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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What is Loss of Consortium?
When a person gets injured or killed in an accident, the spouse and family can also suffer losses of their own. The purpose of loss of consortium claims is to compensate people close to the person who got hurt for the damages they experienced because of their loved one’s serious injury or death.
What Loss of Consortium Means
If a person recovers from an injury without long-term impairment, she can go back to the role she had in the family before the accident. With permanent impairment or death, the injured person might not be able to provide the family with the previous level of:
- Love or affection
- Social interaction
- Sexual relations
Loss of these things may constitute loss of consortium, for which the spouse, children, and other family members may recover compensation.
Physical Injury Required
If the injured person did not sustain a physical injury, there is usually no loss of consortium claim for the spouse or family. For example, the innocent driver in a road rage incident experienced extreme terror during the event but managed to escape without physical injury. The spouse of the innocent driver cannot file a claim for loss of consortium.
On the other hand, if the innocent driver sustained catastrophic physical injuries in a car accident that adversely affected her relationship with her spouse, the spouse might have a valid claim for loss of consortium.
What Kinds of Injury Cases May Include Loss of Consortium Claims
Permanent impairment. For example, a newlywed sustained a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. Because of her injury, she experienced permanent locked-in syndrome, unable to move or communicate. She was aware and awake, but unable to interact.
She has lost the kind of life she would have had, and so has her spouse, who lost the love, affection, and companionship of his wife. Her husband has a claim for loss of consortium.
Death. For example, a father of school-aged children died in a car accident. His wife lost her life companion and partner. The children lost the guidance and comfort of their father. The spouse and children may be wrongful death beneficiaries with a claim for loss of consortium.
How Georgia Law Calculates Loss of Consortium
If a case goes to trial, the judge or jury will decide how much the family has lost as a result of the physical harm and impairment or death. The judge or jury has discretion on this issue, but sometimes lawyers use expert witnesses to explain to the judge or jury the justification for awarding a particular dollar amount.
How to Determine if You Have a Loss of Consortium Claim
The good news is that you do not have to figure out whether you have a possible claim for loss of consortium for your spouse’s injury on your own. Just call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 for your free consultation. We will answer your questions about loss of consortium claims and help you pursue compensation. There is no charge for the consultation and no obligation.
Are Lost Wages Compensatory Damages? | S. Burke Law
If you miss work and do not get paid because of an injury, the wages you lost can be compensatory damages. It will depend on the facts of your case, but the team at S. Burke Law will sit down with you and review your circumstances to see if you are entitled to recover your lost income. Contact our firm today at 404-842-7838 if you have any questions about lost wages being compensatory damages.
Georgia Law on Lost Wages as Recoverable Damages
The Georgia Code provides that lost wages in a tort case (in which someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or intentional act harmed you) are “special and consequential damages.” Special damages are losses that the tortious act causes. We must prove special damages for you to recover them. Your employer’s records are a common way to prove your lost income.
Georgia classifies losses in tort cases as either:
- Direct damages, “which follow immediately upon the doing of a tortious act,” or
- Consequential damages, “which are the necessary and connected effect of a tortious act, even though they are to some extent dependent upon other circumstances.”
Lost wages are usually consequential damages, since they depend on other circumstances, such as:
- Whether your employer pays sick leave.
- Whether you had any available sick time or had already used it for other events.
- Whether your recuperation time exceeded your available paid sick leave such that you went without pay during part or all of this period.
Compensatory Damages in Georgia
When someone injures you, Georgia law provides that you can collect damages as compensation for your injury. Compensatory damages are usually things that you can estimate in dollars, for example:
- Lost income, which you can calculate or estimate using your average wages.
- Medical expenses, which you can determine by adding up your medical bills.
Find out more about what types of damages you can recover through a Georgia personal injury claim.
How to Determine the Amount of Lost Wages
The kind of income you earn will control how we calculate the amount of your damages for lost wages. For example:
Hourly workers: We will add up the total number of hours you missed and multiply that by how much you earn per hour. If you work 40 hours a week at $25 an hour, your gross wages are $1,000 a week. Your lost wages are $3,000 if you missed three weeks of work because of your injury.
Salaried employees: We take your regular salary times how long you were out of work. If you earn $4,000 a month and you missed two months of work, your lost wages are $8,000.
Self-employed persons: We have to look at these situations on a case-by-case basis, since taxable income does not always reflect actual income, due to the many business expenses and deductions for the self-employed.
Irregular income: We typically use the average of your earnings if your income varies from one week or month to the next. For fields with a “high season,” however, we have to use a different approach. An accountant who makes much more money during tax season is one example of when we have to apply different formulas.
Learn more about how you calculate lost wages in an injury claim.
Duty to Mitigate Damages
An injured person has a duty under Georgia law to mitigate damages through ordinary care and diligence. The court can reduce your compensation if it feels that your damages were excessive. For example, if a person stayed out of work for 10 years for a sprained wrist, the court will likely award him only the amount of lost wages that it feels is reasonable for that type of injury.
How to Get Help for Your Lost Wages Claim
If you lost wages from an injury and seek compensatory damages and would like to find out how much your case is worth, call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 to set up your free consultation. There is no obligation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Child Injury Case? | S. Burke Law
The statute of limitations controls the amount of time a person must file a lawsuit. If you do not file your case by the deadline, you lose the right to seek damages, no matter how severe your injuries were. When a child is the one injured, the statute of limitations can be different than for an adult. The law often allows children more time than adults to pursue legal action in the interest of fairness. Contact our firm today at 404-842-7838 so we can answer any questions you may have about the statute of limitations for a child injury case.
The Rule on Tolling (Delaying) the Statute of Limitations for Children
In general, when an injured person is under the age of 18 at the time of the incident that causes the harm, the statute of limitations for a child injury case will not start to run until the person turns 18. In other words, if a person must file a lawsuit within two years of the injury, but that person is a minor, she will have two years from the date she turns 18 to bring the legal action.
The Georgia Code says in Section 9-3-90 (2017) that:
“Individuals who are less than 18 years of age when a cause of action accrues shall be entitled to the same time after he or she reaches the age of 18 years to bring an action as is prescribed for other persons.”
The Personal Injury Statute of Limitations for Children
The deadline for filing a personal injury case (for people injured when they are adults) is two years from the date of the injury. These specific actions, however, have different timelines:
- Injury to reputation has a filing deadline of one year.
- Personal injury cases that include a claim for loss of consortium (which involves damages to the injured person’s spouse) have a filing deadline of four years.
Applying the tolling of statutes of limitations laid out in Section 9-3-90 would start the clock running for these periods of time once the child turns 18.
The Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations for Children
An adult who is injured or killed by medical malpractice in Georgia has two years to file a lawsuit. Under some circumstances, this deadline can be as long as five years. For children, however, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims can vary from this general rule, depending on how young the child was at the time of injury. Find out if there is a cap on medical malpractice damages in Georgia and if parents can sue for wrongful death.
The Statute of Limitations for Children Injured by Deficiencies in Improvements to Real Property
If the plaintiff sustained an injury because of negligence in the planning, supervising, or constructing improvements to realty, the timeline for filing a lawsuit is much longer than for a typical personal injury case. The reason for the additional time is that it can take years for defective construction to fail and injure people.
An action for personal injury or wrongful death must start within eight years of the substantial completion of the improvement (construction). If the injury happens during the seventh or eighth year, however, the law allows two additional years, for up to 10 years, to file a lawsuit.
The Section 9-3-33.1 Exception to the General Rule on Child Injury Cases
Section 9-3-90 of the Georgia Code makes an exception to the general rule of tolling (delay or pausing) the statute of limitations for injuries covered by section 9-3-33.1 (2017), which addresses childhood sexual abuse cases. A person who suffered childhood sexual abuse must file a civil action to recover damages either:
- By the victim’s 23rd birthday, or
- Within two years of the date that the plaintiff realized or should have realized the abuse and injury, even if after the age of 23.
Why Children Have a Different Statute of Limitations Than Adults
Children do not have the right to file lawsuits because the law considers people under the age of 18 as lacking legal capacity. If a 16-year-old, for example, files a lawsuit for personal injuries, the court will dismiss the action as soon as the judge realizes that the plaintiff is underage.
Since a child cannot file a lawsuit for himself, he is at the mercy of others, usually his parents, to file an action on his behalf. If the parents do not take legal action, the child would lose his right to compensation if the typical statute of limitations passes before the child turns 18 and can file his lawsuit. This is why children have a different amount of time than adults.
Getting Help for a Child Injury Case in Georgia
We understand that all these statutory rules and exceptions to the rules can be confusing regarding the statute of limitations for a child injury case. You do not have to figure out which rules apply to your or your child’s injury claim.
Call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 today. We will set up a meeting with you to talk about the injury and the procedural regulations that will control your case. We do not charge you for this service. In fact, we will not charge any legal fees until you get the compensation you deserve.
What is Diminished Earning Capacity?
Diminished earning capacity refers to a decrease in income as a result of an injury that affects your ability to continue doing your current job or robs you of career prospects for the future.
A person who sustains an injury might experience diminished earning capacity, for which he can collect compensation. You might have decreased earning capacity if you:
- Must reduce your hours or work a lower-paying job because of your impairment
- Cannot perform the same type of work that you used to do before the injury
- No longer have the option to do certain types of work because of the injury
Injury That Diminishes the Ability to Earn Money
The injury must impact your ability to earn money for you to get compensation for decreased earning potential. In some cases, the injury directly affects a person’s current job, but you do not have to be already doing the specific type of work to suffer a loss of earning capacity.
Let’s say that a person’s dream was to become a surgeon. He completed medical school and was in the second year of his surgical residency (surgical training program) when a car accident left him without sufficient use of his hands to work as a surgeon.
He has lost that employment option and suffered a significant financial loss as a result, so his diminished earning capacity is compensable.
Ongoing Nature or Permanence of the Impairment
If you break your leg and temporarily cannot stand for long periods of time, the injury could cause you to lose income in the short-term while you recuperate from the fracture and undergo physical therapy to rebuild the strength in your leg. There can be a claim for lost wages for your current time off from work, but if you heal completely without any residual impairment, you probably will not get damages for decreased earning potential.
On the other hand, some injuries can set you up for work-related problems for the rest of your working life. A severe back injury, for example, can leave you unable to lift heavy objects even after the back heals. In situations like this, the impairment eliminates the prospect of many types of work.
Judges often want to hear testimony from experts for claims of diminished earning potential. Some of the experts on this issue can include:
Doctors who can testify about the permanence of the injury. The judge needs to know how long the medical professionals expect the effects of the injury to last.
Vocational experts who can testify about how the injury impairs the plaintiff’s work options. These professionals can explain how particular injuries affect the plaintiff’s current job or limit his future job possibilities.
Economic experts who can testify about the economic impact of the impairment on the plaintiff’s potential future earnings. Often, the vocational expert also serves as the economic expert by calculating or estimating the financial value of the plaintiff’s decreased earning potential.
Getting Help After an Injury
You do not have to sort out what your damages are and how you will prove them. The team at S. Burke Law will take care of the legal process for you. Give us a call today at 404-842-7838, and we will schedule a time to sit down with you and talk about your right to compensation. The consultation is free.
What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?
Personal injury lawyers do several things:
- Determine the validity of your case
- Investigate your accident
- Gather evidence
- Establish the value of your damages
- Build your case and prove negligence
- Negotiate a settlement
- File a lawsuit
What to Expect from a Personal Injury Lawyer During the Initial Consultation
During the initial consultation, you explain what happened, and the lawyer assesses the strength of your case and explains your potential options to recover compensation. During or after this initial consultation, you decide whether to hire the lawyer. Most injury attorneys offer these consultations for free.
What the Personal Injury Attorney Will Do After Accepting Your Case
What a personal injury attorney will do after accepting your case can differ depending on the type of case you are filing. For example, the approach may differ between a slip and fall case and a car accident. However, many of the following remain the same regardless of how you suffered injury:
Investigating the Incident and Interviewing Witnesses
An attorney and their team will investigate your accident to determine exactly how it happened. The attorney may also interview eyewitnesses to obtain an unbiased point of view of the accident. An attorney may also look for surveillance video from nearby businesses to bolster your account of how the accident happened.
Gathering Records and Documents
The attorney will gather records and documents such as:
- Police or accident reports
- Medical records to substantiate your injury claim
- Employment records to show you missed work because of your injuries
Hiring Experts to Conduct Tests or Give Opinions
The attorney may also hire experts to support your case, such as the following:
- A mechanic or other expert can check your vehicle for signs of a defect, such as a brake problem.
- An accident reconstructionist can recreate the accident.
- A medical expert can look at your medical records or examine you to show a connection between your injuries and the accident.
- An economist can estimate your lost earning capacity.
Researching the Law and Developing a Strategy
An injury attorney may also research the law relevant to your case. They can locate similar cases, note any issues raised, analyze the results, and apply the principles of the previous cases to yours. The lawyer will also weigh the strengths and weaknesses of your case and then decide what strategies to use when negotiating a settlement in your case.
Negotiating a Settlement of Your Case
Most cases end out of court with a settlement, rather than a trial verdict. Parties often settle cases to avoid litigation costs.
Once the insurance company has considered your case, it will offer you a settlement. In many cases, this offer is much lower than you deserve. If you do not want to accept the offer, your injury attorney can negotiate with the insurance company for a higher amount. The lawyer tells you if they think the offer is reasonable, but you decide whether to accept it.
If you accept the offer, the case is over, and you get your money. If you refuse the offer, the negotiations resume. If the insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement, the attorney may suggest filing a lawsuit. Negotiations can continue after you file a lawsuit. The lawyer lets you know the highest offer they expect you to receive, and you decide whether to take it or continue with the lawsuit.
Filing a Suit to Recover Compensation for Your Injuries
If the parties cannot reach a settlement, your lawyer files a lawsuit against the responsible parties, for example, the other driver, the store, or the manufacturer.
Court Procedures and Deadlines in a Lawsuit
A personal injury lawyer files a complaint to start the suit. The attorney knows the deadlines for filing pleadings and motions, and they will keep you informed of the progress of your case.
Conducting Discovery and Filing Motions
Each side in a lawsuit engages in the process of discovery to get information from the other side about the case. The attorney files and answers interrogatories (a list of questions about the case). The attorney requests documents and records from the other side and takes depositions during which the involved parties, experts, and other witnesses answer questions under oath.
Trying the Case in Court
When your day in court comes, your lawyer will present your case. Your lawyer prepares you for your testimony. Witnesses for each side will testify, and the attorney sums up your case.
You may agree for a judge to decide your case. If a jury hears the case, the judge instructs the jurors on the law. Either side can appeal the judge's decision or the jury's verdict.
Learn More About What an Injury Attorney Will Do for You — Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Did you suffer an injury in an accident? Call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation to learn more about how an injury attorney can help you. We can answer any questions you may have about the process of recovering compensation.
Will Homeowner's Insurance Cover Personal Injury?
Yes, homeowner’s insurance does cover personal injury. However, like any other personal injury case, collecting a settlement requires proving the homeowner was liable for the accident and your injuries.
Most people typically think homeowner’s insurance only covers disasters like fires and floods. But most homeowner’s insurance policies cover injuries in a home with their personal injury liability coverages as well. Personal injury liability covers a variety of injuries around the house and, in some cases, outside the home.
Common Types of Home Accidents
Accidents can happen anywhere, and a residential home is no exception. Homeowner’s insurance protects you from recourse to those accidents. And, as we mentioned above, this protection occasionally extends beyond the person’s physical home.
Like a private property owner, homeowners have a duty of care to their guests. Owners must maintain the safety of the premises for any guests visiting their property. And they must also warn their guests about any potential dangers which may raise the risk for injury on the premises. The following are the most common types of home accidents:
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and falls are common residential accidents. A homeowner may be liable for your slip and fall injuries if it occurs in the following situations:
- Rugs (particularly without proper grip pads or holes)
- Wet floors
- Ice or snow
- Cracks in the floor or concrete on the property
Accidents on Staircases
Accidents on stairs are another common occurrence. And they often lead to severe injuries because you may roll down them rather than falling in one swoop like most slip and fall accidents. The following are common causes of staircase accidents:
- Missing handrails or poorly placed handrails
- Water, grease or any other foreign substances on the handrails
- Poorly placed carpets and rugs on the stairs
- Shallow steps
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pools offer a great form of recreation but are often the cause of serious accidents. And in many instances, you may have a case for wrongful death if someone drowns in your pool. However, one thing to note is that homeowner’s insurance only covers you if you were injured when after an invite to the pool. Coverage does not include trespassers.
Homeowners are also liable for your injuries if his or her dog bites you. A dog is part of your home, and a homeowner must keep you safe from a potentially dangerous dog. But one thing to note is that homeowner’s insurance covers your dog bite injuries even if the dog bite did not occur on the owner’s property.
Proving Liability after Residential Accidents
An accident occurring in someone else’s home is only part of the puzzle when seeking damages from homeowner’s insurance. You must also prove that the homeowner was liable for your injury. Accomplishing this requires proving negligence on the part of the property owner.
A premises liability lawyer may be of great help if you got hurt one somebody’s property.
For example, if you suffered a slip and fall, you must prove that the accident was preventable. You must demonstrate that the homeowner was aware or should have been aware of potential risks. If you fell because there was a conspicuous hole in the homeowner’s lawn, you may be able to prove the homeowner was negligence in not fixing or warning of the hole.
Potential Compensation for a Personal Injury in Atlanta
Everyone feels a bit of uncertainty when deciding to file a personal injury claim. You are likely wondering if it is worth it and what damages you can collect. While S. Burke Law cannot guarantee you any specific amount of damages, we can seek the following on your behalf:
- Medical expenses: This includes ambulance bills, hospital stays, medication, therapy and more.
- Lost wages: Any time you miss at work can be a portion of your reimbursement.
Call an Atlanta Personal Injury AttorneyIf you or someone you care about is need of compensation after a residential accident, we encourage you to reach out to S. Burke Law. Our team dedicates itself to representing the victims of serious accidents. Our service begins with a free consultation. Call us at 404-842-7838 today to schedule your free consultation with a member of our legal team.
Can a Personal Injury Case Be Reopened?
No, generally you cannot reopen a closed personal injury case. Once you sign a release to settle the case, you are essentially signing away your right to pursue further compensation for the accident.
However, there are a few circumstances in which you may be able to reopen the case.
Nevertheless, it is important to build a solid case that accounts for all your current and future damages so you are not left in a position looking to reopen a closed case.
Signing a Release Ends Your Personal Injury Case
Signing a release is the moment you officially end your personal injury case. A release typically presents a settlement offer for a certain amount of money. But what many people do not realize is that you are also signing your right to pursue further damages away for a certain amount of money and other damages. Only you can sign a release, not your attorney.
Most releases usually dictate terms for what your claim and damages are worth including:
- Medical expenses: Based on the cost of medical bills, such as ambulance bills, medication, therapy and projected costs of long-term medical care if necessary.
- Lost wages: Reimbursing you for losses when you miss time at work and can include the time missed because of scheduled doctor’s appointments. Occasionally, it includes lost earning potential.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering is not part of all settlements, but it is not uncommon. If you receive damages for pain and suffering, it varies depending on the extent of your injuries and length of your recovery.
Why You Might Want to Reopen a Case
Most people who want to reopen their claims do so because they believe they did not receive enough compensation for their damages.
One example would if you suffered a leg injury and discovered that you would require long-term medical assistance for the rest of your life. You rightly believe that you deserve a more substantial settlement to satisfy these costs, but unfortunately, you probably cannot receive one because you already signed a settlement agreement.
A release is a legally binding document that most courts will uphold barring specific circumstances.
Unfortunately, signing a release prematurely or discovering unexpected medical costs do not typically qualify as circumstances that allow you to reopen most personal injury claims.
It is for these reasons that it is imperative to have a personal injury lawyer on your side who can help you value your case and can advise you on when to accept a settlement offer.
Personal Injury Case Settlements Made in Bad Faith
One of the rare instances in which you can reopen a personal injury claim is if you believe the settlement is in bad faith. While it is difficult to prove, it is possible.
A settlement made in bad faith requires demonstrating that the defendant or insurance company defrauded you or your attorney at the time, which led you to settle.
If fraud is at play in your initial settlement, it may be possible to void the settlement. From there, you may be able to reopen the case and pursue further compensation for your damages.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney at S. Burke Law for a Free Case Review
Getting compensation for your injuries the first time you file a personal injury claim can be challenging. Attempting to reopen a previously closed claim is nearly impossible.
That is why working an attorney dedicated to getting you the money you deserve the first time is vital. When execution of your first personal injury case is correct, there should not be a need to reopen the claim.Our legal team thoroughly examines the circumstances of your accident but also ensures that your diagnosis of injuries is accurate. If you or someone you care about recently suffered an injury in an accident, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law for a free consultation. Schedule one today at 404-842-7838.
Can I Get Sciatica From a Car Accident?
Yes, you can get sciatica from a car accident. However, you must be able to prove this was the cause of your injury in order to successfully win a personal injury lawsuit. This requires proper documentation and possible hassles with the insurance company.
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica typically develops because of herniated discs in your lower spine. Most people develop herniated discs due to natural wear and tear on and deterioration in their spines. Most people diagnosed with sciatica are between the ages of 30 and 50. However, herniated discs can also develop due to traumatic spinal cord injuries, including those sustained in car accidents.
If you or someone you care about was involved in a car accident recently, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law, especially if you are experiencing pain in your lower back extending through your upper legs. Our team has represented personal injury victims in a variety of cases. Call us for a free consultation, and we will walk you through your legal options. You can reach us at 404-842-7838.
Symptoms of Sciatica
The most common symptom indicating sciatica is radiating pain in the lower back and buttocks. How pronounced the pain is often depends on your age, overall health, and how you developed the ailment. The following is a list of additional sciatica symptoms.
- Constant pain in your lower back and buttocks
- Muscle weakness and numbness
- Difficulty with motor function in legs, feet, and toes
- Pain that worsens when you sit for extended periods of time
- Sharp pain when walking or standing
Like we mentioned above, sciatica generally manifests from long-term wear and tear. Depending on your age at the time of your accident, the opposing driver’s insurance company may attempt to argue that your case of sciatica developed naturally. Or they could argue you suffered a prior injury which was the true cause of your sciatica. It is situations like this where having someone fighting on your behalf can be valuable.
How Car Accidents Cause Sciatica
To prove your case and eventually collect damages, our firm can help you prove that your accident is the direct cause of your ailment.
Like we mentioned earlier, insurance companies may attempt to argue that your ailment was the result of long-term wear and tear. While it is true that most sciatica injuries occur because of wear and tear, they can originate from a single event.
Blunt force trauma is a common cause of sciatica. Many bicyclists and pedestrians involved in accidents with cars report sciatica.
No Prior Medical History of Back Issues
If you never had a history of back issues, S. Burke Law will point to your clean bill of health prior to your accident. We would compare this to the symptoms associated with sciatica.
That said, even if you do have a history of herniated discs, this does not mean you cannot prove that your car accident was the catalyst for your symptoms. Some people have herniated discs without dealing with the painful symptoms. If you had a herniated disc prior to your accident that did not cause you pain, you can still seek legal representation to fight for your case.
Damages You Can Collect After Your Accident
Sciatica injuries can be very serious. In some cases, they are life-changing ailments. Such serious injuries may require award more compensation. S. Burke Law can help you fight for compensation to collect the following damages on your behalf:
- Medical expenses: This can include ambulance trips, medication, specialist visits, and hospital stays.
- Lost wages: Sciatica injuries often require significant rehab which forces you to miss time at work. In some cases, you may be unable to work at all. In either case, we can help you will seek compensation to meet your needs.
Call an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. If you or someone you love is battling an injury as debilitating as a sciatica injury, we can help you prove that sciatica resulted from your car accident. Suffering such an injury forces you to make lifestyle adjustments in addition to being a tremendous financial burden.This is why we offer free consultations to everyone inquiring about our services. We understand that deciding to file personal injury claims is not an easy decision, especially when you have no extra funds to spend on legal representation. During this free consultation, we can determine if you have a case and walk your through the stages of filing a Georgia personal injury claim. We hope you call S. Burke Law so we can explain in further detail how we can help you collect the compensation you need after your sciatica injury. Call us at 404-842-7838.
What Are Some Long-Term Complications of a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries are among the most painful and physically limiting you can suffer. An Atlanta car accident or even a slip and fall can leave you at risk for spinal cord injuries. Lots of accidents and injuries leave you with medical expenses and other unexpected financial losses. But spinal cord injuries can be particularly expensive and require long rehabilitation periods, especially because there are expenses related not only to your spine, but additional injuries which stem from it. Unfortunately, there are some long-term implications of spinal cord injuries.
Long-Term Implications of Spinal Cord Injuries
Long-term implications of spinal cord injuries include several different complications that affect various parts of your body. Pain can be a persistent long-term result of spinal cord injuries. That pain and discomfort manifests itself in a variety of different ways. The most common long-term complications include:
- Respiratory Complications
- Cardiovascular Complications
- Urinary Complications
- Bowel Complications
Many people who suffer spinal cord injuries often have difficulty breathing. The extent of how difficult it is to breathe depends on how severe your spinal cord injury is. This difficulty of breathing does not only manifest itself in shortness of breath. In addition to shortness of breath, people with spinal cord injuries often experience the following:
- Reduction in vital capacity, which is the greatest amount of air you can expel after taking a deep breath
- Ineffective coughs
- Excess oxygen cost of breathing, which is the rate our respiratory muscles consume oxygen
In addition to the above, many spinal cord injury victims suffer from sleep apnea. While not as common as above, sleep apnea is a serious condition, with often fatal results. Sleep apnea is when someone suddenly stops breathing for moments at a time while sleeping.
Heart problems are a common result of spinal cord injuries as well. Specifically, the two heart conditions related to spinal cord injuries are:
- Orthostatic hypotension
- Autonomic dysreflexia
Orthostatic hypotension is essentially a drop in blood pressure. And while you cannot feel your blood pressure drop, there are a few symptoms you can look out for.
- A pale appearance
- Muscle weakness
Autonomic dysreflexia is a serious medical emergency and is life-threatening. It is essentially the reverse of orthostatic hypotension in that it involves a sudden increase in blood pressure. The following are the associated symptoms:
- Intense headaches
- Profuse sweating
- Redness in your face
- Stuffed nose
- Blurred vision
- Feelings of apprehension
Spinal cord injuries often result in urinary dysfunction. Specifically, it causes a bladder dysfunction called neurogenic bladder dysfunction. A central nervous system disease causes this ailment, which is often the result of spinal cord injuries.
Though most of us do not realize it, your central nervous system controls bladder functions. And damage to your spinal cord can directly impair your central nervous system. This often makes using the bathroom difficult. Many people suffering from spinal cord injuries experience trouble urinating. In fact, some accident victims may not be able to urinate at all.
Urinary issues are at best discomforting and in many cases debilitating. In addition to a physical ailment, it also hurts a person’s psychological well-being. Many people experiencing this use catheters to urinate. But there are available treatments which facilitate emptying the bladder.
Your bladder functions are not the only thing spinal cord injuries affect. Many people who suffer spinal cord injuries experience bowel complications as well. The name of the ailment is neurogenic bowel dysfunction.
Like your urinary functions, your central nervous system also controls your bowel movements. As a result, your spinal cord injury could lead to a spinal cord disease that impairs your central nervous system’s ability to regulate bowel movements. This impairment causes the abdominal musculature to not function appropriately. This dysfunction often leads to constipation.
Like the urinary issues, bowel complications are discomforting and debilitating. And in addition to the physical impairment and discomfort, it has negative psychological effects.
Spasms are one impairment you might expect from a spinal cord injury. It is the most common ailment people with spinal cord injuries report. According to the National Center of Biotechnology over two thirds of people with spinal cord injuries experience spasms. Spasms from spinal cord injuries often cause the following:
- Hyperactive reflexes: This occurs when actions that usually cause a reflex cause a spasm instead.
- Involuntary movements due to muscle contraction: This often results in sudden jerking motions.
Each of these symptoms are painful and make you feel uncomfortable. In addition to general pain, spasms cause many other ailments. Those ailments include:
- Functional impairment
- Contracture in spine
- Poor posture
There are a variety of medications available to people suffering from spasms related to spinal cord injuries. However, in some cases, you may require surgery.
Call An Atlanta Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
There are not many injuries more painful and limiting than spinal cord injuries. These injuries can demonstrably change your quality of life. This makes receiving the care you need important. Especially since the care you need may involve months and years of treatment as well as medication.If you were involved in an accident, an Atlanta spinal cord injury lawyer may be able to help. The costs of recovering from a spinal cord injury are expensive, and you may need help in recovering the damages you need and deserve. S. Burke Law has represented clients with a variety of injuries in the past 20 years. We offer Atlanta personal injury victims free consultations. We want you to gather all the information you need before making any decisions. If you believe S. Burke Law can help you, feel free to give us a call. You can reach us at 404-842-7838.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Cases?
Statute of limitations ranges from one to six years depending on the state. In Georgia, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is generally two years, but there are several exceptions to this rule.
It is a good idea to seek damages as soon as possible after an injury. Aside from the statute of limitations, there are several reasons to do so:
- It often makes for a stronger case. For instance, eyewitness accounts can fade over time, and a witness's recollection of events might be hazy after two years.
- Personal injury cases can take some time; the sooner you pursue damages, the sooner you can get paid.
What is the statute of limitations?
The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. In other words, if you got injured in Georgia on June 1, 2017, then, in most cases, you have until June 1, 2019, to file a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties.
If you wait until the statute of limitations has passed, your lawsuit has a near certain chance of being dismissed on those grounds, though you may be granted an exemption in certain unique situations.
How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia?
The standard statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Georgia is two years. For property damage, you have four years, and for cases involving reputational damage, you have only one year. In one specific type of personal injury case – that in which loss of consortium is a factor – the statute of limitations in Georgia extends to four years.
What are the exceptions to the statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Georgia?
In certain personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations does not apply, or it can be extended. Here are the most common cases:
The Discovery Rule
The discovery rule comes into play when the injured party discovers new information that sheds new light on the case. It is most commonly invoked when the injured party did not previously know about:
- The injury
- The fact that the responsible party was to blame for the injury
A common example involves exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos. Decades ago, people had no idea of the causal link between asbestos and lung cancer. So it would be unreasonable to expect someone to file a lawsuit within two years of the date of diagnosis when they had no way of knowing the actual cause of their condition.
In discovery rule cases, the statute of limitations still applies, but the clock begins running on the day the injured party learns of the relevant information.
The Responsible Party Leaves the State
Another situation that triggers an extension of the statute of limitations is when the responsible party leaves the state. If this happens, the statute of limitation is effectively paused during the time the responsible party is out of state.
For instance, if your injury occurred on June 1, 2017, and the responsible party immediately fled the state the same day, not to return until June 1, 2018, then the statute of limitations would be effectively paused for that one year. Rather than having to file a lawsuit by June 1, 2019, you would have until the same date in 2020.
The Case Involves a Minor or a Disabled Person
If the injured party is under the age of 18 or is intellectually disabled, mentally ill, or insane, the state will typically still hear their lawsuit even if it is filed after the two-year statute of limitations. This situation can be subjective, which is why it is important to get a skilled personal injury lawyer involved in the process as early as possible.
Call 404-842-7838 to Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer
The statute of limitations is just one of many facets of personal injury law that can affect the outcome of your case. At S. Burke Law, our team fights for the rights of our injured clients with compassion and conviction.
Call our office today for a free consultation. You can meet your attorney, get all your questions answered, and receive free legal advice on how to proceed. We look forward to putting our knowledge and resources to work for you. Call now for an appointment: 404-842-7838.