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Editorials

Georgia’s Direct
Action Statute

Jeff Shiver and Alan Hamilton
Shiver Hamilton
Atlanta, GA

 

Though it has been around for decades, many lawyers are unfamiliar with Georgia’s Direct Action Statute. Georgia’s Direct Action Statute (“DAS”) allows plaintiffs to name the insurance company as a party defendant in the case and have the insurance company listed on all pleadings including the verdict form and judgment. The DAS “establishes an independent cause of action against the carrier’s insurer on behalf of a member of the public injured by the carrier’s negligence.” Glenn McClendon Trucking Co. v. Williams, 183 Ga. App. 508–509 (1987).

Stroke Misdiagnosis in
the Emergency Room
Setting

Sean Domnick and Nicole Kruegel
Domnick Cunningham & Whalen
Palm Beach Garden, FL

 

Stroke cases are some of the most complicated and expensive cases to pursue, but they often begin with a similar story: A loved one started acting strangely. 911 is called and they are taken to an emergency room.  The emergency room doctor decides, without doing a full workup, that nothing is wrong, and leaves the patient alone in a room for hours.  Then, hours or days later, it is discovered that the patient had actually had a stroke, but because of the delay in diagnosis, no treatment is possible to reverse its effects.

Why Case Entry is
Important for
Your Firm

Michael A. Haggard, Esq.
The Haggard Law Firm
Coral Gables, FL

 

I can’t impress upon attorneys enough the importance of entering your settlements and verdicts into the CaseMetrix database.  This information is helpful to everyone in the network who is evaluating cases and then using the data in their negotiations to achieve the best settlements possible for their clients.  If you’re not a member of CaseMetrix, I encourage you to join.

Is This A Brain Injury Case?

Alwyn Fredericks
Cash, Krugler and Fredericks, LLC
Atlanta, GA

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury. Everyone is at risk for a TBI, especially children and older adults.

According to the CDC, in 2013, approximately 2.8 million TBI-related Emergency Department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred in the United States. This consisted of approximately 282,000 TBI-related hospitalizations, and approximately 56,000 TBI-related deaths. According to the CDC, motor-vehicle crashes were the leading cause of TBI-related deaths.

What to Know About Georgia’s New Distracted Driving Law

Joel Williams
Joel Williams Law, LLC
Kennesaw, GA

Distracted driving as a cause of car wrecks has garnered increased attention from the media, scholars, and lawmakers over the past few years. The CDC warns that distracted driving is a major cause of accidents, and statistics from the Georgia Department of Transportation show that fatal highway accidents are on the rise as a result of these behaviors. According to the New York Times, talking on the phone while driving is just as dangerous as driving with a blood alcohol level at the legal limit, text-messaging drivers are eight times more likely to be in an accident than other drivers, and overall, drivers distracted in some way are four times more likely to be in an accident. The NYT put together an excellent video that highlights the unfortunate reality that even though drivers understand the risk of these activities, they continue to take part in them while they drive.

Instructive Differences Between Premises Liability and MVA Cases

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By: Michael Neff

The Law Office of Michael L. Neff, P.C.

 

“Premises liability cases are really different than car wreck cases.”  I say this phrase a lot to lawyers in Georgia and around the country.  Most adults I’ve met have driver’s licenses.  Thus, most people are familiar with the need to follow the rules of the road to keep people safe.  Jurors often have a heuristic that they can use to assess liability in a car wreck cases.  Further, because of this shared experience, many lawyers don’t have a steep learning curve when learning to handle car wrecks.

 

The same is not true in a premises liability case.  The average person doesn’t have experience owning, managing, or operating commercial real estate.  Thus, they don’t know about safety rules that exist to keep workers and invitees safe. As a result, jurors don’t have a schema for assessing liability.  They have to be taught the right way to manage property to eliminate or mitigate the risk of serious injuries.

Getting Maximum Results in Trucking Cases

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By Joe Fried

Fried Rogers Goldberg, LLC

Many personal injury lawyers treat truck wreck cases as if they were simply big car wreck cases; and in so doing, they miss unique opportunities to maximize results for their clients. The focus of my practice is handling truck crash cases in Georgia and around the country (I have handled cases in over 25 states), usually on referral from, or in a co-counsel arrangement with, other personal injury lawyers. In this process, I have worked with many great lawyers and have learned a tremendous amount about how to best handle truck crash cases. What follows are a few points that every personal injury lawyer should know to maximize recoveries in truck collision cases.

Last in Line, First to Die!

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By Christian Searcy

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.

INTRODUCTION:

When you are the last vehicle in a long line of emergently stopped vehicles on an interstate or other large highway, even in broad daylight with no view obstruction, you are the first to die from an 18 wheeler crushing your stopped vehicle because its driver was impaired. It matters not whether the driver was impaired due to alcohol, drugs, fatigue or preoccupation with onboard computer/communication devices, you are still dead! I have observed this unforgivable phenomena occurring throughout my 40 years of law practice, but we have observed a dramatic increase in the number of such occurrences over the past 15 years. What, if anything, can be done to protect society from these outrageous occurrences? How can we best represent the victims of these outrageous occurrences?

In It to Win It – Lessons from the Courtroom

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By Darren W. Penn

Harris Penn Lowry LLP

One of the questions most often asked by law students and young lawyers is, “What does it takes to win in court?” My initial response is that I could literally spend all day talking about success and failure in trials. However, my answer always ends up the same: It takes a lot of different things coming together that, even when all are properly employed, still does not guarantee success. After trying somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 jury trials (who is counting?), I have found there are a few constants for success in the courtroom:

WHEN PARADISE BECOMES HELL: PROOF AND ARGUMENT OF DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF CONSORTIUM

INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW

Our working definition of the word or term “consortium” must be as follows: A close and meaningful bonding, togetherness and relationship between persons created and developed by birth, marriage, adoption, or some other form of bonding where the persons have had an existing relationship and have or should have an existing relationship into the future, but where such relationship – whatever its level of existence – does not have to have been perfect to have been strong and meaningful.