Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Gavel, law book, and paper with the text "personal injury"One of the things we try to do here at Slappey & Sadd is remember what it’s like to be in the client’s shoes. It’s a good way to remember that things that may seem routine or unremarkable are actually unknown territory and fairly intimidating for the people we represent. As a result, we thought we’d use today’s post to walk you through the process in the event that you’ve been seriously injured.  

Seek Medical Treatment

If you’ve been injured, the first and most important step is to seek medical treatment. In some cases, you have no choice – you need to go to the emergency room. In other cases, you felt fine right after the accident, but two days later you were in a considerable amount of pain. Or maybe you did receive immediate medical attention, but now you’re presenting with different symptoms.  Whatever the case, you should listen to your body – if something isn’t right, go get checked out as soon as possible.

Various smart-phone app social media icons, including Instagram, Facebook, and TwitterSocial media is here to stay – most everyone uses either Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or one of the other platforms, and many people use multiple forms on a daily basis. We use social media to stay in touch with friends and family, celebrate important milestones, and even share the seemingly insignificant but entertaining aspects of our day. We even use it to share our struggles and misfortunes when we need a sympathetic ear.  

In fact, social media has become so ingrained in our daily lives that we share our daily stories without much thought. “Oversharing” can be annoying or embarrassing, but in the context of a personal injury case, it can do irreparable damage to your chances of success. In this post, we’re going to share some suggestions to help keep your social media accounts out of your personal injury case.  

First and Foremost: Check Your Privacy Settings

In a study released earlier this year, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association reported that Georgia ranked 16th in the nation in the number of pedestrian traffic fatalities. While every other type of traffic fatality decreased, pedestrian fatalities increased by 27% from 2007 to 2016. These are alarming statistics that underscore the importance of increasing our efforts to make sure our roadways are safe for everyone, not just motorists. However, these numbers also serve as a sobering reminder of the risks you face every time you go out for a walk. And of course, these risks include very serious injury and even death.

You May Be Entitled to Compensation

If you or a family member were injured in an accident as a pedestrian, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, in order to receive compensation, you need to prove that the driver owed you a duty – namely to drive in a manner so as not to cause you injury. You then have to prove that the driver breached that duty, typically by driving negligently. Finally, you have to prove that the driver’s breach of his duty to you caused the accident and thereby caused your injury.  

To the relief of many parents, summer is almost over and kids are heading back to school. It’s an exciting time of year – new teachers, new school clothes and school supplies, and new opportunities. Lost in all the excitement, however, is the possibility for serious accidents and injuries. We’d like to take the opportunity in this post to review these potential dangers so that you’re prepared in the event one of your children is injured in an accident.  

Bus Accidents

Once school is in session, more than 20,000 buses take to the roads across the state of Georgia. Some of us logged many hours on school buses as kids, and the fact that they didn’t have seatbelts seemed totally normal.  Despite the recommendation of the NTSB, Georgia law still does not mandate that school buses have seat belts. As a result, kids are exposed to risks of injuries that they do not face when riding in your car.  Here are some common causes of school bus accidents:

There are few things more appealing to the American imagination than a motorcycle – the freedom of the open road, the sound of the engine, the places you can go, and the people you meet. But talk to any motorcyclist, and you quickly realize that they are exposed to more danger than those of us who travel by car. Ironically, most of those dangers are presented by people negligently driving their cars.  

Because they do not have the protection of an enclosed vehicle, motorcyclists are far more likely to be injured or killed in an accident. The CDC reports that motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to be killed in an accident than people who are driving cars. The statistics show that even though car deaths are declining, motorcycle accidents remain about the same, and in recent years, have even shown a slight increase.  

These are certainly sobering statistics. However, it’s important to remember that many accidents are the result of someone’s negligence. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident as the result of the other driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other expenses.  

A recent story about a police dog in Roswell, Georgia is a good reminder that some dog attacks are the result of training and deserve some special consideration. In that story, a teen suspect was complying with police direction when he was attacked by the officer’s dog. The dog failed to respond to commands to stop, and as a result, the teen suffered severe dog bite injuries when the dog failed to respond to commands.  

Most dog bite cases involve a private citizen who owns the dog as a pet. The dog may have a history of attacking and biting people, but in many cases, they do not. In those cases, the owner of the dog is typically negligent in keeping the dog under his or her control. In other cases, such as the one linked to above, the dog is trained to attack other people on command.  

Negligence in Dog Bite Cases Under Georgia Law

Despite modern safety equipment and government regulations, construction sites are still a very dangerous place to work. Construction workers can’t work when they’re injured so these accidents can be extremely problematic on a number of levels. In addition to your lost wages, what about your medical bills? How are you going to pay your mortgage or put food on the table? And what if you’re permanently disabled? There are a number of complicated questions that surround these injuries. If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you should at least consider talking with a lawyer in order to understand your options.  

Worker’s Compensation vs. Personal Injury

Thankfully, worker’s compensation benefits are available in most cases, but most people don’t understand what worker’s comp covers and what it does not. Furthermore, in most cases, filing a claim for worker’s compensation prohibits you from suing your employer for personal injury.  As a result, it’s important to understand the difference between a personal injury claim and worker’s compensation and a personal injury lawsuit. We’ve provided the table below to help illustrate the differences between these two types of claims.

In our previous post, we discussed a scenario where you and your family were in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. As is often the case, the other driver winds up being charged with DUI. People sometimes get confused as to what that means for them if they are injured, and so we discussed some of the principal differences between the criminal case and a claim for your personal injuries. Here is a brief summary of the points we discussed:

  • The criminal case against the driver is brought by the government, based on the fact that he broke the law. He will face possible jail time and fines, as well as other penalties.  
  • A personal injury lawsuit is based on the victim’s claim for damages arising from the accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.  

Here is an unfortunately all-too-common scenario: you’re driving home late one night from a family get-together. Suddenly, while coming around a turn, a car appears in your lane coming right at you. You try to swerve, but it’s too late, and the other vehicle hits you head on. Your vehicle is totaled. Your family is a bit shaken-up but seems to otherwise be ok. It’s immediately obvious that the other driver is severely intoxicated. When police arrive on the scene, he’s mostly incoherent. The police report indicates that there was a strong odor of alcohol emanating from the vehicle, he admitted to having several drinks, and could not perform any of the field sobriety tests. As a result, you’re not surprised to learn that the other driver is being prosecuted for DUI.  

A few days pass and you discover that even though you have insurance, you’re going to have to pay out of pocket in order to replace your car. In addition, you have a lot of stiffness in your upper body. Your husband has intermittent pain in his neck, and one of your children is complaining about severe, recurring headaches. What do you do?

Isn’t all of this being handled in the criminal case? Over the next couple of posts, we’ll be discussing how the criminal case and a claim for personal injury are related.  

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