Archives for September 2015

Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents can result in severe personal injury cases, often producing catastrophic injuries to the pedestrian victim or even the loss of a loved one. However, many pedestrian accidents can easily be avoided by taking extra precautions. Whether you are walking on or near city streets, residential neighborhoods, highways or rural roads, follow these tips to reduce the  risk of being struck by a motor vehicle:pedestrian

Be More Visible

Just like cyclists must be vigilant in making themselves more visible to drivers, pedestrians must also strive to make themselves better seen by motorists. This can be accomplished by traveling on foot during daylight hours only or by walking in well-lit areas. Additionally, pedestrians can wear bright or reflective clothing.

Look Both Ways

This tip goes for both motorists and pedestrians. Before entering an intersection or driving through one, it is important that both pedestrians and drivers alike carefully look both ways. This is especially important for motorists who are driving in areas where pedestrians frequent or where children might be dashing into the roadway (such as residential streets).  

Follow the Law

There are very specific laws that pedestrians and motorists must follow. Some of these laws are the same for both. Both groups should be aware of right-0f-way laws in the areas where they frequent. In general, pedestrians (including joggers) must follow these rules:

  • walk only in designated areas and utilize crosswalks where provided
  • if there is no sidewalk, stand or walk only the shoulder of a road
  • if there is no sidewalk or shoulder, stand or walk as close as possible to the outside edge of the road
  • if on a two-lane roadway, stand or walk only on the left side of the road
  • yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the road, except as above

Be Alert

While distracted driving has received much media attention, distracted walking can also pose an additional risk of suffering personal injury. Pedestrians who are distracted by listening to music, talking on a cell phone or texting may not be as alert to potential dangers around them.

Pedestrians who are injured in an accident should promptly discuss their rights with a personal injury lawyer. Contact the experienced, dedicated personal injury and pedestrian accident attorneys at Brownstein & Nguyen.


Dangers and Risks of Semi-Trailer Truck Accidents

Unfortunately, semi or tractor-trailer truck accidents are often much more serious than car accidents. Due to a truck’s increased mass and physics, a large truck is capable of doing heavy damage and can cause serious, sometimes fatal, injuries. Knowing the most dangerous risk factors can help keep you safer on the road. Atlanta personal injury lawyers Brownstein & Nguyen have assisted in truck accident cases, and want you to be aware of the following variables often involved in truck accidents in Georgia.

Wide Turns

Due to their length, semi trucks make extremely wide turns. Drivers of other vehicles may not be consider a truck’s turning radius, so they may not give the truck a wide enough berth at intersections. Novice truck drivers may also underestimate their vehicle’s size, and assume that they have more room to safely turn than they actually do. As a result, truck operators might inadvertently smash the back of side of their vehicle into surrounding objects including curbs, light poles, vehicles, and even buildings or overpasses. Depending upon the mass of the truck and the speed at which it’s taking the turn, the resulting collision could be quite serious.

Increased Stopping Distance

AccidentBasic physics dictates that the more mass an object has, the harder it is to stop moving once it is in motion. This applies to all objects, including semi trucks. Most drivers know instinctively that trucks have more mass than cars do, but they may not have that same intuitive understanding of the required stopping distance of a big truck. Motor vehicle drivers might maneuver around a truck in very dangerous ways, which could be comparatively safe around a car.

Even savvy car drivers don’t necessarily think about the increased mass that the contents of a truck create. Semis in particular have the capacity to store large amounts of cargo, which can add considerably to the truck’s mass, and in some cases increase risk with the transport of hazardous materials. That truck on the road could be empty, or it could be full of goods, which could add greatly to the vehicle’s stopping distance.


Semis are different from other trucks because their trailers must follow the lead of the tractor or cab that is driving them. This makes tractor-trailers particularly prone to a phenomenon called jackknifing, where the truck cab turns too suddenly or sharply for the trailer to follow, forming the same shape as that of a jackknife. Jackknifing is particularly common in hazardous weather and road conditions where vehicles skid, such as snow, sleet or rain. Additionally, if a semi is poorly loaded the contents may slide around when the vehicle stops. If the semi comes to a sudden stop, that rapid shift may be enough to make the vehicle jackknife.

Increased Risk on Georgia Roads

In 2011 a change in Georgia state law reduced the amount of inspectors checking trucks for safety. With less inspectors came fewer truck inspections, and consequently more unsafe trucks and drivers left on the road. This dangerous combination has resulted in more trucks on the road and less federal regulatory compliance. As a result, Georgia saw a 38% increase in commercial vehicle accidents from 2011-2013.

Whether you’re driving a car or a truck on the road, it’s always a good idea to keep in mind the potential hazards of trucks, for your safety and that of your loved ones. Any of these factors can become incredibly dangerous on the road, and can take other drivers by complete surprise. If you have been involved in a commercial truck accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney that will confidently assess your case. This is especially important because trucking cases involve complex rules and regulations that are not typically present in automobile injury cases. Our team at Brownstein & Nguyen is able to assist in these types of cases. Please feel free to contact us using the contact form to the right or by calling us at 770-458-9060.

Contract Disputes

Starting a new business can be an exciting time for all involved, especially business partners. It is important not to neglect certain legal matter that might seem like non-issues in the beginning. Failure to protect each party during the life of the business in the event of a dispute or serious disagreement can result in a major legal headache later.Disagreement

Keeping it Professional

There is no such thing as “we don’t need to be formal – it’s just friends and family.” When it comes to business, everything should be done by the book. That is why business partners need to work with an experienced business attorney to craft a partnership agreement that covers common issues including:

  • Fiduciary responsibilities of partners
  • Financial issues, including stock ownership, compensation and debt
  • How disagreements will be resolved
  • Recourse for breach of contract
  • Exit plan if a partner decides to leave

Having a solid partnership agreement will help prevent some contract disputes from occurring. However, even with the best intentions and planning by the parties, there is a chance that a dispute might arise that threatens the ongoing survival of a business.

Business and Contract Disputes are Always Possible

In business, disputes between partners and owners can result in lengthy legal battles. This can happen even where the partners took necessary precautions at the outset and crafted an exit plan detailing how to resolve disagreements later on.

As an example, consider the recent Georgia Court of Appeals’ decision in the case of Krieger v. Bonds. In that case, two partners in a closely-held corporation entered into what is commonly known as a buy-sell agreement when they formed the business. The agreement provided for the re-purchase of a withdrawing partner’s stock by the remaining partner in the event the partners decided to part ways. The parties followed the agreement, but communication broke down before the stock sale closed, leading one partner to sue the other to enforce the agreement. Due to numerous disputed facts about exactly what occurred, the court held that the case should be decided by a jury.

Legal cases like Krieger highlight the need for effective legal counsel, both when forming a business and later on when a disagreement occurs. While careful planning and a written partnership or shareholder agreement are a must, they can not prevent disputes from occurring. When problems surface, it is important to consult with a business litigation attorney as early as possible.

Brownstein & Nguyen founding partner Jay Brownstein has the experience, legal knowledge and business acumen necessary to provide trusted guidance and skilled representation in a variety of cases including breach of contract, partnership disputes, investor fraud, employment agreements and similar matters.

If you are involved in a shareholder, partnership or contract dispute, contact the experienced Atlanta business litigation attorneys of Brownstein & Nguyen.

Studying in the United States

At Brownstein & Nguyen, we assist families and individuals pursuing their dreams by meeting their various immigration law needs. In some cases this may mean working with clients to obtain work visas, and in other cases it may mean assisting them in obtaining student visas.

Student Visa Facts

When it comes to entering the United States as a student, there are two types of student visas that may be obtained. The F-1 student visa is for those wishing to pursue academic study, while the M-1 vocational student visa is for those wishing to pursue vocational or recreational study.

Visa Renewal and Terms

Visa Limits

Each year, about 500,000 individuals take advantage of the opportunity to study in the United States with an F-1 student visa. There is no limit to the number of F-1 visas that may be issued each year. It is important to keep in mind that applying and being accepted into an academic program of study makes the process of obtaining an F-1 student visa easier.

Similarly, for individuals wishing to take on vocational or recreational studies there is no limit to the number of M-1 vocational student visas issued each year. However, it is recommended that acceptance into a vocational program or institution is obtained prior to pursuing an M-1 vocational student visa.

Navigating the requirements and legal process involved in gaining a student visa can be difficult at times. Experienced Atlanta immigration attorney Tien Nguyen is familiar with the law and procedures, and confidently assists those wishing to pursue an academic course of study or vocational course of study in the United States. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance in obtaining an M-1 vocational student visa or an F-1 student visa, do not hesitate to reach out to the Atlanta immigration law offices of Brownstein & Nguyen.