ACCIDENT OR NEGLIGENCE | Recognizing The Differences


Knowing the Crucial Steps to Take If You Are Injured on the Job.

Most of us go to work every day, do our jobs, and come home at the end of our shift in exchange for a paycheck. We have an underlying assumption that while we are there our safety is looked after through adequate measures by our employer. But sometimes that isn’t the case.

Whether it is a regular lack of care in the maintenance and upkeep of the premises and equipment or simply an oversight, sometimes accidents happen in the workplace because of someone’s neglect. When this happens to you, it can result in injuries, difficulty in performing your job, loss of wages, and more.

If you know that your injuries were a result of negligence and not simply an accident, you may be able to file a worker’s compensation claim in court.

So What Does Negligence in the Workplace Look Like?

Negligence in the workplace can take many forms.

The entire package of your job is a cohesive unit where each individual part must do its job in order for the whole outcome to be successful. When one part fails due to negligence, there can be consequences to the entire unit.

This applies from the beginning of the job process when a person is hired. If someone is not screened properly and is not qualified for the job that they are placed in, this can be detrimental to the company’s bottom line. This may be something as simple as losing clients or customers or costing the business money through their incompetence.

However, it could be worse – if an employee is not screened carefully, they could pose a threat to their coworkers. Negligence in hiring happens every day when due diligence is not performed before an applicant is hired.

Staff placed in positions that require careful attention to detail, for instance, should be screened and hired accordingly. If someone has a record of being an alcoholic and comes to work drunk and neglects an important aspect of their job that results in someone’s injury, this is negligence in hiring.

Employer responsibility does not end there, though. Sometimes an employee’s background screening comes back clear, but their performance on the job causes red flags. Personnel who exhibit behavior that is deemed unsafe should have corrective action taken by the employer.

When this behavior is ignored, this is called negligent retention. If, in the course of that negligent retention, the staff member performs an action that results in injury, the employer can be held liable for the employee’s negligence.

The employer also has the responsibility to train any new hires to ensure they have the skills to complete the requirements of their position. Lack of training of equipment can result in injury to others, and the employer would be liable for those damages.

Finally, an employer is also responsible for supervision of all employees. This is a combination of training the employees correctly and monitoring them once they are working on their own. Employers that fail to monitor employees’ actions or ignore complaints from other employees can be held responsible for any damages that occur as a result.

When Does a Workplace Injury Go Beyond Accidental?

In some cases, an employer can claim that a workplace injury was simply an accident, and we all know that accidents happen. However, many times that accident could have been avoided through due diligence, and that’s when it becomes negligence.

There are many common forms of negligence that result in worker’s compensation lawsuits. These can include:

  • The employer’s lack of workers’ compensation insurance, causing an injured employee to receive a delay in medical care and further medical conditions from their injuries.

  • Intentional misconduct by the employer, such as requiring an employee to perform duties they are not qualified for.

  • Employer’s retaliation against an employee, such as disciplining the employee or docking wages or hours, for filing a worker’s compensation claim.

  • Third-party damages in which an employee or someone affiliated with the company was responsible for someone else’s injury.

  • Discrimination of the employee by the employer or discrimination in the workplace by another employee. If the employer knew the actions were occurring and did not take steps to stop it, they can be held responsible.

  • Dangerous chemicals used in the line of duty, where the employer knowingly placed the employee in harm’s way by requiring them to work with toxic substances without proper equipment.

  • Employer’s negligence in allowing the use of defective work products and tools. If an employer knows that equipment is in need of repair and still allows it to be used, resulting in injury, they have not completed their duty in providing safe working conditions.

BIG GAME WEEKEND | City Road Closures


It’s going to be a very busy weekend in Atlanta! Listed below is the comprehensive list of road closings as well as the times they are in effect. Please be cautious navigating the city when closures are in effect. Road closures are subject to change by the city if needed.


Starting Monday, January 21 through Friday, February 8

  • Baker St. NW will be closed between Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW and Luckie St. NW.

Starting Monday, January 21 through Thursday, February 7

  • Mitchell St. SW will be closed between MLK Jr. Dr. SW (South) to Elliot St SW.

  • Mangum St. will be closed between Markham St to Foundry St.

  • MLK Jr. Dr. SW (South) will be closed between Northside Dr. NW to Centennial Olympic Park Dr NW

Starting Wednesday, January 23 through Thursday, February 7

  • Andrew Young International Blvd. NW will be closed between Marietta St. NW and Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW.


Starting at 1 AM on Friday, February 1 through 5 PM on Sunday, February 3

  • Peachtree St. between Ponce De Leon Avenue and 3rd Street

  • There will be a full closure of Ponce De Leon Avenue and 3rd Street between West Peachtree and Peachtree


Starting the Evening of Saturday, February 2 through morning of Monday, February 4

  • Northside Dr. NW will be closed between Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd NW and MLK Jr. Dr. SW (South)



There can be a lot of pressure and hype around what to do on New Year’s Eve. Everyone wants to have a memorable night and alcohol often plays a big part in the activities, as it does throughout the entire holiday season.

The reality is that drunk driving is an issue all year round. But because of all of the parties and socializing during the holidays, many people are indulging in drinking and the chances of being in a drunk-driving accident are higher. Although the worst injuries are typically associated with drunken driving, emergency departments also see injuries from falling while intoxicated, resulting in broken bones or head injuries. Alcohol overdoses are also common, particularly among those under the legal drinking age.

Here are some tips for celebrating New Year’s Eve while staying safe!

  • Always have a designated driver. Make sure this person knows his or her role in advance so they won’t drink alcohol.

  • If you’re drinking, leave your keys with someone so you won’t be tempted to drive.

  • Have a clear plan to get children home safely if they’re likely to be present where alcohol is served.

  • If you’re hosting a party, keep an eye on your friends. Don’t let them leave your residence intoxicated.

  • Know how much is too much. Typically, too much alcohol for men equals more than three drinks within the first hour, then more than one subsequent drink per hour. For women, too much is typically equal to two or three drinks within the first hour, followed by more than one drink per hour thereafter. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled liquor. Of course, for many people, far less than these quantities might be “too much.”

  • Seek medical treatment for individuals who are unconscious, or exhibit slowed or irregular breathing, seizures, pale or blue-tinged skin or cold skin temperature.

  • Always seek medical attention after a car accident. Many people suffer from injuries that may not be immediately apparent. If an individual cannot be awakened, turn him on his side to keep the airway open, request help and stay with him.

Medical Malpractice | Quick Overview


So what exactly is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a form of personal injury that occurs when a medical professional does not provide a patient with the standard of care that others would have provided under similar circumstances.

Common types of medical malpractice include:

  • A Failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis

  • Improper patient treatment, such as surgical or medication errors

  • Failure to warn patient of known risks, surgical or medication based

The patient must be able to prove that their doctor was negligent and that they incurred damages in order to receive compensation. Damages can include a number of things including past or future medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, physical pain, and mental anguish.

While the medical malpractice process will vary depending on your state, there a several common requirements. We can help you evaluate your case according to these standards and help you understand the laws in your area.

Core Examples of Negligence in the Workplace


Negligence in the workplace occurs for a variety of reasons and can lead to property damage, loss or theft, and injury, illness or death. Negligence happens casually as well as formally, with the latter leading to legal violations that can result in fines and lawsuits. Understanding common examples of negligence at work will help you avoid them and determine if you’ve been a victim.

Lack of Security

It’s up to a business to keep its employees’ customers’, vendors’, suppliers’ and contractors’ personal and business information secure. For example, if employers conduct credit and criminal background checks on employees, it should destroy the paperwork when it’s longer needed, or take steps to ensure the information does not become public. If a business stores customer credit card and social security numbers, it must take steps to keep those safe from hackers. Businesses should also take basic steps to keep customers and employees safe on site, such as providing lit emergency exit signs, fire extinguishers and adequate lighting in parking lots.

Negligent Hiring and Retention

If a business does not properly check out an employee before hiring and the employee harms others, the business can be held liable for their actions. For example, a restaurant that hires an executive chef should verify all previous employment, certification credentials and current professional memberships. If the chef makes repeated cooking mistakes that cause health problems for customers, the restaurant would probably be liable because it did not conduct a basic employee background check. This is one reason why criminal background checks are common -- if an employee attacks co-workers and customers and they can prove a criminal background check would have shown prior violent behavior, this could be construed as negligence on the part of the employer. If an employer is aware of an employee’s dangerous, erratic or unprofessional behavior and doesn’t terminate the employee, the employer might be found liable for being negligent in protecting others’ safety.

Product and Premises Liability

Premises liability cases involve businesses that are negligent in keeping customers and workers safe, such as not maintaining walking areas, stair hand railings, electrical infrastructure and storage areas. The most common form of premises liability is the slip-and-fall case, often resulting from negligence such as placing electrical cords along floors or not leaving caution signs on wet floors. Product liability cases involve accusations that a business is negligent in the research, design, production, advertising or packaging of a product.

Personal Injury | Common Questions Answered


A personal injury occurs when someone causes harm to another person's body, mind, or emotions. It does not include damage to property, finances, or other assets.

What are common causes for a personal injury case?

  • Accidents at home, on the road, or at work

  • Tripping accidents

  • Accidents due to product defects

  • Medical negligence claims: includes medical and dental accidents

  • Industrial disease claims: includes occupational injuries like mesothelioma, occupational stress, and repetitive strain injuries

What are damages in personal injury cases?

There are two types of damages: special damages and general damages.

Special damages are financial in nature, such as hospital bills or lost wages.

General damages are non-financial losses, which include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, defamation, and emotional distress:

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is the kind of physical and/or mental loss caused by a personal injury. Pain and suffering also refers to the possible future effects of a personal injury. Keep in mind that mental pain and suffering includes negative emotions like emotional distress, anxiety, and shock. Afflictions such as sexual dysfunction, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder also fall under mental pain and suffering.

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium is the loss of the ability to have a relationship with an injured person. Usually it applies to a spouse in a marriage, but can apply to children too.


Defamation occurs when another person's character or reputation is hurt. Words like libel or slander are commonly used in reference to a defamation case. Libel means that a falsehood was said with written or printed words or pictures. Slander means the same thing except that spoken words, sounds, sign language or gestures were used. Defamation can result in lost wages and pain and suffering.

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress describes the mental health issues your personal injury caused. Historically, courts awarded emotional distress only in cases where physical harm was evident. However, recent cases recognize that emotional distress can come from personal injuries in which there is little to no physical evidence such as sexual harassment or defamation. These sorts of cases usually require a mental health professional to verify the emotional distress.

What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations is the period of time you have to file a claim. Personal injury cases have a statute of limitations that vary by state and cause. The time limit usually starts on the day the accident or injury occurred and can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years. If you do not follow the guidelines for your state's statute of limitations, you may lose your right to file a claim.

Car Accident? | Take These Next Steps!


It's estimated that over six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. Fortunately, most of them involve only damage to the vehicles involved as opposed to the driver or drivers. But accidents often involve personal injury to the driver or passengers and some car accidents even lead to fatal injuries.

Here are the best recommended next steps: 

• STOP:  Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one.

• PROTECT THE SCENE:  You can prevent further accidents by setting up flares, or keeping your flashers on. If it is dark and your lights don't work, you should have a flashlight to keep you safe while you wait in your disabled car or by the side of the road.

• CALL THE POLICE:  Even if there are no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police. You may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company, even if it is just to make a claim for damage to your vehicle. The vehicles involved in the accident should remain where they are, unless they interfere with traffic. Also, take photos before moving the vehicle, if you can safely do so.

• MAKE AN ACCURATE REPORT:  When the police arrive, make sure you tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you do not know certain facts, tell that to the officer. Do not speculate, guess or misstate any of the facts. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure, say you are not sure, rather than no. Often, the pain and injuries from motor vehicle accidents become apparent hours after the actual collision. You should also make sure statements made by other persons involved in the accident are accurate as well.

• TAKE PHOTOS:  If you happen to have a camera in your vehicle, or a cell phone equipped with a camera, you should take pictures of the scene and the vehicle damages. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. However, you should in no way interfere with the on-going police investigation. If you cannot take pictures at the scene of the accident, take them as soon as possible after the accident.

• EXCHANGE INFORMATION:  Even though the investigating police officer usually obtains this information, you should take down information yourself if you can. If the police do not respond to the accident, you should obtain the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike. You should ask the driver for his driver's license number and write down all license plate numbers. You can also take photos of all important documents and license plates. You should also obtain information about insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as well so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future. If police respond to the accident, the investigating officer usually will provide all drivers with a police report number. You can use that number later to obtain the police report. If the accident occurs on a state highway, you must request the report from the state police.

• REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY:  Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. However, you should not provide a recorded statement or sign any documents until you consult an attorney. Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage. You pay extra for that type of coverage - known as "medpay" - so you should use it. Medpay benefits are available to all the occupants of the vehicle. Your insurance rates should not increase as a result of submitting claims for medpay coverage.

• SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION:  Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Most of our clients report feeling the most pain a day or two following an automobile accident. Unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain a serious and permanent injury to your spinal cord. If you lost consciousness or were dazed for even a short period of time following the collision, you may have suffered a concussion or closed head injury. This can cause cognitive and behavioral changes if left untreated.

• KEEP A FILE:  Keep all your accident-related documents and information together. This information should include a claim number, the claims adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

• PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS:  Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult your attorney, who can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. You may not be required to provide a statement. You should receive legal advice before providing such a statement. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available. 

Hands Free Law | What You Need To Know



House Bill 673 also known as the “Hands Free Law” was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal.  The Hands Free Law will take effect on July 1, 2018.  The following is a brief description what the law states and some frequently asked questions.  A link to the complete law can be found at

  • A driver cannot have a phone in their hand or use any part of their body to support their phone.  Drivers can only use their phones to make or receive phone calls by using speakerphone, earpiece, wireless headphone, phone is connected to vehicle or an electronic watch.  GPS navigation devices are allowed.
  • Headsets and earpieces can only be worn for communication purposes and not for listening to music or other entertainment.
  • A driver may not send or read any text-based communication unless using voice-based communication that automatically converts message to a written text or is being used for navigation or GPS
  • A driver may not write, send or read any text messages, e-mails, social media or internet data content
  • A driver may not watch a video unless it is for navigation.
  • A driver may not record a video (continuously running dash cams are exempt)
  • Music streaming apps can be used provided the driver activates and programs them when they are parked.  Drivers cannot touch their phones to do anything to their music apps when they are on the road.  Music streaming apps that include video also are not allowed since drivers cannot watch videos when on the road.  Drivers can listen to and program music streaming apps that are connected to and controlled through their vehicle's radio. 
  • The hands-free law does NOT apply to the following electronic communication devices and the following devices can be used by the driver when on the road:  radio, citizens band radio, citizens band radio hybrid, commercial two-way radio communication device or its functional equivalent, subscription-based emergency communication device, prescribed medical device, amateur or ham radio device, or in-vehicle security, navigation, or remote diagnostics system. 


1.    Reporting a traffic crash, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity or hazardous road conditions.
2.    An employee or contractor of an utility service provider acting within the scope of their employment while responding to an utility
3.     A first responder (law enforcement, fire, EMS) during the performance of their official duties. 
4.     When in a lawfully parked vehicle—this DOES NOT include vehicles stopped for traffic signals and stop signs on the public roadway.


1.    Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators can only use one button to begin or end a phone call
2.    Cannot reach for a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device that it no longer requires the driver to be a seated position or properly restrained by a safety belt


1.    The driver of a school bus cannot use a wireless telecommunication device or two-way radio while loading or unloading passengers.
2.    The driver can only use a wireless telecommunication device while the bus is in motion as a two-way radio to allow live communications between the driver and school and public safety officials


When the Hands-Free law takes effect July 1, the Georgia Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement have the option to issue warnings for violations as part of the effort to educate and to help motorists adapt to the new law.  However, citations can and will be issued starting July 1 for any violation of the Hands-Free Law, including those where the violation involves a traffic crash.  There is not a 90-day grace period provision in the Hands-Free Law.  


Why is this law needed in Georgia?
Our state has seen significant increases in vehicle traffic crashes, fatalities and bodily injury. The vast majority of these increases have been in rear-end crashes, single-car crashes and crashes by drivers from 15 to 25-years-old. State and local law enforcement have stated that these incidents are a clear indication of driver inattention. The 15 states that have passed hands-free driving laws saw a 16 percent decrease in traffic fatalities in the two years after the law was passed. In addition, traffic fatalities were reduced even further in subsequent years.

Could I still talk on my phone while driving?
Yes, as long as it is done hands-free. Drivers would be able to use their phone’s speakerphone, Bluetooth technology, an earpiece, a headphone or other device to allow them to communicate on a hands-free basis. 

Could I touch my cellphone to dial a number or receive or end a call?
Yes. The law would simply prohibit drivers from holding or supporting the phone.

Would I be required to purchase a hands-free accessory, such as a mount or bracket?
No. The proposed law simply states that a driver cannot hold or support a mobile phone. A phone can be left on a vehicle’s console, a front seat, etc. However, for the safety of all Georgians, state and local law enforcement recommend the purchase and use of a hands-free device if using a mobile phone while driving.

My vehicle does not have Bluetooth technology/capability. How could I comply with the law?
Many online retailers offer a Bluetooth adapter for vehicles without Bluetooth or similar technology built into the vehicle. These adapters can be found at local retailers or online by searching “Bluetooth hands-free car kit” in an internet search engine. 

What would the fines/penalties be?
• First conviction: $50, one point on a license; 
• Second conviction: $100, two points on a license; 
• Third and subsequent convictions: $150, three points on a license. 

Could I listen to online radio apps while driving? 
A driver cannot touch their phone to activate or program a radio app while they are on the road (the road includes being stopped for traffic signals and stop signs).  A driver can activate a radio app before getting on the road and listen to the programming.  A driver can also listen to programming from their app if it is connected and controlled by the vehicle's stereo (radio), and the driver is not touching their phone while driving.  We caution drivers that music streaming apps that also include video do violate the new law which specifically prohibits drivers from watching videos.   The rule of thumb here is you can listen to your radio app as long as you do not touch your phone when driving on the road AND it's use does not distract the driver in any manner in the safe operation of their vehicle.  

Could I listen to music stored on my mobile phone, thus not requiring an internet connection?
Yes, as long as the driver is not holding or supporting the phone.

Could I talk to someone via video telephony apps, such as FaceTime or Skype, if doing so “hands-free?”
No. The proposed hands-free driving law states that a driver shall not “record or broadcast a video” on any mobile phones, iPads, computers, etc. while operating a vehicle.