Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

July 7, 2016 Trial Victory Resulting in 162.5% Increased Verdict from Settlement Offer

Posted on: August 4th, 2016 by James Haug

MagVerdict

Our team at the Haug Law Group regularly receives large verdicts and settlements for our clients, but we are not afraid to try cases of moderate to minor damages. An example of this can be seen through our victory in a Magistrate Court trial on July 7, 2016. A single-mother was involved in an automobile accident where she was struck from behind on Interstate-285 by an F-150 truck that veered into her lane. As a result of the collision, our client underwent 3 months of treatment, and incurred approximately $7,000 in medical expenses. Prior to trial, the opposing counsel was unwilling to consider any pain and suffering damages, and her highest offer was $4,000.00. Maintaining this stance at trial, the opposing counsel attempted to downplay our client’s treatment as unreasonable. Our team objected to this reasoning, asserting that our adversary could have sought the opinion of an expert to determine the reasonableness of the treatment obtained. We asserted, and the Judge agreed, that the opposing counsel was not a medical provider, and consequently was not in a position to determine the reasonableness of our client’s treatment. Also, we argued to the Court our client’s decreased quality of life since the accident. She unfortunately had to deal with loss of sleep and a reduction of activities in her daily life, and deserved $5,000.00 in pain and suffering. The Court ultimately awarded our client $7,000.00 in medical expenses she incurred, plus $4,500.00 for pain and suffering. At the conclusion of the trial, the Judge stated that she wished our case had appeared first that day, so that the other attorneys could see an example of how “it was supposed to be done.” As opposed to settling for the $4,000 originally offered, our team was able to increase our client’s compensation for their injuries by 162.5%. *It is important to understand that no two cases are alike, and no recovery or amount of recovery can be guaranteed. We would be more than happy to discuss your case with you and evaluate it for you. Please call us at 1-844-428-4529. Also, you can visit our website at www.hauglawgroup.com.

Prenatal Harms

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by James Haug

Almost everyone is familiar with the idea that if a person dies as a result of the negligence of another, damages could be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, perhaps not as common is the idea that one could also recover for prenatal harms. There are three different kinds of prenatal harms recognized at common law. They are wrongful life, wrongful birth and wrongful conception.

The state of Georgia is one of a few states that does not recognize wrongful birth claims. However, a Georgia sperm bank, Xytex Corp. and a local fertility clinic are now at the center of at least two lawsuits. The plaintiffs thought their sperm donor was a neuroscientist, when in fact he turned out to be a convicted felon with mental health issues. Previous litigation was dismissed because Georgia does not allow wrongful birth claims. At issue is how the sperm doner was described on Xytex’s website.

A wrongful birth claim results when a child is born that would not have been in the absence of medical malpractice. In general, these cases fall into three categories: 1) births caused by failed sterilization procedures, 2) the failure to inform parents of a birth defect or abnormality of their unborn child, and 3) failed abortion attempts.

In a wrongful life claim, the child is the plaintiff and the damages are the cost of the child’s support. In a wrongful birth claim, the plaintiff is the parent and the damages are the cost of the child’s support. Both allow recovery for the birth of unhealthy children. These sound like the same thing, especially since the damages are the cost of the child’s support under both theories of recovery, but it does matter which claim is chosen. If the child recovers, it’s her money and would last a lifetime. If the parent recovers, the parent can only recover for support up until age 18. Recovery is limited, however, to the extraordinary expenses of raising the child, not the normal and foreseeable costs of raising a healthy child. Wrongful Conception, where it is allowed, differs from wrongful birth and wrongful life in that it allows for the recovery of unwanted healthy children.

Dog owners can recover the value of medical costs in a Negligence Action in Georgia.

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by James Haug

Dog owners can recover the value of medical costs in a Negligence Action in Georgia.

In Georgia, when a person is injured in an accident due to the negligence of someone else, she can often recover money damages for her personal injuries, including her medical costs. If that same person passes away due to the negligence of someone else, her estate may have a claim for wrongful death. However, what happens when a pet animal is injured or killed due to the negligence of another?

The general rule is that an animal, even if it is a loving member of your family, is considered personal property, and if that animal is killed, the owner would only be able to recover the fair market value of the animal. A court will take the animal’s training, temperament, and use into consideration, when determining fair market value, but will not consider the value of the animal to the owner. Rather, it will only consider the value of the animal in a fair market.

In a recent Georgia case, the Supreme Court of Georgia still refused to allow dog owners to recover for their sentimental value for their dog, a mixed breed dachshund named Lola. The owners brought suit against a boarding facility after Lola died from kidney failure allegedly caused by the boarding facility’s negligence. The court reasoned that “the unique human-animal bond, while cherished, is beyond legal measure.”

The owners also sought to recover the value of the medical services provided to Lola. They spent nearly $67000 on Lola’s medical care at a specialized animal hospital in Florida for a period of nine moths before Lola passed away. The boarding facility argued that recovery should be limited to the fair market value of the dog, but the court held that, in addition to the fair market value, Lola’s owners could also recover for the reasonable value of medical expenses they incurred while trying to save Lola. The court held that the jury could consider the reasonableness of the medical treatment and costs in determining how much the owners could actually recover.

Avoiding Liability for Accidents in Your Home

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by James Haug

If someone is injured in another’s home, the homeowner could be liable for any damages caused. Common problems include falling on slippery or insecure surfaces, being injured in pools or trampolines, lawnmower accidents, and accidents involving pets or unsafe conditions on the property. You can protect yourself from liability by knowing the situations that could lead to trouble:

1) Failing to maintain your property .

2) Creating a condition on your property that could lead to injury.

3) Having a known hazard on your property and failing to protect others against it with warnings or barriers.

4) Failing to safely maintain or creating a hazard that could attract children.

5) Engaging in actions that could damage to your neighbor’s property.

Avoiding these situations and protecting yourself from liability starts with keeping your home safe. The American Bar Association has provided a handy checklist of suggestions you can use to ensure a safe home:

Repair steps and railings.
Cover holes.
Fix uneven walkways.
Install adequate lighting.
Clear walkways of ice and snow as soon as possible.
Be sure children do not leave toys on steps and sidewalks.
Replace throw rugs that slip or bunch up.
Reroute extension cords that stretch across traffic lanes.
Repair frayed electrical cords.
Keep poisons and other hazards out of the reach of children, even if you don’t have children.
Warn guests about icy conditions and other hazards.
Restrain your pet.
Erect barriers to your swimming pool; an automatic pool cover or a tall fence with a good lock that you lock, and an alarm on any door leading to the pool.
Remove all guns or keep them securely locked and out of sight, where children cannot see them or gain access to them.
Remove nails from stored lumber; secure any lumber piles.
Don’t leave ladders standing against the side of the house or garage.
Don’t let children stand nearby when you mow the lawn.
Don’t let your guests drink and drive or drive under the influence of drugs.
(http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/safehome_checklist.html)

By acting reasonably, paying attention, and correcting problems, you can protect yourself from liability and make sure your home is safe for both your family and others!

Federal Tort Claims Act and Georgia Soverign Immunity

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by James Haug

Prior to 1946, the government could not be sued based on the doctrine of Sovereign Immunity. However, today, if a person is injured because of the acts of a government employee acting within the scope of employment, the injured person can sue the government for personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage. Therefore, if a visitor slips and falls on negligently maintained stairs at a federal building, that visitor would have a claim for negligence under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

State governments have their own immunity laws. In Georgia, sovereign immunity is waived in certain situations. If a driver is injured in an accident due to a malfunctioning street light or perhaps an obstructed stop sign, she may be able to recover damages from the government entity responsible for the stop light or sign. Her first step would be to file a notice of claim to let the government know that she has been injured. For cities, this must be filed within six months after the accident and within a year after the accident for counties and state entities.

Filing this notice is very important and can cause a victim to lose her case if she doesn’t follow the rules. For example, in a case wherein a Waynesboro police officer drove his patrol car into the back of the victim’s automobile, the victim she lost her negligence case. The court dismissed the case, finding that the victim did not file appropriate notice within six months of the accident. The court further noted that a state statute prevented the victim for suing the victim from suing the officer personally.

Because of the formalities requires and protective rules, it can therefore be difficult to sue the government, but it is not impossible. Hiring a good lawyer that understands the rules and limitations is a good way to start!

Defenses to Negligence Claims in Georgia

Posted on: April 19th, 2016 by James Haug

Defenses to Negligence Claims in Georgia

Suppose a driver turns left at a red light in front of a second driver’s car, causing a car accident. The first driver is clearly negligent. However, let’s assume the accident could have been avoided entirely had the second driver not been speeding. Courts have three different ways of apportioning the blame – and thus the liability – in cases where both parties are negligent: Contributory Negligence, Comparative Negligence and Assumption of the Risk.

First, the doctrine of Contributory Negligence may be used to completely bar a plaintiff who contributes to the accident. In the car wreck example above, if the second driver was indeed speeding and contributed to the accident, she would not be able to recover any damages in a jurisdiction that adopts the rule of contributory negligence.

Comparative Negligence is a defense that may be used to reduce the recovery of a Plaintiff that contributes to the accident. Her recovery will be reduced by the percentage of her negligence. Most jurisdictions have adopted this approach, including Georgia.

Specifically, Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence approach: Plaintiff will only recover if she is less than 50 percent at fault. In other words, if she is 40 percent at fault, he damages will be reduced by 40 percent, leaving her with 60 percent of her damages. Let’s say that Plaintiff suffers $100,000 in damages but is found to be 40 percent at fault. She would only be able to recover $60,000 because her recovery would be reduced by 40 percent, or $40,000.

Our neighbors, Alabama and North Carolina, follow a pure comparative negligence system, where damages are apportioned to each party regardless of each party’s percentage of fault. In other words, if Plaintiff is found to be 80 percent at fault, she could still recover 20 percent of her damages from Defendant. In Georgia, because she is more at fault than the defendant, she would be barred from recovery.

Another defense to negligence is assumption of the risk. A Plaintiff that voluntarily undertakes the risk that results in her injury is also barred from recovery. In order to prove assumption of the risk, Plaintiff must voluntarily choose to expose herself to a known risk. In other words, she knows and appreciates the risk, but still chooses to expose herself to the danger.

Let’s say you sign a waiver form before going skydiving. That would be an express assumption of the risk. You know the danger of skydiving, but voluntarily choose to expose yourself to it. Or, let’s say you get a recall notice informing you that the brakes on your car are defective and you notice that they are slipping, but you choose to drive your car anyway without getting the braes repaired. That is an assumption of the risk as well.

Assumption of the risk can be implied by the factual situation or expressly, when the plaintiff explicitly agrees to accept the risk involved. Many jurisdictions absorb implied assumption of the risk into comparative negligence rather than treating it as a completely separate defense. Georgia has both a comparative negligence statute and an assumption of the risk statute.

Negligence Per Se Atlanta Georgia

Posted on: March 12th, 2016 by James Haug

Negligence Per Se Atlanta Georgia

If an individual is injured because of the actions of another, she may be able to recover her damages if she can prove that the other person was negligent. As mentioned in previous posts, to prove that another person has acted negligently, you generally must demonstrate that the person acted unreasonably under the circumstances, which can sometimes be hard to do.

Under Georgia state law, one way you can prove unreasonable conduct is to show that the Defendant violated a statute. For example, let’s assume that the Defendant was speeding or ran a red light. As a result, the Defendant caused an auto accident, and another driver on the road was injured. We all know that both speeding and running a red light are against the law in every state in the United States. However, that does not automatically mean that the Defendant is liable for the Plaintiff’s injuries under the doctrine of negligence per se. Instead, you have three requirements to prove to invoke the doctrine:

  1. The injured Plaintiff must be within the class of persons that the law was intended to protect. In the case of the speeding car, the law against speeding was designed to protect drivers. Therefore, if another driver is hit by a speeding car, she is within the class of people the statute is designed to protect.
  2. Again, in the case of the speeding car, the law was intended to protect against people suffering an injury as a result of an automobile accident. Because the Plaintiff was injured in a car accident, she suffered the type of harm the statute was meant to protect against.
  3. Finally, you have to show that the Defendant’s violation of the statute was not excused. In other words, if the Defendant has an excuse for breaking the law, the doctrine of negligence per se will not apply. In the case of the speeding car, if the Defendant was speeding because he was rushing to the hospital to save a dying passenger in the vehicle, his conduct may be excused, and negligence per se will not apply. However, if there was no excuse for his speeding, the Plaintiff may be able to prove negligence per se and avail herself of the doctrine to prove that the Defendant owed her a duty of care to drive at the speed limit, and he breached that duty of care by recklessly driving over the speed limit.

Here’s the twist: Just because a Plaintiff can prove negligence per se does not mean that the Plaintiff automatically wins her negligence case. Rather, she must also still prove causation and damages. For example, if the accident was caused because the Plaintiff swerved to avoid a hazard in the road and not because the Defendant was speeding, then the Defendant will not be liable for negligence because the Plaintiff cannot prove both actual and proximate cause.

Swanson v. Tackling: A Georgia Dog Bite Case

Posted on: February 12th, 2016 by James Haug

Swanson v. Tackling: A Georgia Dog Bite Case

In a recent Georgia case, a seven year old boy was bit on the head by one of Defendant’s Great Dane dogs while he was visiting their home. He suffered serious and disfiguring injuries as a result. His mom filed a personal injury suit against the dog’s owners.

When the boy and his parents arrived at the home, they were introduced to the dogs who were behind a gate in another room. One of the dogs put her head over the gate barked in the young boy’s face. This made the mother nervous and she requested that the dog be kept away from her son, although she did not share this information with the owners. The next day, the young boy asked if he could give one of the dogs a stuffed toy. In an attempt to get the toy, the dog bit the boy’s arm. The boy began to scream and cry and when he bent his head down, the dog bit him. the dog’s owner testified that “prior to this incident, the dog had never bit, chased, jumped on, or even growled at anyone.”

The trial court ruled in favor of the dog owners on the grounds that there was no issue of material fact for a jury to consider because the dog had never displayed any vicious behavior or evinced a propensity to bite anyone prior to biting the boy. The appellate court agreed and ruled in favor of the dog owners.

In a dog bite case, Georgia law allows a plaintiff to recover based on a dangerous animal liability theory or a premises liability theory. However, in order to succeed, the plaintiff must show evidence that the dog had a vicious propensity in order to prove that the owner had superior knowledge of the danger. In order to infer this knowledge, there “must be at least one incident that would cause a prudent person to anticipate the actual incident that caused the injury.” Although the dog owner doesn’t have to be aware of the dog’s propensity to act in exactly the same way that causes the injury at issue, that previous incident must be the same type as the incident at issue. Finally, it is well settled under Georgia law that “a dog’s menacing behavior alone does not demonstrate its vicious propensity or place its owner on notice of such propensity.”

As mentioned, Georgia courts allow recovery under a dangerous animal liability theory or a premises liability theory. Also, if a person voluntarily undertakes to restrain a dog and fails to do so and an injury results, the owner can be held liable. In this case, there was no evidence that the mom asked the Defendants to restrain the dog or that they promised to do so. Therefore, while the Court was sympathetic with regard to the boy’s injuries, it had to rule in favor of the dog owners.

2016 WL 718465

Proving Negligence Actions in Georgia: Unreasonable Conduct

Posted on: January 12th, 2016 by James Haug

Proving Negligence Actions in Georgia: Unreasonable Conduct

When a person has been injured in an accident, she may be able to recover damages for her injuries if she can prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of another. In other words, if someone acted unreasonably and caused injury as a result, that person may be liable.

Proving negligence isn’t always easy. A plaintiff must show that 1) Defendant owed her a duty of care, 2) Defendant breached that duty of care, 3) the Defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff to be injured, and 4) Plaintiff suffered damages as a result.

In general, we all owe a duty of reasonable care to those around us. In other words, we should drive safely, look where we are going, and just exercise general common sense so that we don’t cause anyone else to be hurt by our actions. It is when we act unreasonably that we can get into trouble! If a plaintiff can prove unreasonable conduct, she can prove that Defendant breached his duty of reasonable care, which is often the hardest thing to prove in a negligence case. After all, reasonable minds may differ as to what is considered reasonable.

Luckily, courts have a method to help determine when Defendant’s conduct amounts to unreasonable conduct. It is called the “Learned Hand Test.” It is called this because it was first used by a judge named Learned Hand. It basically says that if the probability and gravity of harm outweigh the burden of protecting against the harm, the Defendant has acted unreasonably in failing to protect against the harm.

Think of it this way: Defendant has a swimming pool in her back yard. There is no fence around the pool or her yard and her neighborhood has lots of children in it. One of the neighborhood kids falls in the pool and drowns. The question becomes whether Defendant has breached her duty of care owed to that child by not installing a fence. When we apply the learned Hand Test, we first ask about the probability of harm. In this case, the probability of harm is high. There are lots of children in the neighborhood. Children are attracted to swimming pools. The probability of a child falling in and getting injured is very high.

Next, we look at the gravity of harm. If a child falls in a pool, he could drown. Therefore, the gravity of harm is great as the result could be death.

Finally, we look at the burden to protect against the harm and measure that against the probability and gravity of the harm. The cost of putting up a fence is very low compared to the risk of a child falling into the pool and drowning. Therefore, Defendant acted unreasonably by not putting up a fence and breached her duty of care to that child.

Of course, Plaintiff will also have to prove causation, which leaves us a topic for further discussion!

Products Liability Cases in Georgia

Posted on: December 12th, 2015 by James Haug

Products Liability Cases in Georgia

If a consumer is injured while using a defective product in Georgia, she may be able to recover for her personal injuries. There are several theories under which she may be able to win.

Negligence

The first theory of recovery to consider when someone is injured by a product is negligence. To prove negligence, the customer must show that the manufacturer or retailer owed her a duty of care, that they breached that duty, and that the breach caused the injury.

A manufacturer must use reasonable care when designing and manufacturing its product. It is not required to anticipate unusual possibilities or make a completely safe product. It is also not required to ensure the product’s safety. It will not be liable if it designs and manufactures the product with due regard for the circumstances and purpose for which the product will be used.

The manufacturer’s failure to warn is generally the most frequently encountered in negligence cases. That does not mean it must warn of any and all possible dangers, no matter how remote. Rather, a manufacturer must warn against dangers that are foreseeable.

The failure of the manufacturer to warn of foreseeable dangers or to use due care in the design or manufacture of its product is a breach of their duty of care. If a consumer is then injured as a result of that failure, the manufacturer will be liable for damages.

Strict Products Liability

Strict products liability is another theory upon which an injured consumer can recover. Georgia Statute section 51-1-11 imposes liability upon the manufacturer of a defective new product regardless of the amount of care exercised by the manufacturer. Courts will hold a manufacturer liable if the product “was not merchantable and reasonably suited to the use intended,” or if the product is defective at the time it leaves the manufacturer’s hands.

A product defect exists when the product has not been properly designed, manufactured, packaged, or accompanied by adequate warnings. Whether a product is defective must be considered in the overall context of the design, function, and intended use. The danger must not be obvious and liability does not extend to unforeseeable misuse or abnormal use of the product. Georgia courts have also found strict liability in cases where there was no adequate warning.

Express and Implied Warranty

Consumers injured by a product in Georgia may also be able to recover under theories of breach of either express or implied warranties, or both. If the seller makes a statement of fact about the quality character or title to goods at the time of sale, it can be considered an express warranty. Statements of opinion are not susceptible to factual proof and are therefore not considered express warranties. Implied warranties, including the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and an implied warranty of merchantability accompany the sale of goods by law.

Georgia Slip and Fall Cases

Posted on: November 12th, 2015 by James Haug

Georgia Slip and Fall Cases

If an individual slips and falls in a store, the store may be liable for any personal injury suffered. This is commonly known as a slip and fall case. However, in Georgia, store owners are not required to insure the safety of their customers. Therefore, just because an individual can prove the occurrence of a fall in the store, that does not automatically mean that the customer will prevail in her slip and fall case against the store.

In Georgia, the business owner must exercise diligence towards making the promises safe in a way that a good business person would. Therefore, a person who wishes to recover for personal injuries caused by a slip and fall in a commercial establishment must show three things: (1) that the business had knowledge or constructive knowledge of the hazard or condition, (2) that the customer acted reasonably to ensure her own safety in light of the knowledge she had with regard to the hazard or condition, and (3) that the business’ failure to make the store safe was the cause of the customer’s slip and fall.

In essence, businesses make an implied promise to their customers that the store has been made ready and safe for their customers’ arrival. For the purpose of proving knowledge, the main issue hinges on the relative degree of knowledge possessed by each of the parties with regard to the danger. If the business has superior knowledge about a hazard or condition that might subject a customer to an unreasonable risk of harm and fails to protect against it, the business will be liable for the personal injuries of the customer.

The presence of a spill or rainwater in a store is one of the most typical circumstances that can lead to slips and falls. Georgia courts have found that it is common knowledge that some water will be present where shoppers pass into the store during rainy weather. Generally, a wet floor sign and periodic mopping at the store entrance is considered advisable and can help protect business owners from liability for slips and falls. However, the mere presence of a sign or equal knowledge with regard to weather conditions will not automatically bar recovery. For example, recovery was not automatically barred when a movie theater placed a “wet floor” sign over a spill and a customer, who was in a crowd of people, tripped over the sign as she exited the theater after the crowd had knocked the sign over.

With regard to the fault of the customer, under the current rule in Georgia, a customer is not required to look continuously and without interruption for defects. This is true whether the hazard is open and obvious or where the customer had some generalized knowledge of the hazard that was inferior to the store owner. The customer, however, can be expected to give some explanation of why she was not looking where she was going.

Georgia Nuisance Claims

Posted on: October 12th, 2015 by James Haug

Georgia Nuisance Claims

A nuisance occurs when someone uses their property in a way that interferes with the use and enjoyment of the property of others. A nuisance can be caused by many bothersome activities, including noise and noxious smells, or by more serious activities, such as the contamination of waterways and air pollution.

A nuisance can either be public or private. A private nuisance is a substantial and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of land while a public nuisance is an interference with a common right to the general public. Think of all of the problems that have been caused by the contaminated water source in Flint, Michigan recently. The residents of Flint have a common right to clean drinking water. Therefore, the contamination is certainly a public nuisance as many residents are affected by the contaminated drinking water.

Private Individuals can sue and get damages for personal injuries suffered as a result of a private nuisance. For example, if a person misdirects water onto the property of her neighbor, the neighbor can sue for damages. However, if the nuisance is considered a public nuisance, a private individual cannot bring suit. Rather, only public officials or public agencies may bring these types of nuisance actions. For example, if a person lives near a landfill that is burning garbage and it is releasing noxious odors, a public official must bring a claim against the landfill on behalf of the community. After all, we all have a common right to clean air.

However, there are some cases where a private individual can bring a claim for a public nuisance. In these cases, the private individual must show a “special injury” that is not suffered by other members of the public. This “special injury” may occur where the interference with the public right also impairs the use and enjoyment of a private interest in land or where a member of the public suffers an injury which differs markedly from the injuries of the public generally. For example, if the nuisance is the contamination of water in Flint, Michigan, and all residents have a common right to clean drinking water, it would be difficult for a private individual to recover in court unless she could prove a special injury as a result of the contamination that others did not generally suffer. If the private individual could prove that she suffered a particular illness as a result of the contamination that others did not also suffer, she would have a claim and could sue in a nuisance action.

Courts can and do differ with regard to how they interpret what constitutes a “special injury.” Therefore, attorneys representing clients in public nuisance actions must carefully how they can differentiate their clients’ injuries from injuries suffered by the public generally.

1 State Environmental L. § 3:1 (2016)

Attorney James Haug Speaks at CLE Seminar Regarding Punitive Damages in DUI Cases

Posted on: September 17th, 2015 by James Haug

If you would like to view his presentation, please click on the link below:

Punitive Damages in DUI Cases

Five most common sources of Wrongful Death

Posted on: August 24th, 2015 by James Haug

Even though each family trusts that no member of the family will endure a wrongful demise because of a third party’s carelessness, the truth of the matter is that this kind of mishap are exceptionally regular in the US. Actually, the top five causes of untimely demise may affect a family whenever and wherever.

What does Wrongful Death mean?

Today, there are a wide range of actions that can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. Most of the time, wrongful death claim may have more than one defendant involved, particularly if an organization is involved.

Different from other form of accidents, a wrongful demise is recognized by the careless behavior. This implies that it has to be the negligent or careless attitude of the faulted party that directly caused the demise of the casualty.

Some illustrations of careless practices that can prompt a wrongful demise claim are:

The very popular causes include:

These days, there are several activities that can prompt a wrongful demise claim. By and large, a wrongful demise claim may include multiple defendants, particularly if the demise was because of the activities of a corporation or association.

Car crashes

A careless driver is usually present for this to happen. In most cases, he or she will be drunk on drugs. It could also be that he or she was calling or texting while driving. Considering that about 40,000 individuals passing on in vehicle mishaps consistently, its the most widely recognized of the top five reasons for wrongful demise.

Medical compromise

Medicinal misbehavior claims result when demise is brought on because of the carelessness of a doctor, nurse or managing staff while the victim was still alive and receiving medical attention. The elderly are particularly prone to be casualties of medicinal misbehavior, particularly the individuals who reside in assisted living homes or eldercare.

Work environment Accidents

It is the responsibility of every employer to make sure his/her working place is kept free from hazards. However; lack of adequate training of the employee, improper safety guidelines or defective equipment usually results in many wrongful deaths.

Faulty goods/Products

Either as a result of inability to adhere strictly to the appropriate production process or as a result of defects in product design, defective products can lead to death of the operator or owner.  For instance, the death of a child which happens as a result of unsafe toys and equipments for child care.

Crime

When a criminal activity results directly or indirectly to the death of a person, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the family of the victim. This lawsuit does not need a criminal court to find the defendant guilty; this wrongful death claim is a separate legal action.

Irrespective of which of the aforementioned five causes of wrongful death, there is a victim and if you wish to get the appropriate compensation, expert legal help is required. If you have suffered wrongful death of any of your family members, the Haug Law group can give you all the assistance you need to make sure that you are adequately compensated.

What Rights Do Whistleblowers Have in Atlanta Georgia?

Posted on: August 17th, 2015 by James Haug

At the point when an individual uncovers that his or her organization or association is involved in exploitative or unlawful conduct, that individual is known as a “whistleblower” and the law offers such person some level of protection. Then again, the bosses of such people often retaliate. At the point when this happens, it is essential to figure out what rights these whistleblowers have in a particular circumstance keeping in mind the end goal to make compelling legal action.

Legal Protection for Whistleblowers

The law pertaining to whistleblowers can be exceptionally unpredictable. Notwithstanding the vast range of government regulations securing them, several states have their own particular laws protecting them. It is critical that a person seeks legal help when facing retaliation from his/her employer. This is as a result of its complex nature. For instance, now and again the casualty’s lawyer may discover that their boss has gone against both the federal and the state whistleblower protection laws.

By and large, employer retaliation acts such as these may be compensated and that is what the law:

In these instances, a specific amount is paid to the victim. This can incorporate the restoration of a fired worker and reimbursements for the losses accrued as well as for the emotional discomfort. At times, the court may assess punitive damages especially grievous conducts by the boss.

Whistleblower Law and the Statute of Limitations

When the whistleblowers are taking into account the protective rights at their disposal, it is vital that they understand that the statute of limitation which they have is quite short. For instance, only a period of 30 days is available for a whistleblower to stake a claim as a result of retaliation on the part of his/her boss, under the Clean Air Act. This implies that anyone who wishes to take legal action for harassment or intimidation from their boss must do so as fast as possible or forfeit the claim.

Proving Harassment

The ability of the whistleblower to prove that he/she was harassed by the employer will form the premise for the case. As expected, no employer will willing state that the harsh actions taken against the employer has anything to o with the employer’s whistleblowing. The legal adviser of the victim now has the responsibility to establish that it is related to the employee’s status as a whistleblower using the employers behavioral and work history. If the attorney can successfully establish that the conditions prior to the whistleblowing were favorable and there is no other reason for the drastic change, it become likely that the job performance of the employee might not have been the cause, instead, it is a retaliatory action.

The employer has the right to inform the regulatory agencies in situations where an establishment carries out actions that contradict the law without fear of retribution. The needed legal assistance needed by the employee can be obtained if he/she has a deep understanding of their rights as whistleblowers. Legal advice is offered by the law offices of Haug Law Group to those who believe they are facing retaliation.

Study Finds Young Females at Higher Risk of Car Accident Fatalities

Posted on: August 10th, 2015 by James Haug

The world has been made better through smartphones and other communication devices. It is also important to note that they are also a major cause of road accident. Research has shown that the young females have 26% more chances of getting involved in an accident as a result of texting and or calling while driving. This research was done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Why Young Women?

It is assumed that the female teens have larger social circle and are usually more active on social media than any other group. This implies that they are often tempted to pick up their phone to text, or call a friend, or colleague while driving.

Who Else is at Risk?

As far as texting accidents are concerned, no one is exempted. People of all ages and sex can fall victim. A quick peek at your phone may cause accident. So many people are used to texting already and as such they believe they can comfortably juggle texting and driving. This is extremely difficult especially if you get easily distracted while driving or if you are an inexperienced driver.

The Consequences of Texting and Driving

Driving and texting may lead to emotional and physical injuries, ranging depression, bruises and bumps to internal injuries and in severe cases coma and death. It is logical to assume that a person that is texting while driving will be distracted and will not have quick reaction of a driver who is completely focused on driving. Easy things such as applying breaks can effectively minimize the possible effect of the accident. However, this is difficult for drivers who are distracted and as a result, they may hit other vehicles or pedestrians and this can cause severe injuries to all parties.

If You’ve Been Injured

You are advised to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you have been hit by a driver who was texting while driving. You might have a case that is worthy of significant compensation and if this is the case, the attorney can help you file your case. This attorney can also spell out the laws pertaining to the case and can also represent you in court to get you the appropriate compensation.

Texting and Driving Car Accident Statistics in Atlanta Georgia

Posted on: August 3rd, 2015 by James Haug

Georgia is fast developing and as such, its roads are getting really busier by the day. This is good because it leads to economic growth and more investment opportunities; however, it also leads to more frequent road accidents. Recently, a research by the NHTSA shows that more avoidable accidents are recorded periodically and most of which are as a result of driving and texting.

Why is Texting a Problem?

It is a major form of distraction. Taking one’s eyes off the road can have severe consequences irrespective of whether it to read or to type a message. Even if you think reading short texts are harmless while driving, bear in mind that from there you will also assume that it is also harmless to type and send short text too. The texts will continue to get longer with time and this will continue to diminish your concentration on the road. This then puts everybody around you in danger including other motorists and pedestrians.

Who is Most at Risk?

a report by the NHTSA suggests that this texting and driving menace is common among teens and young adults, particularly the inexperienced female drivers. More so, men below 5 years of age are not likely to sustain sever injuries. As people grow older, gender plays a vital role. Notwithstanding, anyone in or around a driver who is driving and texting is at risk of being involved in an accident.

What to Do After an Accident Involving Texting

Receiving proper medical attention before any other thing is vital, not minding if the accident was caused by a driver that was texting behind the wheels. This is because serious injuries may be incurred as a result of the accident. Employing the services of an expert injury attorney is recommended. Their job is to get out the deserved compensation for all emotional, mental as well as physical injury. The attorney has the responsibility of filing the case and in most cases, you may not have to be present in the courtroom for you to be adequately compensated. All questions and clarifications should be directed to your attorney.

What is a Wrongful Death?

Posted on: July 31st, 2015 by James Haug

Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Atlanta, Georgia

Although every family trusts that not one of its members will suffer a wrongful death as a result of negligence of a third party, the fact is these types of accidents are extremely common in the United States. Actually, the 5 leading reasons for wrongful death may affect a family at any given time and location.

What is a Wrongful Death?
Unlike a usual accident, a wrongful death is differentiated by the at fault party acting in a sense that shows careless or negligent disregard for the safety of others. Therefore, it was the responsible party’s conduct that directly resulted in the death of the sufferer.

Examples of negligent behaviors that may result in a wrongful death litigation comprise the following:
— Failing to post areas that are hazardous.
— Selling or using gear that is faulty.
— Failing to adequately train in how to respond to a workplace crisis, workers and renters.

The Most Common Sources of Wrongful Deaths
Today, there are a wide selection of actions that may lead to a wrongful death litigation. Oftentimes, a wrongful death lawsuit may involve more than one defendant, particularly if the departure was because of the activities of a business or alternative organization.

Automobile Accidents
Automobile accidents usually include a negligent driver, who’s in many cases driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, a rising number of accidents are the result of drivers who are texting or speaking on their mobile phone while driving.

Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice litigations result when a death is caused due to the neglect of the supervising staff, nurse or a surgeon during the course of the casualty’s medical treatment.

Workplace Accidents
Every company has a legal duty to maintain a workplace that is safe. Nevertheless, many wrongful deaths happen due to avoidable injuries brought on improper security guidelines, by defective equipment or the lack of effective employee training policies.

Defective Products
Either due to flaws in the product’s design or the failure to abide by appropriate production procedures, defective goods, can lead to the death of the product’s owner or operator. This is especially true for childcare gear and dangerous toys, which can cause death or harm to the children of a family.

Criminal Activity
The wrongful death litigation is an independent legal action and will not demand that the defendant be found guilty by a criminal court.
No matter which one of the 5 leading reasons for wrongful death a family has been victimized by, by getting settlement that is effective in a wrongful death lawsuit, proficient legal assistance is required. A family which has suffered a wrongful death should immediately contact the law firm of Haug Law Group as a way to ensure that their case will receive the seasoned aid it deserves.

Slip and Fall Injuries and their Surroundings

Posted on: July 27th, 2015 by James Haug

Types of Working Surroundings Prone to Slip and Fall Injuries

Every employer has a legal duty to ensure the workplace is safe for their workers and customers alike. Nevertheless, many kinds of working environments prone to slip and fall accidents are not correctly maintained, resulting in the danger that customers workers, and visitors may suffer death or injury from an avoidable slip-and-fall accident. It is therefore vital that you comprehend what types of work environments pose the most dangers for these types of injuries.

The Essence of Slip and Fall Accidents
Based on the U.S. Department of Labor, slip and fall accidents account for over 16,000 fatalities every year. Non-fatal injuries coming from these mishaps include contusions, brain injuries and fractured and broken bones.

High Risk Working Environments
The most typical kinds of working environments prone to slip and fall injuries are those that require any kind of physical labour. Working in a warehouse, industrial plant or retail store can expose workers and customers to danger. One of the most typical reasons for a slip-and-fall accident are the following:
— Slick or wet surfaces, particularly floors and stairway.
— Improperly secured work equipment, including ladders and loading ramps.
— Insufficient lighting in work or walk areas.
— Improper training in safety procedures and equipment.

Retail Marketplaces
Retail markets, which range from supermarkets to warehouse design shops, pose a high risk of slip and fall injuries. Workers regularly fail to properly post warnings around hazards such as equipment that is unsecured or slippery floors. These institutions also have a large number of customers present, which can drastically raise the probability of an accident.

Industrial Plants
Industrial plants often have work areas that suffer from low lighting and high noise levels. This makes it very likely that workers may suffer from a slip-and-fall injury due to being unable hear warnings from their fellow workers or to see an obstacle. Moreover, many managers fail to ensure that that all workplace safety regulations are followed by their workers. Building Sites Construction sites can be especially prone to slip and fall injuries. In addition, many building sites are in regions with poor lighting and rough terrain, making these kinds of injuries even more likely.

Eventually, due to the number of person contractors working at most construction sites, the enforcement of national and state security regulations can be irregular. It’s important to immediately seek out powerful legal assistance, when a slip and fall accident happens. They can receive compensation for any injuries or other damages suffered due to the accident in case the injury was due to neglect on the part of supervisors or the employee’s coworkers.

The law firm of Haug Law Group is experienced in handling slip-and-fall cases. The firm’s attorneys can assist his or her legal alternatives are understood by the sufferer of this kind of injury. Anyone who has suffered a slip-and-fall injury should immediately contact the law offices of Haug Law Group for a consultation regarding their particular case.

4 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Posted on: July 21st, 2015 by James Haug

The increasing number of aged people in America has resulted in a nursing home inhabitants that was growing. Because of this, many families are now faced with the choice to transfer an elderly relative into a nursing home. Nevertheless, it is necessary that the patient’s family and friends understand what the signs of nursing home negligence may be to be able to safeguard their loved ones in the hands of their caregivers from neglect.

Bedsores
One of the very common forms of negligence is leaving a bedridden patient in the exact same position for a very long time. This can result in the creation of bedsores as a result of unrelieved pressure on the patient’s body. Because of this, move or nursing homes have to regularly turn those patients who cannot move on their own. Failing to control patient bedsores will not just lead to avoidable distress, but can easily lead to the creation of life threatening medical conditions. Because of this, unexplained bedsores are a common sign of nursing home neglect.

Poor Patient Hygiene
Failure to do so can result in the development of skin, fingernail and genital diseases. As with bedsores, this kind of neglect can result in serious discomfort, injury and death that is avoidable. During a visit, the family should carefully observe the cleanliness of their room and the individual.

Weight Loss
Many nursing home patients endure avoidable weight loss because of the failure of the nursing home to make sure they receive an adequate and balanced diet. Improper diet can make the patient vulnerable to disease and can result in an avoidable death. Poor nutrition is particularly common among patients with cognitive disorders who are not easy to feed. When seeing a patient, the family should know about any sudden and sustained weight reduction. This really is especially significant when the individual is unable to effectively communicate together with the family. Such weight loss is frequently caused by negligent staff practices.

Mental and Emotional Neglect
Among the psychological and more challenging to not discover physical negligence can get a major effect on the patient’s complete health. Neglecting to maintain an active and mentally engaging surroundings can add to the patient’s avoidable departure and can result in a number of mental illnesses. Families ought to be on the lookout for an unwillingness or listlessness to speak when they visit their family member. Oftentimes, this is often an indicator of psychological or mental neglect. Also, the family should make certain that the nursing home provides community actions and effective amusement for its patients. However, if a family believes that their loved one is the victim of nursing home practices that are negligent, it is crucial to immediately seek competent legal help.

The law offices of Haug Law Group, can provide a legal consultation for those people who consider that they or a loved one have suffered from nursing home neglect, and have specialized in the area of neglect and nursing home abuse.
Contact us today with our on-line form