niklas-rhose-14302-copy-300x225Most people have probably heard the term, “statute of limitations,” and it is likely that there is a vague understanding of what it means in the general public. In most instances, when people refer to a statute of limitations, they are talking about a crime and how the state cannot prosecute someone if it waits too long before filing suit. The legal term, “statute of limitations” applies more than just criminal law, however. If you have questions about the statute of limitation in your case, contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer today.

The civil side of the law also has statutes of limitations. This means that there are limits on how long a person can take to make a claim for something like a personal injury, breached contract, property loss, and other types of claims. Each of these claims has a statute in the Georgia code limiting when a claim can be brought, which a personal injury attorney in Atlanta can help you understand further.

Personal Injury

jens-lelie-20096-copy-300x201The majority of personal injury cases settle out of court with an agreement between both parties and never go to trial. If you have been injured and have questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit, contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A recent personal injury case involving the Georgia-based gunmaker Glock and an Arkansas police officer settled out of court after the officer sued the company under personal injury laws in federal court. The judge dismissed the case once the parties settled.

This case began in June of 2013 when the police officer reportedly shot himself in the foot without even pulling the trigger. The lawsuit was based on a theory that the pistol was unsafe in its design because of the potential to misfire without such safety measures as a safety or an un-cocking device. Whether these arguments would have won the day in court remains to be seen because both sides negotiated a settlement, and a judge or jury did not provide a judgement.

The details of the settlement will not be released to the public, under the orders of the judge who oversaw the case. Under the terms of the settlement and dismissal of the case, neither side can disclose what happened in settlement negotiations or for how much the case settled. This is quite common in cases involving large companies. If you have questions about your own potential personal injury settlement, contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer today.

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Under Georgia law, any employer with more than three employees is required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance policies for all of its employees. Workers’ compensation insurance is meant to provide compensation for medical expenses, lost income, death benefits, etc., to an injured employee after he or she has been injured while on the job. If you have been injured on the job, you should speak to an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.

As a general rule, any employee who is injured on the job is eligible for worker’s compensation regardless of who is at fault for causing the accident. For example, if  an employee accidentally causes his or her own injuries while on the job, the employee is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Similarly, if the employer or a co-worker is responsible for causing an employee to suffer injuries, the injured employee is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you have questions about your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney serving Atlanta today.

Can an Employee Jeopardize His or Her Right to Workers’ Compensation?

nabeel-syed-2856-copy-300x200Many car accident personal injury cases involve multiple potential defendants and whenever a lawsuit has multiple potential defendants, liability issues can get complicated pretty quickly. The first issue in cases involving multiple potential defendants is determining the legal basis for liability of each potential defendant. The second issue is determining the proportion of liability for which each defendant is responsible. Anyone who has been involved in a multi-vehicle accident needs to speak with an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer as soon as possible about his or her particular circumstances.

Multi-Car Accidents

The most frequently encountered car accident situation involving multiple potential defendants is a multi-car accident. Multi-vehicle accidents occur every single day in Atlanta. In these cases, multiple vehicles end up in a collision together. The genesis of the accident might be a single negligent driver whose actions produce a chain reaction of other cars colliding into one another, or several vehicles could be involved in an accident together. Whatever the circumstances of the multi-vehicle wreck are, it will be critical to determine each vehicle’s comparative fault in causing the accident.

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All too often in Atlanta, careful bicyclists are involved in bicycle accidents due to the negligence of a motor vehicle driver. There is little in terms of safety equipment on a bicycle to protect a rider during an accident; there are no seatbelts, no airbags, and no walls to shield the bicyclist during an impact. Since bicyclists are substantially more vulnerable to harm than the occupant of vehicle, bicyclists often suffer significant injuries when they are hit by a negligent driver of a motor vehicle. Anyone who has been injured in a bicycle accident needs to speak to an experienced Atlanta bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible about his or her particular situation, injuries, and how to obtain financial compensation.

Do Motor Vehicle Drivers Have Legal Obligations to Bicyclists?

Any bicycle accident attorney in Atlanta can tell you that motor vehicle drivers owe a legal duty of care to bicyclists. To say this another way, motor vehicle drivers have legal obligations when it comes to how they treat the bicyclist who share the roads with them. When motor vehicle drivers act negligently and do not provide bicyclists with the respect that they deserve, bicyclists are the ones who get injured and their personal injuries are often severe.

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When someone dies as a result of injuries that were caused by the negligence of another, the reckless misconduct of another, or the intentional criminal acts of another, the surviving family members are able to file a claim for wrongful death against the party responsible. With the help of a skilled Atlanta wrongful death lawyer, justice can be sought for your dearly departed loved one.

Wrongful death claims arise in a number of different contexts, including:

  • Automobile accidents.

thThe Georgia Supreme Court recently issued a decision in a case that involves how the court must approach dog bite cases. Proving liability for dog bite cases has largely not been the responsibility of the dog and its owner. In other words, the victim is required to prove that the dog in question had a history of violent or biting behavior that should have placed the dog’s owner on notice that the dog has a violent streak. While it has traditionally been the rule in Georgia that a dog is presumed innocent until it is proven to be guilty of behavior that could cause harm, this recent Georgia Supreme Court decision makes it easier for dog bite victims to reach this burden of proof. If you have been the victim of a violent dog attack, contact an Atlanta dog bite lawyer immediately.

A History of Violence

The state’s dog bite law is clear that a dog’s owner is liable for a bite injury if the owner knows that his or her dog has a history of biting behavior. It is up to the victim to prove that the dog had a history of violent or biting behavior. Dog bite victims are eligible for damages when the dog had at sometime prior to the victim’s incident exhibited dangerous behavior, which should have put the dog’s owner on notice as to the dog’s predilection to attack and bite people. Under Georgia law, victims are required to demonstrate that the dog’s owner knew or should have known that he dog is a biter based on the dog’s past conduct.

dont-do-it-yourselfReported motor vehicle accidents resulting in death have increased for the second year in a row.  Currently the number of fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents in Georgia is more than twice the national average.  Distracted driving, speeding, and alcohol have all been linked to this increase and currently the statistics show no indication that the numbers will decrease.  Even though thousands of motor vehicle accidents take place each year most people are ill-prepared when they find themselves involved in a fender bender.  After an accident occurs many people are tempted to handle insurance claims without legal assistance, and while it is possible to settle a claim without help there are dangers associated with do it yourself accident claims negotiations.

Friendly Claims Adjusters

It is not unusual for claims adjusters to present themselves as caring and concerned individuals who are eager to help you move forward with the claim.  In reality the claims adjusters are the employees of a company that expects them to spend as little money to settle a claim as possible.  They want to protect their company and ultimately want to look out for the other driver who pays their company for coverage.  Often people handling their own insurance claims are lulled into a false sense of comradery that is used to get them to make statements that ultimately hurt their claim.

Denied-Stamp-Resized-300x300The time immediately following a personal injury is often stressful and extremely hectic.  Securing new transportation, coping with lost wages, and recovering from an injury make it difficult to focus on properly filing a personal injury claim with an insurance company.  Once a claim is filed most people assume that the insurer will quickly approve their request, but it is not unusual for an insurance company to deny injury claims.  Being aware of common reasons for personal injury claim denial may aid you if you find yourself in the difficult situation of fighting a potentially unjust coverage denial.

Lack of Coverage

Not having a valid insurance policy is one of the most common reasons for a claim to be denied.  In some instances, the policyholder failed to renew the policy, or they changed the policy excluding certain types of injuries.  It is also possible that the insurance company suspended the policy for another violation such as allowing an unlicensed or uninsured person operate your vehicle.  Policyholders who have recently moved or only receive email updates may be unaware of their lack of coverage until after a claim is filed.

keep-calm-and-shhhhhThe period immediately following an accident often sets the tone for the insurance claim process.  Though the claims adjuster representing the other party’s insurance company may seem friendly, their primary concern is saving their company money while protecting the individual they insure.  During the claims process the adjuster can use your statements, actions, and behavior against you making it difficult to receive compensation.  Being aware of what not to say after an accident may reduce your chances of doing something that compromises your case.

Avoid Apologizing for the Accident

Immediately following a vehicle accident it is not unusual for drivers to apologize to the owner of the other vehicle.  Even if the other driver is at fault, it is considered common courtesy apologize especially when speaking to someone who is physically injured.  Unfortunately, telling the other driver or the individuals occupying their vehicle that you are sorry may be construed as an admission of fault.  While you will need to talk to the other party in order to exchange insurance information and other details, do not apologize for the accident even if you secretly believe that you were partly responsible.