Our driving habits have changed as we continue to become more reliant on technology. The rise of smartphones and other devices has led to a significant increase in distracted driving. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving accounted for 2,841 deaths in 2018 alone. Nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured daily in accidents reported as distraction-related accidents in America. The Atlanta area auto accident attorneys of Akin & Tate have handled numerous cases involving distracted drivers, helping injured victims of auto accidents get the justice they deserve.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving refers to any activity that takes your attention away from the task of driving. Three types of driver distractions are visual, manual, and cognitive. These distractions can include texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, and even talking to passengers in your car. Distracted driving is hazardous because it not only takes your attention away from the road but also takes your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road, impairing your reaction time.

Reaction Time is Critical.

Reaction time is a critical aspect of safe driving. Making split-second decisions can mean the difference between avoiding an accident or being a part of one. Reacting swiftly and appropriately to dangerous actions or events on the road is essential to driving safety.

Why is Distracted Driving Dangerous?

When you are distracted while driving, your reaction time is slower. You may not see a pedestrian stepping into the crosswalk or a car stopping suddenly in front of you. A lack of focus can lead to accidents that result in severe injury or death. In addition, distracted driving is often accompanied by speeding or other reckless driving behaviors, which further increase the risk of accidents.

How to Prevent Distracted Driving – Stay Focused!

The good news is there are steps you can take to prevent distracted driving. First, make a conscious effort to stay focused. Put away any devices or other distractions that may take your attention away before you start driving. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over to a safe location first. You should also avoid eating and drinking while driving and keep your eyes on the road at all times.

Additionally, take advantage of new technology that helps you stay focused. Many new cars come equipped with features like voice-activated controls and Blue Tooth connectivity, allowing you to make phone calls or send texts without taking your hands off the steering wheel. Even better, commit to waiting to make that phone call or sending a text until you can pull over and stop before making a call or sending a text.

No fee unless you win!

If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver, call the experienced car accident lawyers at Akin and Tate. We have helped accident victims throughout Georgia get the justice they deserve. We work on a contingency fee basis – you owe nothing unless we obtain a favorable settlement or judgment on your behalf.

Questions? We have answers.

How much is your auto accident case worth? Call Akin & Tate for a free, no-obligation review of your case. Call us today to schedule a free consultation: 770-382-0780.

About Akin & Tate

Founded in 1836, Akin and Tate is Georgia’s oldest continuing-operating law firm. We have helped numerous accident victims and their families throughout Georgia secure maximum compensation for their personal injury cases.

The moments after a car accident can be very disorienting and filled with a rush of emotions. Be prepared. Following these suggested steps could be critical to protecting yourself.

  1. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries
    If you or someone else is injured, call 911, or ask a bystander at the scene to do so.
  2. Get to safety
    If you are not injured, and your car is safe to drive, move it to the side of the road. Otherwise, turn on hazard lights, turn off the engine, and make sure you and your passengers move to a safe area away from the accident. If possible, do not leave the general site of the accident unless your physical safety is at risk.
  3. Call the police (911)
    Whether the car accident is a minor “fender-bender” or a serious collision, call the police. If they can respond they will fill out an accident report and document the facts of the accident at the scene. Try not to leave the location of the accident. If you leave before the police permit you to do so, you can be charged with hit-and-run or leaving the scene of an accident. If the police are not able to respond to the scene, go to the nearest police station and fill out an accident report after completing the following steps.
  4. Exchange important information
    Calmly exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. The most important information includes:
    • Full name and contact information
    • Insurance company and policy numbers
    • Driver’s license and license plate number
    • Vehicle type, model, VIN number, and color
    • Accident location information
    • Do not discuss who is at fault with the other driver when going over accident details.
  5. Document the accident – get the essential details
    Protect yourself by taking the following steps:
    • Identify the police officers, including names and badge numbers.
    • Get a copy of the accident report.
    • Take pictures or video of both cars from different angles, and skid marks and
    • nearby security cameras. Your cell phone can be very helpful during this step!
    • Record the names of all parties involved – use your cell phone recorder if necessary to make a recording – speak slowly and clearly.
    • Talk to the witnesses – take down their names and contact information.
  1. Notify your insurance company
    Notify them that you have been in an accident
  2. Contact Akin & Tate – Atlanta’s auto accident attorneys
    Protect yourself. We can help you navigate your post-accident legal process, including:
    • Communicating with the insurance companies.
    • Collecting your medical records.
    • If necessary, file a lawsuit on your behalf.
    • Negotiating with insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve.
    • Trying your case if the insurance company refuses to provide you with a fair settlement.

No fee unless you win.

The experienced car accident lawyers of Akin & Tate work on a contingency fee basis. You owe nothing unless we obtain a favorable settlement or judgment on your behalf.

Auto accident questions?

Our auto accident legal team has answers.

More than two years after his initial arrest, William Marcus “Marc” Wilson’s fate hangs in the balance. Loss of life is always tragic. But another tragedy was narrowly avoided in Wilson’s acquittal of all the charges initially levied against him.

I was grateful for a former state president of the bar Lester Tate who decided to represent me and appeal to the court of appeals, which unanimously overturned Judge Muldrew’s actions and said that the only person that was wrong in that courtroom that day was Judge Muldrew.

Francys Johhnson
Former State President
Georgia NAACP
Marc Wilson’s Lead Attorney Speaks About Fighting Injustice In South Georgia
Source: GoFundMe / Francys Johnson

Charged in the killing of a white teen who was a passenger in a truck that reportedly targeted and harassed Wilson on a dark rural road, the young man maintained his need to defend himself and his girlfriend at the time. While Wilson was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a last-minute charge submitted by the prosecution, his legal team remains committed to getting their client the most just outcome possible.

Read Full Article on Newsone

During a car crash, a buckled seat belt keeps you safe and secure inside your vehicle. Seat belts are the best defense against drivers that may be distracted or impaired. In 2017, seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved 14,955 lives according to The US Department of Transportation. Seat belt use by adult front-seat passengers in 2021 was 90.4%. That’s up from 70.7% in 2000.

Safety belt use – talk it up, Atlanta!

It’s hard to believe that almost 10% of adults in our community today still don’t use their seat belts. However, many of us who remember when seat belts were the exception and not the rule, understand that it’s a work in progress. Communicating, advocating, and reminding our friends and family members in our local communities around the Metro Atlanta area, and throughout Georgia, is essential to closing the knowledge gap and saving more lives.

Why doesn’t everyone use a seat belt?

One of the most popular reasons a usage gap still exists today – many people believe it’s just a short-distance ride and elect not to put on their seat belts. Car accident injuries do not discriminate by location, too often ending in fatal crash accidents! The other factor is age. More than half of teens (13-19 years) who died in crashes in 2018 were not buckled up at the time of the crash. Don’t be fooled or over-confident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 52% of accidents occur within five miles of a driver’s home and 69% within ten miles.

One of the most important steps we can take as drivers and passengers are to buckle up! The consequences of not buckling up are clear: 51% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2020 were unrestrained.

Akin & Tate is on a mission to keep Georgia safe!

We encourage all drivers and passengers to always buckle up. Statistics show that Georgia residents using seat belts lags behind the national average slightly. Working together in our community, communicating this message on a regular basis, we can help make people safer on our roads.

A few quick seat belt reminders from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

1. Buckle up – it is the most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in an auto accident.

2. Air bags do not replace seat belts – they complement one another.

3. Study the CDC guidelines for buckling up safely, including NEVER putting your shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm.

4. Seat belt fit matters.

Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney – Call Akin & Tate

If you have suffered a personal injury in Georgia caused by another person’s negligence – contact the auto accident attorneys at Akin & Tate immediately. The moments after a car accident are critical, starting with the police report and gathering information. Proving the most common car accident injury claims can be complicated. The experienced trial lawyers at Akin & Tate will help you gather evidence for your case and work with you step-by-step to increase your likelihood of settling or winning your case.

The car accident lawyers at Akin & Tate specialize in representing auto accident victims. We’ll fight to prove your claim, and represent you in negotiations with the insurance company representatives and lawyers so you can maximize the amount you are entitled to for your personal injuries.






Popular wisdom says that a dog’s bark is often worse than its bite. Except when it’s not. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and more than 800,000 of those people are forced to seek medical attention. But just because something is common, doesn’t mean it’s justified. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite, here’s what you need to know before contacting Akin & Tate, the best personal injury attorney near you, for help today.  

Why do dogs bite?

Dogs can bite for many reasons, but most often, they are reactionary. If a dog is in a stressful situation, it could bite to defend itself or its territory. It is also possible that the dog might be feeling unwell. They may be sick due to injury or illness and might want to be left alone. While these may seem like obvious aggressive warning signs, dogs also might nip and bite during play. Even though the animal may be having fun, playtime can be dangerous for people. It’s usually a good idea to avoid playing too rough with a dog, especially someone else’s, as these types of activities can make your four-legged playmate overly excited and may lead to a nip or a bite.

Who is most at risk? 

Unfortunately, children are the most common victims of dog bites and can be severely injured because of one. Keep a close eye on kids while they play with or around dogs as it’s not uncommon for them to accidentally be rough with animals without understanding the implications of their actions. 

Because many animals react to sudden stimulation and loud noise, teach your children to avoid eye contact and fast movement around an especially aggressive or defensive dog. While the dog may just move on if you’re motionless, if you’re knocked down by the animal, experts recommend curling into a ball and using your hands to protect your ears and neck to avoid maximum injury. 

What should I do if I’m bitten?

Getting medical treatment as soon as possible after your dog bite is crucial to making sure you properly heal. Otherwise, your injuries could worsen, creating additional problems. 

Documentation is also crucially important to protect yourself after the fact. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, make sure you take pictures of your wounds and the scene to prove the extent of the injuries. Calling the police can also be important, as it creates a record of the incident. The police will generate a report, and while they may not assign blame to the dog’s owner, they will take statements from you and any witnesses, which can help during an eventual dog bite lawsuit or claim.

Taking these steps will help a Georgia injury lawyer get you the dog bite compensation you deserve to make a full recovery. When you’re injured by a dog, you want to get better as soon as possible, and you shouldn’t have to pay for any of your recovery expenses, including lost wages, emotional distress, and medical bills, not to mention pain and suffering.

Take steps to protect yourself. Don’t let the insurance companies intimidate you into a lower settlement. Get an experienced Atlanta dog bite attorney near you to defend your innocence. Contact Akin & Tate for an immediate consultation. 


The state judicial ethics agency on Monday dismissed charges against a Cherokee County judge over comments he posted on social media after the arrest of the suspect charged with killing eight people at three metro Atlanta spas.

View Full AJC Article Here

Personal injuries can happen any time of year; however, certain accidents become significantly more common in the summer months. As the weather heats up and people ditch their (probably light) coats for their (definitely heavy) boats, it’s important to remember how to keep you and your family safe. With that in mind, we’ve assembled some summer injuries for you to look out for this season.

Fire-related Injuries 

Summer and fire are as natural a pair as…well…summer and water, but we’ll get to that soon enough. In the meantime, barbeque artists, beware: Grill-related injuries occur most often during May, June, July, and August, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These can be a fault of the person behind the grill or even the grill itself if it’s a defective product. The same can be said of fireworks, which injure about 15,000 people a year, according to the Consumer Public Safety Commission. Generally most of the fireworks used are legal, but especially if they aren’t, whomever is responsible for your injuries could be held legally and financially liable.

Water-Related Injuries

No one loves their pools like we do in the South. But in addition to all the fun and relaxation that water provides comes the risk of accidental drowning, slip and fall injuries, boating accidents, and more. According to the U.S. Consumer Safety Administration, around 400 deaths per year are due to drowning in a pool or spa. Because half of all drowning deaths in young children happen in private residences, homeowners must be extremely careful to secure their pool area, preventing these senseless deaths as well as any trespassers who may abuse your property or become injured on it. 

Properly securing and maintaining a property can also do wonders to avert any nasty poolside falls. While such accidents may seem blameless, many injuries like these can be a result of legally provable negligence. 

Boats are another area that can prove problematic this time of year. Many boating accidents occur because the driver may be distracted, underage, or intoxicated, resulting in crashes into other boats or even other people. Like with pools, proper maintenance, safety equipment, and adherence to the rules of the water will help avoid any such accidents. 

Car Accidents

Everyone knows that a car can easily turn into an oven if it’s parked in the sun long enough, but that’s not the only reason to be cautious in your vehicle this time of year. Road work generally increases in the summer months, underneath tires that are deteriorating faster in the heat. Both can lead to unexpected accidents. Perhaps most inconveniently, traffic is also usually heavier. With the general inclination to head outside in the warmer weather, not to mention college and high school kids alike out of school and on the roads, there’s a higher risk of collisions, regardless of your age. Drunk driving accidents can also increase during the summer months, especially around the fourth of July. Take it from us: don’t let your guard down – Buckle up, be safe, and drive defensively.

But what if it happens to me?

The only thing you want more than a good tan is a safe summer. But unfortunately, accidents happen. And while most of them are innocent, they’re not all so black and white. If you get hurt because of someone else’s negligence or are accused and need protection, contact the personal injury attorneys at Akin & Tate Law for a free case evaluation today. 

Summertime accident? Call  Atlanta’s personal injury attorneys – Akin & Tate: 770-382-0780





We’ve all experienced that feeling deep in our stomachs while holding our breath. You can feel
your hands tighten on your steering wheel as a semi-truck hurtles past you in the opposite lane
just feet away. Tractor-trailers can make even the most experienced drivers nervous on our
Georgia highways. Weighing in at as much as 80,000 pounds, including cab, trailer, and load,
and moving at high rates of speed, these giants on the road pose a safety risk if not operated
properly. According to Trucksmart, a fully loaded semi-truck driven at 65 miles per will take
approximately 525 feet to reach a complete stop, almost the length of two entire football fields.

According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, over 107,000 large trucks were involved in
crashes resulting in an injury. The reasons for these truck accidents vary and may include some
of the following:

Protect Yourself – 5 Defensive Driving Tips Around Large Trucks

Have you ever heard the term “The best offense is a good defense”? Keep these five things in
mind when driving around big rigs.

  1. Be aware of a truck’s blind spots.
    This is an area beside the vehicle a driver can’t see while looking in a mirror. If you
    cannot see the driver, there’s a good chance the driver can’t see you.
  2. Allow enough space between your vehicle and the truck.
    Build space between your car and the other vehicle. A truck that has to navigate
    challenging weather conditions like high winds or that has to brake suddenly are two
    examples that may cause a truck to tip over and trap you and your vehicle.
  3. Be smart – pass trucks safely.
    Maintain safe speeds and use proper turn signals to allow the truck driver to
    adjust to your vehicle. Use extreme caution when passing a large truck on hills,
    particularly when they are speeding up or slowing down to navigate the terrain.
  4. Go the appropriate speed – not the posted speed.
    Always adjust your speed to the specific road conditions. Weather and road
    conditions are significant factors in determining how fast you should be driving.
    Your priority should always be safety.
  5. Don’t be distracted when driving.
    Texting and driving is just one form of distracted driving. Changing radio stations, talking
    on your cell phone, self-grooming, and plain old daydreaming are just a few more
    examples that many drivers abuse – focus on the road!

Have you been injured due to the negligence of a semi-truck driver or trucking company?
Don’t wait – call Akin & Tate.

Contact us for a free consultation if you were injured in an accident involving a large truck. The
moments after a truck accident are critical and can be overwhelming. Gathering the facts and
conducting a thorough investigation to determine if there is negligence by the driver or the
trucking company is an important step to helping you build your claim so we can fight for the
compensation you deserve. Time is of the essence since their insurance provider very likely has
a legal team working on the details of your accident. Don’t wait and be pressured to settle for
less than you deserve.

Contact us immediately.

Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Akin & Tate specializes in the laws and the
regulations that govern the trucking industry. We have the knowledge and expertise to navigate
important negotiations with insurance companies, so you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
We can advise you on the best path to recover maximum compensation for injuries and losses
related to a truck accident. As Georgia’s oldest continuing law practice, we understand the
greater Atlanta area, and we take pride in protecting the rights of accident victims and fighting
for the justice they deserve.

Lester Tate, former President of the State Bar of Georgia and former Chair of the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission, discusses his career as a trial lawyer, the current state of judicial ethics, and the often political nature of successful advocacy. Since 1996, Lester has practiced as a shareholder in Akin & Tate, Georgia’s oldest continuing law firm, and offers his advice to new and future attorneys, including the one job he believes best prepared him for a career in law.

Learn more about the Advocate’s Key Podcast here.

The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) has appointed S. Lester Tate III as treasurer for its national association. 

Photo Credit: American Board of Trial Advocates

ABOTA is an invitation-only organization with over 7,300 member lawyers and judges, spread among 96 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“It’s a great honor to be chosen by my fellow members to be a national officer for this outstanding organization,” Tate commented.

“I look forward to advancing the Association’s mission to promote and improve the American civil justice system and to preserve the Seventh Amendment right to civil jury trials for future generations,” Tate added.

Most recently, Tate served as president of the Southeast Region of ABOTA in 2021.