Articles Posted in Brain Injuries

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18 wheeler crash.jpgWe have all experienced the same fear as we drive on the highway: A huge eighteen wheeler (“Mack Truck”; “Tractor Trailer”) either in front of us or trying to pass us. The very thought of being next to one of these huge vehicles, as they speed down the highway, immediately invokes caution in drivers.

Unfortunately, about 500,000 trucking accidents happen every year in the United States. And of those, about 5,000 result in fatalities, death. Of the approximate 5,000 deaths caused by trucks (e.g., Mack Trucks, Eighteen Wheelers; Tractor Trailers; Freight liners), 98% of those fatalities occur to the people in the cars that were hit by the trucks.

Because these trucks are so massive and deadly, our U.S. Congress has passed an enormous amount of laws to regulate the trucking industry. These laws are complex and numerous, so you must obtain a good Georgia lawyer who understands how to litigate crashes that involve trucks.

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justice-scales-gavel-fb.jpegChoosing a good lawyer to help you with a case, such as wrongful death, contract dispute, employment termination; asset forfeiture, and excessive force, can be very difficult.

Many blog posts advise you to make sure that (1) you feel comfortable with the lawyer you choose and that (2) the lawyer you choose has sound experience and understanding in the area you need representation in. While all that is true, there is one area that also demonstrates the quality of representation you will be obtaining to handle your case: your lawyer’s willingness and ability to handle an appeal of your case in front of a higher court.

Foremost, you may not read a lot of blog posts that talk about handling an appeal of your case in front of higher courts, because that means something may have went wrong with your case in the lower court. But here’s the reality: when you are going up against cities, school districts; law enforcement officials; public officials; big corporations; and hospitals–whether you win or lose at the lower court (trial court), one party is going to appeal, or threaten to appeal the loss, to the higher court (Appeals Court).

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This is an extremely disturbing video of what happened yesterday in Oakland, California at an Occupy Oakland protest. A young Iraq war veteran named Scott Olsen, age 24, is potentially brain injured thanks to a police officer throwing something that some people are alleging to be a flashbang grenade, i.e. a bomb, into a crowd of people. When a crowd of young people rush to help save him it appears that the police officer throws a second bomb at the crowd. At this point, the police department have issued a press release denying use of flash bang devices but others dispute this.

Flashbang grenades are NOT a non-lethal use of force as some police departments would have you believe. They are deadly. Just this year in Charlotte, North Carolina, a SWAT officer by the name of Fred Thornton was killed when a flash bang grenade exploded as he was securing his equipment in the trunk of his patrol car. Certain city police departments, including the New York City Police Department have banned the use of flash bang grenades because they kill innocent victims.

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This is a video clip that would be hilariously funny if it was not so true. This is a conversation between an injured person and an insurance company adjuster. The insurance company adjuster represents the drunk driver who caused the injured person’s broken legs and brain injury.

Many people make the horrible mistake of trusting the insurance adjuster who represents the person that hurt them. No matter what type of injury case you are involved in, this is the worst thing you can do. The insurance adjuster is not on your side! Their only goal is to try and get you to settle for as low of an amount of money as possible.

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New Georgia biking law General Assembly House Bill 101, which went into effect July 1, provides for safer bicycle riding for bicyclists and the motoring public.

It also spells out minimum safety guidelines for bicycle lanes in Georgia.

Georgia bikers say they hope the new law encourages motorists and bikers to be more careful. Reports of accidents between motorists and cyclists in 2009 and 2010 faulted cyclists at 48 percent of the time and motorists around 39 percent of the time. The remaining percentage was for no fault or when both parties (the cyclist and motorist) were both to blame.

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Dog Bite Rock.jpgRecently, a pit bull attacked a pregnant woman who lives in Cobb County, Georgia. The pit bull initially attacked the woman’s dog but then attacked her. Luckily, the courageous woman kicked the dog and then grabbed its neck to protect her unborn child. We hope that both the mother and child are okay.

Everyday dogs attack people and leave their victims with serious injuries ranging from serious head trauma, facial lacerations, permanent disfigurement, broken bones, severe scarring, and sometimes death. In Georgia, as with everywhere, many times the victims are young children and the elderly. And as a person that has experienced several dog attacks, I also understand how psychologically traumatizing (long term) a dog attack can be. You/your loved one deserve to be compensated for the injuries and damages caused by dog bites, and vicious dog attacks.

We have written about dog attacks before on this blog. In that article we focused on the nuances of Georgia law that may prohibit you from maximizing your recovery, if you do not choose your lawyer wisely. In this article however we want to focus on what you should do immediately after being bitten by a dog, to help protect you and others, and to maximize your recovery for the injuries caused by dog bites, and vicious dog attacks. Whether you live in Dekalb County, Cobb County, Fulton County, Floyd County or Whitfield County, as long as you live in Georgia, you need to consider taking the following steps after being attacked (bitten):

1. Immediately seek emergency medical attention for your injuries;

2. Identify the owner of the dog that bit you and get his or her name, address, home telephone number, and social security number (if possible);

3. Take photographs of your injuries and preserve any torn clothing;

4. Detail, in writing, what happened to you (if you are in a condition to do so), being as specific as possible;

5. Do not talk to any insurance adjuster!

6. Contact a good dog-bite lawyer; and
7. Immediately contact your county’s animal control authority. Here is a list of a few:

a. Fulton County Animal Control, click here
b. Dekalb County Animal Control, click here
c. Cobb County Animal Control, click here
d. Gwinnett County Animal Control, click here
e. Whitfield County (Dalton, GA) Animal Control, click here
f. Floyd County (Rome, GA) Animal Control, click here

Your animal control authority can do a few things to help you. First, if a dog bites anyone, it must be quarantined to see if it shows signs of rabies or being vicious. Second, animal control can determine if a citation can be issued against the owner and then, animal control can issue a citation or ensure that a citation is issued against the owner of the dog that bit you. Reading our other article will demonstrate the importance of the citation with respect to a violation of local leash laws and your ability to maximize recovery for your injuries.

As stated, contact a lawyer immediately, tell the lawyer about the incident, and get feedback. Typically dog bites cases involve homeowner’s insurance coverage and you will need a good lawyer to deal with this process because the insurance companies’ goal is to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. That means the company will attempt to convince you to settle your case before you understand the full extent of both your injuries and your legal options.

You also need a good lawyer to protect you from your own health insurance company. Many times your health insurance company will seek reimbursement for medical expenses it paid on your behalf. A good lawyer will know how to shield you as much as possible from this situation. Other issues may involve worker’s compensation and federal assistance. The best option is to find an attorney who has effectively handled dog-bite cases.

Your compensation will ultimately depend on the facts of your case as they apply to Georgia law, and the extent of your injuries, especially long term. You need a lawyer who will maximize your negotiating position and demonstrate a conviction to take your case to trial, to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
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Hospital.jpgThis article, briefly, deals with an important issue in the context of injuries suffered at a hospital due to medical negligence. The question is simple: is your case a medical malpractice case or a case of ordinary negligence on behalf of the hospital? The answer may be extremely complex and requires a keen attorney in this field. The distinction is significant because it will determine whether a significant portion of your compensation, for your injuries, will be restricted to a medical malpractice “cap.” In Georgia, there exist a “cap” on recovery in medical malpractice cases. The Georgia Legislature unfortunately implemented “tort reform” legislation which harmed patients by placing a $350,000 cap (ceiling) on non economic damages (injuries) that anyone receives due to medical malpractice. That means, in Georgia, if you are a victim of medical malpractice, the compensation that you receive for your pain and suffering that cannot be proven by recorded data such as medical bills, rehabilitation, loss wages, and so forth, will be severely limited.

Currently, medical malpractice “caps” are being challenged. But until this cap is overruled or modified, you will need an attorney who can, if possible, manuever around the medical malpractice claim (cap), to give you a stronger chance at higher compensation for your injuries.

In Georgia, “simply because an alleged injury occurs in a hospital setting, a suit to recovery for that injury is not necessarily a medical malpractice action.” For example, if a hospital employee commits a negligent act that injures you, the fact that the employee such as a registered nurse has expert medical credentials does not, by itself, mean that your case is a medical malpractice case and thus subject to the above-mentioned $350,000 cap. One of the determining factors is whether the negligent act required expert medical “judgment.” It’s complicated but one thing is for sure: the unique facts of your situation, as applied to Georgia law, must be scrutinized by a knowledgeable attorney to determine whether your case may be a case of ordinary negligence, instead of medical malpractice. For example, was your injury caused by the failure of a hospital employee to carry out a physician’s instructions or some other administrative or clerical act? Or perhaps the hospital had policies and procedures that were not complied with or failed to implement polices and procedures that comply with established law. Or perhaps the medical equipment that caused your injury was inadequate: in Georgia, hospitals have a duty to provide equipment reasonable suited for its intended uses.

Basically, all the above-mentioned issues fundamentally challenge the adequacy of the services and facilites provided to you rather than challenge the expert medical judgment of a hospital employee. As stated, this area of Georgia law can be very tricky. Your lawyer must understand these distinctions, and more, to effectively represent you.

You should also consider that the characterization of your law suit as a medical malpractice claim or as an ordinary negligence claim means a lot with respect to the procedural requirements that your attorney must navigate through, in order to avoid having your case thrown out of court. The law has made medical malpractice claims tough from the start. For example, by law, if you do file a medical malpractice claim and your attorney fails to attach an expert affidavit to your complaint, then, your complaint is voidable, not void. That means, if the defense team notices that your attorney failed to comply with the law, then they may move to have your case thrown out of court. If your case is thrown out, then you will most likely be forever barred from filing the same medical malpractice complaint. But there are exceptions, especially if the defense team failed to notice the missing affidavit upon answering your complaint. Again, the rules are tricky and tedious.
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rollover.jpgWarner Robins police reported that 19 year old Jabrial Odeal Adams rolled his car and was found walking near the scene of the accident around 12:15 a.m. this past Sunday.

Three passengers were all at the scene of the accident when police arrived: 18-year-old Earrion Down and 26-year-old Elvina Dowl, both of Warner Robins, and 18-year-old Darlessa West of Cochran. Elvina Dowl suffered a concussion and cuts on her face and was taken to the hospital. West and Earrion Dowl were treated at the scene and released.

Generally, under Georgia law, a typical automobile liability policy will require the insurance company to pay for any damages the insured driver would be legally obligated to pay as damages for bodily injury that results from the use of his insured automobile.

Injuries covered under an automobile liability policy include the range of physical and mental injuries compensable. Under the tort law of the state of Georgia this includes bodily harm, mental distress, lost wages, medical expenses, and general damages for pain and suffering.

The passengers in Sunday’s accident are no doubt lucky to be alive after experiencing a rollover accident. One of the most dangerous types of injuries that are often encountered in these types of rollover automobile accidents are traumatic brain injuries or TBI. Traumatic brain injuries occur when there is a sudden physical force to the head such as in an automobile rollover. There are over one million traumatic brain injuries that are suffered each year alone, many of them turning fatal or having irreversible effects.

While traumatic brain injuries often happen with slip and falls, the second largest amount are made up from motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 suffer the highest risk of receiving a traumatic brain injury. Many experts believe the correlation occurs because it happens to be the age when many young people begin to drive.

However, this correlation between traumatic brain injury and young drivers can often be avoided with proper education and safe driving habits. We need to make certain that our young people in Georgia are trained to avoid texting, speeding, alcohol, and drug use while driving.
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