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!

After an accident resulting in serious or fatal injuries you and your family may have questions about what to do next. Do I have to take my claim to personal injury court? Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company? How much money is in a fair settlement? Who can give qualified advice on how to win your personal injury claim? For answers to these questions and more, an Atlanta injury lawyer can help.

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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  • How Can I Prove I Was Injured in a Hit and Run?

    If the driver who hit you fled the scene of the accident illegally, very little changes about how to prove that you were injured in the crash. You will not know who to take action against until the police catch the person, but the process of linking your injuries to the wreck is the same as in any other auto accident.

    Police Report

    The police report will be useful evidence that the hit and run collision caused your injuries. You should always call the police immediately in the event of a hit and run. Minutes matter if the authorities are going to catch the person responsible.

    Also, you will need a police report if you want to make a claim against your uninsured motorist insurance coverage (if you carry this optional add-on to your automobile insurance policy) for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other losses.

    Another reason to call the police at the scene is to prevent false charges against you. If you do not call the police when someone hits you and flees, that person might falsely accuse you of being at fault and say that you were the one who left the scene illegally. When people panic and flee the scene, only to realize later the trouble they will be in if they get caught, sometimes they concoct a story to cover their tracks.

    Medical Records

    After the police let you leave the scene of the crash, you should go straight to the emergency room or urgent care center, depending on your circumstances. You should not wait until your symptoms worsen before seeking medical attention.

    Your medical records will be important proof that the accident caused the trauma you suffered. If you delay in getting a professional examination, the insurance company might question whether your injuries were the result of some other event and not the hit and run.

    Some injuries do not show signs immediately but could develop into life-threatening complications without prompt treatment. For example, internal bleeding from damaged organs sometimes does not become apparent until you are in critical condition. Other injuries that can have delayed symptoms include broken bones, head injuries, and neck and back injuries.

    Eyewitnesses

    Try to get the names and contact information of people who might have seen the hit and run accident or what happened just before or after the crash. They could provide valuable information as to what caused the wreck.

    With the popularity of high-quality home security video doorbells and motion sensor cameras, there might be relevant video footage from someone in the neighborhood where the accident happened. The police frequently use video evidence like this to catch criminals. 

    How Uninsured Motorist Works with Hit and Run Accidents

    If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your automobile policy, it can help with some of your losses in the event of a hit and run crash. The insurance companies treat a driver who leaves the scene of an accident illegally the same as one who sticks around but has no insurance.

    From a logical standpoint, this approach is fair. In both situations, you do not have the ability to pursue the other driver’s insurance coverage for damages.

    If the driver who left the scene eventually gets caught, you can pursue compensation from his insurance company. If he has no liability insurance, your uninsured coverage (if you carry it) will still apply. If he has coverage, but it is less than the amount of your losses, you can get additional help from your underinsured motorist coverage, if you have that optional add-on to your automobile policy.

    Damages for a Hit and Run Crash

    The damages you can recover will depend on the facts of your case. You can get the same kinds of damages for being injured in a hit and run as you can for any other kind of collision. These losses can include:

    • Medical bills for the treatment you needed for your injuries. This category can include things like the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, doctors, diagnostic tests, surgery, physical therapy, and prescription drugs.
    • Lost wages. If you could not work for a while because of the accident and the time you needed to recuperate, you can go after damages for the wages, salary, average tips, self-employment, and other income you missed.
    • Disability. After severe injuries from an auto accident, sometimes people cannot work again.
    • Diminished income potential. If you are able to work again after rehabilitating from your injuries, but residual impairment prevents you from making as much money as before, you can seek compensation for that loss.
    • Pain and suffering. This category addresses the physical discomfort and emotional distress you experienced because of being injured in the hit and run accident.
    • Other intangible damages. Depending on the facts of your case, you might have a claim for disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

    At S. Burke Law, we care about you and your family. We pride ourselves on delivering personal, compassionate service to our clients. Call us today at 404-842-7838, for a free consultation.

  • Can I File for Workers’ Compensation if I Do Not Have Insurance?

    If you got hurt on the job or have a work-related illness, you might be eligible to file for workers’ compensation (WC) benefits through your employer’s WC benefits. The employer pays for and provides this coverage, not you.

    How to Find Out if Your Boss Carries Workers’ Compensation Insurance

    If your employer has at least three workers, which can include regular part-time employees, your boss likely has to participate in Georgia’s workers’ compensation program. You can verify coverage using this online look-up tool

    Scroll to the bottom of the web page and select “Click here to conduct an Employer Insurance Coverage Search.” After you verify that you are not a robot and you agree to the site’s terms, you will need to type in the date of the accident or illness and your employer’s name.

    If your boss has coverage, the policy number will appear in the search results. When you click on the policy number, the website will give you the name of your employer’s WC insurance company and the policy number that applied to the date you entered.

    What to Do if Your Employer Should Carry WC Coverage but Does Not

    If you find out through the online look-up tool that your boss does not provide workers’ compensation coverage, you can call the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation at the Coverage Section, using local number (404) 656-3692 or toll-free at (800) 743-5436. The Coverage Section will tell you if your employer is exempt from coverage or is approved for self-insurance.

    If your boss is self-insured, the company will not have a WC policy through an insurance company. Self-insured companies pay WC benefits directly, “out of pocket.”

    If your employer is not self-insured, covered by a WC insurance policy, or exempt from the requirement of providing workers’ compensation coverage, but does not have WC coverage, the Workers’ Compensation Enforcement Division wants you to contact them. You can call (404) 657-7285 or (800)743-5436. Companies can face civil fines of up to $5,000 per violation and criminal penalties of up to a year in prison if they do not provide the required WC coverage.

    First Steps to File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

    You need to contact your employer right away after an accident on the job. You could lose your right to benefits if you do not report the incident within the first 30 days.

    Your boss will give you information about the medical care providers you can use. You cannot go to your regular doctor for treatment of the injury or illness. If you go to an unapproved health care professional or facility, your employer’s WC insurance will not pay those bills, and you could get stuck with having to pay medical bills with your own money.

    WC Health Care Providers

    Your boss has two options for the health care professionals and facilities that you can use for a covered work-related accident. Your employer can post either one of these items:

    • A list of at least six doctors from which you can choose. There must be at least one orthopedic doctor on the list. There can only be one or two industrial clinics listed.
    • Instead of individual doctors, your boss can contract with a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization (WC/MCO) to provide your medical care. Your employer has to tell you the eligible health care providers and give you the 24-hour toll-free telephone number for the WC/MCO. A representative at the MCO will help you schedule an appointment with the medical care provider you choose from their network.

    Medical Care That Workers’ Compensation Can Provide

    Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation program requires employers to cover these authorized expenses for work-related injuries and illnesses:

     

    • Doctor bills
    • Hospital bills
    • Physical therapy
    • Prescription drugs
    • Necessary travel expenses

    The WC program can pay for up to 400 weeks of medical treatment after the accident date. If you sustained a catastrophic injury, you might be eligible for lifetime medical benefits.

    Lost Wages and Worker’s Compensation Benefits

    If your illness or injury keeps you out of work for less than seven days, you will not collect WC weekly cash benefits to help replace your lost income. If you miss more than seven days of work, you can get weekly benefits.

    If you miss more than 21 days in a row, you can get compensation for the first seven days you missed as well as subsequent missed days. Your first check gets mailed about three weeks after your first missed day.

    You can get two-thirds of your average weekly wage while you are unable to work at all. Your weekly benefits cannot exceed $575.00. If you go back to work but have to take a lower-paying job because of your injury, you can get weekly benefits to offset some of the difference between your previous income and your current, reduced income. There are limits on how long you can get benefits, unless your injury was catastrophic.

    Other Workers’ Compensation Benefits

    You can get benefits for permanent impairment from your injuries or if you lose a part of your body, like a hand or leg. Georgia’s WC program pays death benefits to eligible survivors of workers who lose their lives as a result of work-related illness or injuries.

    At S. Burke Law, we care about injured workers and their families. We will give your workers’ compensation case the personalized attention that you deserve. Call us today at 404-842-7838, for a free consultation.

  • Who Can You Sue for a Pedestrian Accident?

    Many things can cause a pedestrian to get hurt. An inattentive driver can strike a person who is walking across the street. A construction company can create a hazardous condition on a sidewalk that hurts a walker. Under Georgia law, you can sue for a pedestrian accident or whoever was negligent in causing the accident that injured you. Sometimes, more than one party caused or contributed to the incident.

    The Right-of-Way and Pedestrians

    It can be hard to provide a simple answer to questions about who has the right-of-way between cars and walkers. Here are some of the general concepts you need to know:

    • Pedestrians do not have an absolute right-of-way.
    • Drivers of motor vehicles do not have an absolute right-of-way.
    • Pedestrians and drivers should obey all applicable laws, like traffic signals and signs.
    • If a walker is crossing the street, a driver must slow down and wait for the person to cross safely, even if the car has a green light.
    • A driver might not be liable if a pedestrian suddenly darted into the street, and the vehicle operator could not stop in time to avoid a collision.
    • Both walkers and drivers must make a reasonable effort to avoid accidents, regardless of who has the legal right to proceed at that moment.

    You do not have to try to figure out who will be liable in your pedestrian accident case. There are so many variables that we cannot possibly list all of them here. We will be happy to evaluate your situation and let you know if you might have a right to compensation for your losses.

    When a Driver Can Be Liable for Your Pedestrian Accident Damages

    If a driver was careless and that negligence caused you to sustain harm, the driver can be responsible to pay your losses. Scenarios in which the driver of a motor vehicle can be liable include a driver who:

    • Struck a pedestrian who was in a crosswalk with the “walk” signal.
    • Ran a red light or stop sign.
    • Was speeding.
    • Was impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
    • Was distracted.
    • Was talking or texting.
    • Drove onto the sidewalk.
    • Struck a pedestrian on the edge of the road where there was no sidewalk.
    • Was sleep-deprived.

    There are many other factors that can cause a pedestrian accident due to the fault or negligence of the driver.

    When a Non-Driver Can Be Liable for Your Pedestrian Accident Losses

    Sometimes people on foot get hurt by something that is not the fault of a car driver. Let’s say that a construction company is working on a site adjacent to a sidewalk and street. The firm should erect protective devices to shield walkers from harm by the construction activities or vehicles on the street.

    The construction company closed the sidewalk and put up signage that directed pedestrians to use the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. If the contractor blocks the view of walkers so that they cannot see oncoming traffic before stepping into the street to get to the sidewalk, the company can be responsible for pedestrians who get injured as a result.

    Also, the contractor can be liable for harm to walkers from falling debris and other injury caused by the construction work. The law will look to the source of the negligence that harmed you to determine who will be responsible for your losses.

    Damages in Pedestrian Accident Claims

    Pedestrians can go after the same types of money damages as people in any other type of personal injury lawsuit. Every case is different, and the compensation you can collect will depend on the facts of your claim. Here are some of the common kinds of personal injury damages:

    • Lost income damages can help to replace time that you missed from work without pay because of the injuries and recuperation time. This category can include things like wages, salary, self-employment, and benefits.
    • Decreased ability to earn income. Pedestrians often sustain severe injuries when motor vehicles hit them. If your injuries leave you incapable of making as much money before or prevent you from working at all to support yourself, this loss can be part of your damages claim.
    • Medical expenses. Georgia law allows you to recover the reasonable cost of treatment you needed for your injuries, beginning with the ambulance and going through until you achieve full recuperation. The emergency room, diagnostic testing, imaging studies like x-rays, surgery, doctors, prescription drugs, and physical therapy are but a few examples of recoverable medical expenses.
    • Long-term care can add up to an astronomical cost if you suffered catastrophic injuries.
    • Non-economic losses. Once we prove your physical injuries, we can go after money damages for things like your pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of consortium.
    • Wrongful death. If your close relative died in a pedestrian accident, we can pursue compensation for additional losses.

    According to Georgia’s statute of limitations, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, so don’t wait to take legal action and receive the compensation you deserve.

    Getting Legal Help After a Pedestrian Accident

    Call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 to call for a free consultation if you want to sue for a pedestrian vs. car accident, or other accident or event in which you were injured. We treat our clients like family. You will feel valued instead of feeling like a number. We want to help you get all the compensation you deserve from your pedestrian accident so that you can rebuild your life.

  • Can I Sue a Swimming Pool for Negligent Security?

    A swimming pool owner can be sued if you sustain an injury at the pool because the pool owner failed to provide adequate security. Georgia’s premises liability laws require property owners to take reasonable measures to keep people safe on their property and to prevent foreseeable assaults and attacks.

    How to Prove Negligent Security at a Swimming Pool

    A negligent security lawyer can help you demonstrate that all four elements of security negligence are present in your case:

    • The swimming pool’s owner had a duty toward you.

    As long as you were legally on the premises, the company that owned the swimming pool had a legal duty to keep the pool and its approaches safe. The owner must use reasonable measures in this attempt. Examples of people who are on the premises legally include:

    • Paying or complimentary guests at the swimming pool
    • Pool employees
    • Vendors
    • Others on the grounds for any legal purpose, like delivering the mail or reading the gas meter

    Property owners do not have a legal obligation to take reasonable measures to protect trespassers, but the owners are not allowed to inflict intentional harm on people who are on their premises without permission.

    As an example, let’s say that there had been several robberies at gunpoint in the pool’s parking lot. The company that owns the pool must provide reasonable security measures to protect visitors from parking lot robberies in the future.

    • The swimming pool owner breached its legal duty.

    Since the swimming pool’s owner had a duty to take reasonable measures to keep you safe, if it failed to do so, it violated its duty of care. Breaching one’s legal duty is negligence. Examples of reasonable measures the pool company could have taken to keep visitors safe in the parking lot include:

    • Hiring security guards to patrol the parking lot area
    • Installing security cameras throughout the parking lot
    • Posting warning signs for people who use the parking lot

    The swimming pool company may be held negligent if it does not take enough reasonable security measures.

    • The swimming pool owner’s negligence caused your injuries.

    If the swimming pool owner’s breach of care resulted in your injuries, you may be able to pursue compensation for your damages.

    • Adequate security would have prevented the crime.

    The law obligates owners to take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable crimes. If the owner of a swimming pool fails to do so, they can be found legally responsible for injuries resulting from their inaction.

    Types of Compensation for Negligent Security Injuries at a Swimming Pool

    The swimming pool’s owner can be liable for the losses you suffered if the pool’s negligent security caused you to get hurt. The types of damages available in an injury claim can include:

    • Lost income, like wages, salary, self-employment, and other income you missed because of the injury.
    • Medical costs. This category can include things like the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, doctors, diagnostic testing, medical procedures, physical therapy, and prescription drugs.
    • Diminished earnings, which provide compensation if you cannot make as much money after the incident as you could beforehand.
    • Rehabilitation and long-term care. You can pursue compensation for the cost of any ongoing daily assistance you require as a result of your injury.
       
    • Intangible losses, which can include things like pain and suffering, disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and loss of consortium.

    Getting Help for a Swimming Pool Injury from Negligent Security

    If you or a loved one were injured after a swimming pool owner failed to take reasonable security measures to protect you from foreseeable harm, you might be eligible to pursue damages for your losses. Call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can rebuild your life.

  • Georgia Child Trespassing Laws & How They Affect Child Injury Cases

    If your minor child got hurt on a dangerous condition on someone else’s land when the child did not have the property owner’s permission to be there, you might be wondering if the owner is liable for your child’s injuries. The outcome will depend on several factors.

    Usually, a landowner has no duty to keep trespassers safe from harm, as long as the owner or possessor does not inflict willful or wanton injury on the trespasser, but the rules change when the trespasser is a child. O.C.G.A. § 51-3-3 protects children when they get hurt on “attractive nuisances” on someone else’s property, even if the child is trespassing.

    Things That Can Be Attractive Nuisances

    Things that attract children to come onto someone’s property to explore or play on the item usually fall within the category of attractive nuisances, if the item in question is inherently dangerous. The law understands that children are, by nature, curious and playful. They do not have the experience and maturity of adults when it comes to making wise decisions and value judgments. Kids do not always realize that they could get hurt severely or killed.

    Swimming pools and trampolines are examples of attractive nuisances. Dangerous animals, wells, and machinery can be attractive nuisances. A natural feature like a lake is usually not an attractive nuisance.

    Elements of an Attractive Nuisance

    We will have to prove all of these factors to hold the landowner responsible for injuries caused by an attractive nuisance:

    • The landowner or possessor is aware that there is an attractive nuisance and that children might trespass to get to the feature.
    • The landowner or possessor knows or should know that the attractive nuisance creates an unreasonable risk of severe harm or death to children who are on the property without permission.
    • Children will not appreciate the danger of the attractive nuisance because of their young age.
    • The landowner could take reasonable steps to protect children or get rid of the attractive nuisance at a cost that is far less than the danger of harm to the kids.
    • Despite the available option, the landowner fails to take the reasonable steps to protect children from harm and a trespassing child gets by the attractive nuisance.

    An example of a reasonable step to protect children from an attractive nuisance could be adequate fencing with locked gates around a swimming pool or trampoline. If there is an abandoned dry well on the property, the owner could fill in the well or prevent access to the well with a secure, locked cover.

    What to Do if Your Child Gets Hurt on Someone Else’s Property When Trespassing

    The steps you should take will depend on the facts of your case. You should always be sensible when deciding what actions to take when your child sustains an injury.

    Here are some suggestions to help you decide what to do to protect your child’s health and right to compensation:

    Get Medical Help

    Your child’s safety comes first. Take her for medical care right away. Children are not always the best at communicating where they hurt or how severe the harm might be. Have the professionals at the emergency room, urgent care center, or doctor’s office, whichever option is appropriate under the circumstances, examine your child for injuries and treat the harm they find.

    The medical records will tie the injury to the accident, so make sure that you and your child are candid with the medical personnel about how the incident happened. Sometimes people want to protect their children from getting into trouble, so they do not reveal all the facts, like where the injury took place. This tactic could backfire when the landowner gets the records and the papers show that you or your child told a different account of what happened.

    Talk to a Lawyer

    Attractive nuisance cases can be challenging. The landowner might deny liability because the child was trespassing, so it might be difficult to sue for injury. It can be hard to prove all five elements of attractive nuisance. The landowner’s property insurance company will probably defend him in the claim. Most people do not want to tackle a multi-billion-dollar insurance company on their own.

    At S. Burke Law, we deal with insurance companies every day. We will work hard to get you and your family all the compensation you deserve. You can focus on helping your child get better while we take care of your legal matters. 

    Getting Legal Help Without Upfront Legal Fees

    We handle personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis. This arrangement makes it possible for you to have a lawyer work on your case without any upfront legal fees. Our fees will come out of the settlement proceeds or award at the end of the matter.

    Call us today at 404-842-7838 to get started. There is no obligation.

  • Can I Sue if I Was Injured in an Elevator?

    Yes, you can sue if you were injured in an elevator.

    People can sustain severe injuries when elevators malfunction. Your life could change in a moment because of someone’s carelessness. Your injuries could cause lasting pain and impairment that prevent you from working to support yourself or enjoying your life.

    How Injuries Happen in Elevators

    An elevator cab is a small, confined space, and there are many ways that you can sustain an injury when using one. Here are a few examples of the ways a person can get hurt in an elevator:

    • A slip and fall when entering or exiting the elevator.
    • Back injuries or paralysis from overcrowded elevator cabs.
    • An intentional act like an assault or horseplay.
    • Burns or electrocution from electrical or circuit failures in the cab.
    • Crushed hands, arms, feet, or legs when the elevator doors close suddenly.
    • Severe or fatal injuries when the cab crashes to the bottom of the elevator shaft from a broken cable or pulley system.
    • Head or neck injuries from the elevator suddenly stopping or moving unexpectedly.
    • Broken bones or head injuries from stumbling when the cab does not align at the same level as the floor of the building.
    • Catastrophic or fatal injuries from falling or crushing when passengers climb out of the cab after it gets stuck between floors.
    • Severe or fatal injuries from falling to the bottom of the elevator shaft because the elevator is not present when the doors open.

    Who You Can Sue for Injuries from an Elevator Accident

    The specific facts of your case will determine who can be liable for your injuries. Sometimes, multiple acts combine to cause an accident. In those situations, we can sue more than one party. Some of the common defendants in these cases are:

    • Building owners who fail to take reasonable steps to provide reliable, safe elevator systems for tenants and visitors to the building.
    • Elevator makers who manufacture elevators or components with defects of design or assembly.
    • Management companies who do not perform their duty of making sure that the elevators work correctly.
    • Maintenance and installation companies, if their carelessness or incompetence caused or contributed to the accident.
    • Anyone else who caused your injury through an intentional act or negligence, like an assault or horseplay.

    The Elements of Negligence in Elevator Accident Cases

    We must prove all three of these factors to hold someone responsible for your losses because of negligence:

    • Duty of care. The defendant (person we sue) must have had a legal duty of care toward you. Let’s say that the management company for the commercial building is the defendant. The company had a duty to take reasonable measures to keep the elevators in safe working condition.
    • Breach of the duty of care. When someone fails to live up to the standard of a legal duty of care, it is negligence. The management company billed the building owner for professional elevator inspections but used a handyman instead. The handyman did not have the necessary training or experience with elevator systems to perform an adequate inspection. Knowingly cutting corners on safety issues is negligence.
    • Causation. The negligence must be the thing that caused the accident that hurt you. Because of the shoddy inspection, wear and tear in the elevator door mechanism went undiscovered until the accident happened. When a visitor to the building entered the elevator, the doors closed suddenly and crushed the person’s arm and shoulder. The negligence caused the malfunction that injured the person riding the elevator.

    Damages in Elevator Accidents

    Elevator accidents can cause broken bones, burns, electrocution, disfigurement, traumatic brain injury (TBI) or brain damage, spinal cord injury, loss of limb, and other types of harm.

    The types of damages available in an injury claim often include one or more of the following:

    • Lost income, for the wages, salary, average tips, self-employment, and other income you lost because of the accident and time needed to recuperate.
    • Medical expenses to treat your injuries, like the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, physicians, prescription drugs, diagnostic testing, rehabilitation facility, and physical therapy.
    • Equipment and modifications, like prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, adapted vehicles, home modifications.
    • Long-term care, if you need ongoing assistance with personal care and medical treatment because of the harm you suffered.
    • Pain and suffering to compensate you for the physical discomfort and emotional distress you experienced.
    • Other intangible losses, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, depression and anxiety, and your spouse’s claim for loss of consortium.

    Call a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

    The accident injury team at S. Burke Law provides personal, hands-on care for our clients. We will work hard to help you get all the compensation you deserve so that you can rebuild your life. We can perform a case evaluation at no cost to you.

    Call us today at 404-842-7838 to get started.

  • Can I Sue a Bowling Alley for Negligent Security?

    You can sue a bowling alley for negligent security. If a bowling alley owner fails to provide adequate security and you get hurt as a result, the property owner can be liable for your injuries. Under Georgia law, landowners have to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable assaults or attacks and to keep people safe when on the premises.

    What We Have to Prove to Hold the Bowling Alley Responsible

    Negligent security has four elements, and we have to show all of them to hold the bowling alley liable for your injuries. The four required factors are:

    The Bowling Alley Owed You a Legal Duty

    The company must take reasonable measures to keep the bowling alley safe for people who are on the premises legally. If you are a customer or employee of the venue, you are on the premises legally.

    Also, vendors and other lawful guests, like people who are delivering the mail, collecting the trash from the dumpsters, or reading the water meter are in the category of people who are on the property lawfully. Trespassers are not on the premises lawfully, so the owner has no duty toward them.

    The bowling alley must provide reasonable security, so that lawfully present people can access the venue safely. This requirement usually encompasses areas like the building itself, the sidewalks, parking lot, and walkways between the bowling alley’s parking lot and the building.

    The Bowling Alley Violated Its Legal Duty

    If the bowling alley did not provide security that was adequate for the situation, it failed in meeting its legal obligation toward you. When someone breaches a legal duty, it is negligence.

    For example, if the circumstances call for security cameras and bright lighting as reasonable measures, and the company did not use any such items, the bowling alley is negligent. Negligence by itself does not mean that the property owner owes anyone money damages.

    The Bowling Alley’s Lack of Security Caused Your Injury

    If you got hurt because of the bowling alley’s failure to provide adequate security, the company is liable for your losses. Let’s say that the area between the bowling alley and the parking lot was a dark walkway where there had been several assaults.

    Reasonable measures to protect customers would be to install security cameras and bright lighting, but the venue refused to buy this equipment. If someone gets attacked in the walkway going from the car to the bowling alley, the company’s negligence caused the harm. Of course, the criminal’s actions directly caused the injuries, but you can sue the landowner for negligent security.

    Adequate Security Would Have Prevented the Crime

    It is impossible for landowners to prevent every crime that happens on their property, but they should take reasonable steps to protect their customers from foreseeable crimes. Because there had already been assaults in the dark walkway, it was foreseeable that another person would get attacked there.

    Adequate security items like security cameras, bright lighting, and perhaps a security guard would have prevented the crime. For this reason, the bowling alley can be accountable for the harm it caused by its negligent security.

    Security Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

    The level of security the landowner will have to provide will depend on the unique circumstances of that piece of property. A bowling alley in a safe part of town with a very low crime rate and no history of violent crime on the premises will not have to take as many measures to protect its customers as an establishment in a high-crime region with a history of multiple attacks in the neighborhood.

    The issue is foreseeability. Crime can happen anywhere, but it is more likely to occur in areas with a troubled recent past. In a safe part of town, the bowling alley might only need to provide adequate lighting, whereas, in a crime-plagued place, the owner might have to add security guards, warning signs, security cameras, and other measures to the bright lighting.

    There is no yardstick by which you can measure the adequacy of security measures other than foreseeability. For example, you cannot say that every bowling alley that has security cameras outside the building has met its legal duty. A bowling alley can be guilty of negligent security even if it employs more security measures than a bowling alley in a different location if the security devices were not sufficient to prevent foreseeable crime.

    Getting Legal Help for Negligent Security at a Bowling Alley

    You can sue a bowling alley for negligent security and recover compensation for money damages. We understand that the legal standards can be overwhelming, but you do not have to figure them out on your own. We will be happy to answer your questions.

    Call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838 for your free consultation.

  • 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.