Cell Phone Courtesy

Work-life balance means different things for different people depending on their occupation and personal circumstances. With the use of smart phones, many individuals have adopted a work-life integration model in which they are almost constantly available via phone, text, or email. This can be quite distracting, and contrary to common courtesy and etiquette. July happens to be National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, and therefore a great time to brush up on basic rules of thumb for cell phone use in business and for personal matters. Etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore offers these useful tips:Safe Driving Tips

1. Be all there.

Simply put, your focus should not be on your cell phone, messages, or emails during an important business meeting or conversation. This applies to situations across the board including legal conversations, courtroom visits, and medical office visits.

2. Keep it private.

If you don’t want others to overhear the conversation you are having on your phone, find a private location or reschedule the conversation for a later time.

3. Follow the rules.

Be respectful of your surroundings, and aware of whether or not phone use is acceptable or appropriate in those situations. Special considerations apply in movie theaters, libraries, hospitals, in educational settings, and of course courtrooms.

4. Excuse yourself.

If you are expecting a phone call, inform those you are with in advance. This will prepare them for the interruption of your meeting, conversation or time together. Keep in mind that face-to-face interactions should take precedence over phone conversations.

5. Focus on driving.

While all of the above tips are important, this one is potentially a matter of life or death. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) has found that the longest duration of time in which drivers take their eyes off of the road is directly the result of text messaging, browsing, and dialing. VTTI also found that text messaging doubles the risk of a motor vehicle crash. While behind the wheel, it is critical to focus on driving and avoid distraction through the use of a wireless device.

We hope that these cell phone etiquette tips along with other safety guidelines will be useful. With distracted driving as the cause of so many fatalities and serious injuries, we can not emphasize enough how important it is to follow the final tip of focusing on driving. It is possible that you or someone you know may have been involved in a distracted driving accident, or might be at some point in the future.

The attorneys of Brownstein & Nguyen are experienced in representing distracted driving automobile accident cases in the Atlanta area. With over 20 years of representation in personal injury, the reviews and testimonials speak to the skill and integrity with which Brownstein & Nguyen represent their clients. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Brownstein & Nguyen today at (770) 458-9060 for a free consultation and review of your case.

Water Safety Tips

June is National Safety Month and coincides with the end of school and the beginning of summer. This makes summer swimming safety particularly important, as kids find welcome relief in pools, ponds, and puddles across the greater Atlanta area. Sadly, they may find themselves in distress and parents must often cope with grief due to a lapse in basic water safety precautions.

water safetyAt Brownstein & Nguyen, we offer these water safety tips in an effort to reduce the number of potential clients in need of legal services by one of Atlanta’s preeminent personal injury lawyers.

Swim in Water; Drink Water

Diane McKinsey, a pool lifeguard certified by the International Lifeguard Trainer Program, works at a water park. She has one piece of water safety advice for parents: please don’t drink alcohol.

Too often, she says, alcohol interferes with adults’ summer water safety awareness. Under the effects of alcohol, parents often lose sight of their children and tragedy can result. Says McKinsey, “If you and your kids are going to swim in water, then drink water — nothing stronger.”

Be Water Wise

The National Safety Council (NSC) points out drowning as the leading cause of death among children 1 to 4 years of age.  NSC recommends parents be extra vigilant around water, including paying attention to boating safety tips as well as general water safety tips.

  • No child is drown-proof
  • Lifeguards are not babysitters
  • Undertows exist in all bodies of water—pool suction fittings and drains can trap a child underwater
  • Even strong swimmers should wear life jackets—The NSC provides many additional boating safety tips at its safety-conscious website
  • As a parent, you are your child’s best protector, so get trained for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • If your child is out of your sight, first check bodies of water before looking elsewhere.

Teach Your Children Well

From three-year-olds to adults, all swimmers should learn basic summer water safety. The NSC recommends all swimmers learn:

  • Not to swim alone
  • To be prepared for an emergency
  • To avoid diving into unknown bodies of water
  • Never to push others into water or jump on others already in water

If through accident or another’s negligence, you find yourself needing a lawyer because of a water-related mishap, contact the personal injury lawyers at Brownstein & Nguyen.  Protect your rights and those who depend on you.

National Safety Month and Risk Factors for Young Drivers

The National Safety Council seeks to help save lives and prevent injuries at work, at home, and on the road. Each June, the National Safety Council recognizes National Safety Month. This year, the non-profit organization has coordinated a campaign for the month of June centered around the question, “What do you live for?” Take a few moments to reflect and answer the question for yourself.


Image via nsc.org

What is it that keeps you going? Is it your family? A career? A hobby? Now, think about daily interactions with potential risk factors that could cause injury. These risk factors may come into place at home, in the workplace, in your vehicle, or in your community. There are often simple steps that can be taken to address risk factors and prevent injuries at home, in the workplace, and on the roads.

Let’s say that you chose your family to answer the question of what you live for. If you are the parent of a teenager or even a preteen, this is the perfect time to begin conversations about the risks involved with driving. The National Safety Council gathers research and data regarding risk factors and what causes accidental injury and death while behind the wheel. According to their data, “Half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school. Many of these crashes will be simple fender-benders, but too many others will claim precious young lives. Parental involvement can significantly reduce teens’ crash risk.”

Injury Prevention

Checklist via nsc.org

Simply knowing the facts, taking proactive steps toward accident prevention, and having open conversations with young drivers can help reduce and prevent injuries and deaths. In an effort to help guide conversations with your young driver, take a look at the transportation checklist provided by the National Safety Council.

At Brownstein & Nguyen, we want to help you and your loved ones be safe and avoid injuries. However, should you or a loved one become injured in metro Atlanta, Georgia or elsewhere, we are here to help.

Takata Airbag Recall in Atlanta

Living in the Atlanta metro area means summers of heat and humidity are a fact of life. Atlantans adjust to life with these discomforts, however. After all, modern conveniences including air conditioning in our homes, workplaces and automobiles help make life much more comfortable.

Image via Flickr.com

Image via Flickr.com

Fortunately, in modern day Atlanta most automobile owners bear through the commute and traffic conditions in comfort with air conditioning. However, they may be completely unaware that the humidity and a crucial safety feature in their vehicles – airbags – may be putting them and their passengers in danger.

Recent news stories indicate that the Takata airbag recall has reached historic proportions. In an effort to save lives, since 1998 federal law has required airbags to be installed in all vehicles sold in the United States. Yet, this very safety feature, intended to keep drivers and passengers safe, is putting many people at risk.

Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata is a major supplier of airbags for numerous makes & models of vehicles sold in the United States and around the world. These airbags have been identified as being extremely dangerous because the inflators can explode when the airbag is deployed in a crash, puncturing the bag and preventing it from properly restraining vehicle occupants. In addition, shards of metal from the exploding gas canister may be projected at passengers or drivers, turning the very device that was meant to protect into a potentially lethal threat.

To date, exploding inflators in Takata airbags have been the cause of six deaths and hundreds of injuries. These deaths have all occurred in vehicles manufactured by Honda, and it appears that this extremely dangerous situation is more pronounced in geographic areas with high humidity. Other vehicles affected by the recall including certain models and years manufactured by Ford, GM, Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Infiniti, Lexus, Saab, Chrysler, Dodge, Pontiac and BMW.

It is essential that all automobile owners research their specific make and model to determine what type of airbags are in their car. Visit Safecar.gov to input a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and determine if your vehicle is included in the recall.

If your vehicle is affected by the Takata airbag recall, time is of the essence. Take the vehicle to a dealership as soon as possible so the airbags can be replaced with safer alternatives.

If there are questions regarding legal rights and the Takata airbag recall, do not hesitate to contact Atlanta personal injury law firm Brownstein & Nguyen.

Memorial Day Weekend Travel in Atlanta

Memorial Day weekend is upon us. With a 3-day weekend knocking at our door, millions of Americans are planning on hitting the road. According to AAA Travel 37.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend. While not all travelers will reach their destinations in the same way, approximately 88% of travelers will be driving from Point A to Point B. By the numbers that boils down to 33 million travelers on the roadways.

Holiday TravelThe AAA data points to the heaviest volume of Memorial Day weekend traffic since 2005. With all of these travelers on the road, there are sure to be traffic incidents. In an effort to proactively avoid an automobile accident, it is important to make sure that your vehicle is ready for travel. In preparation for a road trip, here is checklist for your vehicle:

Check the Tires

Make sure tires are properly inflated and that they are showing signs of even wear. If you notice any dry rotting, lumps, or bare tread it is a good idea to have your tires checked professionally in an effort to avoid a catastrophe on the roads with a flat tire or blowout.

Check the Fluid Levels

A quick check under the hood will allow you to make sure that your fluids are topped off. It is bad enough to be leaking oil or antifreeze and have your car break down, but with so many people on the roadways a broken down car is an increased risk for an accident.


Make sure that all of your lights are working properly. This includes headlights, tail lights, turning signals, and reverse lights. Properly working lights will allow other drivers to see you and to know which direction you are heading.

No matter how proactive you are in making sure that your vehicle is ready for travel, you can never be fully prepared for the actions of other drivers on the road. Should you be the unfortunate victim of a car or truck accident as a result of someone else’s failure to yield, DUI, improper lane change, or other risky driving behavior, remember that it is okay to protect yourself. Make sure that you contact the local law enforcement agency for a police report, exchange insurance information, and document any hospital or doctor visits. If necessary, contact a personal injury attorney for legal assistance. Our personal injury lawyers are ready to help in your time of need. Contact us by calling 770-458-9060 or by filling out the form on the right hand side of this article.

Automobile Accidents in Atlanta

Unfortunately, car accidents happen every day. A majority of personal injury claims in the U.S. are the result of accidents involving a truck, car, or other motor vehicle. In Atlanta GA, during 2006 alone there were 130,912 injuries related to motor vehicle accidents.

Atlanta Auto InjuryWhen you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Car accident lawyers can help you recover losses that incur from motor vehicle accident. Whether the injury is minor or more serious, you will need a lawyer to fight for the compensation you need to rehabilitate and to reimburse you for medical expenses, lost wages and other financial losses.

Accident lawyers can negotiate the red tape and legal procedures, shoulder the hefty amount of paperwork, and help manage many of the hassles associated with car wreck insurance claims. These problems only get worse if you are injured in a motor vehicle wreck.

Who Should You Hire?

Finding a lawyer to work on your behalf, however, can be a daunting task. Who can you trust, and how do you find them?

When looking for a personal injury accident attorney you should focus on the lawyer’s experience and commitment, as well as location and convenience. For example, your personal injury attorney should be well versed in personal injury law, transportation law, insurance law and dealing with insurance companies, and know how to properly prepare and settle a case like yours. Check each attorney’s background, track record, and references. Referrals from friends and family are a good place to start when looking for a lawyer. Online is another good resource, but make sure to check reviews for each lawyer you are considering. There are also several directories with lawyers that are quality-assured. Look at these and other sources to find a lawyer who can best help if you or your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident.

The lawyers at Brownstein & Nguyen have an excellent track record, knowledge of the law and the experience to assist with personal injury, automobile accident, and truck wreck cases. We know how difficult it can be if you’ve been injured in a car or truck wreck, and we do everything we can to make the process easier. Use the contact form to the right to schedule a free consultation today.

Distracted Driving in Atlanta

Many people believe that using a hands-free dash mounted device or earpiece while driving is safer than using a traditional hand-held cell phone. In fact, the National Safety Council (NSC) has found that “[e]ighty percent of American drivers believe hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone.” However, during April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month the National Safety Council is undertaking a public education campaign to share research proving the brain is still distracted from driving while engaged in a hands-free conversation.Distracted Driving Accident

This is definitely something that everyone needs to be aware of. In 2013, over 3,100 individuals were killed in distracted driving crashes. In addition to fatalities, numerous critical and serious injuries associated with distracted driving occur each year. Common injuries from such crashes include broken bones, spinal injuries, and back and neck pain as a result of whiplash.

Commit to Safe Driving

The NSC suggests that all drivers commit to stepping beyond making the commitment to drive hands-free, and instead commit to driving cell phone free. The NSC #callskill campaign covers three important points for drivers to keep in mind when committing to refrain from cell phone and device use while driving:

  1. Eyes on the road

  2. Hands on the wheel

  3. Mind on driving

Unfortunately, because distracted driving is the cause of so many fatalities and serious injuries it is possible that you or someone you know may have been involved in a distracted driving accident, or might be at some point in the future. Atlanta personal injury attorneys Brownstein & Nguyen are experienced in representing automobile and truck accident cases in the Atlanta area. With over 20 years of personal injury representation, the reviews and testimonials of Brownstein & Nguyen speak for themselves. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Brownstein & Nguyen at (770) 458-9060 for a free review of your case.

4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

Experiencing a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence is never easy. Once you’ve started the process of picking up the pieces, it is important to choose the right personal injury attorney. Here are four key factors to consider when choosing a personal injury lawyer:

Atlanta personal Injury1. Experience

It is important to consider how long an attorney has been practicing personal injury law. It is also important to find out what type of personal injury case is involved, because personal injury is a broad category. The attorneys of Brownstein & Nguyen have over 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases including wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home and elder abuse, premises liability, and automobile and truck wrecks.

2. Reviews and Recommendations

In addition to considering the number of years in practice and the types of personal injury cases a lawyer has handled, it is important to consider their reputation. How is the attorney viewed among peers and by current and former clients? Founding partner Jay Brownstein has been honored as a top rated personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia by American Legal Media (2012) and by Georgia Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite publication (2009). He has a peer rating of AV®Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest rating for ethics and professional excellence awarded by fellow attorneys and judges. Most importantly, former clients have honored him with their heart-felt endorsements.

3. Track Record

When seeking a personal injury lawyer, it is also important to consider the lawyer’s case history. Through their years of experience, dedication and excellence in legal representation, the personal injury attorneys at Brownstein & Nguyen have built a record of success.

4. Compassion

Suffering and overcoming a personal injury is never easy or simple. Regardless of the situation, it is important to know that someone is truly there for you. Not just fighting for your legal rights, but understanding and being compassionate about what you and your family are going through. The accident and injury lawyers at Brownstein & Nguyen recognize that clients are not just clients, but individuals with stories, families and hardships. This empathy comes through in reading our client testimonials. Our attorneys always fight for what is best for their clients.

Contact the Atlanta personal injury law offices of Brownstein & Nguyen at 770-458-9060 for more information about pursuing legal support for your personal injury case.

What you Need to Know About Non Emergency Medical Transport

Guest Post by Aaron Marks of the Marks Law Group

Non Emergency Medical Transport Accident Atlanta

Medical TransportThe elderly, sick and disabled often require specialized transportation, particularly non emergency medical transportation (NEMT), for attending doctors’ appointments and for receiving non-emergency medical treatment. NEMT is provided in vehicles that are equipped for accommodating people in wheelchairs, on stretchers, and who need to travel with other medical equipment. Just as with other motor vehicles, accidents can occur in NEMT, and cause injuries to passengers who are already injured, sick or frail.

Duty of Care for Atlanta NEMT Providers

Across the country millions of NEMT trips are made each year. In Georgia alone in 2012, the state Department of Community Health oversaw 3.6 million NEMT trips and, as the state has an ageing population and outside of the Atlanta metropolitan area, little public transit, the need for NEMT will continue to grow. Georgia state law currently has few safety regulations in place for NEMT. Unfortunately, some companies hire drivers who are neither adequately trained nor supervised. Because of this, vulnerable patients may be injured as a result of negligence by those people whom we trust to help them receive their much needed medical attention. Atlanta NEMT services have a duty to transport their passengers safely to their destination. Furthermore, drivers and staff of the service provider must ensure that all passengers, including the patient and their family members, are safely buckled and in a regular seat before moving the vehicle.

What are the Different Types of NEMT Accidents?

When transporting the elderly and the sick, accidents may occur as a result of:

  • A collision with another vehicle or another object
  • Carelessness in moving or transferring the passenger, or in failing to secure the patient sufficiently
  • Loading and transferring the patient
  • Improperly used chair lifts
  • Leaving the patient in extreme or unsafe conditions
  • Loading or unloading of a wheelchair or stretcher

What Forms of Negligence Cause an Accident?

Staff errors and carelessness in assisting passengers can increase the risk of passenger injury. Even a seemingly small slip or fall can aggravate the injury or poor health condition of the passenger. Other factors such as driver inexperience and inadequate training in the use and operation of specialized machines for transporting the patient, and certain behaviors such as driving recklessly and failing to restrain passengers sufficiently before moving the vehicle can also lead to an accident.

NEMT Accidents are NOT Merely Auto Accidents

NEMT collision cases are complex and require a thorough understanding of the current laws. They cannot be litigated as just auto accidents, nor are they seen as a form of medical malpractice. They are, in fact, a combination of unusual elements, including the following, which set these types of cases apart:

  • Broker relationship (NEMT brokers contract with state and local governments)
  • State regulations and policies, and
  • The particular special needs of those being transported

With the rapid expansion of the NEMT industry and a challenging regulatory environment, we expect to see preventable catastrophic injuries, including wrongful deaths, involving non-emergency transport vehicles in Georgia.

For more information about NEMT issues, contact the Marks Law Group. If you are in need of trusted personal injury, medical malpractice and elder abuse lawyers, contact Atlanta attorneys Brownstein & Nguyen.

Distracted Driving is Deadly

The numbers are sobering – 3,328 fatalities were link to distracted driving in 2012. That same year, over 421,000 people were injured in automobile accidents involving a distracted driver. While these numbers reflect nationwide data, take a look at Georgia. In 2006, over 130,000 injuries occurred on Georgia roadways. With these numbers, it is likely that you or someone you know has dealt with a traumatic event related to a car accident. It is important to be aware of your legal rights should you or someone you know be involved in an automotive accident. Brownstein & Nguyen’s Atlanta personal injury attorneys are experienced in handling cases involving automobile accidents and distracted driving.

Distracted Driving

Even if you are a careful driver, an automobile wreck can occur due to the negligent driving of another. Negligence can be caused by distractions that occur visually, mentally, or physically. A visual distraction can take a driver’s eyes off of the road. A mental distraction can cause a driver’s mind to be elsewhere. Physical distractions involve anything that could cause a driver to take their hands off of the steering wheel.

Some common driving distractions include:

  • Adjusting music
  • Watching a video
  • Using GPS or reading maps
  • Self grooming (including applying make-up and fixing hair)
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Texting
  • Phone use

Sometimes, distractions are avoidable but accidents still happen. No matter how cautious a driver you are, driving on the roadways involves a certain risk that other drivers are not equally as cautious. Unfortunately, distracted drivers are incapable of giving their full attention to all the necessary details of driving including traffic, road conditions, traffic signals, obstructions and unexpected events. In some cases, such as texting, all three distractions occur simultaneously as texting involves a simultaneous cognitive, manual and visual process.

Atlanta personal injury lawyers Brownstein & Nguyen offer expert legal help in situations involving vehicle or truck wrecks and distracted driving. Contact us for more information regarding the next steps to take should you be involved in a distracted driving accident.