women in particular have to contend with sex-specific ailments that tend to cause even OBGYNs to attribute every type of pain to “obesity” in general. Everyone can agree that being “healthy” is ideal, but isn’t that the point of going to the doctor in the first place? When doctors ignore their patients’ concerns, it can lead them to make poor choices that lead to injury or even death for their patients.

Non-Collaborative Treatment Plans

Every individual seeking medical care needs a specific treatment plan that fits their lifestyle and treats their concerns. The trouble with that is doctors aren’t specialists in every field. Complaints of stomach pain to a general practitioner may lead them to believe that a patient’s issues are simple to treat with over the counter medication; while a gastroenterologist may be better equipped to pinpoint what’s causing the pain. The trouble is getting to that specialist and for them to take your issues seriously.

Georgia has a thriving tourism industry and people from all over the world want to visit our amazing cities. As great as it is for our economy, it also brings thousands of drivers with different driving styles and oftentimes different personal injury laws. Like many states in the U.S., Georgia follows an “at-fault” system, otherwise known as comparative negligence, for determining liability in personal injury cases. Conversely, some of our neighboring states follow contributory negligence, which can add a layer of complexity to personal injury cases. Understanding these concepts may be helpful when traveling or if you’re in an accident that involves an out of state party.

The Foundations of At-Fault Systems

In an “at-fault” or “tort” system, determining fault is essential in personal injury cases. Comparative and Contributory Negligence are two legal doctrines used to allocate fault and assess liability for damages which impacts the amount of compensation for affected parties.

Blog-Images-Robin-Frazer-Clark--1024x576When you go shopping, the last thing you want is for someone to run in and endanger everyone inside with a weapon. Similarly, if you’re sitting in your apartment, unwinding after work, you don’t want to have to worry about someone breaking into your car or through the front door. Becoming a victim of violent crime is never your fault, but based on some recent Georgia Supreme Court rulings, property owners may be liable for neglecting their duty of care. Premises liability regarding shootings and crime have become significant concerns in public and private settings, like apartments, malls, and parking lots. Under certain circumstances, if you’re harmed by violent crime in these places, you may be entitled to compensation. 

Duty of Care and Business Owner’s Responsibility

Business owners have a “duty of care” to provide a safe environment for their visitors and patrons. This duty typically means they need to maintain their property and keep things in a reasonably safe condition. Sometimes, particularly in “high crime” areas, that means taking precautions to prevent foreseeable crimes or harm. For example, a mall owes its patrons the greatest duty of care because they are inviting them in to shop and there is a reasonable expectation of safety when they arrive. Malls in areas that have experienced a significant number of crimes may have a duty of care to provide appropriate security measures to prevent harm.

A recent opinion by the The Georgia Court of Appeals, our Intermediate Appellate Court in Georgia, regarding Georgia’s obsolete “impact rule” certainly caused an impact, and not a good one.  In Holt v. Rickman, A23A0612, 2023 WL 3858619 (Ga. Ct. App. June 7, 2023) an apartment guest brought action against owners and manager of apartment complex, asserting claims for premises liability and negligent hiring, retention, and supervision after she awakened to discover maintenance worker in her bed.

The facts of Holt are startling, to say the least.  A guest of a resident staying in one of the apartments woke up to find an intruder lying next to her on top of the covers on the bed. The intruder was actually a maintenance employee of the apartment complex. He pulled the covers down saying he wanted to “see what she looked like under there.” As he did so, he touched the top of her head. The woman pretended to reach for a weapon and that caused the intruder to flee. As you can imagine, this bizarre incident had to have been frightening. During litigation it was discovered that the apartment complex hired the intruder/maintenance employee in 2016 despite a background check showing he had two pending child molestation charges. He had pled guilty to lesser charges of sexual battery against a child under the age of 16. He was on the Georgia Sexual Offender Registry. The Defendant, with this knowledge in hand,  continued to employ him as a maintenance worker with access to a master key, which led to his ability to break into the apartment and to attempt to sexually assault the plaintiff.

The Georgia Court of Appeals held that Georgia’s antiquated “impact rule” applied to the situation and affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the apartment complex. Case dismissed. The “impact rule” is not state-of-the-art science about how an event can affect someone emotionally or psychologically. In fact, it was created in 1892, when there was very little understanding, if any, of psychological trauma. The “impact rule” says that when a person suffers no physical injury as a result of the  incident that forms the basis of the claim, there is no recovery for emotional distress. Georgia’s “impact rule” provides that “[i]n a claim concerning negligent conduct, a recovery for emotional distress is allowed only where there is some impact on the plaintiff, and that impact must be a physical injury.” Ryckeley v. Callaway, 261 Ga. 828, 828, 412 S.E.2d 826 (1992). To satisfy the rule, a plaintiff must show that she (1) suffered a physical impact that (2) resulted in a physical injury which (3) caused her mental suffering or emotional distress. Lee v. State Farm Mut. Ins. Co., 272 Ga. 583, 586 (I), 533 S.E.2d 82 (2000). A plaintiff’s failure to meet any one of the three requirements of the impact rule bars recovery even in cases “in which the circumstances portend a claim of emotional distress.” Id.

July 16 marks one-year anniversary of 988 Suicide & Crisis ...
Many of you know that I often write about suicide prevention. I hope you have read my latest blog on the Crosland Chroma Suicide Means Prevention art installation on top of the Georgia Institute of Technology library. Also, when the 988 Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline was introduced, I wrote a blog about that. I hope you will take the time to read these two special blog posts.

The National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, 988, marked its one year Anniversary yesterday. United States Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra observed the anniversary by noting “Through 988, our message to Americans in crisis is clear: support is here. And thanks to President Biden, millions of Americans have been able to seek out help. Nearly 5 million calls, texts, and chats have been answered over the past year – saving countless lives.

Anecdotally, we know 988 is working. For example, in Nebraska, before implementation of the new 988 lifeline in July 2022, the Boys Town National Hotline in Omaha was the home of the Suicide Prevention Hotline. In a natural evolution, Boys Town became the call center for 988 as well as the Nebraska Family Helpline. In 2021, before the existence of 988, Boys Town received 8,777 calls to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Since 988 Nebraska’s implementation, that number has more than doubled to 18,300.

The massive size and weight of commercial freight trucks are an impressive sight, and their use can be very convenient for our supply-chain needs, but their presence is an ever-looming threat. The number of large trucks on the road has increased over the last 20 years, but the danger they pose has not been appropriately mitigated. Recent Georgia legislation increased the intrastate truck weight limits to over 80,000 lbs for certain commercial industries. However, just because trucks of a certain size are limited to using certain roads and highways does not mean they’re any less dangerous. 

Truck Safety Failures

The additional weight carried by trucks and trailers significantly impact the safety of their drivers and the drivers around them. It’s basic physics; the heavier the object, the more effort it takes to stop once it’s in motion. Truck drivers are trained professionals, but there are still many safety factors to consider aside from possible negligence. Increased weight can affect multiple moving parts, including brake systems, tires, suspension, and early impact detection systems. This leads to significantly longer stopping distances, reduced overall maneuverability, and increased chances of parts failures for brakes and tires. No matter how much training a licensed commercial driver has, it will not prevent the possibility of a crash or limit the severe consequences for other vehicles involved. Regardless of how fast a truck is going on the road, if the driver fails to pay attention for a single moment, it could cost lives.

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