Articles Tagged with Georgia personal injury attorney

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Negligent security cases are often the most difficult types of personal injury cases for victims to prove. Negligent security falls under the broader category of “premises liability,” i.e. a property owner’s legal duty to keep that property in reasonably safe condition for customers and other invitees. While premises liability does not ordinarily extend to criminal acts committed by third parties, a property owner may be responsible for failing to provide adequate security, including proper lighting, locks, or guards.

Fair v. CV Underground, LLC

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently addressed a negligent security claim against a well-known Atlanta shopping center. The plaintiffs were the parents of a man shot and killed on the defendant’s premises. Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals agreed the parents failed to present a case that could survive summary judgment.

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If you are injured due to a hospital’s negligence, you would assume that you have the right to sue for damages. If the hospital is a charitable institution, however, it may not be that simple. For nearly a century, Georgia courts have recognized a special “charitable immunity” that protects such hospitals from personal injury lawsuits.

Lewis v. Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation, Inc.

The charitable immunity doctrine has a long and sordid history. It first crept up in a case decided in the 1830s by the House of Lords, which used to be the United Kingdom’s highest court. Although the Lords later repudiated their decision, American courts in the late 19th century picked up on the idea of charitable immunity and ran with it.

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If you have ever read a news article about a large personal injury award, you may wonder how the jury (or judge) came up with that figure. While calculating damages is not an exact science, it is also not mere guesswork. The plaintiff in a personal injury case must present evidence, such as bills or expert testimony, to establish the size and scope of his or her losses attributable to the defendant’s conduct.

What are Economic Damages?

Economic damages refer to quantifiable financial losses suffered by the plaintiff. For example, if you are in a car accident, your economic damages may include the following:

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If a reckless driver injures someone in a car accident, the driver may not be the only person liable for damages. If the driver was operating a vehicle owned by his or her employer, the employer may be vicariously liable for the victim’s injuries. If the employer had the vehicle insured, the insurance company may bear the ultimate financial responsibility.

Great American Alliance Insurance Co. v. Anderson

Of course, insurance companies often will not pay out without a fight. With respect to automobile insurance, policies often exclude coverage for employer-owned vehicles that are not used with the employer’s permission. What precisely constitutes “permission” can be difficult to determine.

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Dog bites and animal attacks are scary experiences that can result in significant physical and mental injuries. Owners who fail to take responsibility for dangerous animals may be held liable in court. But victims may have difficulty recovering damages if they voluntarily assumed risk or had “equal knowledge” of the danger posed by a particular animal.

Gilreath v. Smith

Recently the Georgia Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit brought by a woman injured in a rooster attack. The court upheld a lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the rooster’s owner. The critical issue was the level of prior warning the victim received.

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Dealing with personal and health care issues following a car accident is stressful enough. If your financial situation has also deteriorated to the point that you need to file for bankruptcy, you should understand the impact that might have on any personal injury claim arising from your accident. If you are not careful, the bankruptcy may let a negligent defendant escape responsibility for your injuries.

Make Sure to List All Potential Lawsuits

When you file for bankruptcy you must provide the court with a list of all of your known assets. This includes any pending or potential personal injury claims. A claim is considered part of your bankruptcy estate if the cause of action arose prior to filing. In other words, if you are injured in a car accident on January 10 and file for bankruptcy on January 20, any personal injury claim you might have must be listed on your Chapter 7 petition, even if you do not file a personal injury claim until January 30.

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One of the critical rules in personal injury law is the doctrine of respondeat superior. Basically, this means an employer is vicariously liable for a tort committed by an employee in the “course or scope” of his or her employment. For example, if a delivery van runs a red light and hits another car, the owner of the delivery van is liable under respondeat superior for the driver’s negligence.

Acadia Insurance Co. v. United States of America

There are many cases in which the application of this rule is not obvious. Many personal injury lawsuits against employers turn on the question of whether the employee was really acting within the scope of employment when the plaintiff suffered his or her injury. A recent decision by the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta considered the unusual question of whether a “smoke break” occurs in the course of employment.

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Every year in the United States, natural gas explosions cause an average of 17 deaths, 68 injuries, and $133 million in property damage, according to a 2014 study published by the American Chemical Society. What is a gas company’s liability for personal injury claims brought by explosion victims? The Georgia Court of Appeals recently addressed this question.

Westbrook v. Atlanta Gas Light Company

This case arose from a 2010 natural gas explosion in Atlanta. The plaintiffs were a man and woman injured in the explosion. The male plaintiff had rented a detached apartment on a residential property. Prior to the plaintiff moving in, the owner contacted the local gas company to turn the gas on in the apartment.

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As a general rule, a driver is considered negligent, and therefore responsible for a car accident, if he or she disregards traffic signs. For example, if a driver speeds through a red light and hits another vehicle, he or she is liable for any damages sustained by the other driver. In some car accident cases, however, it may not be immediately apparent whether a driver was reckless in failing to obey traffic signs.

Richards v. Robinson

Here is an illustration from a recent Georgia Court of Appeals decision. This case involves a two-car accident that occurred in Gwinnett County. The defendant was driving a school bus in the far-right eastbound lane of Five Forks Trickhum Road, which intersects the Ronald Reagan Parkway. The plaintiff was driving his vehicle on the eastbound land of Five Forks Trickhum Road.

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Most of us participate in some form of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. But because social media makes it so easy to keep in touch with friends, family members, and colleagues, we often forget that most of what we post to these sites become public record. There is no true privacy online, and even if you later delete an embarrassing (or incriminating) message, there is no guarantee it has not been stored somewhere else, waiting to be used against you at a later time.

One place an unfortunate social media post may work against you is a personal injury lawsuit. In a typical personal injury claim, the plaintiff seeks compensation for economic damages–i.e., medical costs and lost wages incurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence and noneconomic damages for things like “pain and suffering.” The defendant, in turn, will look for any evidence to minimize a potential damage award, and if possible to prove the plaintiff suffered no genuine injury to begin with.

Social media can offer a bonanza of exculpatory evidence to an aggressive defendant. For example, let’s say a plaintiff is in a car accident and sues the defendant for negligence. The plaintiff alleges that she suffered permanent injuries in the accident and is therefore unable to perform the same recreational activities that she could before the accident. If the defense subsequently finds a picture on the plaintiff’s Facebook page of her kayaking two weeks after the accident, that would obviously not be helpful to the plaintiff’s case.