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Many people who are involved in car accidents seek medical care from chiropractors for their personal injuries. Each person’s injuries are different, so the decision as to where to seek medical care after a car accident depends on various factors such as:

  • The extent of the injuries. For example, if there are fractures or broken bones, you’ll probably go the emergency room via ambulance from the scene of the collision and follow up with an orthopedic doctor. If there’s a head injury that causes headaches or a traumatic brain injury, then it would be advisable to seek emergency car and follow up with a neurologist. On the other hand, if the injuries are “soft tissue,” meaning they are largely muscular and involve the pain caused by whiplash, then seeking care from a chiropractor or a primary care physician is probably okay.
  • Whether there is health insurance. If there is health insurance available to cover treatment for injuries related to the accident, absent a catastrophic or emergent injury, then starting with a primary care physician is probably ideal way to obtain treatment. Chiropractors normally work on a “lien” basis, where they get paid on the back end of the settlement. Any time you have available health insurance to cover the cost of medical care, no matter what kind of provider you use, it is better than treating on a lien care basis because using your health insurance will more than likely allow you to maximize your recovery.
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Georgia premises liability law requires property owners to keep their premises safe from known dangerous conditions, which can include third party criminal acts. A property owner who knows that there is criminal activity on its premises owes a duty to take actions to keep visitors, tenants, and other people who are allowed to be on the property safe from the harm. Thus, when someone is hurt or killed on a property, the injured party or their family can bring an injury and a wrongful death action against a negligent property owner. These types of claims against property owners are commonly referred to as negligent or inadequate security cases.

You may wonder how a property owner can be expected to control the actions of an unrelated third party. The duty does not require the property to absolutely ensure that all people on the property are safe at all times; the duty requires the property owner to do what it can to protect parties from known dangers. For example, an apartment owner who is aware of assaults of its tenants occurring on the property can take the following steps to protect tenants and visitors:

  • Secure the premises with working fencing and gating;
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Yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled millions of Takata air bags placed in vehicles manufactured by Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, BMW, and GM. These air bags are defective and have killed at least three Honda drivers so far and injured hundreds of people. The NHTSA issued the recall and urged consumers to act immediately upon the recall. You can search here by VIN number to see if your vehicle is affected.

A New York times article published yesterday and another September article report that an investigation showed that Honda and Takata knew that the Takata air bags have been exploding since 2004. Nonetheless, Honda did not issue a recall until 2008, and it was only on a small fraction of their vehicles. Several recalls have been issued since then, and last month, Honda issued another recall, bringing the total number of recalled Honda and Acura vehicles to 6 million.

The defective Takata air bags explode and send shrapnel or chemicals flying at drivers, killing and injuring them. Those who have died from the exploding air bags have been stabbed by shrapnel from the exploding airbags and basically bled to death. The air bags were designed to deploy using a chemical explosive that is encased in a metal canister; thus, an explosion can occur and rupture the airbag, harming the passengers in the vehicle. Takata’s engineers explained the defect in many different ways, but cannot give one clear explanation for the problem. One explanation was that a defective machine at one of their plants made the explosives contained in the airbag unstable and caused it to burn aggressively rather than inflate the air bag properly. Another explanation was that a switch designed to reject poorly made explosives was in the off position at the plant where the air bags were made.

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When your pay check or bank account is being garnished by a creditor, you have a limited amount of time to stop the garnishment before the money is paid to the creditor. In Georgia, your options for disputing the legality of the garnishment are limited. However, there are a few solutions that will resolve your problems.

1. File a Traverse Against the Garnishment:

One way of succeeding in a traverse is showing that the underlying judgment upon which the garnishment is based is invalid or void. There are other reasons (social security income cannot be garnished; joint accounts where the money does not belong to the debtor cannot be garnished) a garnishment can be traversed, but I will not discuss those in this article. To understand what that means, you have to understand how a garnishment is successfully filed.

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Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Georgia

Assets and income are the two most significant qualifying factors for filing file Chapter 7 in Atlanta, Georgia. A “means test” was devised under the 2005 revision of the bankruptcy code; the means test is an income test that compares the debtor’s income to the median income of residents in the same county and state. Another key factor in analyzing whether filing Chapter 7 in Atlanta, Georgia is a good step for a debtor in financial crisis is determining whether the debtor has assets that can be sold to pay creditors. Under Georgia and bankruptcy law, “exemptions” or protections on property prevent liquidation of property in most Chapter 7 cases.

The Means Test in Georgia

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When you are injured in a car accident that was caused by another person, you should definitely seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to ensure that your personal injury claim is as strong as it can be.

Making a personal injury claim in Georgia

To make a claim for injuries that you suffered from a car wreck, you must generally show the following:

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Many Atlanta personal injury attorneys have called me expressing concern when their clients filed bankruptcy and also have a pending personal injury claim. Bankruptcy certainly does complicate the process of making a claim for personal injuries. A big issue for clients who have personal injury claims but are in bankruptcy is whether they get to keep the money recovered.

Personal Injury Claims as Assets in Bankruptcy

When you’re in bankruptcy, whether it be a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, your assets belong to the “estate,” which is basically a trustee stepping into your shoes to oversee your assets for the benefit of the creditors you owe. Thus, a personal injury claim can be an asset.

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One of the most common questions I get from clients is if they can file bankruptcy and keep their houses. Because most people are very attached to their homes, it can be very difficult to make an objective decision. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to reorganize debt and catch up on mortgage arrears. However, sometimes, the best decision is actually to lose your home in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy so you can get a new, debt-free start. Some of the things I look at when evaluating your financial situation and deciding if you should keep your house in a Georgia bankruptcy filing are:

1. Does your house have any equity? Equity is not an absolute requirement to keeping or losing a house. However, if you’re behind on your mortgage and your house is underwater, meaning you owe more money on it than it’s worth, giving up your house may make more sense. Now, if you are current on your mortgage payments and file a Chapter 7, then keeping your house is a more logical choice, even if it is underwater. On the other hand, if you have too much equity to protect the house, you may have to look at Chapter 13 to avoid liquidation of your house.

2. What percentage of your budget does your mortgage cost? Two huge factors I look at when evaluating a person’s financial situation for a potential bankruptcy filing are income and budget. A lot of times, the problem is simple. Some people do not make enough money to sustain payment of their mortgage. A good rule of thumb is if living in your house costs more than 25% to 33% of your take home pay, including first and second mortgages, property taxes, insurance, and homeowners association fees, than you may not be able to afford your house. If you are looking to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to catch up on mortgage arrears, then you will have to make the monthly house payments AND the catch up payment under the Chapter 13 case.

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If you are thinking about filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your specific financial circumstances. However, there are certain things that all debtors should be cautious about doing before filing bankruptcy to avoid having any issues in their case.

1. Do not transfer or sell property before filing bankruptcy. This is not a hard and fast rule, but exists to prevent fraudulent transfers of property before filing bankruptcy.

  • Insider Transfers: Transfers to family members or business partners are considered insider transfers and could be subject to reversal if you file bankruptcy shortly thereafter. An example of fraudulent insider transfer could be transferring ownership of your house (that you own outright) to your mom for $2.00 a few months before filing bankruptcy.
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If you have a wage or bank garnishment in Georgia, chances are you are wondering whether you should file a traverse to fight the garnishment or file bankruptcy to stop the garnishment. In order to determine which course of action is the best for your situation, you must understand the concepts of (1) collecting a judgment in Georgia; (2) the basis for a traverse; and, (3) how the bankruptcy stay stops a garnishment.

Judgments and Garnishments in Georgia: A Two-Step Process

Getting to the garnishment stage requires the filing of TWO separate lawsuits. To understand a traverse, you must understand this process.