November 13, 2014

Can You Sue the Bully's Parent's?

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently looked at this very question in a case that may have a major impact on the law related to social media and its relationship to negligent supervision and defamation. This unfortunate case began when two middle school students decided to create a phony Facebook page in the name of a fellow classmate. The two students used a photo of their unsuspecting peer that had been altered with a “fat face” app and adding postings indicating that the victim was a racist and had a “homosexual orientation.”

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October 19, 2014

How Likely Does Rain Make a Car Accident in Georgia?

It is common wisdom that driving in the rain is harder, but does it really lead to more car accidents? Every year in the U.S., there are approximately 5,870,000 accidents and of those, 23% or 1,300,000 are due to bad weather. Digging deeper into the data, we find that 16% of injury crashes and 13% of fatal crashes involve wet pavement or rain specifically.

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October 14, 2014

Atlanta Megabus Crash in Indiana Illustrates Complex Insurance Layers

There was an unfortunate bus crash by a double-decker Megabus en route from Atlanta to Indiana yesterday and police are reporting that 35 passengers have been taken to the hospital. The preliminary reports are that the wire guardrail kept the bus from veering into oncoming traffic and saved countless more lives.

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October 6, 2014

Road Rage in Georgia and Uninsured Motorist Insurance

We had a very unusual potential client call in last week. He was the victim of a "road rage" attack in downtown Atlanta by another driver and was inquiring about his legal rights and who would pay for the medical bills. In the particular case, another driver became enraged and cut across a double yellow line and then turned in front of the victim's vehicle, scraping the bumper and bringing both vehicles to a stop.

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October 5, 2014

Stacking Liability insurance Policies in Georgia

What is the unicorn of insurance coverage? Stacked personal lines liability insurance

In typical analysis of liability insurance coverage and whether and how they stack, most of the answers are negative. An example would be a car accident caused by a driver with $25,000 in liability coverage. A due diligence examination of the other potential coverages would include inquiring about whether there are additional liability insurance coverages in play. Typical car insurance policies provide coverage to the named insured as well as to any relatives residing in the same household. In analyzing whether that other insurance would stack on top of the liability policy covering the tortfeasor driver you also have to look at the owned vehicle language. While the policy grants coverage to the resident relative, the policy strips away the liability coverage if the driver is driving an owned vehicle!

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September 22, 2014

Georgia Car Accidents and Out of State Uninsured Motorist Insurance

While the subject of “conflict of laws” has caused generations of law students’ eyes to glaze over, the practical applications of deciding what jurisdiction’s law applies in a given situation can often make or break a case. For the personal injury lawyer, these issues can come up frequently in the context of uninsured motorist (UM) insurance contracts drafted in other states.

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August 24, 2014

Foul Ball! The Baseball Injury Rule Focuses Georgia Debate

In 2010, a 6 year old girl sitting near home plate at Braves Stadium suffered skull fractures when she was struck by a foul ball off of Melky Cabrera's bat. The seats she was in have no safety netting and her parents filed a lawsuit claiming the stadium owners were negligent for that omission.

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August 17, 2014

Brookhaven Deck Collapse a Symptom of Lazy Landlords

On the news this morning was the story of a second story metal deck collapsing and injuring five tenants at Northeast Plaza Apartments off Buford Highway. Having worked on 5 deck collapse cases at apartments and private homes over the years, I can say it is rarely an overloading issue and usually the result of years of negligently deferred maintenance.

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August 17, 2014

Emotional Distress Claims Valid Again in Georgia; Goodbye Impact Rule?

We often get calls from upset Georgians asking whether they can sue for purely emotional damages without a physical injury and the answer is usually, "no." The State of Georgia for over 100 years has decided to draw a bright line distinction between a claim flowing from a physical injury to claims flowing purely from shock, horror, fear or harassment. The public policy behind this thinking is that in the face of a gruesome accident on a street corner, one might have 20 passersby, each filing a lawsuit claiming emotional damages. To ward off this scenario, Georgia Courts fashioned the "impact rule." With the recent Court of Appeals decision in Oliver v. McDade rendered in July 2014, that may all be changing.

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August 5, 2014

Will a Car Accident Affect my Insurance Rates

We talk to a lot of Georgians after they have a car accident and a common question is; "if I report the accident to my car insurance company, won't my rates go up?" The answer is a little complicated.

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August 2, 2014

The Insurance Company Offered me $500 to Settle

Over the last few months, an exceptional number of callers have told me that they received calls soon after their car accident and the insurance company was offering to pay their medical bills up to a certain dollar amount and then $500 on top of that. We have seen GEICO, Progressive and Nationwide doing this.

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July 3, 2014

Drag Racing Verdict Reveals Complexity of Georgia Law

A Gwinnett County jury returned a $2.5 million dollar verdict for the death of a young man who was ejected when a vehicle involved in a drag race crashed into a tree. Cases like this involving two alleged wrongdoers and the argument that the victim accepted the risk of their own death are always complex. Let's break this one down.

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