Articles Posted in Marietta & Cobb County

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a popular choice for enjoying leisure activities, recreational activities, and vacations. ATVs are also used for professional purposes by farmers and farm laborers to maintain farms. 

Victims of an ATV accident may have a wide range of challenges, such as severe injuries, determining liability, and navigating complex insurance claims. An experienced lawyer may be able to assist in evaluating the causes of the accident, gathering necessary evidence, and guiding through the insurance and legal process.

If you have experienced an ATV crash, car crash, or another type of collision, it may be useful to understand your legal options. It may provide peace of mind to ask questions and explore legal options with an experienced Marietta personal injury lawyer

How well do you know Georgia traffic laws? According to a report in The Georgia Sun, many people are unaware of some of the most important state laws. Expanding your knowledge can help you stay safe and keep your community safe.

If you have been involved in a traffic accident, you may find it informative to speak with an experienced Marietta personal injury lawyer.  

Stay Stopped at a Marietta Crosswalk

Dealing with insurance companies following a car accident often involves a good deal of back-and-forth negotiations. If you are the victim seeking compensation, you have the right to make a conditional offer, that is, to release some or all potential claims against the insured person in exchange for a timely payout. Typically this payout will be for the maximum benefits provided under the insurance policy.

Grange Mutual Casualty Company v. Woodard

What if you condition a settlement offer on receiving payment the insurer sends but is not received by the specified deadline? A federal appeals court in Atlanta recently addressed this question in a case arising from a tragic 2014 car accident here in Marietta.

Many elderly Georgia residents are victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. In order to avoid potential personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits from injured patients, many nursing homes insist their residents sign “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR) agreements that require any negligence or malpractice claims be submitted to binding arbitration. While arbitration can be beneficial in certain cases, it still requires a potentially vulnerable nursing home resident to forfeit access to the courts and other important legal rights.

Kindred Nursing Centers LP v. Chrzanowski

Georgia courts tend to enforce ADR agreements even where there is evidence that a nursing home resident was not necessarily in their right mind when they purportedly agreed to arbitration. A recent decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals illustrates the uphill climb victims of nursing home abuse—or in the case, their families—face in seeking their day in court.

A federal judge in Atlanta recently granted summary judgment to the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. The case is notable because the judge never reached the merits of the plaintiff’s arguments, but rather dismissed the case because she lacked standing to bring the suit in the first place. The standing question is what made this case unusual.

Job v. AirTran Airways, Inc.

The alleged injury took place in 2009. The plaintiff was traveling from West Palm Beach to Atlanta on a plane operated by AirTran Airways. A malfunction in the plane’s air conditioning system caused some fluid to leak, allegedly splashing the plaintiff in the eyes. As a result, she claims she suffered chronic inflammation of her eyelid.

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows individuals to sue the United States Government for certain torts committed by its employees. In this sense, the FTCA waives the traditional “sovereign immunity” that the government enjoys from civil lawsuits. Although federal courts have jurisdiction over complaints brought under the FTCA, cases are judged under the tort law of the state where the alleged injury occurred.

Recently, a federal judge in Atlanta addressed a potential conflict in the standards for bringing tort cases in Georgia state courts versus federal courts under the FTCA. The judge rejected the federal government’s efforts to dismiss the case. The underlying lawsuit remains pending before the court.

Stidham v. United States

Does a company admit negligence when its spokesman apologizes for an accident on its property? The Georgia Court of Appeals recently considered such a case and held that such an apology is not, without additional evidence, enough to sustain a lawsuit against the company. The appeals court affirmed a trial judge’s decision to award summary judgment to the company.

Law v. BioLab, Inc.

In the early morning hours of May 25, 2004, a fire erupted at the BioLab chemical plant in Rockdale County. BioLab manufactures water treatment products for swimming pools and spas. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the fire occurred in a building that housed “approximately 12.5 million pounds of pool chemicals and oxidizers.” Rockdale County officials ordered a mandatory evacuation for a 1.5-mile radius surrounding the BioLab site.

An “uninsured motorist” policy provides coverage to the insured when he or she is the victim of an accident caused by another party that has insufficient resources to pay the full amount of any legal damages. In this context, “uninsured” also means under-insured. Thus, for example, if Driver A is in an accident caused by Driver B, and Driver B’s insurance only covers half of the damages awarded in a subsequent lawsuit, Driver A’s uninsured motorist carrier would pay the remaining half.

But what if Driver B is an agent of the State of Georgia? Normally, state agencies (and their employees) enjoy “sovereign immunity” from most civil lawsuits. The idea is that a state cannot be sued in its own courts without its consent, which is normally granted through legislation. However, when a local government in Georgia purchases liability insurance, sovereign immunity is waived up to the limit of said policy. What does this mean for accident victims with uninsured motorist coverage? A federal judge in Savannah recently attempted to answer this very question.

FCCI Insurance Company v. McLendon Enterprises, Inc.

If you’re in a motor-vehicle accident, it can matter a great deal who owns the offending vehicle, at least when it comes to assessing legal liability. The State of Georgia and its subsidiaries, including cities and counties, are immune from most lawsuits arising from the negligent operation of vehicles by their employees. This “sovereign immunity” can extend even to egregious cases of failure to maintain vehicles in proper working order, as a recent decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals illustrates.

City of Milledgeville v. Primus

Lucious Primus is an officer with the Georgia Department of Corrections. In 2006, Primus had to transport an inmate from a work detail in Milledgeville back to a nearby prison. The City of Milledgeville owned and maintained the bus Primus was driving. On this particular day, the brakes on the bus failed, causing Primus to drive off the road and hit a utility pole, injuring his neck and shoulders.

If you’ve been in an automobile accident due to another driver’s negligence, and that driver’s insurance company asks you to sign a limited liability release in exchange for receiving compensation, it’s important you understand exactly what future legal rights you may be signing away. Even if you think a release may not cover some future claims, a judge may not see it that way. A recent case in a Georgia federal court helps illustrate this point.

Watford v. Cowart

This case began with a car accident in Cook County in late 2012. The plaintiff accused the defendant of negligence and sought punitive damages and attorney’s fees in addition to compensatory damages. The defendant admitted negligence (and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol) and her insurance company paid the plaintiff $300,000, the coverage limit on the policy. The plaintiff also has separate uninsured motorist coverage. In exchange for the $300,000, the plaintiff signed a limited liability release applicable to all claims for damages and injuries arising from the automobile accident, except to the extent provided by the plaintiff’s uninsured motorist policy.

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