Family-Friendly Holiday Activities in Georgia

Georgia Holiday Activities

For many in Georgia, the holidays are a time for family friendly activities. Gifts are exchanged, songs are sung, and a good time is had by all. Eventually, however, you are likely to get stir crazy. In some cases, just getting out of the house could improve the mood for everyone. The good news is Georgia offers plenty of safe, family-friendly adventures during the holidays. Here are some of the best activities across the state that you might consider:

Six Flags Over Georgia: Holiday in the Park

If you are ready for a spectacle, the “Holiday in the Park” event at Six Flags Over Georgia might be exactly what you need. The park is packed with fun attractions, rollercoasters, and food. During the holiday season, they also load up on Christmas lights and other displays. This event runs throughout the season and is great for thrill-seekers or just to view the lights.

Holiday Lights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Speaking of lights, there are few options better than the display at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Naturally beautiful, the Garden transforms during the holiday season into the amazing light show after the sun goes down. It is a must-see attraction for most families.

Drive-Thru Light Shows at Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights

If Christmas lights are for you but walking around a botanical garden in the cold is not, we have a compromise you might love. Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain offers a sprawling light display known as Fantasy in Lights. The drive takes roughly 45 minutes to complete, and there are shops and snack vendors on location. The Gardens include plenty of other activities like a butterfly conservatory if you are looking to make a day of it.

Stone Mountain Christmas

If it is a variety you are after, Stone Mountain Park has lots of options. The park offers millions of lights to enjoy, and several shows including a 4-D version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. There is a large parade featuring Santa Claus among the activities. One of the highlights is a ride up the lift to the top of the mountain. From there, you have a great view of both the park and the Atlanta skyline in the distance.

Old-Fashioned Christmas at Dahlonega

If you are looking to spend Christmas in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Dahlonega is the place to be! Rich with history, the town’s old-fashioned Christmas celebration offers you the chance to step back in time. In addition to almost-daily events through December, there is no shortage of food and shopping mixed in with the beautiful scenery.

Staying Safe During the Holidays

Hopefully, you will have a wonderful holiday season free from injury. However, if you are involved in an accident, it is important to protect your legal rights. Let the team at Williams Elleby review your case and walk you through the claims process. By working with our professional team you can leave your claim to us and focus on the holiday season. Call right away at 833-LEGALGA.

How to Keep You and Your Family Safe as Georgia Nights Grow Longer

Georgia Family Safety During Fall Time Change

Keeping your family safe as Georgia nights grow longer is an important goal for every parent.   On November 3, 2019, we will move our clocks back and daylight will be reduced by an hour all at once.  The days will continue to get shorter until December 21st, which will be the shortest day of the year in Georgia.

The short days and long nights can be a drag.  It’s natural to feel more tired and less motivated.  These longer nights also bring some increased dangers.  Follow this advice to stay safe during the longer winter nights.

Night Driving

Shorter days mean more night driving.  Very few people love driving at night, and for good reason.  Visibility is more difficult and darkness cues your body to feel more tired. Only 25% of driving is done at night, but 50% of driving deaths occur at night.  The good news is there are things you can do to decrease your risk of being in a car accident at night. 

The following are some tips for safer night driving:

  • Clean your windshield regularly to avoid blinding or vision-impairing glare.
  • Don’t drive when you are tired or after you have been drinking.
  • Take an Uber or another rideshare if you have any doubt about your capacity to drive.
  • Avoid distractions like talking on the phone, eating, or looking for items while driving.
  • Check that all of your car lights are in good repair.
  • Replace your windshield wipers so you don’t smear your windshield and create vision problems when it rains.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife which you can sometimes spot by the reflection in their eyes.
  • Don’t stare directly into oncoming lights.
  • Dim your dashboard lights.
  • Wear your glasses if you need them.

Leaving and Returning in the Dark

Short days mean you’ll be leaving and returning home in the dark more often. The darkness makes it easier for a criminal to sneak up on you and get away before you or someone else can identify them.

The following are a few tips to help you stay safe when you are coming and going from an apartment or business in the dark:

  • Be aware of your surroundings; don’t look at your phone or use headphones when walking around your apartment complex.
  • Don’t sit in your car for long periods.
  • Always lock your car and apartment doors.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Walk to and from your car in well-lit areas.
  • Get to know your neighbors and watch out for each other.
  • Report suspicious activity around your apartment to the police.
  • Avoid businesses with dark parking lots.

In addition to following these best practices, you should immediately report any dangerous conditions at your apartment complex to your property owner or manager.  For example, if lightbulbs are out in the parking lot, report it. If the guard gate to your apartment complex is broken, report it.  If you’ve heard about an increase in criminal activity at your apartment complex, report it. 

Premises liability law requires that property managers and owners take reasonable steps to remove dangerous conditions that they know about on their property,  If they fail to adequately respond to a safety issue, they may be liable if a crime that occurs.  For example, after a shooting in the Brookhaven complex in Atlanta, Georgia, a lawsuit was brought against the property management company because they failed to fix a gate that had been broken for a long period of time.

Walking at Night

With shorter days, there’s a greater likelihood that you and your family members will be walking at night. You might go on family walks for exercise, to get the dogs out of the house,  or just to get some fresh air.  The reduced visibility at night can increase the likelihood of tripping and falling, being hit by a car, or becoming the victim of a crime, but don’t let fear deter you. If you are cautious, walking after dark can be both safe and fun.

The following are some tips for walking safely at night:

  • Wear light or reflective clothing so you are more visible.
  • Know your route and avoid areas with a reputation for being dangerous.
  • Stay alert and watch where you are walking.
  • Don’t use headphones or play on your phone.
  • Bring a flashlight or use a headlamp.
  • Tell someone where you are going and check-in with them when you arrive.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Walk with others or a pet when possible.
  • Walk with confidence.
  • Cross the street or change your path if you see someone suspicious.
  • Do not make aggressive comments towards other people or drivers.
  • Call the local police if you see a crime or suspicious activity.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury in Georgia, whether at night or during the day, the attorneys at Williams Elleby would be happy to meet with you to help you understand your legal rights and options. Call us at 833-LEGALGA to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.

What You Should Know About Daycare Liability Insurance in Georgia

Georgia Daycare Liability Insurance Personal Injury Attorney

All too often, accidents result in injuries for kids within Georgia daycares. It’s not hard to understand why, as kids get in accidents frequently. But in some cases, those injuries were directly caused by the negligence of the daycare or its employees. The emotional toll of having an injured child is bad enough, but the financial cost of caring for a severely injured child can be enormous.

With the potential for injury that a daycare carries each day, you might assume that every daycare would be required to maintain liability insurance. Unfortunately, that assumption would be wrong. Here are a few things you need to know to keep your family safe.

Georgia Daycares Are Not Required to Carry Insurance

It may surprise you, but Georgia law does not require a daycare to have an active liability insurance policy in order to operate. The state of Georgia has its own department for early childhood education known as the Department of Early Care and Learning. However, this agency lacks the power to require insurance in Georgia daycare facilities.

The requirements for daycares set out in Georgia law are much more lenient. According to O.C.G.A. § 20-1A-4(9), the authority of the Department of Early Care and Learning is limited to recommending formally in writing to the daycare that it is encouraged to carry a liability insurance policy. There are no consequences if a daycare facility chooses not to obtain a liability insurance policy sufficient to cover all of its clients.

Daycares Without Insurance Must Notify Parents

While they are of little comfort to the parents of a child that is hurt, the Georgia code does have some limited requirements for daycare facilities that decline to carry insurance. According to Georgia law, all daycare facilities that refuse to obtain insurance after receiving the recommendation to do so from the Department of Early Care and Learning must notify the parents whose children attend the daycare of that decision.

The daycare must give notice in two different ways. First, the daycare facility must post a written notice at the daycare in a conspicuous place. The sign must be readily visible for visitors and have letters at least ½ inches tall.

Second, the daycare facility must provide written notice to all parents by mail making them aware that there is no liability insurance policy in effect. The daycare is required to have each parent or guardian sign an acknowledgment of the lack of insurance coverage. The daycare facility must keep this written acknowledgment for as long as the child is at the daycare and for at least 12 months after the child leaves the facility. If the facility doesn’t comply with these notice requirements, they risk a fine of $1,000 per infraction.

A Georgia Injury Lawyer Can Help Obtain Compensation for Your Injured Child

If your child was injured at a Georgia daycare, it is vital that you discuss the situation with an experienced personal injury attorney. If the daycare was insured, an attorney might be able to negotiate with the carrier in an effort to settle the claim. If the daycare wasn’t insured, an attorney might be able to obtain the compensation your child deserves directly from the business. To discuss your case with an experienced Georgia injury lawyer, contact Williams Elleby, at 833 – LEGALGA today.

Bedsores: Can a GA Nursing Home Be Held Liable?

Nursing Home Negligence and Pressure Sores Personal Injury

Bedsores are one of the most common injuries that occur in Georgia nursing homes.  When you place a loved one in a nursing home, it is typically because they can no longer care for themselves and you are not able to provide the care they need. When you choose a nursing home, you are entrusting the nursing home’s administrators and staff with one of the most important duties imaginable: caring for another human being, your loved one.

Finding out that your loved one has developed bedsores can understandably feel like a violation of that trust. In Georgia law, you may have a legal claim against the nursing home and/or some of its staff members for the harm.

Pressure Ulcers and Bedsores

Pressure ulcers and bedsores are two different terms for the same condition of skin sores that develop as a result of limited blood flow to an area. Blood flow is limited when a part of the body is pressed up against something, like a bed or wheelchair, for a long period of time. Bedsores are more likely to develop on the skin atop bony areas such as the hip, ankle, back of head, and tailbone.

Bedsores range in severity from a red, swollen area on the skin’s surface to a deep open wound that may never fully heal. Their severity is identified by stages; stage 1 is the least severe and stage 4 is the most severe. More severe cases can lead to severe complications including sepsis, which is a body-wide infection, and even death.

Causes of Pressure Ulcers

Bedsores are a common problem in nursing facilities, particularly among patients with limited or no independent mobility. These patients are often spending the bulk or all of their days in bed or between a bed and a wheelchair. Being in the same position creates pressure at certain spots, which cuts off blood flow and causes bedsores.

Nursing homes sometimes argue that pressure ulcers and bedsores are unavoidable, but this is deceptive. It is true that even with the best nursing home care, pressure ulcers and bedsores sometimes develop. However, there are ways to significantly reduce the risk of bedsores. In fact, the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center estimates that 95% of all pressures sores are preventable.

Legal Liability for Pressure Ulcers and Bedsores

Two of the most important steps for preventing bedsores in nursing home patients are repositioning the patient frequently and make sure skin is kept dry.   This means nursing home staff must promptly clean up any urine or feces for bedridden patients. Nursing homes are obligated to take these and other steps to prevent pressure sores. They must also provide adequate medical care for any bedsores that do develop. Unfortunately, nursing homes do not always live up to these responsibilities.

Get Legal Help for Nursing Home Malpractice and Negligence

There are far too many cases where a Georgia nursing home resident’s bedsores could have been avoided or complications minimized if the nursing facility provided the care it was ethically and legally required to. Fortunately, nursing homes and their staff can be held liable for their misconduct.  

Proving that pressure ulcers and bedsores are the result of negligent or intentional misconduct by a nursing home or its staff members and not an unavoidable consequence of being largely bedridden, can be difficult. Having counsel experienced in nursing home lawsuits can improve your likelihood of successfully obtaining fair compensation. If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby today to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.

3 of the Most Common Daycare Injuries

Common Daycare Personal Injuries in Georgia

If you are like most parents, you put your children under the care of childcare professionals to keep them safe and entertained while you are at work or otherwise unavailable. While most childcare facilities employ carefully trained professionals that take the safety of your child seriously, the reality is that daycare injuries still happen. According to the Center for Disease Control, these are the three most common daycare injuries.

1. Playground Injuries

Unsurprisingly, injuries that occur on the playground are more common than any other type of injury at a daycare. The CDC reports that every year, more than 200,000 children suffer injuries on a playground. Of those, nearly half are considered serious injuries. Serious injuries include anything from broken bones to concussions to internal bleeding. The causes of these injuries can vary. In some cases, faulty playground equipment is to blame. In others, it is merely a matter of inattentive supervision that allows an injury to take place.

2. Loose Objects

Second on the list are injuries that stem from loose or falling objects. This can include anything from a child pulling an item onto themselves to a piece of furniture or equipment coming loose and landing on a child. These injuries can stem from faulty products, but they are more often than not related to unsafe practices by daycare workers.

3. Burns From Bottle Warmers

The third most common injury might be surprising. For parents of very young children, providing the milk or formula the child needs for the day may seem like the most pressing concern. But all too often, daycare employees use unsafe methods to warm bottles or fail to test the temperature before giving it to a child. The worst injuries come from makeshift bottle warmers used to heat multiple bottles at once, like a slow cooker. Too often, children will pull the cord of a bottle warmer or slow cooker only to be injured by the scalding water.

Daycare Accident Injury Attorney Kennesaw, GA

If your child suffered injuries at a daycare in Georgia, you should immediately have their medical needs met. Once your child has received treatment, it is essential to contact the Georgia agency responsible for regulating daycares, known as Bright from the Start. The agency reviews every complaint it receives and will decide if the daycare violated any statutes or regulations that may have led to your child’s injury.

Finally, it is essential to discuss your situation with an experienced daycare accident injury attorney. If a daycare worker’s negligence led to the injury of your child, you might be able to seek compensation from that worker, the daycare, or their insurance company. In the worst cases, it may be possible to obtain punitive damages from the daycare.

Kennesaw, GA, personal injury attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you deserve after a daycare accident injury. If you would like to discuss your legal options, contact Williams Elleby, today at 833-LEGALGA to set up your free consultation.

Animal Bite Injuries

Personal Injuries and Georgia’s Dog Bite Statute

Nearly one in five people bitten by a dog requires medical attention. It can be traumatic, painful, and disfiguring. When you or someone close to you has been bitten by a dog or other animal in Georgia, you may be able to recover compensation under certain conditions.

Georgia’s Dog Bite Statute

Georgia’s dog bite statute also covers injuries caused by other animals and almost any kind of animal behavior that causes injury. In order to prove that an animal’s owner is liable under the statute, the injured person must show that:

  • The animal is vicious or dangerous;
  • The owner was careless with the animal or let it “go at liberty,” which caused the injury; and
  • The injured person did not provoke the animal.

Georgia’s Negligence Law for Animal Injuries

Georgia is a “negligence” state when it comes to animal bites. In order to prove liability, the injured person must prove that the animal’s owner knew that the animal was “vicious” or “dangerous” and acted without reasonable care to restrain the animal or protect other people from injury. If an owner has no prior warning, it may not be possible to show liability.

Georgia does not have a statewide leash law; instead, individual counties have laws that stipulate how and when a dog must be restrained. In counties with leash laws, failing to have an animal on a leash is enough to show negligence of the owner.

Deadline for Filing an Animal Bite Lawsuit in Georgia

As with all personal injury claims, there is a statute of limitations specific to your state and the type of case that you are filing. This means that there is a time limit on your right to file a lawsuit after your injury or accident. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for an animal bite claim is two years.

Animal Bite Injury Defenses as an Animal Owner in Georgia

An animal owner who faces a dog or animal bite injury claim has several possible defenses under Georgia law, including lack of knowledge, reasonable care, and provocation. Since Georgia is a “negligence” state, an owner without the knowledge that their pet is vicious cannot be held liable. Likewise, if the owner did not allow the animal to “go at liberty” and was not “careless,” then the owner cannot be held liable. Lastly, if the reason why the bite victim was bitten was that they provoked the animal, the owner will not be held liable.

Damages for Animal Bite Claims

The type of damages that an animal bite victim might be awarded include:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of actual earnings
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Veterinary medical treatment for the victim’s dog if it also was injured in the same incident
  • Property damages
  • Future disability

For More Information, Contact One of our Georgia Dog Bite Attorneys

Are you considering filing a lawsuit due to a dog or other animal bite? It is important to seek legal advice so that you understand your rights and obligations. Contact  Williams Elleby to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.

Human Trafficking and Negligent Security in Georgia

Georgia's Negligent Security Lawsuits and Human Trafficking Personal Injury Attorney

While New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft had reason to celebrate after his team’s historic win in Super Bowl LIII, his legacy may be forever stained by criminal charges brought against him for allegedly soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Kraft originally pleaded not guilty to the charges and subsequently rejected a deal offered by the Florida prosecutors. To be clear, Kraft is not facing human trafficking charges but the charges brought against him did stem from a broad investigation into prostitution and human trafficking in Florida.

Florida’s crackdown on human trafficking as well as the 169 sex-trafficking-related arrests made in or around Atlanta on the day leading up to Super Bowl LIII are a stark reminder of the evil that is present in our world. It was no coincidence that the sting coincided with Super Bowl LIII, as law enforcement expected a surge in sex trafficking due to the increase in visitors from out of state. All told, the arrests included 26 sex traffickers as well as 34 individuals caught attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor. Nine different under-aged victims were recovered during the operation, with the youngest only 14 years of age.

The joint operation involved a wide array of law enforcement groups. It was headed by the Violent Crimes Against Children/Human Trafficking Program Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation (MATCH) Task Force. The task force includes other entities like the FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, the GBI, and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

How to Help Stop Child Sex Slavery

There are several ways that each and every one of us can help reduce this horrific epidemic of sex slavery in Georgia and across the United States. First, we can donate to CLAWS (Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery). CLAWS is a non-profit organization that uses the civil justice system to bring pro bono lawsuits on behalf of survivors of sex slavery.  We should also contact our elected officials and let them know that stopping child sex trafficking should be a top priority when passing laws and formulating state and federal budgets. A good resource for finding your elected officials can be found here.

Collateral Consequences & Negligent Security Lawsuits

The effects of these arrests reach beyond those directly involved in criminal conduct. For example, property owners and occupiers could also face civil liability in a negligent security premises liability lawsuit brought by the crime victim. That’s because Georgia statutory law, O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1, requires the owners and occupiers of property to use ordinary care in keeping their premises safe for tenants and visitors.

Similar to a slip and fall case, liability of the owner or occupier is contingent upon actual or constructive knowledge of the danger as well as foreseeability. In Georgia, a property owner or occupier may be liable for criminal acts occurring on its property if the occurrence of crime was foreseeable.  See e.g. Walker v. Aderhold Properties, 303 Ga. App. 710, 712-13 (2010).

Foreseeability may be established in many ways, one of which is through evidence of similar criminal activity occurring on a property. Suppose a hotel owner knows that its property has been a hotbed of criminal activity including shootings, sex crimes, and other violent offenses. If the hotel owner does not take reasonable measures to protect its guest from the criminals that frequent the property and a guest is attacked by one of these criminals, the victim may bring a negligent security lawsuit against the hotel owner or manager.

The same civil laws apply if a hotel owner or manager knows or should know that children are being sold for sex on its property. In those circumstances, the owner or manager has a duty to take reasonable security measures to guard against this type of despicable activity. If the owner or manager does not take reasonable action to stop this activity from occurring, the victim could bring a negligent security lawsuit against the hotel owner or occupier.

Negligent Security Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a violent crime at an apartment, hotel, or other commercial establishment, you should always report the incident to the proper authorities. You may also want to consider contacting a negligent security attorney to see if you have a valid claim for civil damages. If the case is strong, a negligent security attorney can bring a lawsuit against the apartment complex or hotel in an effort to obtain compensation for the injuries caused by the lack of proper security.

If you would like to learn more about negligent security lawsuits in Georgia before you contact a law firm, you can watch this YouTube video where I explain negligent security claims in more detail. When you are ready to speak with a negligent security attorney, you can contact our office for a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.

100,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled for E. Coli Contamination

Food Recalls and Products Liability Personal Injury Cases in Georgia

Swift Beef Company has recently recalled nearly 100,000 pounds of ground beef due to E. coli contamination. The beef was mostly shipped to distributors to be sold in grocery stores and restaurants. The recall went into effect on November 16, 2018. Labels for the recalled beef can be viewed here. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service, government inspectors confirmed that ground beef produced by the company contained E. coli on November 15 and moved quickly to put the recall in place. The inspectors confirmed that Swift Beef Company was the sole source supplier of the beef in question. Thankfully, there have been no confirmed reports of anyone getting sick due to consuming the affected beef. 

Symptoms of E. coli Poisoning 

The primary symptoms of E. coli poisoning are dehydration, diarrhea, and stomach pains. Most people recover within a few days; however, more serious long-term complications can arise. Especially true for young children, elderly adults, or anyone with a compromised immune system. Anyone concerned that they may have E. coli poisoning should contact a healthcare provider. 

Food Recalls 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforces safety standards for all foods sold in the United States. Despite this, food recalls happen frequently. There were nearly 40 food recalls in the United States in the month of November 2018 alone, and this number is typical. The good news is that food recalls create bad press for companies and are expensive for them to deal with, so they are usually very quick to act in fixing the problem. 

Product Liability Claims Involving Defective Food Products 

Companies that produce or sell food in the state of Georgia have a duty to ensure that what they are selling is safe for consumers. Not only do these companies have to follow state and federal regulations for food safety, but they can also be liable under Georgia’s product liability laws if they sell or distribute food products that are unsafe. 

Georgia’s product liability law is centered on O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11, which holds that any company that sells any product “as new property directly or through a dealer or any other person” is liable for any harm that occurs as a result of product defects. This law applies to producers and sellers of food. 

When companies negligently or intentionally sell unsafe food, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people may be affected. For this reason, product liability claims are often carried out through class action lawsuits or multi-district litigation. However, individual claims are also sometimes possible. A personal injury lawyer familiar with product liability claims can help you understand your legal rights and options. 

For More Information, Contact Williams | Elleby, Today 

Product liability claims are complicated, and large companies pay heaps of money to avoid liability. For them, defending against product liability claims are simply a cost of business. For victims of defective products, claims for compensation mean much more. If you have been harmed by any type of defective or dangerous product, the experienced product liability attorneys can help you understand your case and work to get you the compensation you deserve. 

Williams Elleby, offers free case evaluations and accepts cases on a contingency fee basis. Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, we serve clients throughout the state in both state and federal court. If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby, by calling 833-LEGALGA. 

Tips to Help Parents Recover for Medical Bills Incurred on Behalf of Their Minor Child

emergency center sign for children's hospital

There are few things parents fear more than their children suffering serious injuries. But as much as parents try to keep their children safe, accidents are bound to occur from time to time. Under Georgia law, parents have a right to seek compensation for medical expenses if their child is injured due to the negligence of someone else. Parents can also seek compensation on behalf of their child for pain and suffering. To recover compensation for medical bills incurred on behalf of a minor child, parents should ensure that they understand their rights, plead their case properly, and adhere to the statute of limitations for tort claims.

Parents Have a Right to Recover for Medical Bills

As mentioned, parents have a legal right to recover for medical bills if their child is injured due to someone else’s negligence. Other parties may also have a right to recover if they paid the medical bills in question and were acting as a guardian over the child. Parents should know that they have “standing,” or legal authority, to bring claims of their own for medical bills, as well as on behalf of their child for harms the child suffered.

Legal Standards Are Different for Children

Many children are injured because they are doing something unsafe, like wandering onto a neighbor’s property without invitation and getting hurt playing with a dangerous object. If an adult did something like this, they would likely not be entitled to compensation because they would be deemed at-fault in causing their own harm. But the legal standards governing the conduct of children are relaxed and there is a higher standard of care owed to children. For instance, a neighbor may not have any duty to prevent you from falling into their pool, but they do have a duty to keep a fence around their yard to prevent a toddler from doing the same. Similarly, companies have no duty to make products free of risks that are open and obvious to consumers, but they do have a duty to make products free of any obvious risks if they are marketing products to children.

Georgia’s Statute of Limitations

If your child has been injured due to a wrongful act, it is crucial to remember that under the Georgia statute of limitations a tort claim brought to recover for medical bills must generally be brought within two years of the date of the accident. Once the statute of limitations period has run, a parent’s claim for compensation for medical bills will be barred completely. However, a child’s own claim for pain and suffering damages can be made either by the parents or when the child turns 18 years old.

Distinguishing Medical Bills From Other Damages

It is important for parents or guardians bringing a claim on behalf of a minor to recognize that although they are entitled to compensation for medical bills, damages awarded for things like pain and suffering are solely the property of the child. Parents receiving money from a settlement or award on behalf of their child have a duty to only use that money if it is for the benefit of the child.

Georgia also has laws in place to ensure that the proceeds from these settlements or awards are safeguarded properly and go toward the benefit of the child. Under the Official Code of Georgia Title 29 Chapter 3 Section 3, settlements of more than $15,000 must be approved by the court. When a child receives an award of more than $15,000 from a personal injury claim, the parents must also be bonded as conservators to safeguard the money until the child turns 18. If an award is less than $15,000, the law simply states that parents “shall thereafter hold and use all or part of the personal property for the benefit of the minor and shall be accountable for the personal property.”

If Your Child Has Suffered an Injury, Contact Williams Elleby, to Schedule a Free Consultation

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby, are dedicated to getting justice for injury victims throughout the state of Georgia. If you would like to discuss your case or would like more information, contact Joel Williams today by calling 833-LEGALGA.

Wrongful Death Claims in Georgia

wrongful death claims Georgia

There are few things harder to cope with in life than the loss of a loved one. This is especially true when a loved one dies due to a preventable accident. If a person dies due to the wrongful conduct of someone else, family members of the victim generally have the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties. A lawsuit can never replace what was lost, but under law, certain family members are entitled to fair compensation in these cases based on the “full value of the life of the decedent.” 

Georgia wrongful death claims are governed by The Official Code of Georgia Title 51 Chapter 4. These are claims made by family members that are intended to compensate them for their own loss. Wrongful death claims are usually brought alongside so-called survival claims that are made by the decedent’s estate. Survival claims are intended to provide compensation to a victim’s estate for any pain and suffering endured by the victim because of the wrongful conduct. 

Only Certain Family Members Can Bring a Wrongful Death Suit 

There are strict limitations on which family members can bring a wrongful death claim. Under Georgia law, the following persons are entitled to bring a claim: 

If there is a surviving spouse, they are entitled to bring the claim at the exclusion of all others; 

If there is no surviving spouse, surviving children may bring the claim at the exclusion of all others; 

If there is no surviving spouse or children, surviving parents may bring the claim at the exclusion of all others; and 

If none of the above family members are alive, the claim can only be made by the estate. 

Wrongful Death and Survival Action Damages 

Survival claims are brought by the administrator of a decedent’s estate whereas wrongful death claims are brought by family members of a victim in their own right. Wrongful death claims compensate family members for things like loss of companionship, loss of shared income, and loss of services that the decedent provided. A survival claim compensates the decedent’s estate for things like medical and funeral expenses, and also for any pain and suffering that the decedent endured. 

The Statute of Limitations 

Wrongful death claims must be made within the timeframe set out by the Georgia Statute of Limitations. Under this law, wrongful death actions must generally be brought within two years of the date of the death. After two years from the date of death passes, a claim is generally completely barred. For this reason, it is important for family members to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. 

Contact Williams Elleby, to Discuss Your Case 

The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Williams Elleby, are dedicated to helping Georgia clients get the compensation they deserve when they have lost a loved one due to the wrongful conduct of someone else. If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby, at 833-LEGALGA today to schedule a free consultation.