When you decide to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia, there are many steps in the process. To ensure that your claim is free of procedural errors, it is crucial that you understand what is required of you as the plaintiff when working with your lawyer to draft the first part of the lawsuit, otherwise known as the complaint. The complaint typically establishes what your claim is, and why you are entitled to relief in the courts. In some cases, however, you may not need to name each defendant specifically involved in the case to successfully bring a legal claim against them under Georgia’s procedural rules.

In a recent Supreme Court of Georgia opinion, the court considered a lower court’s opinion regarding whether a plaintiff sufficiently asserted his claim against the defendant. Following the plaintiff’s wife’s significant medical-malpractice related injuries after being treated by the defendants, the appellate and lower courts ruled in favor of the plaintiff and claimed that he had sufficiently asserted his claim of vicarious liability against the defendant even though he did not specifically name each doctor who treated his wife in his complaint. The state’s high court then considered whether the appellate court’s decision in siding with the plaintiff was correct.

Upon review, the court determined that the Court of Appeals did not err in its decision. The defendants again argued that the plaintiff did not sufficiently plead a vicarious liability claim because the plaintiff failed to specifically name the exact defendant physician in his complaint. The court disagreed, holding that because Georgia is a notice-pleading jurisdiction, the plaintiff successfully brought forward his claim for vicarious liability.

When an individual passes away after an accident, it can be extremely difficult for their family. It can be even more difficult when that person was pregnant. In these cases, people will often file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party, seeking damages to emotionally and financially recover. One type of damages compensates families for their pain and suffering. In a recent Georgia appellate court case, the court was tasked with determining whether the deceased’s pregnancy was a relevant factor when determining pain and suffering damages. Ultimately, the court concluded that the deceased’s characteristics – including her pregnancy – were relevant to the determination of damages.

In the recent case, a woman filed a lawsuit after her daughter, husband, and grandchild were killed in a car accident caused by the defendant. The plaintiff’s daughter had been pregnant and was on her way home from the doctor when she was killed in the accident. Additionally, the daughter had been on the phone with her mother during the accident. Because of this, the plaintiff heard her daughter scream moments before the accident that took her daughter’s life. At trial, evidence regarding the daughter’s state of mind during the accident – including the fact that she was pregnant – was evaluated when the jury awarded the plaintiff damages for the pain and suffering her daughter endured before being killed in the accident. The defendant appealed, arguing this evidence should not have been considered by the jury.

In Georgia, damages can be awarded for a person’s pain and suffering as the accident occurs, including being aware of their imminent death. The fright, shock, and mental suffering experienced by individuals during these accidents can be considered when the jury determines damages.

When you buy a home, one of the most important things to do is to also buy ample insurance for your residence. This way, in the event of fires, floods, or other disasters, you are able to recover from the damage incurred. Choosing an insurance company or plan, however, can often be tricky. Depending on the policy, there may be different methods to pay your premiums and maintain your status as a policyholder. This is why potential home insurance buyers are advised to read all of the fine print on their policies and subsequent notices carefully, to avoid issues with their coverage in the future. The same goes for any type of insurance policy, including Georgia car insurance policies.

In a recent Court of Appeals of Georgia decision, the court considered a case involving the proper payment of insurance premiums. The plaintiffs initially set up an insurance policy for their residence with an agent, and the plaintiffs paid their premiums directly to the agent rather than to the insurance company. To renew their coverage, the insurance company alleged that they sent the plaintiffs a notice that they needed to send their premium to the insurance company directly, which the plaintiffs claimed they never received. The plaintiffs continued paying the agent directly instead. Eventually, the insurance company canceled the policy. Following a fire that caused the plaintiffs to lose their home, the plaintiffs sued the insurance company after it denied their claim.

On appeal, the court had to decide whether the insurance agent that the plaintiffs used was an “agent” of the insurance company. If so, then the defendant could be bound by the agent’s acceptance of the plaintiff’s payment of premiums directly to her. Because the renewal notice and cancellation notice sent from the insurance company to the plaintiffs indicated that premiums were to be paid directly to the insurance company and had no provisions for payment to the agent, the court ruled that the agent was not bound to the insurance company.

Following a major Georgia car accident, navigating the claims in court can often be a daunting task. Because of the complexity of the legal system, it is crucial that when bringing your claims that you also have the proper evidence to support them. Depending on the state, however, courts may have different requirements when it comes to types of evidence that are appropriate and admissible for consideration.

In a recent Court of Appeals of Georgia opinion, the court considered a case involving whether evidence showing the deceased’s state of mind before an accident could be used to determine pre-impact pain and suffering damages. Specifically, whether the fact that she was pregnant should be allowed into evidence. According to the court’s opinion, the defendant was driving a pickup truck on the interstate when he crossed the median and hit an oncoming vehicle occupied by a couple and their three-year-old daughter. Following the collision, the couple passed away, but their daughter survived the accident. The deceased wife’s mother filed a lawsuit as the administrator of the couple’s estate against the defendants, the driver of the pickup truck. A jury sided with the plaintiff. The pickup driver appealed the decision, arguing that evidence that the deceased was pregnant at the time of the accident should not have been presented at trial.

On appeal, the court sided with the plaintiff and ruled that the evidence of the deceased’s pregnancy and state of mind at the time of the accident was presented properly. On the date of the collision, the couple and their child were returning from a visit from their doctor, where the wife’s pregnancy had been confirmed. She was on the phone with her mother right before the crash, who heard the crash take place on the line. This evidence, the court reasoned, showed the deceased’s state of mind at the time of the collision, and had relevance to her “fright, shock, and mental suffering” before the crash since she knew she was pregnant, her entire family was in the car, and that the accident was imminent. Since this evidence suggested that the deceased potentially knew her death would be imminent as a result of the crash, it had relevance to her damages for pain and suffering.

An appellate court recently issued an opinion in a restaurant owner’s appeal of a trial court’s denial of his motion for summary judgment in a Georgia premises liability lawsuit. The plaintiff suffered injuries after tripping over a root in the restaurant parking lot. The owner argued that summary judgment was appropriate because the plaintiff did not prove that the owner had “superior knowledge” of the hazard.

The record indicates that the plaintiff tripped on a partially exposed root in the restaurant parking lot’s dirt area. At the time of the accident, the root was about two inches out of the ground; however, it was not in that condition four days earlier, when a landscaping crew inspected the area. The owner argued that the root was an unhidden, naturally-occurring object.

In Georgia premises liability cases, invitees, such as the plaintiff in this case, must establish that the defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the danger, and the plaintiff lacked knowledge of the danger, despite exercising ordinary care. These cases typically hinge on whether the owner or occupier had “superior knowledge” of the hazard or danger. In these cases, summary judgment is only appropriate if the evidence is “plain, palpable, and undisputed.”

Affidavits are sworn statements in writing. Often, affidavits are used in lawsuits as an additional piece of evidence. In medical malpractice claims in Georgia, the court has certain threshold requirements of the defendant’s wrongdoing that must be established in the affidavit in order for it to be admissible. When used properly, an affidavit can provide valuable evidence in support of your Georgia medical malpractice claim and further your argument and credibility.

In a recent Court of Appeals of Georgia case, the court had to consider a medical malpractice matter involving an expert affidavit. The administrator of the deceased’s estate sued the defendant, a medical center, among other defendants, for professional negligence and simple negligence, and argued that the defendant was vicariously liable for the injuries the deceased suffered while he was a patient at a hospital within the medical center system.

With her complaint, the administrator submitted the affidavit of a registered nurse who claimed that the hospital staff was professionally negligent in providing or failing to provide care for the deceased. In response, the defendants argued that the administrator failed to meet the procedural pleading requirements necessary because the affidavit failed to specify a particular negligent act or employee of the defendant and moved to dismiss. The trial court sided with the defendant and granted the motion to dismiss.

In Georgia personal injury cases, vicarious liability laws establish that an employer could be liable for the acts of its employees if the employee causes injury to another while working within the scope of the business. The employer is liable when the employee was serving the employer’s interests in furtherance of the employer’s business and within the scope of his employment.

In a recent Court of Appeals of Georgia case, the court considered a vicarious liability claim. According to the court’s opinion, the defendant worked at the grill for a local deli and assisted with catering deliveries. If the defendant were scheduled to make one or more deliveries, he would get to work early to prepare the grill before making the delivery with his own car. Because the defendant was an hourly employee, he was only paid when he was clocked in, and often had to seek permission to come in early to make a delivery. When the defendant made a delivery, the employer would cover the cost of gas, in addition to paying the defendant his regular hourly wage.

On the day of the accident, the defendant was called in to make a catering delivery despite a local state of emergency due to a winter storm. On his way to prepare the grill before taking the delivery, the defendant lost control of his car and crashed into a vehicle that was parked on the road’s shoulder, killing his brother-in-law as well as another man.

Whether it’s a busy weeknight or a lazy weekend, frozen food items are an occasional must-have in any household. What happens, however, when your favorite frozen meal or snack contains extraneous objects, like plastic or glass? Even worse, what if that plastic or glass in your food injures you? Although this may seem uncommon, the company that produced the food item that causes an injury may face a Georgia product liability claim in the event its defective product hits the grocery shelves and goes home with unknowing consumers.

According to a recent news report, certain pepperoni Hot Pockets have been recalled because pieces of glass and hard plastic were found by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The recall applied to 54-ounce 12 packs of pepperoni Hot Pockets with a “best by” date of February 2022. According to federal officials, the Hot Pockets were part of a Class I recall, which involves a “health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.” Since the product has been recalled, there have been four consumer complaints of contamination, one of which involved a minor oral injury.

In Georgia, there are specific laws that govern what happens when you are injured by a defective product. To ensure that you are eligible to receive financial compensation for your injuries, potential plaintiffs are advised to hire an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney who can help them navigate the legal system and its procedures with ease.

Whether you take medicine regularly or you only take it when you need it, we all trust that medications prescribed to us by our physicians are safe to consume. What happens, however, when a drug you’ve been prescribed causes a catastrophic accident, or you have a severe reaction that results in injury or even death? In these cases, a Georgia product liability claim may be appropriate.

In a recent 11th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion, the court considered a drug products liability case involving a drug manufacturer’s failure to warn a patient of a drug’s risks. The plaintiff in question suffered from a catastrophic stroke, which left her paralyzed and her cognitive functions significantly impaired. After consuming an oral contraceptive from the defendant manufacturer, a drug known to increase the risk of blood clots that could result in strokes, the court considered whether the plaintiff had enough evidence that the defendant manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings of the risk of stroke for the drug. On appeal, the court held that the plaintiffs failed to establish that the defendant manufacturer inadequately warned of the potential risks associated with the drug and granted judgment in favor of the defendants.

In typical failure-to-warn products liability cases in Georgia, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty to warn the plaintiff of any risks, that the defendant breached this duty, and that the breach resulted in the plaintiff’s injury. When the product at issue is a prescription drug, however, the drug manufacturer does not have a duty to warn patients of potential dangers of a product directly, but instead has a duty to warn the patient’s doctor instead. According to Georgia law, a patient’s treating physician is better positioned to warn patients than the manufacturer since physicians must assess medical risks in light of the patient’s needs and health before prescribing medication.

Although a lawsuit may seem straightforward as a dispute between two or more parties, there are often many procedural details that occur behind the scenes that act as stepping stones in the course of litigation. Understanding and navigating these procedural requirements can often be challenging, but can also save parties time and money during the course of a lawsuit when appropriately handled by an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer.

In a recent Georgia Court of Appeals case, the court considered a misunderstanding in a dispute concerning an important procedural issue. The plaintiff filed a suit against the defendant for a slip and fall action four days before the statute of limitations for her case was set to expire. The plaintiff did not serve the defendant until 12 weeks later. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the case on the ground that the plaintiff had failed to present evidence that she had exercised proper diligence in attempting service after the statute of limitations expired.

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court’s decision, siding with the plaintiff. Because the plaintiff’s counsel was a member of the Georgia General Assembly, he was entitled to a statutory leave of court, which he had properly requested. This meant that the plaintiff’s counsel was entitled to an extension and temporarily relief from responding to the motions. Further, because the plaintiff relied on the court approving a scheduling order that both parties agreed to, the trial court erred in granting a motion to dismiss because the plaintiff was within the correct time frame and had no further obligation to respond.

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