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!
  • Page 1
  • What Are the Different Burn Degrees?

    There are four different burn degrees: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, third-degree burns, and fourth-degree burns. Burns vary in severity and discomfort. While some burns are relatively minor and can be treated at home, others are more severe causing significant damage to your skin, organs and bones, and require surgery or even long-term medical care.

    Furthermore, burns fall into two categories: minor and major burns.

    First-Degree Burns

    First-degree burns are the least severe burn injuries. They are uncomfortable but usually do not require any medical attention. First-degree burns damage the outermost layer of your skin, and you can usually treat them at home. While they may be painful initially, the associated symptoms typically resemble bad sunburns. In rare cases, you may consider visiting a doctor if there is a risk of infection. First-degree burns typically heal in less than two weeks.

    The symptoms of first-degree burns include:

    • Dry skin
    • Tingling
    • Redness at the site of the burn
    • Painful to touch
    • Light swelling
    • Peeling similar to sunburns

    While most first-degree burns do not require visiting a doctor, you should consider visiting one if your first-degree burn is large. You should also consider it if the affected area is a key joint.

    Second-Degree Burns

    Second-degree burns are a bit more severe. They damage the skin layer underneath your top layer of skin. You may not need to visit a doctor for this burn, but they can be quite painful and are prone to infection. You can generally treat these burns yourself by cooling, cleaning, and lightly bandaging the site of the burn.

    Second-degree burn symptoms include:

    • Redness or pink skin at the site of the burn
    • Skin lightening when you touch the affected area
    • Blistering

    Second degree burns usually heal in about two weeks. While you should not experience scarring in the affected area, you may notice changes in your skin color.  

    Third-Degree Burns

    Third-degree burns affect deeper layers of your skin. They are known as “full thickness” burns. Third-degree burns are very painful and require immediate medical attention. In fact, you will likely require skin grafts as part of your treatment to restore your skin. Common causes of third-degree burns include open fires, extremely hot liquids, flash explosions, and exposure to hot surfaces.

    The following are symptoms of third-degree burns:

    • Skin appears deep red but sometimes white
    • A waxy texture
    • Outer layer of skin is heavily damaged
    • Deep tissue damage
    • May feel less pain initially but the pain often becomes more pronounced as time wears on (in some cases, you may feel no pain at all)

    Fourth-Degree Burns

    Like you would expect, fourth-degree burns are the most severe burns you can experience. They require immediate medical attention, and you will likely require skin grafts, surgery, and more. These burns extend through the skin into fat, bones, and muscle. Though they are the most severe burns they are not always the most painful. This is because most people who suffer fourth-degree burns experience some level of shock. Also, fourth-degree burns often damage nerve endings, preventing you from feeling pain from the affected area. Fourth-degree burns are serious and sometimes require amputation. In other cases, they are a cause of death.

    Signs of fourth-degree burns include:

    • Black, charred skin
    • Dry skin
    • Loss of function at the site of the burn

    Minor and Major Burns

    While there are four different burn degrees, there are also minor burns and major burns.

    First-degree burns are minor burns on the body. Other minor burns include second-degree burns that are less than two or three inches. Any type of third-degree or fourth-degree burn is a major burn.

    It is important to note you can have more than a single type of burn at one time on your body. For example, you may have suffered third-degree burns on your legs and second-degree burns on your arms after a house fire. 

    Call an Atlanta Attorney After Your Burn Injuries

    Burns injuries are among the most painful you can suffer. And they can occur in a variety of ways. Grease, car accidents, friction, and electricity are among the different ways you can suffer burn injuries.

    If you or someone you care about suffered a burn injury caused by negligence, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. We will walk you through your options and pore over the details of your case. We can walk you through the stages of a personal injury claim and ease the stress it places on your family. We offer free consultations. Call us now at 404-842-7838 to learn more about how S. Burke Law can help with your burn injury.

  • What Is the Average Settlement for Whiplash Injuries?

    It is impossible to pinpoint an average settlement payment for a whiplash injury because so many variables determine the value of each case.

    A whiplash settlement can amount to anything from a few thousand dollars for a minor neck injury to millions of dollars for a severe, debilitating injury requiring long-term medical treatment.

    You are probably wondering where your settlement will fall within that range. While there is no way to know for sure, the following sections explain the process of valuing whiplash injuries and the factors that determine the value of your case.

    What Factors Might Affect My Case’s Value?

    Several factors affect what you might be able to expect for a whiplash injury settlement. These factors might include:

    Severity and Duration of Your Whiplash Injury

    As a general rule, the worse your injury is, the more compensation you will receive for it. Whiplash can range from a minor inconvenience to a debilitating condition. The time it takes you to recover can also vary greatly. A more severe injury that takes longer to recover often results in higher medical bills, more time away from work, and greater pain and suffering. All these things factor into your settlement amount.

    Type and Extent of Medical Treatment

    In most personal injury cases, medical expenses comprise a big part of the settlement payout. Anyone who has spent time in a hospital or undergone surgery knows the bills are never cheap.

    That is why the type and extent of your medical treatment affects the amount of your payout. If you require surgery, extended hospitalization, or extensive treatment from physicians, you are more likely to get a higher payout.

    If, on the other hand, you can easily treat your whiplash injury with physical or chiropractic care alone, you will likely recover less.

    Lost Wages and Reduced Earning Capacity

    You also deserve compensation for your lost wages and reduced earning capacity. Lost wages refer to the work you have to miss while recovering from your injuries.

    Reduced earning capacity means that your injury compromised your ability to continue to work and earn a living. Once again, the amount of work you must miss and the extent of your loss of earning capacity affects the value of your settlement payout.

    An injury victim who becomes permanently disabled and can no longer work might conceivably win millions of dollars here, whereas a person with a minor issue who only misses a few weeks of work would get a lower amount.

    Your age and how much you make also influences the amount you might receive. Consider the following examples:

    Person A is 25 years old and makes $50,000 a year. His whiplash injury requires he take a lesser-paying job.

    Person B is 60 years old and makes $45,000 a year. His whiplash injury also requires he take a lesser-paying job.

    Person A will likely recover more because he has more working years ahead of him and he also makes more per year.

    Pain and Suffering

    The most subjective damages from a whiplash injury are for pain and suffering. You want an aggressive and knowledgeable lawyer representing you who can demonstrate the extent to which your pain and suffering have affected your life.

    What you recover for pain and suffering depends on various factors including how much your injury affected you and your economic damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, etc.) Every jury and every negotiation is different, which makes it especially difficult even to ballpark a figure for pain and suffering.

    Whether You Were At-Fault

    Your contribution to the accident or your injuries can have a big effect on what you can expect to recover.

    Georgia operates under comparative fault laws which hold that you can recover compensation for an injury as long as you were 49 percent or less at fault for it. However, your percentage of fault will decrease your settlement.

    For example, you suffered whiplash after a distracted driver rear-ended you. Because the other driver was not paying attention, he is primarily at-fault. However, one of your brake lights was out, so the insurer found you 10 percent at-fault. You would be able to recover 90 percent of your demand. If your demand was $10,000, you would be able to recover $9,000.

    Your Pre-Existing Conditions

    A pre-existing condition, such as an old neck injury, can lower your settlement amount or even make it impossible for you to recover compensation.

    Call Us Today to Find Out How Much Your Whiplash Injury Could Be Worth

    As you can see, many factors determine your settlement payout in a whiplash injury case. At S. Burke Law, we are uniquely qualified to fight accident cases. That is because our lead attorney and founder used to work for an insurance company as an adjuster; thus, she can anticipate and counter every tactic the insurer might use to reduce or deny your accident claim.

    Ready to get started? Call us today for a free consultation: 404-842-7838.

  • Can I file a Georgia personal injury claim to pay for the broken hip I suffered in a car accident in Atlanta?

    You may or may not be able to file a Georgia personal injury claim for a broken hip injury resulting from a car accident in Atlanta – it all depends upon the specifics of your accident.

    Broken hip injuries can cause an enormous amount of pain, downtime and almost always require surgery. If you’ve sustained a broken hip in car accident, Atlanta attorneys will be able to examine evidence and tell you whether or not you have the grounds to file a claim.

    If it is determined that the other party can be held legally liable for your injuries, you’ll be able to file a claim and recover financial recompense to pay for all the medical bills and future rehabilitative expenses that you accrue.

    Fractured bones such as broken hips can turn your world on its ear; you won’t be able to return to work for some time, nor will you be able to perform many of your normal daily activities. 

    The financial pressures can quickly amass, too, especially when you’ve lost income because of your injuries. You’ll likely be swamped with expenses from your: 

    • hospital visits;
    • doctors;
    • orthopedic specialists;
    • surgery;
    • medications; and
    • rehabilitation therapists. 
    In order to determine if you’re able to file a Georgia personal injury claim to account for your broken hip injury, you’ll need to consult directly with a car accident lawyer in Atlanta. An attorney will be able to look over the details of your case and provide you with answers to all of your claim questions.

    Contacting an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney

    If you are the victim of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, such as in a car accident in Atlanta, 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 – 1-404-842-7838.

  • How do I know -- and how can I prove -- my injury is due to medical malpractice in Georgia?

    To prove that medical malpractice in Georgia caused your injury, you must establish that your doctor had a duty to treat you and breached that duty by failing to provide a reasonable standard of care. Considering proving this can be complex, speaking with an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer would be a good starting point of fighting your case.

    You should know that reasonable standard of care varies from region to region, and possibly clinic to clinic so you must show that, under the same circumstances, your doctor acted in a manner different than other Georgia physicians. After proving that your doctor failed to exercise a standard of care, you must then show that this breach of duty caused your injuries.

    Proving medical malpractice in Georgia can be extremely difficult, especially since the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff. By hiring an experienced lawyer, you can improve your chances of a successful claim. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can launch his or her own investigation to uncover evidence that can prove the doctor's negligence or wrongdoing.

    Your Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer may consult with a number of experts, including health care providers, who can help establish Georgia's standard of care. An independent physician may also be asked to testify that your doctor demonstrated negligence or poor care, thus causing your injuries and committing medical malpractice.

    In Georgia, you can recover compensation for injuries sustained due to a negligent or incompetent doctor. Your Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer may ask for damages for your lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. The court may also award punitive damages for the physician's actions of medical malpractice in Georgia.

    Contacting an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer

    An experienced lawyer can help you prove your medical malpractice in Georgia claim. 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 - 1-404-842-7838

  • What is Whiplash?

    Whiplash is a neck injury that commonly occurs during rear-end accidents. The impact of a rear-end collision causes a sudden forward then backward movement of your head, straining the muscles, ligaments, tissue, and nerves in the neck. Whiplash is medically known as cervical acceleration-deceleration syndrome.

    Your symptoms and level of pain vary depending on the severity of your accident. Whiplash symptoms can range from headaches and muscle weakness to fatigue and depression. Learn more about whiplash below.

    Symptoms of Whiplash

    There are many symptoms associated with whiplash. As mentioned above, they can vary depending on the nature of your accident. It is important to note that many whiplash symptoms can take days or longer to manifest so it is important to keep an eye out for the following symptoms if you were recently involved in a car accident or a slip and fall:

    • Neck pain: The pain can range from mild to severe. While neck pain is typically a sign of ligament or muscle strains, it can also be a sign of injuries to discs and nerves.
    • Reduced range of motion: Loss of mobility is a common symptom of whiplash. It could be due to muscle tightening or a joint injury.
    • Tingling in fingertips and muscle weakness: Muscle weakness and tingling in the fingertips is one of the symptoms most commonly associated with whiplash. The impact of the collision can compress your nerve roots, causing tingling and weakness in your arms, hands, and fingers.
    • Shoulder and back pain: Muscle strains and tears associated with whiplash can lead to shoulder and upper back discomfort.
    • Headaches: Nerve damage and tightened muscles often cause whiplash injury victims to report headaches.

    The above are symptoms most commonly reported by whiplash victims. While we would not call them less severe, they tend to be relatively shorter-term injuries. However, some whiplash victims report symptoms for months or even years after an accident.

    There are a few more long-term complaints associated with whiplash of which you should be aware.

    • Irritability and depression: Many people suffering from whiplash experience emotional changes. In some cases, it may simply be cases of irritability and anxiousness. In more severe cases, accident victims can develop depression.
    • Dizziness: If whiplash caused injury to the inner ear, you might experience dizziness or vertigo. In some cases, the dizziness is a symptom of a concussion which can occur when your head snaps forward and back.
    • Loss of memory and concentration levels: Whiplash can also negatively affect your memory and ability to concentrate. These symptoms can manifest immediately following your accident, but it is not rare for them to begin days, or even weeks, after your accident. How long your memory and concentration loss lasts depends on the severity of your whiplash injury.
    • Fatigue: Many accident victims with whiplash report sleeplessness and an overall lack of energy. Victims who report fatigue might also experience feelings of depression.
    • Ringing or buzzing in the ears: This ringing or buzzing, known as tinnitus, can be constant or occur intermittently. Both brain and jaw injuries associated with whiplash can cause the ringing.

    Can I Recover the Costs of Medical Treatment for Whiplash?

    Yes, if another party was at-fault for your accident, you can hold him liable for your treatment costs. While we cannot tell you specifically how much you can recover in a claim, a few common factors can influence just how much you can expect to collect. Those factors are:

    • Fault and liability
    • Properly diagnosing your injury
    • Saving documents detailing your injury

    If you were rear-ended, chances are that the driver who hit you holds more fault than you do. If this is the case, then you are entitled to some form of compensation in a claim. However, under Georgia’s comparative negligence laws, your fault will decrease your settlement. But before you can recover compensation, you must also demonstrate the severity of your injuries.

    Getting yourself checked out ultimately helps your claim if you choose to file one. Insurers want to limit how much they pay out, and a delay in the beginning of your treatment is one piece of evidence they could use to argue that your injuries are not that serious.

    But beginning the process early takes that point away and establishes your history of diagnosis and treatment.

    Call S. Burke Law For a Free Consultation

    Dealing with injuries from an accident is frustrating, especially if the accident was not your fault. If you are curious to learn more about your options to recover compensation, call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838. Our consultations are free, and we never charge you a dime until you recover the compensation you need.

  • What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?

    A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs from a blow, jolt or bump to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. This can happen when the head hits an object without warning or if an object makes contact to the head - in some cases piercing through the skull and damaging brain tissue.

    When a person experiences head trauma, it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you or someone you love has experienced a traumatic brain injury and believe negligence may have been a factor; have an Atlanta personal injury lawyer assist you in determining your legal options for filing a Georgia personal injury claim.

    Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms 

    Although not all blows or bumps to the head will result in a TBI, a traumatic brain injury can range from mild to severe. The majority of TBIs that can occur on an annual basis are concussions, however even a mild concussion can lead to serious injury if it is not treated or a if secondary concussion occurs before the first one heals properly.

    A person who has sustained a traumatic brain injury can experience a variety of symptoms that include:

    • loss of consciousness;
    • headache;
    • nausea;
    • dizziness;
    • blurred vision;
    • fatigue;
    • inability to recollect memories;
    • lack of concentration;
    • numbness;
    • loss of coordination; and
    • behavioral and mood changes. 

    Getting immediate medical treatment can help save a life or reduce the potential long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury. If you sustained a severe TBI because of the negligence of someone else, such as through a motor vehicle accident or slip and fall, you can get the legal opinion of an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer to see what options you may have for compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, and other accident expenses.

    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.