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In Atlanta, crimes such as shootings, rapes, robberies, or assaults occur on many commercial properties, including hotels and motels.  Under Georgia law, a victim of a crime that occurs on the property of an unsafe hotel or motel may be able to recover against the hotel or motel for negligent security.

Negligent security is a type of premises liability claim. Premises liability cases in Georgia rest on the principle that a property owner has the legal duty to make sure that lawful visitors or “invitees” to its property are safe from dangerous conditions.  An invitee of a hotel or motel includes guests, and dangerous conditions can include crimes that are committed by unrelated persons who come on to the property or even other motel or hotel guests.

Hotel and motel owners have the duty to protect its guests from “foreseeable” criminal acts, even if the crimes are committed by third parties.  Thus, one of the factors that a victim of a crime on an unsafe property has to prove is that the crime was foreseeable.  You may ask how anyone could predict the future to foresee the criminal act of a third party.  Some factors that show that a property owner should have foreseen a criminal act are past crimes that occurred on the property or complaints about criminal behavior from customers, employees, or other guests.

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Yes, victims of crimes such as assaults, shootings, robberies, and rapes in Georgia may be able to sue property owners and operators where those crimes occur under the Georgia law of premises liability.  Victims may also sue the assailants, but, when looking at a civil suit, suing a corporate owner or operator of a premises gives the victim a better chance for monetary recovery, as most individuals, particularly criminals, probably do not have assets with which to pay their victims.

Under Georgia law, owners and operators of businesses owe a duty of care to the keep their premises safe for visitors and customers.  Where a business owner knows that there is a significant amount of violent crime on its property that could cause customers to be assaulted or even killed, a business owner is required to provide security or take measures to prevent such crimes.  Where such a business owner fails to provide adequate security, and a violent crime, such as a shooting or a rape occurs on its property, the property owner may be civilly liable and be required to pay the victim for the crime, even if the criminal is totally unrelated to the property owner.

Places such as business parking lots, parking decks, bars, hotels, and gas stations can be high crime areas where adequate security is a must.  Business owners who know about high crime on their property can make efforts such as providing well-trained security guards, controlled access, adequate lighting, fencing, warning signs, and security cameras.

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On May 3, 2017, a jury in New Orleans found in favor of the manufacturers of the blood thinner Xarelto in a lawsuit that Joseph Boudreaux filed against Bayer AG, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Johnson & Johnson after Mr. Boudreaux’s was hospitalized for gastrointestinal bleeding that required multiple blood transfusions.  The Boudreaux case was based on a failure to warn theory, where the plaintiff alleged that the manufacturers of the drug did not adequately warn him about the dangers and risks of Xarelto.  The defense of the case was based on the learned intermediary doctrine, which allows a drug manufacturer to warn a medical professional about the dangers of a drug rather than to the patient directly.

On June 12, 2017, the drug manufacturers won a second bellwether case based on the death of Sharyn Orr, who died after suffering from hemorrhaging in her brain after taking Xarelto.  Ms. Orr required surgery, but her doctor did not operate because Xarelto was still in her system; by the time she could have the surgery, it was too late, and Ms. Orr passed away.  The plaintiff’s lawyers alleged that the drug manufacturers not only failed to adequately warn Ms. Orr and her doctors, they also failed to create a monitoring plan and properly instruct doctors to conduct a blood test that would allow them to predict which patients are most susceptible to internal bleeding from taking Xarelto.

The Boudreaux and Orr cases are just two out of 40 or so “bellwether” trials (test trials that are conducted to help determine value where there are a heavy volume of similarly based cases, typically in multi district litigation) that are scheduled in the Xarelto multidistrict litigation.  Thus, there is still hope that plaintiffs will win some of the future Xarelto cases.  There are currently 18,000 or so Xarelto claims pending, and the results of the bellwether trials will help shape the future of the claims process.

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When it comes to personal injury claims in Georgia, determining the value of your case is complicated.  There is no set formula for valuing a case, but there are many factors that come into play.  Although the following list is not exhaustive, some of the factors that can determine how much your personal injury claim is worth are outlined below.

1.  Type of Injury/Damages

Personal injury claims in Georgia can vary from car accidents to medical malpractice to slip and falls.  The common theme, of course, is that you are injured because someone else acted negligently or carelessly.  The value of a case often hinges on just how badly you are hurt and how much your medical bills or lost wages are.  Injuries can range from a little whip lash to catastrophic injuries or even death.

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Do I Need an Attorney to Handle My Personal Injury Case?

If you are injured as a result of another person or company’s negligence, Georgia law allows you to recover compensation for your injuries.  Personal injury cases can vary drastically from a simple car accident to a complex products liability case against a medical device manufacturer.  Although generally, it is always much wiser to have any attorney represent you when you have any legal issue, the question of whether you need an attorney to handle your case depends on several factors, including:

•    The extent or seriousness of your injuries;

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Under Georgia law, owners of apartment complexes and other commercial properties owe a duty of care to tenants and visitors to keep the property safe from criminal activity. A property owner who knows that shootings, gang violence, drug activity, assaults, burglary and other dangerous crimes occur on its property is required to take the proper steps to secure the property for the safety of its tenants.

Thus, if you were injured during a crime that occurred in an unsafe apartment complex in the Hapeville or Atlanta area, you may have a claim against the owner of the apartment complex, especially if you or your neighbors complained about criminal activity, broken security gates, holes in fences, bad lighting or any type of issues with the building that could allow criminals to access the property.

If an apartment owner knows, whether through past similar incidents or through reports by tenants or frequent calls to the police, that unsafe crimes are occurring on the property, it should take actions such as:

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The pure volume of traffic in Atlanta makes multiple vehicle car accidents a common occurrence.  Multiple vehicle collisions often cause problems for making personal injury claims because the question of who is responsible is often disputed.

To make a personal injury claim under Georgia law, a claimant must show that s/he is not at fault, that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident, and the accident caused the claimant to suffer from injuries.  When there are more than 2 vehicles involved, negligence and fault can be difficult to prove, especially when insurance companies are quick to deny liability.

A classic example of a multiple vehicle collision is the domino effect rear end collision.  A vehicle rear ends the vehicle in front of it and then the vehicle in the back hits the middle vehicle.  In an everyday rear-end collision, the vehicle who rear-ends the car in front of it is usually at fault and is often cited for “following too closely.”  Add a third car, and it can complicate things because now there are more people to blame for the cause of the accident.  In theory, cars #2 and #3 were both following too closely, causing each of them to collide with the car in front of it.  And, if there are two impacts, the cause of the personal injury could be questioned:  was it the first impact or the second impact that caused the injuries?

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Our office located in Hapeville caters to clients who have been injured in automobile accidents.  Like all personal injury claims, making a successful claim for injuries sustained in a car accident requires a showing that the other driver was negligent, and that his or her negligence caused you to suffer from injuries and other losses.  There are several key elements in the handling of a personal injury case that arises from a car accident.

Medical Treatment

One of the first things you need to do if you are injured in a car accident is to seek medical treatment.  If you are visibly and severely injured at the scene of the accident, then you need to be transported by ambulance to the emergency room for a full evaluation.  Often, victims of car accidents do not feel hurt until the next day, especially when the injuries are neck and back injuries.  If this happens to you, then you need to schedule a consultation with your primary doctor or go to an urgent care center immediately.

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If you are looking for a personal injury attorney on the south side of Atlanta near Hapeville, East Point, or College Park, we have an office conveniently located near the airport.  Our attorneys offer free consultations in our Hapeville office.  Before you schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney, you may have many questions about what to expect.  The article below is a guide that may be useful for you if you have suffered from a personal injury claim.

What is a Personal Injury Case?

“Personal injury” is a general term that describes an area of civil law that allows victims who are injured by other people’s or corporation’s carelessness to recover compensation.  In legalese, the term for a legal wrongdoing is a “tort.”  The term “negligence” refers to the at-fault party’s carelessness, which is measured by a “standard of care” of a “reasonable” person.  In other words, how would a reasonable person in the same circumstances have acted in order to be careful not to hurt another person?  For example, in the context of an automobile wreck, if a person runs a red light, then it is usually going to mean he or she was negligent because any reasonable driver knows that running a red light is careless and could cause someone else harm.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a recall on Bard Davol surgical meshes that were distributed under the C.R. Bard Davol brand name but later discovered to be counterfeit mesh.  The Bard/Davol mesh is typically used for hernia surgery repair by covering the weakened or torn tissue in the body and closed into the body; thus, the use of a counterfeit mesh could cause serious post-operative damages to patients.  The counterfeit hernia mesh was distributed by RAM Medical Inc. and then redistributed to hospitals and other medical providers through Medline Industries, Amerimed Corporation, Henry Schein Inc., Marathon Medical Corporation, MMS-A Medical Supply Company, and Q-Med Corporation.  According to the FDA, the counterfeit product was distributed between October 2008 and October 2009.  If you had surgery that involved use of the counterfeit Bard Davol mesh, you could have a claim for personal injury, as the mesh was not sterile and could lead to infection and may have an increased likelihood of unraveling in the body.  Please call the Law Offices of Betty Nguyen Davis at 404-593-2620 for more information on the counterfeit Bard Davol mesh product.