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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  • If I was in a Georgia car accident while making a left turn, am I automatically at fault?

    If you were in a Georgia car accident while making a left turn, you will most likely be considered at fault. This is because law mandates that the driver making the left turn should only turn when the roadway is clear. The driver making a left turn should always yield to oncoming traffic.

    There are a few exceptions to the rule stating that the driver making the turn is at fault in a left turn accident. If your left turn accident occurred under "special circumstances," you may not be found at fault. Examples of special circumstances include: 

    • the other driver was speeding at the time of the left turn accident;
    • the other driver ran a red light, (which led to the accident); and
    • something unexpected occurred while you were trying to make a left turn that caused your car to slow down or stop. 


    The concept of fault is important when dealing with a left turn accident. If you are found to be at fault for your left turn accident but sustained injuries, any compensation you receive in a Georgia personal injury claim could be reduced.

    If your accident did occur as a result of circumstances beyond your control, you'll want the assistance of an Atlanta car accident lawyer to help with your case.

    An Atlanta car accident lawyer can collect evidence to show the other party's degree of fault, and help strengthen your Georgia personal injury claim.

    Contacting an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer 

    If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case.

  • Is there a formula for determining a fair car accident settlement?

    There is no formula for guaranteeing a fair car accident settlement. While some factors can carry a dollar figure, such as medical costs and lost wages, many other expenses after a car accident aren't so tangible.

    There's no specific way to guarantee that you are fairly compensated for your injuries, but in many cases, you may not even know whether a settlement offer will cover your current and future expenses until you consult with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.

    An Atlanta personal injury lawyer has the resources to map out exactly how your daily life has been impacted from your car accident and resulting injuries. Your Atlanta personal injury lawyer will also take into account the various ways courts assess injuries.

    There are two factors that receive a dollar value, including: 
     

    • repair costs to your vehicle (or other property); and
    • medical costs. 


    Those two areas don't leave much room for interpretation; but the others do. Your Atlanta personal injury lawyer will pay close attention to the following factors when fighting to get you a fair car accident settlement.

    Areas often overlooked when people choose to represent themselves include:
     

    • recovery/rehabilitation time;
    • current/previous health care expenses (related to the accident);
    • future health care expenses;
    • previous/ongoing pain and suffering;
    • future lost wages from missing work;
    • previous/ongoing mental pain and anguish; and
    • permanent disability. 


    An Atlanta personal injury lawyer may advise you to wait until a final diagnosis is made regarding the full extent of your injuries to better your chances for receiving fair car accident settlement. This is because you don't want to accept a settlement offer only to later discover that your recovery or ongoing treatment is a lot more serious and expensive than previously thought. It's necessary to allow you time to recover to the fullest extent possible, to demonstrate the extent the injury has affected your day-to-day routine.

    Often after a car accident, you'll be dealing with insurance companies and their team of adjusters and attorneys. Insurance company representatives are trained to get you to damage your own chances of a fair settlement and without an Atlanta personal injury lawyer, you may be taken advantage of during this often overwhelming time.

    Contacting an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer

    If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 404-842-7838.

  • How do I know if I am eligible for Workers' Compensation in Georgia?

    Georgia law is simple when it comes to Workers' Compensation eligibility. According to the State Board of Workers' Compensation, any employer with 3 or more full or part-time workers must purchase Georgia Workers' Compensation insurance. This is also commonly known as Workman's Comp.

    If your employer fits this category and you are injured while at work, you are eligible to receive your Workman's Comp benefits, even if the accident that caused your injury was partially or totally your fault. However, if you were engaged in criminal behavior or "horseplay" at the time of the accident, you will be ineligible for benefits.

    Workman's Comp benefits can include coverage for medical expenses, lost time at work, and even funeral and burial expenses, when a workplace injury results in death.

    Unfortunately, Workers' Compensation cases are not always so cut and dry and you are never guaranteed to receive the full benefits to which you are entitled. It is not completely unheard of for an employer or their insurer to flat-out deny a Workman's Comp claim. In these instances, it is wise to recruit the help of a Georgia Workers' Compensation attorney who can work on your behalf to prove the legitimacy of your claim. This may include interviewing witnesses to the accident, requesting a change in medical providers or compiling medical evidence that proves your injuries were not pre-existing.

    In short, while you are typically covered under Workers' Compensation for a worksite injury, you are by no means guaranteed the coverage. While an attorney cannot promise you a successful case-and any attorney who does is acting unethically-they can at least help you to navigate the very complicated waters of a Workman's Comp claim in Georgia.

    Contacting a Georgia Workers' Compensation Attorney 

    Injured workers typically have a right to benefits in a Workers' Compensation claim. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 404-842-7838.

  • How do you report unsafe conditions at your worksite in Georgia?

    If unsafe work conditions discussed with your employer haven't been addressed, you may need to file a formal complaint on the federal level. You can report unsafe conditions at your worksite by filing a complaint through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  

    You can file a complaint with OSHA in 1 of 3 ways:
     

    • Online - these complaints are submitted to OSHA area and regional offices, and will very likely result in an onsite inspection.
    • Mail/fax - you'll download this form online or pick one up at your area OSHA office, fill it out and return it back to your closest OSHA office. You'll confidentially include your name, telephone number and address for an OSHA representative to follow up with you.
    • Phone - you can call your nearest OSHA regional or area office and speak to a staff member about the unsafe work conditions and your concern of an impending worksite accident. 


    Keep in mind, you really only need to file an OSHA complaint if you've discussed the unsafe work conditions with your employer and the problem wasn't immediately corrected.

    Sometimes, unsafe work conditions are so severe that a worksite accident could result in severe injury or death. If this is the case, you actually have the right under OSHA standard 1977.12(b) to refuse to work. This is really only applicable when you have reported unsafe work conditions to OSHA, but the conditions are so severe there isn't time for OSHA to do an inspection and go through the normal enforcement process.

    You can also refuse to work when your employer has not addressed the unsafe work conditions you reported, and there is a clear danger of severe injury or death.

    If you've been injured in a Georgia worksite accident because of unsafe work conditions, you do have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Contact an Atlanta worksite injury lawyer for more information on your legal options under the Georgia Workers' Compensation program.

    Contacting an Atlanta Worksite Injury Lawyer

    If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a worksite accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by Georgia Workers' Compensation. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you deserve to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 404-842-7838.

  • Are there any tips I should know when deciding how to deal with insurance adjusters after my Georgia accident?

    There are several important tips to know when it comes to dealing with insurance adjusters after your Georgia accident. The best way to make sure that you are treated fairly is to consult with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer. An attorney will not only make sure that your legal rights are protected but will work on your behalf to help you get a fair settlement.

    Dealing with Insurance Adjusters after a Georgia Accident

    There are some things you should and shouldn't do when it comes to dealing with insurance adjusters for your Georgia personal injury claim.

    Some of the things you should do when dealing with an insurance adjuster include:
     

    • get all of the contact information of the insurance adjuster;
    • provide your contact information to the insurance adjuster;
    • keep notes on the conversation you have with the insurance adjuster;
    • provide only a general description of your injuries; and
    • ask the insurance adjuster if there were witnesses to the accident. 


    Some of the things you shouldn't do when dealing with an insurance adjuster include:
     

    • don't provide a detailed description of your injuries;
    • don't not allow your conversation to be recorded;
    • don't provide unnecessary details or veer off topic (stick to the basic, simple facts regarding the accident);
    • don't provide personal, irrelevant information;
    • don't agree to anything or sign anything; and
    • don't provide the name of your doctor.  


    Insurance adjusters will attempt to get you to settle your Georgia personal injury claim quickly and for as little as possible. This is why if you have been seriously injured in an accident that you should get the help of an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer. An attorney will help you to file your Georgia personal injury claim and will fight for your legal rights.

    Contacting an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer

    If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 404.467.0909.

  • Can I recover compensation for a Georgia motorcycle accident if I was not wearing a helmet?

    Yes. You may be able to recover compensation after an accident if you were not wearing a motorcycle helmet. However, not wearing a helmet could hurt your case.

    If you were not wearing a helmet during your accident and are concerned it might affect your claim for injury compensation, give S. Burke Law a call. We can investigate your accident and let you know what to expect: 404-842-7838.

    What Are Georgia’s Helmet Laws?

    Georgia has a “universal helmet law.” Georgia’s motorcycle helmet law, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-315, states, “no person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he or she is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety.”

    Georgia not only requires all riders and passengers to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle, but that helmet must also meet specific specifications. You must also wear eye protection if your motorcycle does not have a windscreen.

    How Can Not Wearing a Helmet Affect My Case?

    Like most personal injury cases, your settlement largely depends on proving the other party’s negligence. However, disobeying Georgia’s helmet law can be an example of negligence per se (i.e., not wearing a helmet is negligent because it violates the Georgia motorcycle helmet law). And Georgia’s comparative negligence laws hold that any negligence on your part will decrease your settlement.

    This means that not wearing a helmet could cause you to lose money for your injuries.

    For example, say you were riding straight through an intersection when a driver turned left in front of you without looking. You ran straight into the vehicle, the impact throwing you from your bike and causing you to suffer broken ribs and a traumatic brain injury.

    The investigation found the other driver was 100 percent at-fault for the accident; which means he is responsible for any injuries and losses you suffered in the accident.

    However, the investigation also found you could have avoided or lessened the severity of your head injury had you been wearing a helmet. The investigators assigned you 40 percent fault for your head injury, allowing you to recover 60 percent of your damages for that injury. If your medical expenses and other losses totaled $100,000 for your head injury, you could only recover $60,000.

    The investigation found that you did not contribute to your broken ribs, so you were able to recover full compensation for that injury.

    Georgia’s comparative negligence laws also require victims to be less liable than the other party. So, when filing your claim, you must prove that you are 49 percent or less at fault to collect a settlement. If you had also contributed to the accident by acting negligently (e.g., speeding or riding while intoxicated), you might have been unable to recover compensation for your head injury or your broken ribs.

    Note: Even if you were wearing a helmet, you could face negligence claims if you were wearing a helmet that did not meet specifications.

    How Can S. Burke Law Help Me with My Motorcycle Accident Claim?

    Sheryl Burke spent time as an insurance adjuster. This insider knowledge allows her to anticipate and defend against any tactics the insurance company might use to devalue your claim.

    We will gather any necessary evidence and work with accident reconstruction experts to establish your helmet use had little to no effect on your injury. This evidence might include medical records, photos, and testimony from your doctor or another medical expert.

    Call S. Burke Law for Help with Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

    S. Burke Law urges all motorcyclists to wear helmets. Georgia’s motorcycle helmet laws exist for a reason, and everyone should do everything in their power to protect themselves from injury. However, we also realize that there is only so much in a motorcyclist’s control. Even when riding responsibly, there is the risk that you are involved in an accident due to circumstances out of your control.

    We do not believe that not wearing a helmet should prevent you from collecting the damages you deserve. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident recently, give us a call. We may be able to work with experts and accident reconstructionists to establish wearing a helmet would not have affected your injuries.

    Call us at 404-842-7838. Our consultations are free and there is no commitment. See how we can help you today.

  • What if I wasn't injured in a car accident in Georgia but I sustained damage to my car or other personal property?

    If you were in a car accident in Georgia and didn't sustain any injuries, only damage to your car or other personal property, then you can't file a Georgia personal injury claim. This is because personal injury claims can only be filed when a serious injury has occurred, not just property damage.

    After your car accident in Georgia, you likely will not require the assistance of an attorney to recover compensation for your property damage. This is primarily because the cost of property damage is typically clear cut. While you may end up haggling with the insurance company over the value of your car or the costs to repair the damage after a car accident in Georgia, the dollar value usually is not significant enough to warrant legal representation.

    However, if you were seriously injured in a car accident in Georgia and do plan on filing a Georgia personal injury claim, then your property damage will be a consideration in that claim. In that case, you may want an Atlanta personal injury attorney on your side. This is because unlike the cut and dry costs of fixing or replacing a vehicle, you'll be fighting for compensation for your current and future medical bills, lost wages, and other accident expenses. 

    The costs involved in a Georgia personal injury claim are high and how much the insurance company will pay you depends on complex factors like proving the cause of your injuries, what the injuries have cost you, and the insurance policy limits involved.

    Be sure to keep good records and contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a car accident in Georgia if you are considering filing a Georgia personal injury claim. If you have questions about the timing and particulars of your specific case, an Atlanta personal injury attorney can help you throughout the process.

    Contacting an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney

    If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 404.467.0909.

  • In addition to federal trucking regulations, does Georgia have any state regulations regarding trucks?

    Georgia has one state regulation regarding trucking, although it's somewhat limited in scope. Georgia trucking laws differ from federal trucking regulations in just one provision - the age limit for commercial vehicle drivers.

    On a national level, commercial truckers must be at least 21 years of age. This pertains only to trucks which go through multiple states on their routes, and do interstate deliveries.

    But according to Georgia trucking laws, in order to operate a commercial vehicle within Georgia, a driver may be just 18 years of age, as long as the individual has an instruction permit or Georgia commercial vehicle license. To comply with Georgia trucking laws, the individual may not leave the state on delivery routes.

    Regardless of the age of the commercial truck drivers, Georgia trucking laws take into account the degree of care that truck drivers should show to other motorists.

    If you've been injured in a Georgia truck accident where the truck driver was careless, you may be able to file a Georgia personal injury claim on the grounds of negligence. If you have questions, you should consider speaking with an Atlanta truck accident attorney who can determine what state or federal trucking regulations may apply to your case, determine the liable parties, and explain the strengths and weaknesses of your potential Georgia personal injury claim.

    Contacting an Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney

    If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness in a Georgia truck accident you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case.

  • Can you sue your employer for a workplace injury in Georgia?

    In almost all cases, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury in Georgia. This is because accepting Workers' Compensation means you forfeit the right to sue your employer for a worksite injury. If you've been in a workplace injury in Georgia, your employer's Workers' Compensation program actually provides for the expenses associated with your injury.

    Some of the expenses covered by Workers' Compensation include:
     

    • medical expenses;
    • wage reimbursement; and
    • other benefits. 


    The downfall here is that Workers' Compensation, after a workplace injury in Georgia, is provided in lieu of filing a lawsuit against your employer. So you may want an Atlanta personal injury attorney on your side to determine whether you're getting a fair offer from your employer's Workers' Compensation program.

    Since Workers' Compensation is a form of insurance, the insurance company may try to undervalue your claim to save money. Since you can't sue in return, there are really no legal ramifications for the insurance company or your employer.

    After a workplace injury in Georgia, an Atlanta personal injury attorney can analyze your medical records, assess your lost wages and even factor in the effects your injury will have on your long-term health and ability to work. This will help hold your employer and its Workers' Compensation representatives accountable for the full amount of compensation you deserve.

    Only in very rare situations can an employee sue an employer for a workplace injury. But you may be able to sue a third party for a workplace injury in Georgia. Team up with your Atlanta personal injury attorney to determine whether either of those situations applies to your case.

    Contacting an Atlanta Personal injury attorney

    If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a workplace accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law.  To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case.

  • Do I have to go to the medical exam that is being ordered by my insurer in connection with my Georgia personal injury claim?

    If your insurer has ordered you to go to an independent medical exam in connection with your Georgia personal injury claim, in most cases you do have to attend the exam. This is because your insurer has the legal right to request this examination, provided this was part of your original policy.

    If you are ordered to go to an independent medical exam, you can consult an Atlanta injury lawyer before attending the examination. This may help you to prepare for the exam, as well as give you some important insight about how to handle the questions you will be asked and your own legal rights.

    The purpose of the independent medial exam is to determine whether you are legitimately entitled to receive medical benefits as well as the extent of your injuries. If it is determined that you are no longer injured as you have claimed, or that you may have had a pre-existing condition, your insurer may use this information to deny you compensation.

    However, if you are ordered to take an examination, your Atlanta injury lawyer can ask for the exam to be delayed, and insist that an impartial observer is present during the independent medical exam. This can help prevent the examiner from making an unfair determination.

    When you attend an independent medical exam, you should be honest with the examiner about your former health issues, as well as the facts about how your injury occurred. If you misrepresent any information during the exam, your insurer can use this information to deny your medical benefits. If your medical benefits are denied for any reason, you should immediately get the help of your Atlanta injury lawyer.

    Contacting an Atlanta Injury Lawyer

    If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 404.467.0909.