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Fiery Fatal Truck Crash in the National News

A fiery tragic truck crash that occurred recently in Florida made national news due to the severity of the injuries and the fatalities that resulted. The crash, which involved multiple vehicles, occurred on Interstate 75 close to Gainesville. Apparently, a truck driver struck a passenger vehicle, lost control of his truck and then crossed the center divide. In crossing into oncoming highway traffic, he hit a van that was filled with children who were taking a church trip from Louisiana to Disney World. Five children were fatally injured in this head-on crash. The passenger vehicle also crossed over into oncoming traffic.

The fire that ensued involved the truck, the passenger vehicle and a second truck. The aftermath was witnessed by many other drivers and passengers who sat in their vehicles in shock. The truck driver who may have started this chain reaction, also lost his life in this crash. The driver of the second truck that was struck in the crash also sustained fatal injuries.

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Georgia saw an increase in fatal accidents over the Christmas holiday this year. There were 26 lives lost in fatal accidents which is 11 more than in 2017. There were also 285 people arrested for driving under the influence. And additional thousands were given citations and warnings. Despite warnings and consequences, driving under the influence continues to present a danger not only to that driver’s passengers, but to all on the road. Many of us have had the experience of noticing a vehicle weaving and suspecting a drunk or impaired driver. If we see a driver on the road who seems compromised, we need to know what to do. It is not always possible to avoid the dangers presented by these drivers. We can try to take steps to avoid serious injury from an Atlanta drunk driving accident. And, if possible, we can safely report the driver to help law enforcement get the driver off the road.

According to the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control, about every hour in America someone is fatally injured due to a drunk or impaired driver. It is alarming to think that we are on the road with impaired drivers, but they are out there with us. It is not always possible to know they are driving near you or predict how a drunk driver could harm you. They might suddenly move into your lane or stop when they should not stop, or fail to stop when they should. There are some things you can do to protect yourself.

Seat Belts Save Lives

If you are involved in a car accident in Georgia, any personal injury lawsuit to recover damages must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. The argument that a claim is barred by the applicable statute of limitations can be refuted by evidence that the statute has been tolled.

In a recent case, the court of Appeals of Georgia held that the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit following a car accident was tolled by the state’s prosecution for a traffic citation issued in the accident. If you sustained injuries or property damages in a car accident, it is in your best interest to consult a Georgia car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your right to pursue compensation from the responsible party.

Facts Surrounding the Car Accident

Allegedly, on October 16, 2014, the plaintiff and the defendant were driving on a Georgia highway when they were involved in a collision. The responding police officer issued a traffic citation to Defendant for following the plaintiff too closely. The citation indicated November 18, 2014 as the date the defendant could contest the citation in Municipal Court. The defendant paid the citation on October 27, 2014, and on November 18, 2014 the Municipal Court issued a bond forfeiture.

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While it is not impossible, recovering compensation for personal injuries from a municipality or government entity is often a complicated and involved process. For example, if you are involved in a car accident with a municipal employee, in addition to the procedural requirements that navigate the pursuit of damages in a standard car accident case, there are additional ante litem, or pre-lawsuit, notice requirements under Georgia law.

A failure to provide the proper notice can be fatal to a claim, as was recently illustrated in a case arising out of the Court of Appeals of Georgia. If you suffered injuries in a car accident with a municipal employee, you should meet with a skilled Georgia car accident attorney to discuss the facts of your case and whether you may be able to seek compensation.

Factual Background

Reportedly, on May 2, 2014, the plaintiff sustained injuries while riding as a passenger in a truck that was involved in a car accident with a police officer that worked for the defendant city. On September 6, 2014, the plaintiff sent the defendant city ante litem notice, which stated, in part that she sought the full amount of recovery allowed under Georgia law. The defendant city acknowledged receipt of the notice and replied it was investigating the claim. On February 2, 2016, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant city. The defendant city filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit, arguing the plaintiff’s ante litem notice was insufficient. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the trial court’s ruling was affirmed.

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Medical malpractice cases filed in Georgia usually must be filed within two years of the date of harm caused by the injury. While in many cases the date of the injury is easily identifiable, the date of the injury caused by malpractice may be disputed in some cases.

In a recent case, the Court of  Appeals of Georgia held that where a misdiagnosis leads to a second more serious illness, the date of the injury is the date when symptoms of the second illness begin to appear, not the date of the misdiagnosis. If you were injured in Georgia due to a misdiagnosis, you should consult an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer that specializes in malpractice to discuss your options for seeking damages from the responsible parties.

Factual Background

Reportedly, the Plaintiff’s deceased Wife sought treatment from Dr. V.S., a gynecologist, due to abnormal bleeding and a tumor in her uterus. Dr. V.S. referred Wife to Dr. J.H. who evaluated Wife and determined there was a very low chance the tumor was cancerous, which Dr. V.S. took to mean the manner in which the uterus was removed did not matter. In December 2013, Dr. V.S. removed Wife’s uterus via a robotic hysterectomy, which morcellated, or cut up, the uterus and tumor rather than removing them whole. Subsequently, an analysis of the tissue revealed that the tumor was cancerous, but CT scans at that time did not indicate any cancer. In October 2014, however, a scan revealed the presence of abdominal tumors, indicating that the cancer had returned. Allegedly, the morcellating caused cancer that was previously confined to the uterus, to spread throughout Wife’s abdominal cavity. Wife subsequently died of metastatic cancer on May 19, 2015.

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While we presume household appliances are safe, many of the products we used on a daily basis pose some risk of harm. If a person sustains injuries due to a defective product, he or she may be able to recover damages from the manufacture of the product. In Mary Sheffield v. Conair Corporation,  a Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed that in assessing whether the design of a product is unreasonably dangerous a court must engage in a risk-utility analysis in which they assess whether the risks inherent in a design outweigh the usefulness of a product. If you are a Georgia resident who sustained injuries due to a defective product you should retain an experienced Georgia products liability attorney to assess your case and whether you may be able to recover damages.

Plaintiff’s Allegations

Allegedly, the plaintiff and her mother lived together in an apartment. The plaintiff was using a heating pad manufactured by the defendant on her neck. Approximately an hour and a half after the plaintiff began used the heating pad, her mother came to check on her and noticed an unusual odor. The plaintiff’s mother then pulled back the sheets and noticed the heating pad had burned the mattress. The plaintiff got out of bed, after which flames spread through the mattress and nearby curtains. The apartment subsequently burned down. The fire department conducted an investigation and the fire chief stated he believed the fire started in the area of the heating pad. The plaintiff filed a suit against the defendant alleged the heating pad had a design defect and alleged claims of negligence, strict liability, and failure to warn against the defendant.

Public places like shopping centers often have multiple entities that share the responsibilities for maintaining the property. If a person is injured in a fall at a shopping center, it may initially be unclear who may be liable for the person’s harm, and the entities who own and maintain the property may attempt to shift blame. Under Georgia personal injury law, property owners often have certain duties to the public that, in most cases, they typically cannot delegate.

In Green v. Pateco Services, LLChowever, a Georgia Court of Appeals recently held that if a contract specifically imposes duties on an independent contractor to protect a plaintiff from harm, the plaintiff may recover from the independent contractor directly. If you were injured in a Georgia slip and fall accident, you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you determine the proper parties from whom you should pursue damages.

Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff worked for a tavern, which was a restaurant in a shopping center. He was in the process of taking hot oil outside to dispose of it as part of his job duties. He was walking through the lot of the shopping center when he stepped on an uncovered water meter and spilled the oil onto himself, causing him to sustain third-degree burns. Plaintiff sued the tavern and the property owners, alleging they negligently failed to inspect the premises. The tavern subsequently joined a maintenance company in the lawsuit, alleging the maintenance company was responsible for the accident.

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When someone is killed due to the negligence of another, their representatives may be able to bring a wrongful death suit against the tortfeasor(s) that caused their death. If someone is injured but does not die, they may still be able to collect damages for things like lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, and other damages, but a wrongful death suit cannot be brought until after someone dies. If you think that your loved one may have died due to the fault of another, you should contact a skilled Georgia wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.

Wrongful Death in Georgia

In most cases, damages for wrongful death amount to the full value of the person’s life. Georgia statute and case law states that the value of the life of the deceased will be shown by the evidence. A wrongful death claim only awards damages for the losses suffered by the deceased person. So even though a representative – such as a child of the deceased – brings the suit, it cannot consider the pain and loss suffered by the child.

In the case at issue, a woman was injured in a car accident resulting in a coma. After the accident, her legal guardian filed a personal injury lawsuit against the car manufacturer, alleging faulty seatbelt and door locking mechanisms. The car manufacturer settled with plaintiff, and in exchange for the settlement the plaintiff’s representative released the company from any claims and damages, including a claim for wrongful death “inasmuch as [plaintiff] has not died…”

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When a case goes to court, both sides are supposed to present evidence to support the arguments they are making. In fact, evidence is one of the most important (if not the most important) aspects of a case. If there is no evidence, then it is impossible for the plaintiff to prove their case. So clearly evidence is crucial. However, there are some kinds of evidence that one of the parties will be in a much easier place to hold on to. For example, a business will be in the best position to access important business records. At some point, there is a time when a party is required to hold on to certain evidence. If you have questions of this nature, be sure to reach out to a Georgia car accident attorney.

Missing Tires

This case looks at when the duty to preserve evidence applies in Georgia. Here, the plaintiff’s husband was killed in a car accident. He was driving on Interstate 16 when a tread on his left rear tire detached. It allegedly caused him to lose control of the vehicle and his vehicle eventually flipped over. He was injured, and although he regained consciousness at the hospital he died before he was able to be discharged from the hospital. His wife filed this suit on his behalf.

Unfortunately, sometimes after a car accident one of the drivers involved will leave the scene of the accident. That can cause some issues and complications for any court cases that follow from the accident. If you are in a car accident, you should contact a skilled Gwinnett County car accident attorney as soon as possible. As this case illustrates, you still may be able to recover damages under Georgia’s uninsured motorist statute. 

Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Georgia

Under Georgia law, it is a crime to leave the scene of a car accident. Penalties for leaving the scene of an accident differ depending on how serious the damage is and whether there was solely property damage or anyone was injured or killed. If you are caught leaving the scene of an accident, the penalty can often be worse than anything that would have arisen from the accident itself. If you are involved in a car accident, a knowledgeable Georgia personal injury attorney can help inform you of your options.

“John Doe” and Venue 

If you are in a car accident and the other party leaves the scene of the accident, you still may be able to hold them accountable for damages under the Georgia uninsured motorist statute. This happened in a recent case heard by the Georgia Supreme Court. The plaintiffs were driving on the highway when a car swerved into their lane and they had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting it. As the car behind them was following too closely, it collided with the plaintiffs’ car which caused injury.

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