If you've suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one, an Atlanta injury lawyer can help answer your questions on how to win your personal injury claim in a Georgia personal injury court!
At S. Burke Law we are here to help give answers to these important questions. Our Frequently Asked Question database covers the common questions you may have regarding what to do after a serious accident, how to file a claim in personal injury court, and tips on how to win your personal injury claim. When researching information on the legal process following a serious accident you want legitimate advice from a source you can trust.
When you’ve suffered serious losses and damages from an accident due to the negligence of another you aren’t alone. An Atlanta injury lawyer from our office is always available to answer additional questions not addressed on our page. Contact us for a FREE consultation and get the answers you need to seek compensation for your losses!
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Can I Reopen My Motorcycle Accident Case?
There are many reasons why a person might want to reopen a motorcycle accident case. In some situations, Georgia law will let you reopen your motorcycle accident cases. In some circumstances, you will not have a remedy. The ultimate answer as to whether you can reopen your motorcycle accident case will depend on the facts.
What Happens if You Settled Your Case and Want to Reopen It
When you accept a settlement check, the insurance company makes you sign papers, including a waiver. The waiver will say that you can never, at any point in the future, bring another claim or file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries from the motorcycle accident.
Settling the case too early is a common pitfall for people who try to handle recovering compensation without the help of a lawyer. If you have not completed your medical treatment, you do not know how many additional procedures, like surgeries, you will need to fix the damage. Also, you do not know if you will have permanent loss of function from your injuries. For these reasons, you should avoid the temptation of a quick, early settlement.
The Statute of Limitations
Every state has laws called a statute of limitations which controls how much time you have to file a lawsuit. Let's say that you started a motorcycle accident case but then took a break from the claims process or litigation. In some situations, you might be able to reopen the matter, as long as the deadline has not yet passed.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
In some circumstances, people can get a little extra time to file a lawsuit. For example, if you lacked the legal capacity to pursue your injury claim, Georgia law might give you more time and let you reopen your motorcycle accident case. Some of the reasons that you might get a longer deadline can include:
- You are in a comatose state from your injuries.
- You had cognitive impairment.
- You had a mental health issue sufficient enough to affect your legal capacity.
- You were a minor at the time of the wreck.
Be aware that there can be more than one statute of limitations that can apply to a motorcycle accident case. The time limit can vary, depending on whether you are suing under a legal theory of negligence, intentional tort, breach of contract, or defective product liability.
How A Lawyer Can Help You Evaluate the Issue
We realize that this information can be confusing, but do not worry. At S. Burke Law, we can talk with you and let you know if you meet the requirements to reopen your motorcycle accident case. You do not have to handle the complex matter like this on your own. We can evaluate your situation, investigate the crash, collect the evidence to build your case, and work hard to obtain the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
We handle motorcycle accident cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you will not have to pay upfront legal fees. Our legal fees will come out of the settlement or award at the end of the case.
We can deal directly with the insurance company so that you do not have to. Our motorcycle accident clients can focus on getting well because we are handling their legal matters for them.
You can call us today at 404-842-7838 to see how a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you. There is no obligation.
Can I Sue a Pharmacy for Slip and Fall?
Any building that is open to customers has a duty of care to provide a reasonably safe environment for those customers. This is especially true of pharmacies and other health care facilities, where people go to improve their health and wellness. When unsafe conditions cause a slip and fall accident in a pharmacy, the responsible party may be liable for any resulting injuries.
Pharmacies always have a duty of care to maintain safe conditions. To do this, they must regularly clean floors, keep aisles free from clutter, routinely check for spilled liquids and other slippery substances, and place warning signs around spills and other hazardous conditions until they are cleaned up.
Common Causes of Pharmacy Slip and Fall Accidents
Falls are the leading cause of accidental death in this country. More than 800,000 people seek hospital treatment for their fall injuries every year. Although falls can happen to anyone, anywhere, negligence is commonly a contributing factor.
Negligence can lead to serious injuries or death when a customer slips and falls in a pharmacy. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include:
- Tripping over clutter in aisles: When boxes, medicines, and durable medical equipment fall off shelves and are not promptly picked up, they can pose a tripping hazard.
- Slipping on a spilled substance: When a bottle of liquid falls and breaks or a customer spills her soda on the floor, the spill should be promptly cleaned up, and a warning sign should be placed beside the spill until it is removed.
- Tripping over uneven or crumpled floor mats, or otherwise uneven or cracked flooring: If misplaced floor mats or unsafe flooring cause you harm, you may be able to obtain compensation for any resulting damages.
- Falling due to poor lighting in store aisles: Considering that elderly customers often frequent pharmacies and that many of these customers may have poor eyesight, good lighting is essential.
- Slipping on water that was tracked into the store’s entrance due to snowy, icy, or rainy conditions outside: When the weather is bad, the entrance should be kept safe with mats for extra traction, and regular cleaning of excess wetness.
At S. Burke Law, we handle all types of personal injuries, including those caused by pharmacy slip and fall accidents. Our legal team will review your case to determine the best legal strategy, and we will ensure that you understand your rights and options before moving forward in any direction.
We have obtained compensation for our clients in all types of slip and fall cases. Contact us today at 404-842-7838 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Pharmacy Slip and Fall Accident
It is the responsibility of pharmacy management and employees, and sometimes of the property owner, to ensure that the environment is free from hazardous conditions. If any of the responsible parties fail to uphold this duty of care, they may be liable for damages suffered.
If you were injured in a pharmacy slip and fall accident, it is important to take action as soon as possible.
- If there are witnesses around at the time of the accident, ask for their contact information.
- If you can do so, take pictures of the scene of the accident. Pay attention to any visible injuries and the cause of the accident (i.e., a slippery substance on the floor).
- Request immediate medical attention. Even if injuries are not immediately apparent, having a record of medical treatment could be immensely helpful if you decide to file a lawsuit. Further, many injuries do not present symptoms for days or weeks. This is especially true of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) which are frequently caused by falls. Falls are the leading cause of TBIs.
- Call a personal injury lawyer. The last thing you should be worried about right now is gathering evidence and dealing with a lawsuit. Let the legal team at S. Burke Law handle this for you. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Contact Us Today
As a child, attorney Sheryl L. Burke was a victim of the criminal justice system. At an early age, she decided to use this traumatic experience to help others. Since 1995, S. Burke Law has been committed to justice and the fair treatment of all. If you have been the victim of a pharmacy slip and fall accident, our knowledgeable legal team will help you seek the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Contact S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
What Damages Can I Seek After a Slip and Fall?
Every slip and fall differs, so we cannot determine what damages you can seek after a slip and fall without speaking with you first. The damages you can go after will depend on the circumstances of your situation and multiple factors.
Damages After a Slip and Fall Accident
One of the reasons that there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to compensation for slip and fall accidents is that every person's injuries are unique. One person's injuries will be more severe than someone else’s. Some people heal quicker than others. You might have permanent problems as a result of the fall injury. The damages you can recover will depend on the facts of your case.
Here are some of the kinds of damages we have won for our slip and fall clients:
- Lost wages, to replace what you missed because of the fall and recuperation time. This category can include salary, wages, self-employment, and other forms of income.
- Diminished earning potential, if your injuries leave you unable to make as much money as you could before the fall.
- Disability, if you can no longer work to support yourself because of your injuries.
- Medical expenses, including things like the ambulance, emergency room, surgery, x-rays, diagnostic procedures, hospital, doctors, prescription drugs, and physical therapy.
- Rehabilitation facility, if you needed extended treatment in a specialized care facility because of a catastrophic injury.
- Long-term care, if you need daily assistance with medical treatments and personal care because of devastating injuries from the slip and fall.
- Pain and suffering
- Intangible damages, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and a spousal claim for loss of consortium.
- Wrongful death, if a slip and fall accident took the life of your close loved one.
Elements of Liability for Slip and Fall Injury Claims
Property owners do not have to prevent every possible slip and fall injury on their premises. Georgia law will impose liability on the owner if we can prove all three of these factors:
- A dangerous condition existed on the property. By way of example, a fast food restaurant required customers to get their beverages from self-serve soft drink machines. The store did not provide mats on the floor to absorb spills. As a result, the floor around the soda machines was slippery most of the time.
- The owner knew or should have known the hazard existed. The employees observed the puddles of liquid on the floor and reported the situation to the manager.
- The owner did not correct the dangerous condition or post adequate warnings to prevent injuries. The manager could have placed nonskid absorbent mats on the floor to soak up the spills and prevent people from falling. Also, the manager could have posted warning signs and cones to block off the area. The manager did not take any of these steps.
If someone slips and falls because of the dangerous condition on the property, the owner will be liable for the damages.
How an Injury Lawyer Can Help with Your Slip and Fall Injury Case
Georgia law does not require you to work with a slip and fall lawyer on your damages claim, but it can be a good idea to do so. The landowner’s insurance company likely has teams of lawyers, adjusters, investigators, and other professionals who work full-time with one goal in mind, to pay as little as possible for injury claims. It can be intimidating to try to battle all of these people on your own. Here are some of the pitfalls people can encounter when they try to handle their own slip and fall injury cases:
- High-pressure tactics. The insurance company should not contact you directly when you have a lawyer on the case. If an adjuster or anyone else at the insurance company calls you, you can tell them to talk to your lawyer. We have your back. We will deal with the insurance company so that you do not have to.
- Recorded statements. The insurance adjuster will likely ask you for a recorded statement. These statements do not benefit you or increase the amount of compensation you will get. In fact, recorded statements often decrease the amount of your money damages. The adjuster can twist your words and take them out of context to pay you less money than you deserve. Again, tell the adjuster to talk to your lawyer.
- Deadlines to file a lawsuit. Like every state, Georgia limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit to get compensation for your injuries. If you overstep the deadline, you will not be able to go after compensation for your losses.
- Settling too early. You should not settle your slip and fall injury case until you have completed all of your medical treatment and healed completely. If you settle before that point, you might later discover that you have permanent loss of function or need additional procedures, like surgery. Once you accept that settlement check, you can never go back to the insurance company for more money.
You can call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation. When you let a premises liability lawyer take care of your injury claim, you can devote your energy to your health and well-being.
What Damages Can I Seek in My Premises Liability Case?
You might have a premises liability claim if you received an injury on someone else's property because of the negligence of the owner. Landowners are not responsible every time someone gets hurt on their premises, but you can pursue compensation for your losses if the carelessness of the owner resulted in your injuries.
Damages in a Premises Liability Injury Claim
We cannot say how much you can receive in money damages for your premises liability injury claim because every case is different. The amount of your compensation will depend on the facts of your case. Some of the types of damages we have won for our premises liability clients include:
- Medical expenses for the reasonable treatment you needed because of your injuries. This category can include things like the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, doctors, prescription drugs, x-rays, diagnostic procedures, and physical therapy.
- Lost wages, for the paychecks you missed because of the injury and recuperation time. These losses can include wages, salary, self-employment, and other forms of income.
- Diminished earning capacity, if you cannot make as much money as you could before because of the injury.
- Disability, if your injuries leave you unable to work to support yourself.
- Rehabilitation facility, if you sustained catastrophic injuries like spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury that required extended treatment in a specialized care facility.
- Long-term care costs can be astronomical. You can include these expenses in your premises liability claim if devastating injuries cause you to need daily assistance with medical treatments and personal care.
- Pain and suffering, for the physical discomfort and emotional distress you endured.
- Intangible losses, like disfigurement, depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of enjoyment of life, and a spousal claim for loss of consortium.
- Wrongful death, if a premises liability accident took the life of your close loved one.
What We Have to Prove to Establish Liability
We have to prove all three of these factors to make the property owner responsible for your damages:
- There was a dangerous condition on the property.
- The owner knew or should have known about the hazard.
- The owner did not correct the dangerous condition or post adequate warnings to prevent injuries.
Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Premises Liability Injury Case
Georgia law imposes a different duty of care on landowners depending on whether the person on the premises was designated as an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.
- An invitee is someone who is on the premises for any lawful purpose at the invitation or inducement of the landowner. The invitation can be express or implied. Invitees are usually on the property of others for business reasons. For example, when you enter a store to shop, you are an invitee. A store owner invites the general public to come onto the property to buy things. The owner has to use ordinary care to keep the premises and approaches safe.
- You are a licensee if you are neither a customer nor a trespasser. Licensees come onto the premises solely for their own benefit or as social guests. For example, if you go into a gas station only to use the restroom but do not buy anything, you are a licensee. Georgia law puts a much lower standard of care on property owners for licensees as compared to invitees. The landowner is only liable for willful injury to a licensee.
- A landowner's only obligation to a trespasser is not to intentionally harm the person. There is no duty of care to protect a trespasser from hazardous conditions on the premises. The owner is not allowed to “booby-trap” the property or hurt the trespasser on purpose.
Reasons to Work with a Lawyer on Your Premises Liability Claim
If you got hurt on someone else's property, a lawyer can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that can devalue your injury claim. Here are some of the common problems people can encounter when they try to handle these cases on their own without a lawyer:
- Missing the deadline. Georgia law limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit to go after compensation for your injuries. If you miss the deadline, the law will bar you from ever going after money damages for your losses.
- Recorded statements. The property owner’s insurance company will assign an adjuster to the case. The adjuster will likely call you early on and ask you to give a recorded statement. The insurance company can then twist your words and take them out of context in an attempt to pay you less money than you deserve.
- Settling too early. If the insurance company wants to get your claim off of its books, it might offer you a quick, lowball settlement check. If you have not completed your treatment and healed completely, you should not settle your case. You will not get more money out of the insurance company after the settlement, even if you have permanent loss of function.
- Medical bills. The insurance company does not always explain that you will have to pay all of your medical bills, current and future, out of that one check. If you need more treatment, you might end up with a stack of medical bills that you cannot afford to pay.
- High-pressure tactics. When you have a lawyer, the insurance company is not supposed to contact you directly. If the insurer does so, you should tell them to talk to your lawyer. We will deal with the insurance company so that you do not have to.
When the premises liability team at S. Burke Law handles your injury claim, you can focus your time and attention on getting well. Call us today at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation. There is no obligation.
Are Car Accident Cases Hard to Win?
To win a car accident injury case, you have to identify the party whose carelessness caused the wreck and then collect the evidence to prove your allegations of fault and damages.
How to Determine Who Was at Fault
Before we can hold someone accountable for your losses, we have to show that he was at fault in causing the accident and your injuries. Depending on the facts of the case, we can use evidence like these items to show what caused the crash:
- Police report
- Security camera footage
- Accident reconstruction experts
What Happens if More Than One Person Caused the Crash
In many situations, two or more people made mistakes and their actions combined to cause the accident. In these cases, you might be able to sue both negligent parties.
For example, one driver could not stop in time at a red light at an intersection because she was speeding. She hit a car that was traveling through the intersection on a green light, but that driver was not keeping a careful lookout because he was looking at the dashboard while changing the radio station. He could have avoided the wreck if he had been giving his full attention to the road.
Let’s say that you were riding your bicycle in the bike lane at the time of the collision. The impact of the cars sent one of them careening into you, causing you to sustain significant injuries. You can sue both drivers for your losses.
What We Have to Prove to Hold Someone Liable for Your Damages
Although the facts in each case are unique, we have to prove the same elements in every car accident negligence case. We must show all of these factors to hold a person responsible for your losses:
- Duty of care. We have to establish that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care under the law. It is a simple matter to do this in a car accident case, because everyone who operates a motor vehicle on the roads must do so carefully and obey the law.
- Breach of the duty of care. It is negligence when someone fails to live up to the requirements of a legal duty of care. Let's say that a driver was arguing with someone in the back seat of his vehicle. When he turned his head to look at the person with whom he was talking, he did not notice that the traffic signal had become red. Failure to keep a careful lookout and pay attention to the road is negligence.
- Causation. The negligent act must be the thing that caused the accident and injuries. Because the at-fault driver was not looking where he was driving, he ran the red light and crashed into the cross traffic. The careless driver will be liable for the damages he caused by his negligence.
Damages in Car Accident Cases
The damages you can collect for getting hurt in a car accident will depend on the unique facts of your case. Your losses might be different from someone sitting next to you in the same car. Here are some examples of the damages people can recover for a successful car accident injury claim:
- Medical expenses. Georgia law allows you to seek compensation for the reasonable cost of medical care you needed because of your injuries. This category can include such things as the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, x-rays and other imaging services, prescription drugs, physical therapy, diagnostic procedures, and doctors.
- Rehabilitation center, if you suffered a devastating trauma that caused you to need intensive treatment at a specialized facility.
- Long-term care, if you need daily assistance with medical treatments and personal care because of your injuries.
- Lost wages, if you missed out on income like wages, salary, self-employment, or other income because of the crash and your recuperation time.
- Decreased earning capacity, if you cannot make as much money as before the wreck, because of your injuries.
- Disability, if you are unable to support yourself through gainful employment because of the trauma you suffered.
- Pain and suffering, for the physical discomfort and psychological distress you endured.
- Other intangible losses, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, depression or anxiety, and a spousal claim of loss of consortium.
Getting Legal Help for Your Car Accident Case
The car accident team at S. Burke Law can help if someone else's negligence caused you to get hurt in a car accident. We can investigate the crash, gather the evidence, and deal with the insurance company or file a lawsuit.
Call us today at 404-842-7838 to get a free consultation. There is no obligation. We can provide free consultations because we handle car accident cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that our legal fees come out of the settlement or verdict. You do not have to pay upfront legal fees.
What is Considered Battery and Can I Sue if I was a Victim?
Battery is both a crime and a tort (a civil wrong), so you can call the police and file a lawsuit in the civil courts to go after compensation for your losses. People do not tend to use the word “tort” in everyday language, but it just means that someone harmed you through a careless or intentional act and you can sue them in civil court.
You are probably more familiar with the term “assault and battery.” Used in this context, assault is the attempt to harm someone or placing a person in fear of immediate harm, and battery is the actual physical contact.
Types of Criminal Battery in Georgia
Georgia recognizes three types of battery as crimes:
Simple battery is when someone, through an intentional act:
- Causes physical harm to someone else, or
- Makes physical contact of an insulting or provocative nature with someone else
A person commits the crime of battery when he causes substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to someone else. For purposes of this criminal act, someone other than the victim must be able to perceive the injury. Some examples of substantial or visible harm include:
- Swollen lips or other facial areas
- Swollen body parts (not on the face)
- Blackened eyes
The crime of aggravated battery is when someone intentionally and with malice hurts another person to the extent that the victim loses a body part, is unable to use a body part, or suffers substantial disfigurement of a body part or of the body.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit for a Violent Injury or Attempt to Harm
Georgia law allows people to bring civil lawsuits for damages when someone has intentionally harmed them. The statute, GA Code § 51-1-14 (2017), says:
“Any violent injury or illegal attempt to commit a physical injury upon a
person is a tort for which damages can be recovered.”
If someone committed a battery on you, the law allows you to sue for compensation for your losses.
Damages for the Tort of Battery
The compensation you can go after will depend on the facts of your case, and every situation is unique. A claim for civil battery is a personal injury case, and provides the same damages as for any other personal injury case, which can include:
- Medical expenses, the reasonable cost of treatment you needed because of your injuries. This category can include things like the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, doctors, x-rays, lab work, other diagnostic procedures, physical therapy, and prescription drugs.
- Lost wages, if you did not get paid your wages, salary, self-employment, or other forms of income because of the injury and recuperation time.
- Rehabilitation center, if you sustained catastrophic injuries, like traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage, that required extensive treatment in a specialized facility.
- Long-term care, if your injuries leave you in need of daily assistance with medical treatments and personal care.
- Diminished earning capacity, if you cannot make as much money after the battery because of the injuries you sustained.
- Disability, if the harm you suffered renders you unable to work to support yourself.
- Pain and suffering, for the physical discomfort and emotional distress of what you experienced.
- Other intangible losses, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, and a spousal claim of loss of consortium.
How to Get Legal Help for a Civil Lawsuit for Battery
Because battery is both a crime and a tort, it is easy to get confused about your remedies. Do not worry. Just give S. Burke Law a call at 404-842-7838. You can talk to us for free and with no obligation.
We handle personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that we only get paid our legal fees when you get compensation. We do not charge upfront legal fees.
Can I Sue a Nightclub for Slip and Fall?
Yes, you can sue a nightclub for injuries from a slip and fall if the club's negligence caused your accident. The nightclub must have been careless in some way that contributed to your injury for the club to be responsible for your losses. While nightclubs do not have to pay compensation to everyone who falls on their premises, they are liable when their mistakes hurt people.
Elements of Negligence for a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents fall under the umbrella of premises liability. For a landowner to be responsible to compensate an injured person, the plaintiff must show all three of these factors:
- There was a dangerous condition on the property.
- The property owner knew or should have known about the hazard.
- The owner did not repair or post adequate warnings about the dangerous condition.
Let's say that a newly opened nightclub operated with no consistent policy about which employees were to clean up spilled drinks on the floor. A patron spilled a drink on the floor. The puddle made the floor slippery or slick, which was a dangerous condition.
A server reported to the spill to her manager. As a result, the club knew or should have known about the hazard.
The manager did not direct anyone to clean up the puddle, block off the area with cones, or post "wet floor" warning signs. This fact satisfies the third element of negligence for a slip and fall accident, which is the failure to repair or post sufficient warnings about the dangerous condition.
The nightclub is negligent because the situation satisfies all three factors of slip and fall liability. If anyone gets hurt by slipping and falling in the puddle, the club will be responsible for the damages.
Foreseeability of Injuries
It is foreseeable that people will be at risk of slipping and falling at a nightclub for these reasons:
- The lighting inside a nightclub is usually dim, making it difficult to spot hazards on the floor.
- Nightclub customers often wear shoes designed for style and appearance rather than traction; in other words, dress shoes and high heels as opposed to hiking boots.
- Dancing, drinking beverages, and consuming alcohol are part of the nightclub scene.
As a result of these factors, nightclub owners should take reasonable measures to protect patrons from injury from slip and fall accidents.
The Nightclub Owner’s Duty under Georgia Law
Georgia law requires that property owners and their tenants exercise ordinary care to keep the premises and approaches (such as sidewalks and parking lots) safe for people who come onto the property legally, as invitees. An invitee is someone the owner expressly or impliedly invites onto the property, such as a customer or patron of the nightclub.
If a person went into the nightclub strictly for his own purposes, and not to transact business with the club, he is a licensee. Georgia law does not require the nightclub to keep the premises safe for invitees, but the club is not allowed to cause willful or wanton injury. An example of an invitee is someone who only comes into the nightclub to use the restroom, but does not buy any food or beverages or do anything else that benefits the owner.
If someone trespasses onto the property by entering without the invitation or consent of the nightclub, the club has no responsibility toward that person. The only restriction is that the nightclub is not allowed to cause intentional harm to the trespasser. An example of a trespasser is someone who sneaks in through the fire door of the club to avoid paying the cover charge.
Damages for a Slip and Fall Accident at a Nightclub
We cannot say how much compensation you will get for your slip and fall injury claim at a nightclub, because every case is different. Here are some of the common damages in these cases:
- Medical expenses, for the reasonable treatment you needed because of your injuries.
- Lost wages, if you missed getting wages, salary, self-employment, or other income because of the injury and recuperation time.
- Diminished earning capacity, if your injuries cause you to be unable to make as much money as before the fall.
- Disability, if you cannot support yourself through gainful employment because of your injuries.
- Pain and suffering, for the physical discomfort and emotional distress you experienced.
- Other noneconomic damages, like loss of enjoyment of life, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and a spouse's claim for loss of consortium.
Getting Help from a Lawyer for Your Slip and Fall in a Nightclub
You do not have to figure out all of the legal issues of negligence and liability to determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation for your injuries. You can call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 and get a free consultation. We do not charge upfront legal fees to handle these cases, and there is no obligation.
What Are the Causes of Hit and Run Accidents?
There are many reasons why a person would leave the scene of an accident illegally.
Causes of Hit and Run Accidents
Here are some of the top causes of hit and run accidents:
The hit-and-run driver wanted to avoid a charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Many hit-and-run drivers will flee the scene of a crash without helping the people they injured because they do not want to get a DUI conviction. People with previous convictions for driving while impaired are more likely to flee.
Sometimes an impaired driver will wait until he thinks the alcohol or drugs have passed through his system and then turn himself in. This result tends to happen when the hit-and-run driver faces a strong possibility of getting caught eventually due to witnesses, security footage, or physical evidence left at the scene.
Some people leave the scene of an accident illegally because they do not carry the state-mandated automobile insurance. They do not want to face criminal charges and possible fines for violating this law.
Driver with Outstanding Warrants or Previous Tickets
A driver might flee the scene of the crash if she has outstanding warrants because law enforcement would likely arrest her when they ran her driver's license information. A person with previous moving violations might hit and run trying to avoid additional points against her license that could cause her insurance rates to skyrocket and make her lose her driver's license.
Driver with Other Legal Problems
A driver fearing adverse consequences from interaction with law enforcement might leave the scene of the collision. For example, a driver who is not a United States citizen, who is on parole, or who received a suspended imposition of sentence in a previous traffic case might prefer to take his chances as a hit and run driver.
Sometimes a driver panics and makes a bad decision in the stress of the moment. The driver might have a clean driving record but run away from the crash out of fear. Behavioral experts say that humans have a "fight or flight reflex." When some people are in the middle of a crisis, their instinct is to run. These drivers often turn themselves in after information about the crash hits the news.
Three Things to Do After a Hit and Run Crash
The steps you take after a collision can affect the amount of compensation you eventually receive for your injuries. Immediately after a hit-and-run accident, you should:
- Call the police. Law enforcement has the best chance of catching a fleeing driver if you contact them directly. With every hour that passes, the trail grows colder and the likelihood of apprehending the offender decreases. Also, Georgia law requires people to report most motor vehicle crashes.
- Get medical attention. Even if you feel fine right after the crash, you should get a professional medical evaluation from your doctor, an urgent care center, or an emergency room. Some injuries have delayed symptoms. Also, if you do not get medical care right away, the insurance company might claim that you got hurt from some other event and not the hit-and-run accident.
- Talk with a lawyer. Hit and run accident injury claims are complicated because the at-fault party might never get caught. A personal injury lawyer can help identify other types of insurance that might help to pay some of your losses. Your lawyer can work directly with the insurance company so that you do not have to deal with the adjuster.
Insurance That Can Cover Your Losses in a Hit and Run Accident
If the authorities eventually discover the identity of the at-fault driver and she has liability insurance, we can pursue your injury claim against the driver’s automobile policy. If the hit and run driver remains uncaptured or is uninsured, Georgia law treats both situations as an uninsured motorist and allows you to make a claim against your uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is optional but can be useful in these situations. Be aware that many automobile policies provide a lower coverage limit on uninsured motorist coverage than on standard liability. In other words, a policy might pay up to $100,000 per person as standard liability coverage, but only $50,000 per person for uninsured motorist coverage.
It can be worth your while to find out whether your health insurance covers injuries from a hit and run accident. Many health insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for motor vehicle accidents, but because some will help with these medical bills, it is a good idea to check.
Getting Legal Help After a Hit and Run Accident
Hit and run car accidents are complicated and difficult. These cases involve complex insurance issues. Regardless of whether law enforcement eventually catches the hit and run driver or not, it is a good idea to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side to handle your compensation claim.
Call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation. There is no obligation. Our legal fees come out of the settlement or judgment at the end.
What Are the Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Many different things can cause pedestrian accidents. While walkers might automatically blame vehicle drivers and people operating cars might think that pedestrians are careless, in reality, the situation is far more complicated than that.
Because a vehicle can cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries when it strikes a person who is on foot, it is essential for both pedestrians and drivers to be aware of what can cause these devastating accidents. Knowing the factors that can lead to a crash can help you avoid this type of accident.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Here are some of the most frequent causes of accidents involving pedestrians:
Impaired drivers and pedestrians
One of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents is that either the driver, the walker, or both are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. A drunk or drugged driver is less likely to notice a walker.
If the impaired driver does see the pedestrian, she might not be able to react in time to avoid hitting the person on foot. People need to be aware that prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can have as much of an effect on a person's ability to operate a vehicle safely as alcohol or street drugs.
Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can also put the pedestrian at risk of injury. He is more likely to stumble and fall into the street than a sober walker. Because alcohol or drugs can impair his ability to make sound judgments, he might step right out into the street into the path of oncoming traffic. His reaction times can be slower, and he might be less attentive to his surroundings than a person who is not under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Both drivers and walkers are guilty of not paying attention to what they are doing. Even the mere act of being lost in thought about a difficult day at work or an argument you had with your spouse can cause you not to notice, for example, a pedestrian in the crosswalk.
Today's high-tech vehicles have many gadgets that can distract the driver. Onboard navigation systems, apps that can locate nearby shopping or restaurants or direct you around a traffic jam and changing the radio station can pull the driver's attention away from the street. A tragic accident can happen within a few seconds.
Younger drivers tend to have different distractions, like talking with their passengers, using the cell phone to talk or text, and using apps on mobile devices.
Also, pedestrians are prone to having their attention diverted while walking. At any busy intersection crowded with pedestrians, you can find people who are staring at their cell phones instead of looking at the path ahead of them. You do not have to drive very far in any city to see a pedestrian step right out into the street without looking. Distracted walking is an issue.
Many pedestrians get hit by cars on dark or dimly lit streets. The highest risks for these situations are when walkers are out at night time, at dawn or dusk, during bad weather, and on poorly lit or unlit sidewalks and roads.
Also, poor lighting can lead to a pedestrian stumbling on an obstruction or uneven pavement that he could not see. If he falls into the street, a car could hit him.
Pedestrians can be hard for drivers to see, but sometimes cars are not easy to spot either. If the car is driving without its lights on in low light or bad weather situations, a pedestrian might step out in front of the vehicle because she did not see the car coming. Hybrid and electric vehicles increase the risk of pedestrian accidents because walkers cannot always hear these cars.
Many pedestrians do what it takes to stay safe when crossing streets but some towns are not pedestrian-friendly. These city planners do not put much effort into designing streets, sidewalks, and pedestrian walkways that are safe. In these environments, walkers are at higher risk of getting hit by a car.
What Happens if More Than One Person is Negligent in a Pedestrian Accident
It used to be the case that if an injured person was even one percent at fault for an accident, he would get absolutely no compensation for his damages. Georgia is one of the states that follows a different rule.
Under George's law of comparative negligence, a pedestrian whose carelessness contributed to the accident can still recover some damages for his injuries. The rule will reduce the amount of his recovery in proportion to his percentage of the total fault in the accident. In other words, if a walker was distracted by having a conversation with another pedestrian when a car hit him, he can still recover some damages from the car's driver if the driver was also negligent.
Let's say that the walker had $100,000 in damages from his injuries. If the judge decided that the pedestrian was 10 percent fault, the role of comparative negligence would reduce his recovery by 10 percent, and he could get $90,000 in compensation.
You can call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 and get a free consultation. There is no obligation.
Can I Sue for a Motorcycle Accident?
We can sue for your damages as long as we can show that someone else was negligent and caused your injuries. You do not have to sort through all of the legal requirements. Just call us for a free consultation, and we can take a look at your accident to let you know if you can sue for your losses.
Requirements for Filing a Lawsuit for a Motorcycle Accident
We have to prove that someone has liability for the accident to sue them for your damages. We cannot file a lawsuit against every driver in the wreck. We have to evaluate four factors to determine who we should sue.
Elements of Liability
If someone else's carelessness caused him to suffer harm, you, we might be able to sue for a motorcycle accident under the legal theory of negligence. We have to prove all four of these factors to hold someone responsible to you financially:
Duty of Care
The at-fault driver must have owed you a duty of care. In motor vehicle accidents, this duty is automatic because operating a car, truck, or other vehicle imposes a duty to act with caution and to obey the law.
Breach of the Duty of Care
It is negligence when a driver fails to operate the car in accordance with the duty of care. Examples of violating the duty of care when driving a car include such things as speeding, driving while under the influence of narcotics, falling asleep at the wheel, and texting while driving.
The negligence must be the thing that caused the accident. For example, if the driver was texting while driving and this behavior caused him to run into the back of your car, the negligent failure to keep a proper lookout while operating a motor vehicle was the cause of the crash.
If the police discover, when they come to the scene of the accident, that one of the other drivers happened to be over the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC), you can only sue the drunk driver if that person's negligence also contributed to causing the accident. The reason for this rule is that the person’s negligence must have caused or contributed to the wreck.
The Negligence Caused Measurable Damages.
We have to show that you sustained quantifiable damages from the negligence in order to file a lawsuit for compensation. If you suffered physical injuries from the crash, you have measurable damages.
Damages from a Motorcycle Accident
Once we establish who we can sue for a motorcycle accident, we need to consider the types of damages for which you can collect compensation. Every situation is unique, so there is not an automatic amount of damages for any particular motorcycle accident. Your injuries might be different from those of a passenger on your bike.
These are some of the more common types of damages for a motorcycle accident lawsuit:
- Medical expenses for the reasonable treatment you needed because of your injuries. This category can include things like the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, doctors, lab work, x-rays, prescription drugs, and physical therapy.
- Rehabilitation center expenses, if you had to get treatment at a rehabilitation center, for example, if you suffered a catastrophic head injury or spinal cord injury.
- Long-term care facility, if your severe injuries caused you to need daily assistance with medical treatment and personal care.
- Lost income to make up for wages, salary, self-employment, and other income you missed because of the accident and your recuperation time.
- Loss of earning capacity, if your injuries leave you unable to make as much money as you could before the crash.
- Disability, if you cannot support yourself through gainful employment because of your injuries.
- Pain and suffering, for the physical pain and emotional distress you experienced because of the wreck.
- Other intangible losses, like disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and your spouse's claim for loss of consortium.
Potential Defendants in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
In many situations, more than one person was negligent leading up to an accident. We can explore whether we can file the lawsuit against multiple defendants.
People often assume that you can only sue the driver of one of the vehicles in a collision. In reality, other parties might also be liable to you for some or all of your damages. These parties can include:
- The owner of the car that hit you, if the driver was using someone else's car.
- A passenger inside one of the vehicles, if that person's negligence led to the crash.
- The government agency responsible for constructing and maintaining the roads, if unsafe road design or conditions contributed to the collision.
- The manufacturer of tires, brakes, or other vehicle parts of your motorcycle or another vehicle in the wreck, if defective equipment contributed to the accident.
- Any other individual, company, or entity's whose carelessness was at least partly to blame for the crash.
You do not have to sort out all of these legal issues. Give S. Burke Law a call today at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation. There is no obligation.