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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.

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Patients in Georgia who have received DePuy ASR hip implants may have claims for defective product liability if their implants failed.  In 2010, after years of receiving complaints from patients and doctors that their hip implants were causing complications, DePuy Orthopedics Inc. recalled two of its DePuy ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) Hip Implants.  Studies showed that patients who received the ASR hip implants experienced pain that required second hip replacement surgeries.  The DePuy implants have caused patients to experience hip failures, metallosis, and cobaltism (a blood disorder that causes serious injuries, cancer, or even death if untreated) because it exposes patients’ bloodstreams to toxic levels of cobalt and chromium.  Patients who have experienced hip pain, metallosis, cobaltism, or a failed hip replacement device from DePuy must have the ASR hip replaced.

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Many women in Atlanta, Georgia and all around the country have experienced complications from transvaginal mesh patches that have been used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and have initiated the help of Georgia lawyers to recover compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering associated with their problems.

In July 2011, the FDA issued a warning about several surgical mesh slings that have been implanted in women, stating that those products have caused further complications such as vaginal infections, chronic vaginal drainage, bleeding, pain during intercourse, urinary leakage and incontinence, organ perforation, recurrence of the prolapsed organs, erosion of vaginal tissue, and backaches.  Unfortunately, many women have continued to suffer after their initial POP or SUI surgeries and have required follow up surgeries to remove the mesh and correct these problems.  According to the FDA, there were 2,874 reports of complications related to transvaginal mesh devices between 2008 and 2010.  In addition, the FDA stated that there is no evidence that the use of transvaginal mesh for POP repair provides better results than non-mesh repair methods and could expose patients to higher risks.

If you are experiencing complications such as pain, bleeding, and infections from a POP or SUI repair surgery in Georgia, you may be entitled to compensation by holding the manufacturers of these defective products liable for placing such unsafe products into the market.  Some of the dangerous products used include Bard Avaulta Solo, Avaulta Plus and Avaulta Biosynthetic systems.  The manufacturers of these products include C.R. Bard, Johnson & Johnson Ethicon, American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific Scimmed, Sofradim, Caldera, and Mentor Corporation.  If you or a loved one has experienced pain after surgery using a transvaginal mesh product and need the guidance and support of a defective medical products attorney in Georgia, please call the Law Offices of Betty Nguyen Davis at (404) 593-2620 for a free and confidential consultation with a female lawyer.

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Dog Bite Liability in Georgia

Victims of dog attacks in Atlanta, Georgia may often recover from the dog owners for their injuries.  Like all premises liability cases, under Georgia law, recovering for injuries sustained by a dog bite requires a showing that the dog owner either knew or should have known about the animal’s dangerous and violent propensities.   Dog owners could also be responsible for attacks for failing to comply with leash laws.

Dog owners are not automatically liable for attacks on other people.  That is, there is no such thing as “strict liability” for dog bites in Georgia.  To show that a dog owner knew or should have known about the dog’s violent tendencies, evidence of past dog attacks or bites or prior aggressive behavior such as charging toward someone or trying to bite someone should be sufficient.    Even if the dog is of a violent breed, such as pit bulls, there is no liability without a showing of notice or knowledge.

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Negligent Security Claims In GeorgiaGeorgia Property Owners Owe a Duty to Keep Patrons Safe

In Georgia, property owners owe a duty to visitors to keep their property in safe from dangerous conditions, including crime.  You may think that property owners cannot be held responsible for the actions of third party criminals, but that is not what Georgia law on negligent security says.  Where there have been known dangerous crimes on a property and the property owner fails to take measures to adequately protect patrons, visitors, or other people who are allowed to be on the premises, the property owner may be held responsible for injuries sustained from crimes that happen on their property.

What Can a Georgia Property Owner Do to Protect You?

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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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Georgia Property Owners, Including Apartment Complexes, Have Duty to Protect Tenants From Crimes
In Georgia, property owners owe their tenants a duty of care to keep the tenants reasonably safe while on their premises.  A lot of people probably do not know that if they are a victim of crime that occurs on an apartment complex’s premises (or, say, even a trailer park, office building, shopping center, a parking garage, or a night club.  Click to read more about other types of negligent security cases in Georgia), they may be able to hold the property owner liable for their injuries.  So, let’s say the person is assaulted, mugged, raped, or even killed in an apartment complex.  If the apartment complex failed to adequately secure the property, it can be liable.  To show liability of the apartment owner under Georgia premises liability law, the injured party must show:

1.  The apartment owner knew about prior similar crimes in the complex;

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There are generally two parts to an insurance claim that results from a car accident that is not your fault:  1.  the property damage claim or the claim that deals with repairing the vehicle; and, 2. the bodily injury claim or the claim that deals with compensating you for your medical bills and pain and suffering.

Personal injury attorneys normally do not handle property damage claims to your vehicle because it is difficult to charge attorneys’ fees on a contingency basis for that type of work.  For example, if your car is worth $10,000.00 and the insurance company agrees to pay that amount, 1/3 of that settlement to an attorney would only put $6,667.00 in your pocket, which would not enable you to buy a comparable vehicle.

However, you can probably handle the settlement of your claim for automobile repairs yourself.  If the car accident is not your fault, you can still call your own insurance company to assist you with the claim, and your insurance company can obtain reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurer.  In order to determine whether the insurance company is paying fair compensation for your loss, you should pull up the blue book or NADA value of your vehicle.  If it is a total loss, you’ll want to be paid the value of your vehicle.  If the vehicle is not a total loss, then you will have to obtain repair estimates and ensure that your vehicle is repaired and the insurer pays for the cost.  In Georgia, you are allowed to make a claim for diminution in value, but that is a difficult task, absent persistence, or even a lawsuit.