Month: July 2015

We help motorcyclists to protect their rights after an accident

Riding a motorcycle is an exercise in trade-offs. In exchange for the benefits of greater maneuverability, better fuel economy and a greater sense of freedom riders must be cognizant of the potential hazards, of which the most significant is what can happen to you if you get into a collision with a car or a truck. The same lightweight characteristics of your motorcycle that contribute to the benefits above can turn into serious or even deadly drawbacks when there is nothing between you and the road but the clothes you wear and the helmet on your head. The reasons why another driver might hit you are many, but car-motorcycle accidents frequently result from the car driver never even seeing you until it is too late. The reasons for that, in turn, can lead to questions of possible negligence: careless driving, distracted driving, not paying sufficient attention in conditions including darkness…

How much is too much in wrongful death damages?

The value of human life is in many ways a subjective question. In wrongful death lawsuits, Georgia courts and juries consider two basic criteria to arrive at a dollar figure to measure the cost of a life that has been truncated by the wrongful act of another person: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages measure more tangible losses connected with the loss of a loved one,  such as lost income expectancy and costs associated with medical expenses preceding the death as well as funeral and burial expenses. Non-economic damages are ones associated with what many people consider to be "pain and suffering" injuries, and these can be much harder to calculate with certainty. Occasionally the jury's decision on how much to award in damages can itself be the subject of a dispute between the plaintiffs and the defendant's. This is what has happened in a Georgia wrongful death lawsuit that…

How Statutory Violations May Contribute to Accident Liability

You may already be familiar with the concept of a wrongful death action that can arise when the family of a loved one files a lawsuit against an individual or company that caused the death or contributed to it. In Georgia, those allowed to bring a wrongful death lawsuit including the spouse of the decedent or, if there is no spouse then the children of the decedent; if neither a surviving spouse or children exist, then the parents of the decedent can bring the wrongful death lawsuit. There is a second, related cause of action to wrongful death that you may be less familiar with, survival action. This is a lawsuit that is also brought in connection with the death of a loved one, based on the concept that he or she would have had a cause of action had he or she survived. A key distinction between a wrongful death…

How Statutory Violations May Contribute to Accident Liability

On a website for recent arrivals to the United States, one piece of advice was, "Note that Americans obey traffic laws and traffic signals, and will expect you to, too." When you engage in a driving activity as simple as crossing an intersection, you must trust that others approaching the intersection will let you pass when it is your turn; the vast majority of the time that faith is justified. When it is not, however, the consequences can be lethal. This is shown by a recent two-car collision in Lithonia, when one vehicle ran a red light and struck another broadside, killing all three in the other vehicle. Aside from a charge of vehicular homicide, the surviving driver is also facing charges of driving while intoxicated and with hit-and-run. Aside from the criminal law implications, civil law liability can also be a possibility, through a wrongful death claim. One aspect…

What is Georgia law with regard to comparative fault?

The old common-law doctrine of contributory negligence, which used to hold that if a plaintiff was in any way negligent he was barred from recovery, has been superseded in virtually every state including Georgia. Most states today use some form of comparative fault (also referred to as comparative negligence) when apportioning between the plaintiff and the defendant or defendants their respective share of blame for the occurrence of the event that led to the plaintiff's injuries. In Georgia, the general rule of comparative fault is that if the jury finds that the plaintiff is 50 percent or more at fault this has the same effect as the old contributory negligence rule: the plaintiff is barred from any recovery. As long as the plaintiff is less than 50 percent at fault, then the plaintiff's award is reduced by the percentage of his or her negligence. Thus, for example, if in a…

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I was injured in a terrible fall which left my foot, arm back and knee badly bruised. The Dozier Law Firm was awesome. Attorney Dustin Hamilton reviewed and accepted my case and within a few months he was able to settle my case for more than I ever imagine. The Dozier Law Firm is A+ in my book.

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