As if dealing with a Georgia car accident isn’t stressful enough, managing the hurdles that come with being hit by an uninsured driver can bring on a massive headache of its own accord. Compensation may be available for your injuries, assuming you have uninsured motorist coverage on your car insurance policy. However, every insurance provider has specific rules governing what information you must provide and when it must be provided. When you are unfamiliar with your policy’s requirements and terms, the chances of noncompliance increase, potentially jeopardizing your claim.

In a recent Court of Appeals of Georgia decision, the court considered whether the plaintiff gave sufficient notice of an uninsured motorist claim to her insurance company. Evidently, the plaintiff was driving her employer’s car and was injured after being rear-ended by another vehicle while stopped at an intersection. Following the accident, the plaintiff returned to her workplace, picked up her own car, and went straight to the doctor’s office. Following an examination and x-ray from her doctor, she was told that she had whiplash. She had surgery on her neck two years after the accident.

At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was insured under an insurance policy written by the defendant that included uninsured motorist coverage. In the event of a claim under the uninsured motor vehicle coverage, the policyholder was required to notify the provider with all details as reasonably soon as possible after being examined and treated for an injury. In a letter to the insurance company, the plaintiff’s lawyer did not include any details of the plaintiff’s injuries, treatment, or medical expenses. Although this letter was sent to the insurance company shortly after the accident, the plaintiff did not file a suit for damages from the collision until two years later. The trial court determined that the plaintiff did not give notice to the defendant of her claim because it lacked details about the injury, treatment, and other required information. The plaintiff appealed.

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare—buying a new product, trusting in the product’s quality and safety from the manufacturer, and then subsequently being severely injured by the product. When these accidents occur, the company who manufactured and produced the product should be held accountable under Georgia product liability law. Sometimes, however, injuries from these accidents are made worse because of the negligence or actions of the owner and purchaser of the product. When this happens, the plaintiff may be unable to receive the full amount of damages from their claim because their actions contributed to their injuries.

In a recent opinion released by the state’s high court, the court considered a product liability case involving apportionment of damages. The plaintiff was seriously injured when the front brake on his motorcycle failed suddenly. Following the accident, he sued the designer and manufacturer of the motorcycle and its distributor, asserting strict product liability claims based on a design defect and negligence. The plaintiff’s wife also sued for loss of consortium.

During the trial, the plaintiffs presented evidence that the brake failure resulted from a design defect that misdirected the flow of brake fluid and eventually caused the brakes to fail. Two months after the plaintiff’s accident, the defendant issued a recall notice about the brake and had notice of the issue for a significant time before the plaintiff’s accident. The plaintiff also admitted that contrary to the instructions provided in the owner’s manual to replace the brake fluid every two years; he never changed the fluid in the eight years he owned the motorcycle. Following the trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs on all claims and apportioned 49% of the fault to the plaintiffs and 51% to the defendants, which reduced their damages. The plaintiffs appealed, arguing that the lower court erred in reducing their damage awards.

When driving in, you should always exercise the utmost caution when operating your vehicle. When driving someone else’s car after they lend it to you, however, you should be extra careful—especially because if the vehicle gets damaged or you hurt someone in a Georgia car accident, you and the vehicle’s owner could be held responsible. The same principle applies to employers. If an employer lends a vehicle or gives control of a vehicle it owns to an employee with a demonstrated history of incompetence or other issues involving safely operating cars, the employer and the driver operating the car could be liable.

In a recent Supreme Court of Georgia decision, the court considered a negligent entrustment issue. According to the facts of the case, while attempting to cross the street, the decedent was struck and killed by a truck. The executor of the decedent’s estate subsequently brought a wrongful death and personal injury action against the defendants, the driver of the truck and his employer. Following the trial, the jury found the defendants 50 percent at fault, and the deceased 50 percent at fault, which meant the executor on the deceased’s estate was barred from collecting damages on behalf of the deceased’s estate. The executor appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the defendant on its claims on negligent entrustment. The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s opinion, and the Georgia Supreme Court assessed the claim. The court ultimately reversed the lower court’s decision because the law that the lower court relied on to affirm the trial court’s decision was abrogated.

In Georgia, when considering negligent entrustment of a vehicle by an employer to an employee, liability is determined based on the negligent act of the owner lending his vehicle to another to drive with actual knowledge that the driver is incompetent or habitually reckless. An individual can be deemed unfit to safely operate a vehicle because of physical or mental impairment, a lack of experience, or age. If a driver does not have a valid driver’s license for the particular vehicle they are operating, the driver is also considered automatically incompetent under Georgia law.

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.

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