Articles Posted in Negligence

car accidentI was in a crash in Georgia recently, and it doesn’t look like the other driver had insurance. I asked for full coverage when I took out my policy, so I’m covered, right?

That depends upon what you mean by “full coverage.” Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a serious auto accident to drive home the importance of understanding exactly what is – and, more importantly, what is not – covered under one’s automobile accident insurance policy. You are only covered against damages caused by an uninsured motorist if your so-called “full coverage” includes uninsured motorist insurance (UM). It is not unusual for an injured person to discover, too late, that what they thought was complete coverage against losses suffered in a car accident did not actually include UM coverage.

How can I find out the type of coverage I have?

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Q: I was hurt because of somebody else’s negligence. How long do I have to sue?

A: While it’s always best to consult with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney about your particular case, the general statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years under Georgia Code § 9-3-33. However, depending upon the type of case (and other factors), the time for making a claim could be significantly shorter.

Q: How does the type of case affect the time for filing suit?

police carGenerally speaking, when an Atlanta car accident is caused by the negligence of someone who is “on the clock” with their employer, the employer can be held vicariously liable for the resulting injuries to the plaintiff.

There are some exceptions to this general rule, and the defendant in a given case may have a good argument that it should not be held liable under a certain set of facts. Even if vicarious liability is not possible, an injured person who is hurt by someone who is purportedly acting within their employment – or, at the least, is driving an automobile owned by their employer – may have another claim, such as negligent entrustment.

An appellate court in a recent case involving a police officer explored these different types of liability, ultimately concluding that some of the plaintiff’s claims had to be dismissed as redundant in that particular case.

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Atlanta truck accidents can result in complex litigation, including claims against not only careless truckers but also the companies for which they work. In a truck accident lawsuit, a trucking company may be held vicariously liable for the negligence of its employee, and it may also be found directly liable for its own negligence.

This is a good thing, since large trucking companies typically have higher liability insurance limits than might an owner-operator, thus increasing the likelihood that a seriously injured person or the family of someone killed in a fatal truck accident may be fully compensated.

Facts of the Case

large potholeIn an Atlanta car accident lawsuit, the defendant is not always a negligent motorist whose actions led to a crash. Sometimes, a party who was not even present at the accident scene may be named as a defendant – such as in a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of an uncrashworthy vehicle or, as in a recent appellate case, a city (and city officials) who allegedly failed to maintain a roadway, thus causing an accident.

When the defendant happens to be a governmental entity, however, special rules apply, and such cases can prove to be more difficult than cases against “regular” defendants, such as individuals or businesses.

Facts of the Case

brick wallThere’s an expression, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” that implies that the finer details of a situation often do not really matter. While this may be true for some things, it is definitely not true in a Georgia premises liability case.

The details matter, and they matter very much. The “small stuff,” like who exactly paid an injured child’s medical expenses, can make a big difference in the outcome of a lawsuit. In a recent case, overlooking such an issue cost the parents more than $35,000.

Facts of the Case

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In an Atlanta personal injury lawsuit filed against a municipal corporation (such as a city government), the injured person must give written notice of his or her claim prior to filing suit, or else he or she will not be allowed to maintain a negligence case seeking compensation for his or her injuries.

This claim must be made within six months of the event giving rise to the plaintiff’s claim, and it must be made in writing to the governing authority of the municipal corporation.

Additionally, the notice must state the time and place of the accident, the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, and the manner in which the defendant’s negligence is alleged to have caused the injuries in question. Continue reading

man holding gunLaw students are taught that there are four basic components to a negligence lawsuit:  duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

Theoretically, an Atlanta personal injury claimant who can prove each of these elements by a preponderance of the evidence should be able to recover fair compensation for injuries suffered due to another party’s negligence.

That’s the theory. In reality, however, unless the defendant has liability insurance – and in an amount sufficient to fully compensate the plaintiff for his or her losses – it can be difficult or impossible to recover fair compensation even if all of the traditional elements of negligence are present.

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man on motorcycleWhen the cause of an Atlanta motorcycle accident is disputed, one or both parties may seek to introduce the testimony of an accident reconstructionist. Such testimony is not automatically heard by the trier of fact at trial, however, since the burden of proving the admissibility of the witness’ testimony is on the party seeking to introduce it. Unless the proposed expert is properly qualified to testify as to the issues at hand, the trial court judge will not allow the testimony.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case under consideration by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, the plaintiff was a man who was injured in a motor vehicle collision in August 2014. At the time of the crash, the plaintiff was riding a motorcycle. He filed suit against the defendants, the driver of the truck that allegedly struck the plaintiff’s motorcycle and the driver’s employer. Two insurance companies were also named as defendants.

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One of the reasons that it is so important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible after a motor vehicle collision or another accident resulting in injuries or death is that there may be several potential theories of recovery, some of which may not be obvious to the injured party or his or her family.

Unless these claims are handled promptly and appropriately, the plaintiff may not be able to effectively pursue compensation from certain potentially liable parties later. Continue reading