Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
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Does a Personal Injury Case Survive Death?
The survivors (close loved ones) of a victim in a personal injury case can pursue personal injury damages through either a wrongful death or a survival action in Georgia after the injured person dies. There are, however, limitations of each type of action.
Survival Actions in Georgia
Suppose a perpetrator is abusing the elderly in nursing homes in a state that does not allow survival of actions for personal injury. If the aged abuse victim dies before receiving compensation, the court would have to dismiss the action, and the abuser would not have to pay for his misdeeds.
Because Georgia allows a personal injury cause of action to survive the death of the harmed person, the survivors of the decedent can continue the lawsuit. If there is no one with the right of survivorship, the personal representative of the deceased person can pursue the action. Survival of actions law also applies to injuries and deaths from criminal behavior.
Wrongful Death Actions in Georgia
Georgia law allows wrongful death lawsuits when the decedent died because of someone else’s criminal conduct. So, if the negligence caused a death, a wrongful death lawsuit might be the best course. There are differences, however, in the kind of damages you can recover in survival and wrongful death cases. In a wrongful death case, the survivors can recover for the “full value of the life of the decedent.”
It is impossible to put a dollar amount on a person’s life, but the law attempts to provide a yardstick for compensation for the surviving loved ones. One aspect of the full value is how much money we can reasonably expect the decedent would have earned if he had lived a typical number of years.
Example of the value of a person’s life: if the deceased person died at age 40 due to someone else’s negligence, he likely would have worked another 25 years or longer. If he earned $80,000 a year, the income would have totaled $2,000,000 without including raises in salary over the years. We can use a vocational expert to explain to the court the reasonable amount of money the deceased would have earned if he had lived. The law does not subtract the living expenses the decedent would have incurred if he had not died.
In addition to income, the personal representative can also recover the medical, funeral, and burial expenses of the decedent that resulted from the injury and death. The courts can also put a dollar value on the services a person performs for the family, like housekeeping and yard work.
The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for shockingly unacceptable behavior and to deter others from similar actions.
For an award of punitive damages, the plaintiff must convince the court that when the defendant harmed the plaintiff, the defendant acted:
- Intentionally or
- Without caring about how his actions injured others.
What Happens When the Negligent Person Dies
Do not assume that you have no legal remedy if the negligent person who harmed you or killed a loved one also dies. The rule in Georgia about personal injury claims surviving death includes the death of the at-fault person.
We can sue the personal representative for the same damages that we could have sought against the negligent person if she had not died, except in this situation, we cannot go after punitive damages. This law also applies to injuries and deaths that involved criminal activity.
How to Get Help for a Wrongful Death or Survival Action
You do not have to figure out whether a wrongful death or survival action is the best legal remedy for you and your family. Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, and we will talk with you about your situation at no charge and no obligation. You can contact us at 404-474-0804, to set up your free consultation. We will sort out which type of lawsuit is appropriate and will not charge any legal fees until you recover compensation.
Do Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?
Most personal injury cases settle out of court without having to go through a trial. Some of these cases still go to trial due to many factors. These factors can influence whether a case settles or not. Some of the common variables include:
The Insurance Company Questions Who Was at Fault
Sometimes the person who caused the injury panics and denies being at fault. Even when there are witnesses, some people will deny running a stoplight, texting while driving, engaging in road rage, being under the influence of alcohol, and other apparent hazardous behavior.
In this situation, both the plaintiff and the defense have to do more work to prove the facts. If the defendant persists in denying his actions, the case might have to go to trial so that a judge can tell him that his story is false.
The Police Report Contains Errors
A case might not settle is if the law enforcement officer who came to the scene wrote down incorrect information that became part of the police report. This circumstance is likely if the error benefits the defendant. An accident reconstruction expert can investigate the scene and vehicles, make calculations, and testify that it is scientifically impossible for the wreck to have happened the way the flawed report says that it did.
The Insurance Company Thinks That You Might Be Exaggerating Your Injuries
If you suffered significant injuries from a low-impact collision, the insurance company might refuse to settle the case for the amount you deserve. Occasionally severe trauma can result from a fender-bender, but you will have to prove that fact to a judge.
Insurers tend to work within a range of expected outcomes for particular types of cases. If your case involves a higher amount of damages, though, the adjuster might not have authority to settle the case, so you may have to go to trial.
The Insurance Company Wants More Information About Any of the Facts
If the defendant’s insurer is not satisfied with the amount of detail in the police report and other evidence, they might keep digging to get more facts to help their case. Gathering evidence can be time-consuming and can delay settlement. At some point, the judge might insist on setting the case for trial.
The Defendant Is Not Moving Forward on the Case
It is to the advantage of the insurance company to hold on to its money as long as it can. Paying claims takes money out of the pocket of the corporation. If the insurer delays the case for too long, the judge will set the case for trial.
Additionally, insurance defense lawyers usually have a high-volume caseload. If the insurance defense lawyer assigned to your case does not prioritize your case due to being overworked, your case might end up in trial by default.
The Defendant Hired an Expert Witness
It can be necessary to hire an expert witness to explain a particular aspect of the case. For example, one might need:
- A medical expert to testify about the extent of your injuries and that the accident caused the harm
- A vocational or rehabilitation expert to explain to the court how your injuries will impact your career and your daily life
- An accident reconstruction expert to prove to the court the speed at which a car was traveling or how the wreck happened
It takes time for these experts to review the records, perform their calculations, reach their conclusions, and write their reports. And experts are expensive. After the insurance company has paid for an expert, they might feel as if they should take a chance on a trial since they have already incurred such high litigation costs.
The Insurance Company Wants to Send a Message
An insurance company is a large corporation. If the insurer wants to send a message that they will defend all claims aggressively, they might take many cases to trial that should settle no matter how careless their insured was or how much you deserve compensation. When a case gets caught in a corporate decision like this, the adjuster will not agree to a settlement.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, today at 404-474-0804, and we will set up your free, no-obligation consultation to talk about your personal injury case.
Can I File a Lawsuit for a Concussion?
If you have experienced a concussion, you might have worries about what the future holds for you. Depending on the facts of your case, you might be facing various symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, such as chronic headaches, difficulty concentrating, personality changes, cognitive impairment, and blood clots in the brain. With all of these possibilities, you might wonder whether you can file a lawsuit to protect yourself and collect damages.
The party that caused the injury that resulted in your concussion must be legally responsible for your injury if you are going to file a successful lawsuit. We have to build a case that meets all the requirements of liability for the law to require the person to pay you money.
The Cause of the Concussion Matters
Not every concussion can be the subject of a lawsuit. Someone else must have wrongfully caused your concussion through negligence or an intentional act. Some common causes of concussions include:
- Sports injuries
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Criminal attacks
Depending on the facts of your case, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit for your concussion. For example, you may be able to work with a car accident lawyer to pursue compensation for concussion-related damages caused by a motor vehicle accident.
Elements of Liability for a Concussion
We will explore each of the four elements of liability for your concussion case.
Duty of care
All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles with caution and to keep a lookout for other cars and pedestrians. All persons have a duty to obey the law and not intentionally harm others.
Breach of duty (negligence)
When a person breaches the duty of care, he is negligent. Examples can include:
- When a driver rear-ends another vehicle because she was texting while driving and not watching the road.
- When a person punches another person in a bar fight.
Causation of injury
The person’s negligence must be the thing that caused your concussion. If your injury resulted from something else, you have to explore getting compensation from the person who caused your harm.
You must sustain a physical injury with damages, like medical bills, to satisfy the fourth element of legal liability for personal injury. If your fact pattern meets the requirements of all four elements, you can file a lawsuit for your damages.
How to Get Help with a Lawsuit for a Concussion
At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, we will talk with you about your injury and explore who might have legal responsibility for your losses. Just call us today at 404-474-0804 for your free case evaluation.
What Is the Standard of Care for Medical Malpractice Cases?
If you have experienced an unexpected result from your medical care or if your doctor misdiagnosed you, you might be asking whether there is anything you can do about it. An unfavorable outcome alone is not enough to win a medical malpractice case. The doctor or medical professional must have failed to act within the standard of care.
Georgia Statute on Medical Malpractice
The section of the Georgia Code that gives plaintiffs the right to file medical malpractice actions is GA Code § 51-1-27 (2017), which states the following (emphasis added).
“A person professing to practice surgery or the administering of medicine for compensation must bring to the exercise of his profession a reasonable degree of care and skill. Any injury resulting from a want of such care and skill shall be a tort for which a recovery may be had.”
Elements of Medical Malpractice in Georgia
Analyzing that statute, we see that it contains three elements. We have to prove all three facets of the statute to prevail in a medical malpractice action. The factors are:
- The person you want to sue (defendant) must be someone who professes to practice surgery or administer medicine for compensation, and
- The defendant must have failed to bring to the exercise of his profession a reasonable degree of care and skill, and
- The lack of care or skill must be the cause of an injury.
What Constitutes a Reasonable Degree of Care and Skill
When “reasonableness” is the yardstick by which we measure conduct, you can get different results in cases with similar fact patterns. Reasonableness is a judgment call.
If you accuse a person of exceeding the speed limit, you can measure the speed of the person’s vehicle and compare it to the legal speed limit. Establishing a violation is a simple matter.
Violating the standard of care in medicine is not such a straightforward task. You may work with expert witnesses who can testify that the doctor failed to act with a reasonable degree of care and skill.
Examples of Possible Violations of the Standard of Care
Although doctors have some leeway in how they perform procedures and practice medicine, there are some protocols that the medical community at large will agree are essential. If a doctor deviates too far from these rules, other members of the medical establishment might have the opinion that the doctor violated the standard of care.
Since these situations are usually fact-centered, it is best to use hypotheticals to try to understand the standard of care. Here are a few:
Accepted diagnostic testing. A woman went to the urgent care center complaining of a severe sore throat and pain when swallowing. She had a fever of 102.5, body aches, headache, and little red dots at the back of the roof of her mouth.
The urgent care doctor told her to take Tylenol, drink lots of orange juice, and get plenty of rest. The doctor did not perform a strep test or put her on antibiotics.
The woman did, indeed, have strep throat, which is a bacterial infection. The untreated strep led to post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, which is inflammation of the kidney. She sustained permanent kidney damage.
The doctor’s failure to perform a strep test was likely a violation of the standard of care, which could make the doctor liable for medical malpractice.
Accepted treatment. A man went to the emergency room with a mangled hand from a dog bite. He reported that a stray dog attacked and bit him. The dog then ran away with an unusual gait. The man said that the dog had frothy saliva around its mouth.
The emergency room staff cleaned and dressed the wound, using sutures where appropriate. They gave the man painkillers and told him to see his primary care doctor if he saw any signs of infection. They did not administer rabies shots or advise the man about the possibility of rabies.
Over time, the man began to feel as if he had the flu and had itching around the bite area. He became confused and agitated, then experienced hallucinations.
The man’s family took him to the emergency room, but once a person shows the signs of rabies, there is no effective treatment. The man died of rabies.
The emergency room staff’s failure to address the possibility of rabies was likely a violation of the standard of care, at the level of medical malpractice.
Accepted level of skill. A woman asked her dermatologist to recommend a plastic surgeon to repair her facial scars from a car accident. The dermatologist said that he could perform the surgery. He did not tell the woman that he had no training in or experience with the type of procedure she needed.
The dermatologist botched the surgery, causing much worse disfigurement. The doctor’s failure to bring a reasonable degree of skill to the treatment of his patients was a violation of the standard of care and subjected him to a medical malpractice claim.
Accepted level of care. A man went into an outpatient surgical center to have his tonsils removed. Unbeknownst to him, since he was under general anesthesia, the surgeon was under the influence of opioids, to which the doctor had an addiction. The painkillers caused the surgeon to be less precise in his surgery, and he permanently damaged the man’s vocal cords.
Performing surgery while under the influence of drugs was a violation of the standard of care. The surgeon can be liable for medical malpractice.
Getting Legal Help for Medical Malpractice in Georgia
Although we discussed several hypothetical scenarios, you do not have to sort out whether the doctor or medical facility violated the duty to exercise a reasonable degree of care and skill. We can help you analyze if you have a medical malpractice case and then build a case to prove medical malpractice liability.
Just give us a call today at 404-474-0804 today for your free consultation.
How to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse
You might feel as if there is nothing you can do to prevent your loved one from experiencing abuse at a nursing home. After all, you cannot be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To alleviate your understandable anxiety, here are eight steps you can take to stop elder abuse or neglect in a long-term care facility before it happens.
1. Be Active and Visible Right Away.
When your loved one arrives at the nursing home, insist that the staff perform a thorough assessment. Keep a copy of the report. Make sure the facility knows that you are actively involved and that you care about what happens to your older relative.
2. Create a Team and Nurture Friendships With the Staff.
Treat the staff with respect. Build relationships with those who are providing care to your relative. Communicate with staff about your loved one’s care, ask questions, and show appreciation for the care they provide your loved one. This is similar to the first step in that your visibility and active participation in your loved one’s care may help prevent nursing home abuse.
3. Pay Close Attention.
Carry a notebook in which you keep notes about your relative’s care and condition. Include essential details like dates, times, and the names of the people involved.
If you don’t already have the legal authority to review your loved one’s medical records, get the right of access and read the nursing notes, doctor’s orders, and other information. Make sure they dispense his medication on schedule, take him to therapy appointments, and follow care guidelines.
If you see anything out of order, like cuts, bruising, bedsores, or infected wounds, document it and speak up to the staff. Let your relative know that you will stand up for him.
4. Attend the Care Plan Meetings.
Show the nursing home staff that you are an active participant in your loved one’s care and that you are paying close attention to the care they receive by showing up to care planning meetings. Think of it as attending parent-teacher conferences to demonstrate active participation in a child’s schooling.
5. Be a Savvy Visitor.
There are several reasons why you should not visit at the same time every time.
- You need to observe how your relative is at different times of the day and on different days of the week.
- By changing up the days and times that you visit, you get to meet the weekday and weekend staff. You also get to see the day, evening, and night shift staff in action.
- There is power in unpredictability. If you always come to the nursing home at the same time, like clockwork, it will be easy for the staff to cover up problems. For example, if you always visit on Saturdays at 10:00 am, a neglectful nursing home staff may only bathe your relative on Saturday mornings before you arrive.
6. Stand Up for Your Loved One.
Advocate for your loved one. When a person is in a vulnerable position, she is less likely to speak up for herself. Your loved one might be afraid that unacceptable treatment will worsen if she complains about it. Put yourself in her position. If you would want someone to go to bat for you in that situation, be the one who helps. Addressing a problem early on can prevent it from escalating to the level of abuse.
7. Be the Squeaky Wheel.
Join a community action group that advocates for the rights of nursing home residents. Urge your relative to join and become active on the long-term care facility’s Resident Council. If the home does not yet have such an organization, start one. Make sure that the residents have a voice.
8. Know the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse.
Look for signs of:
- Physical abuse
- Financial exploitation
- Chemical abuse
- Improper use of restraints
Document your findings with photos and write details in your notebook, then take action.
Getting Legal Help
Despite your best efforts, there is still a chance that your relative could experience abuse at a long-term care facility. If your loved one is in danger right now, call 911. Report nursing home abuse to the authorities.
Sometimes, you can file a lawsuit for nursing home abuse. Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804, to get your free consultation to find out if your loved one might be eligible for compensation.
How Do You Report Nursing Home Abuse?
When your loved one lives in a nursing home, you worry about abuse. If you see evidence that someone is mistreating your older relative, there is something you can do about it. You can report the abuse to the appropriate authorities. Government agencies can step in to investigate and protect your loved one from several different types of abuse.
If a senior is in danger of imminent harm, call 911. Otherwise, contact local law enforcement and report the abuse to Adult Protective Services.
How to Report Elder Abuse
You should file a Protective Services Report if you have reason to believe that someone you know is a victim of elder abuse at a nursing home. You can file anonymously, or you can provide your contact information so that the investigator can contact you for additional facts.
The Division of Aging Services of the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) provides an online form to report suspected elder abuse. You need to complete as much as you can about:
- Your contact information and relationship to the at-risk or abused person (unless you file the report anonymously).
- The date and place the incident happened.
- Whether law enforcement is actively involved in the situation.
- The alleged victim or involved person.
- Alleged perpetrator information.
- Information about other possible connected individuals.
Making a Report by Telephone
If you prefer to speak with someone rather than fill out an online form, you can call:
1-866-55AGING (1-866-552-4464) When prompted, press “3.”
The call is toll-free.
Intake Specialists answer the phone on weekdays (Monday through Friday) from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. If you call after hours or an Intake Specialist is not available, you can leave a detailed message with your phone number for them to call you back.
If you do not get a phone call from an Intake Specialist within 48 hours, call them back at the number above. Do not assume that the authorities opened an investigation if they did not reach you to follow up on your message.
What the Georgia DHS Considers as Abuse
When someone intentionally harms another person or puts that person at risk of harm, the Georgia Department of Human Services considers that as abuse. Elder abuse can take any of these forms, all of which you should report:
Physical abuse. This abuse can include bodily injury, pain, or discomfort. It can also be abusive to intentionally deprive someone of food, water, medical care, and habitable living conditions, like adequate heating and air conditioning. Extreme neglect can reach the level of abuse.
Financial abuse. Exploiting the assets and resources of another person without her consent and to benefit someone else is financial abuse. The person who pockets the older person’s property, buys items for his own use when shopping for the senior while using the elder’s checkbook or credit cards, or takes her Social Security check, for example, is committing elder financial abuse.
Emotional abuse. Bullying, harassing, and threatening are but a few examples of the ways a person can emotionally abuse an elder. Depending on the specific facts of the individual case, it can be abuse to treat the senior with disrespect or diminish his sense of dignity and self-worth.
Sexual abuse. When a person controls an older adult through unconsented sexual behavior or the threat of such, that is sexual abuse. Perpetrating any kind of sexual behavior toward a senior without consent qualifies as abuse.
Filing a Lawsuit for Elder Abuse
You might be able to file a lawsuit against the nursing home and the abuser. Nursing homes have a duty to keep residents safe from harm, and you can hold the abuser accountable for hurting your relative.
The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC will talk with you at no charge to find out what happened to your loved one. We can investigate the situation and let you know if you might have a civil case. Call us today at 404-474-0804, to line up your free, no-obligation consultation.
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Although many nursing homes provide quality care for seniors, there have been numerous scandals involving the neglect and abuse of residents. Every year, nursing homes across America face consequences because of significant lapses in care. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you need to be aware of what constitutes nursing home neglect.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services created a “Bill of Rights” for nursing home residents. This publication defines neglect as a failure to meet the needs of nursing home residents. Abuse is deliberate mistreatment, but neglect can be intentional or inadvertent. Sometimes, there is an overlap between elder abuse and neglect. However, the labels are less important than ensuring the protection of your loved one.
What Can Constitute Neglect in a Nursing Home
Practically speaking, there is almost no limit to the ways in which a person can suffer neglect in a nursing home. The Nursing Home Toolkit provides information on how to recognize neglect. Here are some of the more common forms of neglect a resident can experience:
Medications. Neglect occurs when care professionals fail to administer medications on time. The untimely delivery of drugs may compromise a person’s health. It can also cause unnecessary physical pain if the medication is for pain relief.
Personal hygiene. A person in a nursing home should receive the necessary assistance to maintain daily personal hygiene. Care professionals who fail to assist with the following could be termed neglectful:
- Nail care
- Brushing or combing hair
- Brushing teeth or dentures
- Application of personal hygiene products such as deodorant and moisturizer
Clean clothes and bedding. Neglect occurs when care professionals let residents lie in filthy bedding or wear dirty clothes.
Nutrition. Nursing home residents should receive food of sufficient quantity to meet their nutritional needs and maintain their body weight. Neglect occurs when nursing homes serve low-quality food and inadequate portions.
It also occurs when care professionals fail to assist residents who need help with feeding. If your loved one is losing weight and there is no reasonable explanation for it, take a closer look at what happens during mealtimes.
Hydration. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents are dehydrated. Older people are particularly susceptible to bladder and kidney infections; a lack of hydration can put them at higher risk for these medical conditions. If your loved one shows signs of dehydration, talk with the nursing home staff and set up a schedule to document her liquid intake.
Social interaction. A resident who has mobility issues should not be left alone for hours just because staff members are busy. Care professionals must not neglect engaging residents. Social interaction is the key to preventing cognitive decline among the elderly.
Physical activity. Lying in bed all day can cause a resident to develop medical issues. Neglect occurs when care professionals fail to tend properly to residents. Bedridden residents who are not turned regularly may develop bedsores.
Skin care. If you check your loved one’s skin, you can determine a great deal about the quality of care at the nursing home. Healthy, well-hydrated skin is evidence of proper nutrition, hydration, and cleanliness.
The nursing home should provide appropriate care for problems like skin redness. If the resident develops bedsores (pressure ulcers), the facility should implement a plan to prevent future bedsores and provide medical care for the existing sores. Any wounds must be tended to immediately. Residents with diabetes are especially vulnerable. They may have to undergo amputation surgeries for wounds that do not heal properly.
Talk with the facility and contact the authorities if you suspect neglect or abuse of a loved one in a nursing home. Depending on the facts of your case, you might be able to take legal action by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Call us at 404-474-0804 today to set up a free, no-obligation review of your case.
How Do Slip and Fall Cases Work?
When we handle slip and fall cases, we look at where the person fell and the circumstances that led to the accident. We have to evaluate the facts and determine who is responsible for the injury.
A slip and fall accident does not automatically result in financial compensation. To make someone pay you money for your losses, they must have failed to meet their legal duty of care toward you. The defendant’s negligence must have caused or contributed to your fall and injuries.
Step One: Where You Fell
We need to investigate the location where the accident happened to find out who owns the property. For example, if you slipped and fell at a private residence, the homeowner may be liable. If you slipped and fell at a grocery store, the grocery store may be liable. Much depends on the location of your fall.
Step Two: Why You Were on the Property
Visitors to a property generally fall into one of three classes: licensee, invitee, or trespasser.
A property owner has very little responsibility toward a trespasser, but if you were on the property for a lawful reason, the owner has a higher burden. For trespassers, the landowner is not allowed to sabotage the property or intentionally cause harm. The property owner and manager owe lawful visitors a duty of care.
Step Three: Whether the Landowner was Negligent
Under Georgia law, there are several elements of property owner liability, and we have to prove each:
- There was a dangerous condition on the property, and
- The owner knew or should have known about the hazard, and
- The owner did not correct or provide sufficient warnings about the situation, and
- The hazard caused your accident, injuries, and damages.
Step Four: What Caused Your Accident and Injuries
If your slip and fall accident met the elements that establish landowner negligence, and that negligence caused your injuries, we can pursue a personal injury claim against the owner. If there was a hazard on the property, but something else caused your fall, the owner is not liable.
Let’s say that you were walking to your table in a restaurant. Another patron told the server that there was a small spill of oil on the floor. The server ignored the warning and did not clean up the spill. If you slid on the oil and fell, sustaining an injury, the restaurant may be liable. The restaurant knew about a hazard and did not wipe up the oil. You fell and got hurt because of the negligence.
Step Five: Whether You Were Also Negligent
People walk around in a state of distraction today. People are texting and performing other functions on their cell phones without looking where they are going. If you were partly negligent, Georgia’s rule on comparative fault will reduce the amount of money you get in proportion to the percentage of your negligence, but you can still collect damages from the responsible party.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804 today, to get your free consultation about your premises liability case.
What Is the Settlement for an Elevator Accident?
Many variables can affect how much you will get in settlement for an elevator accident, and no two cases are identical, so we cannot tell you how much compensation you might receive for you elevator accident without getting more information from you. There are, however, several factors that can impact the amount of the settlement.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804, to get your free consultation for your elevator accident.
The Severity of Your Injury
The worse your injury, the more compensation you may recover:
- More severe injuries tend to come with higher medical bills.
- You usually miss more work while recuperating from a severe injury than from a minor one, so you may have higher lost wages.
- People often suffer more pain and emotional distress from significant injuries than from smaller ones.
- Severe injuries are more likely to have long-term impacts on one’s life.
By way of example, the elevator at a shopping mall did not line up perfectly with the second floor of the building, and you tripped as you exited the elevator. You threw out your hands to break your fall and sprained your wrist. Your damages may be far less in this scenario than if you fell and sustained a severe concussion.
Long-Term Effects of Your Injury
Recuperating from an elevator accident can have several different outcomes, including:
- A quick healing period with full recovery of all functions.
- Life-changing catastrophic impairment after a long road of medical procedures and rehabilitation.
- Anything in-between these two options.
Accident victims at the more dire end of these possibilities may recover higher compensation in a settlement of their personal injury claims.
Your Non-Economic Damages
When you sustain physical injuries, you can also suffer non-economic damages like:
- Physical pain
- Mental distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life; depression
- Loss of consortium (a potential claim for your spouse)
How Comparative Negligence Will Affect Your Settlement Amount
Let’s say that you held the door for someone else to catch the elevator – using your arm instead of the “Open Door” button. The door closed on your arm, fracturing two bones. The building owner may argue that you caused your injury. If the jury agrees and assigns 25 percent of the responsibility for the injury to you, the law will still allow you to collect some compensation.
Georgia follows the rule of comparative negligence, which means that the law will reduce your damages in proportion to your part of the total fault. If your damages were $40,000 and you were 10 percent at fault, your compensation will be $36,000 after the 10 percent reduction for comparative fault.
It Matters Whether You Were on the Job When Injured
If your elevator accident happened when you were at work, it is likely that you will have to pursue workers’ compensation benefits instead of a personal injury claim. In that situation, the Georgia laws on workers’ compensation will govern how much money you will get. For other elevator accidents, Georgia personal injury law will apply.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804, to get your free consultation for your elevator accident.
Can a Motorcycle Accident Cause PTSD?
Can a motorcycle accident cause PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)? Yes, you can develop this psychiatric disorder after experiencing a traumatic event, such as a motorcycle accident. People involved in motorcycle crashes can suffer physical injuries, such as road rash or burns, pain, anxiety, PTSD, and other emotional and psychological distress.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804 to schedule a free consultation.
What is PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
People often misuse the term PTSD as a catch-all for any emotional distress that follows a traumatic event. Generally, a PTSD diagnosis after a motorcycle accident may require meeting these criteria:
- Exposure to death, threat of death, serious injury, or threat of severe injury. The exposure can be direct or indirect.
- Persistently re-experiencing the traumatic event as a reaction to things that trigger memories of the event. Nightmares and flashbacks are common qualifying re-experiences.
- Avoidance of things that one fears could trigger a reaction to the traumatic event.
- New or worse feelings of negative emotions or social withdrawal.
- Sleep, mood or behavior changes.
- Symptoms last longer than a month and affect your ability to work or socialize. The signs must have no other known cause.
Can a Motorcycle Accident Cause PTSD?
The human psyche is capable of sustaining damage from traumatic events. About one out of four people who suffered injuries in crashes developed PTSD in the months after a motor vehicle accident, one study found.
How PTSD Can Impact Your Life
PTSD may contribute to a range life changes, including:
- Job loss
- Financial crisis
- Substance abuse
- Inability to maintain relationships and employment
Getting Compensation for PTSD
If you suffered injuries and PTSD in a motorcycle accident, you may qualify to get compensation for damages. Typical accident damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Disability or decreased earning potential
- Ongoing costs related to physical injuries
The mental anguish and emotional distress of your condition can also be part of your settlement. Another category of damages is the loss of enjoyment of life, for people who can no longer do things – like ride a motorcycle – that used to bring them joy.
People at the Highest Risk for PTSD
According to a 2009 study, the groups most at risk of PTSD after a motor vehicle accident were:
- People with a history of depression
- People who experienced a previous violent injury
- Those in a crash in which someone died
Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Yes, a motorcycle accident can cause PTSD. Contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC and we will evaluate the circumstances of your motorcycle accident. We will also review your claim with you and help you pursue a claim for PTSD and other damages. Call us today at 404-474-0804 for a free consultation.