Medical Malpractice Misdiagnosis

Female patient in a hospital bed holdong her face.


Although not every case of misdiagnosis in Georgia leads to injury or a medical malpractice lawsuit, the impact of serious injuries resulting from misdiagnosis is significant. In 2023, joint researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School  determined that annual misdiagnoses in the United States resulting in serious injury ranged from 598,000 to 1,023,000 patients.  Newman-Toker DE, Nassery N, Schaffer AC, et al Burden of serious harms from diagnostic error in the USA BMJ Quality & Safety 2024;33:109-120. The study defined “serious” as any case involving permanent injury (morbidity) or death (mortality). 

Additionally, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) published a consensus report which emphasized the urgent need for change to address diagnostic errors, which pose a major challenge to healthcare quality. The Committee defined a misdiagnosis as “the failure to

  • (a) establish an accurate and timely explanation of the patient’s health problem(s) or
  • (b) communicate that explanation to the patient.”

NASEM, 2015, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.  


When injured patients and their attorneys are considering whether to file a medical malpractice lawsuit based on a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, several critical questions come into play:

  1. Accuracy and Timeliness of Diagnosis:
  • Was the initial diagnosis accurate and timely? A misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider fails to establish an accurate and timely explanation of the patient’s health problem.
  • Evaluating the accuracy and timing of the diagnosis is crucial in determining whether there was negligence or error.
  1. Harm Caused by Misdiagnosis:
  • Did the misdiagnosis result in serious harm that could have been avoided? Patients must demonstrate that the harm they suffered directly resulted from the misdiagnosis.
  • This harm can include permanent injury (morbidity) or even death (mortality).
  1. Expert Testimony and Support:
  • Can all aspects of the case be supported with testimony from medical experts? Expert opinions play a significant role in medical malpractice lawsuits.
  • Expert witnesses can provide insights into whether the misdiagnosis fell below the standard of care and caused harm.
  1. Justification for Legal Action
  • Are the injuries severe enough to warrant pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit? Legal proceedings can be expensive and time-consuming, especially when they involve medical malpractice.
  • Weighing the severity of injuries against the costs involved is essential when deciding whether to proceed with legal action.


Imagine these scenarios: A pregnant woman is told everything is normal at a prenatal appointment, but she is showing signs of premature labor.  A brain infection is thought to be cancer, subjecting the patient to dangerous radiation therapy that makes the infection worse and causes brain damage.  Critical imaging showing internal bleeding is not communicated in a timely manner, resulting in the patient’s death.  These are all examples of medical misdiagnoses cases that resulted in tragic outcomes and, eventually, medical malpractice lawsuits filed by Williams Elleby Howard & Easter.

When a misdiagnosis results from negligence, Georgia laws provide a remedy for the victim. Like most states, Georgia requires every licensed treater to exercise “reasonable care and skill” when treating a patient.  Ga. Code § 51-1-27.  In limited circumstances involving patients admitted through an Emergency Department (“ED” or “ER”), a treater is immune from malpractice claims unless the treater is guilty of “gross negligence,” which is a failure to exercise even slight care.  Ga. Code § 51-1-29.5 .

The duty to exercise care when treating patients applies to anyone providing treatment for compensation including medical doctors, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, laboratories, chiropractors, and physical therapists.  In the case of a failure to communicate a condition to a patient, there can also be claims against staff at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and laboratories.


Even if a negligent misdiagnosis occurred, Georgia law also requires a patient to prove that the misdiagnosis “caused or contributed to cause … harm.  In the legal world, we refer to this concept as “proximate causation.” To meet this burden, a medical malpractice plaintiff must present expert testimony.” Harvard v. John D. Archbold Mem’l Hosp., Inc., 365 Ga. App. 171, 174, 877 S.E.2d 816, 819 (2022).   For instance, in 2022, the Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia reviewed a case involving a stroke victim who did not get timely treatment due to delayed lab work and CT scan results.  However, the patient’s expert witness could not testify that the delay made a difference “to a reasonable degree of medical certainty,” or more likely than not.   So, the Court held that the case could not proceed to trial.  Harvard, 365 Ga. App. at 176.  

Moreover, injured patients and their attorneys must assess the economic viability of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. At its core, the question is whether the damages resulting from malpractice outweigh the substantial financial costs associated with legal proceedings. Most medical malpractice lawsuits require more than $100,000.00 in expenses to pursue. These expenses encompass things like expert witness fees, filing fees, record retrieval fees, medical illustration and animation fees, deposition fees, and more. Additionally, the patient’s attorney invests countless hours in the case. Therefore, evaluating whether the case justifies the financial and time commitments becomes crucial for both the patient and their legal representative.


In misdiagnosis cases, understanding the time frame for filing a lawsuit is crucial.  In Georgia, nearly all medical malpractice cases adhere to a 2-year statute of limitations, requiring patients to file a lawsuit within 2 years from the date of negligence.  Ga. Code § 9-3-71. The Supreme Court of Georgia emphasizes that, “except in the most extreme circumstances,” the statute of limitations begins to run “immediately upon the misdiagnosis.”  However, there’s an exception: if the misdiagnosis results in a “new injury” such as a pre-cancerous mole progressing to metastatic cancer.  Amu v. Barnes, 283 Ga. 549, 551, 662 S.E.2d 113, 116 (2008). Since a patient might not know about the misdiagnosis initially, the clock could start ticking before they realize the need to investigate potential malpractice.  Like any malpractice case, seeking advice from a qualified attorney promptly is advisable.


Medical malpractice cases can be complex and difficult to prove. This is especially true when it comes to misdiagnosis cases. Even though these claims can be difficult to win, victims of harm should still understand their legal rights and options.

The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter, handle misdiagnosis medical malpractice cases throughout the State of Georgia. If you would like to discuss your case, call today to schedule a free consultation at 833-534-2542.

If you or a loved one has been harmed because a doctor failed to properly diagnose an illness, Williams Elleby Howard & Easter, can help you understand your misdiagnosis claim and work to get you the compensation you deserve.

Distracted Driving is a Real Problem in Kennesaw, GA

distracted driving accidents deadly

Automobile Accidents are a Real Problem in Cobb County, GA

According to Georgia Automobile Crash Data published by the Georgia Department of Transportation (“GDOT”) on its crash data portal, there were 25,716 accidents in Cobb County, Georgia during 2022. 10,603 people were injured in those accidents and 77 died.  These statistics are alarming but they are down right scary when we break them down further. These statistics suggest that in 2022, on average, 70.45 accidents occurred every day in Cobb County. Again, on average, 29.04 people are hurt in these accidents every day and someone died every 5.18 days.

Distracted Driving is a Dangerous Habit for Many Georgia Drivers

A major cause of deadly traffic accidents is distracted driving. In today’s high paced world, drivers can be distracted by many things ranging from cell phones to kids arguing in the back seat. 52,149 of the 57,605 distracted driver convictions reported to the Georgia Department of Driver Services in 2021, were for violations of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241(c) Unlawful Use of Wireless Device. Of all the counties in Georgia, Cobb County had the third most convictions for violations of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241(c). The only Georgia counties with more convictions for Unlawful Use of a Wireless Device were Fulton and Gwinnett Counties. Detailed distracted driver data reports for Georgia can be found on the Georgia Department of Driver Services website.

Despite extensive research showing just how big of a problem distracting driving is, drivers continue to engage in behavior that causes them to lose focus on the road. People often underestimate the risk of talking on the phone, text messaging, eating while they drive, or overestimate their ability to multitask. But with lives at stake, practicing safe driving habits is crucial.

Careless Tractor Trailer Drivers Drive While Distracted

Just a few years ago, this author was contacted by a potential client after he was rear-ended by a tractor trailer driver on Interstate-285 outside of Atlanta. At first glance, the case seemed to be fairly routine but things got interesting when I filed suit and obtained the tractor-trailer driver’s cell phone records.

During the lawsuit, I served written discovery on the tractor-trailer driver, his employer, and his insurance company. Initially, they vehemently denied that he was using his cell phone at the time of the crash. Specifically, the driver claimed he was checking his mirrors as a safety measure prior to the crash:

His cellular provider’s records told a different story. The driver was, in fact, engaged in a lengthy text messaging conversation during his trip and at the time of the crash. This was easily proven by comparing the Georgia Crash Report – Crash Date & Time to the driver’s cell phone records as shown below:

When this tractor trailer driver was texting and driving, he knew that his actions were dangerous. He said so in his deposition testimony:

6         Q.  Did you know at the time of this
7.    wreck and did you believe at the time of this —
8.    that this wreck occurred that texting and driving
9.    was, as on this video we just watched, one of the
10.  most dangerous things you can do while driving a
11.  vehicle?
12.       A.  Yes, I was aware.
13.       Q.  And did you it anyway?
14.        A.  Yes.

This driver’s dangerous choice to text and drive caused significant injuries to my client that resulted in a very expensive and risky neck surgery. As a consequence of this driver’s choice to text and drive, my client will never be the same. He has internal hardware to stabilize his spine and he will never again be the same father and husband he once was. In addition to my client’s serious injuries, this driver’s employer had to pay a large amount of money to settle this claim.

Nobody “won” in this situation. A man’s life was forever altered and a company lost a lot of money due to its driver’s dangerous choice to text and drive. We should all keep this lesson in mind so we don’t make the same dangerous mistake.

Common Bad Habits to Avoid While Driving in Georgia

  1. Texting. This is a bad and dangerous habit in Georgia and throughout the country. Texting while driving is extremely dangerous. Some research shows that the dangers of texting and driving can be as profound as those associated with drinking and driving. Texting and driving should always be avoided for safety reasons. Moreover, it is illegal to do so in Georgia and punishable by a fine. 
  1. Using apps or other phone functions. Equally dangerous is using your phone to access apps, music, or any other functions. For instance, one study suggested that the rising popularity Pokemon Go was causing more accidents on the road because game-obsessed drivers sometimes try to play as they drive. Like texting, using smartphone applications while driving should always be avoided.
  1. Talking on the phone. Some studies show that even hands-free cell phone conversations present a significant risk. Although hands-free calling is a safer way to communicate than texting, you should be aware that it still presents a risk on the road.
  1. Eating and drinking. Some people eat and drink when they drive. In fact, at one time or another most people have probably tried to grab a bite or sip on a soda while behind the wheel. While there are some circumstances where this might be safe, you should never eat or drink anything that takes both hands, is messy, or can be easily spilled.
  1. Any other multitasking. There are countless other ways a person can be distracted trying to multitask as they drive. Anytime you are taking attention away from your driving to do something else, it can be a problem and a safety hazard.

Distracted Driving Poses Significant Financial Risks

Distracted driving poses significant financial risks, impacting individuals and society at large. Lets explore some financial consequences that may arise from this dangerous behavior:

  1. Increased Auto Insurance Premiums: Traffic violations related to distracted driving lead to higher automobile insurance premiums. When you receive a citation for distracted driving, your automobile insurance costs can increase significantly. According to The Zebra, a 2024 cell phone violation can increase your insurance premiums by 21.56%. Repeated offenses can compound these costs resulting in prohibitively expense automobile insurance premiums. 
  1. Insurance Claims and Payouts: Insurance companies are in the business of making money. Distracted driving accidents result in property damage and personal bodily injury payouts. An “at-fault” distracted driving accident will almost certainly increase the at-fault driver’s premiums. However, the financial fallout does not stop with that driver. When more distracted driving accidents occur, automobile insurers will have higher overall claims expenses. This means that those increased expenses will be passed along to the public in the form of higher premiums.
  1. Property Damage and Repairs: Distracted driving often results in crashes, leading to property damage. Repairing or replacing damaged vehicles can be expensive, especially in the modern world where vehicle maintenance and repair costs continue to rise.
  1. Medical Expenses: Distracted driving accidents can result in injuries to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Medical expenses, including hospital bills and doctor visits can quickly add up.
  1. Legal Fees and Fines: Most states have enacted laws that impose monetary fines on individuals who plead guilty or are convicted of distracted driving. For example, in Georgia, the monetary fines can be found at O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241(f)(1).
  1. Lost Wages and Productivity: When distracted driving leads to accidents, the accident victims often miss time from work to deal with car repairs, doctor’s appointments, etc. This can result in lost income for the victims and lost productivity for employers when their employees are unable to perform their job duties efficiently.
  1. Vehicle Depreciation: Most of us know that the resale value of a damaged vehicle is much less than a non-wrecked vehicle. Even after repairs, potential buyers may hesitate to purchase a car with an accident history.
  1. Business Costs: When commercial vehicles are involved in distracted driving accidents, the businesses often face repair costs, insurance claims, and lost revenue. For example, when a tractor trailer driver is involved in a distracted driving accident, the trucking company will likely face several claims that include damaged cargo, property damage, worker’s compensation, and even third-party bodily injury. It may not end there. If the company has a history of distracted driving accidents caused by its drivers, it may face regulatory penalties and lose business from customers that hire it to transport goods.

Distracted Driving is a Top Concern for Automobile Accident Lawyers

Personal injury automobile accident lawyers are usually interested in whether the at-fault driver was distracted at the time of the wreck that injured their client. There are many reasons for this but the primary reason is that injury claim and lawsuit awards are usually larger when the are aggravating circumstances that contribute to the wreck.

So, why are monetary awards typically larger when someone causes a wreck while they are distracted? In this author’s experience, it is because the distracted driver is less sympathetic than an attentive driver who simply made a mistake.

In most situations, a conscious choice must be made to take whatever action caused the distraction. For example, someone must choose to use their cell phone. They must choose to wear earbuds. They must choose to check their email. They must choose to play a game. They must choose to apply makeup. A conscious choice is much different from an innocent mistake where someone, for example, misjudges the distance between themselves and another driver.

Additionally, drivers that violate a distracted driving law may be negligent per se. This means the law presumes that the distracted driver breached their duty of care and is negligent as a matter of law. In negligence per se cases, the injured party (usually the Plaintiff) only needs to prove that the negligent acted “caused” their damages (and of course, what those damages are).

The lesson here is quite simple. Distracted driving exposes drivers to significant financial burdens so don’t do it.

Be Safe: Focus on the Road When Driving

Driving isn’t a time to lose focus. Every day, most Americans drive and it is easy to get complacent. Distracted driving not only jeopardizes lives but it also results in substantial financial burdens. By staying focused on the road, we can mitigate the risks of driving and promote safer driving practices for everyone.

If you’d like more information, or if you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, feel free to contact the personal injury lawyers at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter at (833) 534-2542 in Kennesaw, Cobb County, Georgia today.

Animal Bite Injuries

A dog with sharp teeth aggressively barking.


In Georgia, there is a statute regarding injuries caused by animals, including dogs. This is found in O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7. According to the 2024 version of this statute, a negligent owner of a violent dog that causes unprovoked harm can be held liable for damages. Specifically, the statute states:

A person who owns or keeps a vicious or dangers animal of any kind and who, by careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty, causes injury to another person who does not provoke the injury by his own act may be liable in damages to the person so injured. In proving vicious propensity, it shall be sufficient to show that the animal was required to be at heel or on a leach by an ordinance of a city, county or consolidated government, and the said animal was at the time of the occurrence not at heel or on a leash.

Dogs can be loyal and loving members of the family. But with ownership comes responsibility, and the potential for liability from a dog bite or attack if you are not careful. According to an article written by Peter Tuckel and William Milczarski that was published in 2020, dog bites are a common cause of emergency room visits in the United States each year.

Dog bites, as you could imagine, can cause serious injuries and even death. When dangerous or vicious dogs cause harm, or when dog owners negligently permit dogs to attack others, dog bite victims may be entitled to compensation for the damages and injuries they suffer.

Whether a dog bite claim will be successful depends on a number of factors and are what we like to call “fact specific.” If you have suffered an injury as a result of a dog bite or dog attack, it is important to understand the law and to be aware of your rights. Of course, it is always best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

Four elements dog bite victims must prove to win their claim in Georgia:

  1. Vicious propensity. A dog that has a history of aggressive behavior towards people, or has been involved in past incidences of biting, may be considered “vicious or dangerous” under the statute. This element is automatically met if a dog was required by law to be at heel or leashed and was instead running free. S&S Towing & Recovery, Ltd. v. Charnota, 309 Ga. 117 (2020). Most cities and counties have ordinances requiring dogs to be on a leash. For example, in Cobb County, Georgia, dogs must be on a leash not exceeding six feet in length when away from their home. In addition, you can prove vicious propensity if you can gather evidence of prior bites or attacks. This can be done by sending an open records request to your local animal control agency for any and all complaints or incident reports regarding animals at a specific address.
  2. Careless management. Letting a dog off-leash in public or otherwise allowing it to roam free around others could meet this element. If a dog is on its owner’s property, careless management could occur if an owner knows the dog is aggressive to guests yet fails to contain or control it. Careless management could also occur if the owner does not have control of the dog while on leash and knew, or should have known, the dog could lunge or attack. If you undertake to restrain a dog, and do so in a negligent manner, you can be liable for that dog attacking or biting someone else. Myers v. Ogden, 343 Ga. App. 771 (2017).
  3. Unprovoked attack. To meet this element, a dog bite victim must not have provoked the dog into attacking. Unlike other types of torts, the doctrine of comparative negligence will not apply in this circumstance. If a person provokes a dog into attacking by antagonizing it, a dog bite claim will be completely defeated. Teasing, kicking, yelling, throwing objects, and other antagonizing behavior toward a dog that results in an attack or bite will not be recoverable.
  4. Attack causes injuries. As with any personal injury claim, a dog bit victim must prove that any injuries sustained were caused by the dog bite or the attack. This can include an actual bite from the animal, or an attack where the bog chases someone off leash causing that person to fall and become injured. In the second scenario there would be no “bite” but the attack and behavior of letting a dog run off a leash led to the injuries.

The Statute of Limitations for Bringing Dog Bite Claims

Under Georgia law, you have two years from the date of the incident to bring a claim for a dog bite or attack. The two-year period begins the moment that the victim knows that they have been injured by a dog bite. In certain circumstances this two-year period can be “tolled” or delayed, for instance when a victim is unable to bring a lawsuit because of their injury or because the defendant prevented them from doing so. When bringing a claim, the injured party is almost always bringing the claim against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. If the dog owner does not own a home, or live in a home where coverage applies, we would look to renters’ insurance to cover any potential claim.

I have handled many dog bite cases in my career, and everyone is different. As an example, a prior client was bitten on the leg by a dog while running on a sidewalk. Not only was the dog off leash and roaming the neighborhood, after an investigation, we discovered that the owner in question had many prior offenses with dogs escaping their property. This was enough to make an allegation for punitive damages. In another case, my client was bitten by a dog at a park while the dog was on a leash. However, the owner knew the dog would lung and bit and failed to properly control their dog which resulting in a serious bite to the face. Finally, in another example, a client was attacked by a god while playing in a neighbor’s yard when the adult supervising the children carelessly let the dog out of the house. The adult was aware the dog was aggressive and had been barking excessively prior to being let outside. As soon as the dog escaped from the house, they attacked our client’s child and drug her into the bushes. In each of these examples, we were able to seek justice on behalf of our clients and secure favorable settlements.

Contact Williams Elleby Howard & Easter Today for More Information

The dog bite personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter, are dedicated to vigorously representing personal injury victims throughout Georgia. If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, the injury attorneys at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter can help you understand your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Call Williams Elleby Howard & Easter, to schedule a consultation today at (833) 534-2542.

The Impact of Falling Objects: Legal Rights and Compensation

Man with both hands on head, looking straight at the camera.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS), approximately 2.8 million workers are injured on the job each year, and more than 5,000 are killed. Many of these accidents are caused by falling objects. In fact, the United States Department of Labor has labeled falling objects as one of construction’s “fatal four” types of accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured by a falling object at a work site, you should be aware of your legal rights and options. Williams, Elleby, Howard, & Easter is dedicated to getting accident victims the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation, call 833-LEGALGA today.

Falling Object Injuries on Work Sites

Whenever work is being done on multiple levels, there is always the risk that debris will fall or objects will be dropped. Employers have a duty under OSHA regulations to maintain a safe work site and ensure that workers have the proper protective gear. For example, OSHA Standard 1910.219 provides a long list of requirements to guard against handheld machinery used in overhead work causing injury. While, OSHA Standard 1917.112 requires the use of toeboards around edges of walkways to prevent objects from rolling off and injuring people below. Workers have a right to request an OSHA safety inspection if they feel conditions are unsafe, and employers are forbidden from retaliating against workers that make such a request.

Ultimately, however, for workers covered by Georgia’s Workers Compensation Law, a determination of fault is ultimately irrelevant in most cases. This is because Georgia workers automatically receive benefits when they are injured on the job, regardless of who is at fault. However, compensation is also limited.

Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Law

Workers’ compensation functions by providing workers injured on the job with automatic compensation for harm and with benefits if they become disabled. Workers’ compensation insurance also provides benefits to dependents if a worker dies as a result of a job-related injury. The tradeoff, however, is that workers are prohibited from bringing lawsuits against employers (or co-workers) if they suffer harm in the course and scope of their employment.

Determining whether workers’ compensation applies is often complicated. In the State of Georgia, any employer with three or more employees is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. When jobs utilize contractors and subcontractors, it is often unclear at first whether a particular worker will be covered by the law. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby, help worksite accident victims navigate the law so that their rights are protected.

Non-Worker Victims of Harm

Non-workers are not covered by Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Law. For instance, if a pedestrian strolling past a construction site is struck by a falling object, she is free to bring a negligence claim against the party or parties responsible for dropping the object. She could also bring a premises liability claim against the owner of the property where the injury occurred.

Premises Liability vs Negligence: Who is Responsible

When a non-worker is injured by a falling object, she can bring a claim against any responsible parties. Many times, the person who drops the object is not the owner of the property where the injury occurs. In this situation, an injured party could have claims against both the person who dropped the object as well as the property owner.

First, the claim against the person who dropped the tool would be a simple negligence claim. In pursuing this claim, a skilled attorney would examine whether the person who dropped the tool took reasonable precautions to guard against dropping the object. The attorney could look to OSHA standards that might apply to the jobsite in question. For instance, OSHA Regulations require that construction sites employee a number of fall protection measures when erecting or working on scaffolding.  The attorney could then analyze whether the negligent party properly complied with the regulations to show that the worker did not act reasonably while completing work at the site.

Examples of Overhead Work Protection Measures:

  • OSHA Standard 1926.105 requires the use of overhead safety netting when work is completed more than 25 feet above the ground.
  • OSHA Standard 1910.145 requires the use of warning signs to warn of the risk associated with falling objects on a job site.
  • OSHA Standard 1917-112(d) requires the use of toeboards, or raised edges, to prevent items from rolling off of the edge while working overhead.

Second, there could be a premises liability claim against the owner of the property where the injury occurred. Premises liability claims can be brought when property owners are at fault for failing to keep dangerous conditions off their property. O.C.G.A § 51-3-1 provides that a landowner must take reasonable steps to keep its premises safe. Again, a skilled attorney could use the OSHA Regulations to show that the landowner was aware that work was taking place and failed to ensure that the proper safety protocols were met to prevent injury to people walking below.

Damages in a Personal Injury Suit

The final step in the process is determining the dollar amount of the injured person’s damages. Georgia personal injury law is intended to fully compensate victims for their harm. Compensation from a personal injury lawsuit, also called damages, is intended to pay for things like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In cases where a defendant exhibited intentional or reckless conduct, punitive damages may be available. However, injury claims covered by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law will be strictly limited to the compensation permitted under that law.  Georgia Worker’s Compensation Law provides a specific award schedule that dictates how much a worker’s injury is worth.

However, when a non-worker is injured, the measure of damages is more fluid. A skilled attorney can utilize the injured party’s medical bills, along with evidence of missed time from work, and general pain and suffering to advocate for a more accurate measure of damages. The attorney is able to make specific arguments about how long it took for the injured party to recover. The length of recovery is important as the attorney can attach a dollar amount to the time spent recovering. Attorneys also rely on witness testimony and other evidence to paint a vivid picture of how the injury affected the injured party. This provides the jury with a detailed perspective of the injury and the suffering it caused.

Real World Experience  

A few years ago, we were contacted by a man, Mr. Smith, who sustained a skull fracture when a tool hit him in the head while he was working at a retail store. Upon further investigation, we learned that Mr. Smith’s employer sent him to clean the floors at the retail store. Mr. Smith walked into a closet to get some supplies and was struck in the head by a falling tool. Unbeknownst to him, a man from another company was climbing a ladder inside the closet and dropped a tool, which struck Mr. Smith in the head.

This workplace injury involved all three claims we have discussed in this article- a workers compensation claim, a premises claim, and a negligence claim. First, Mr. Smith was on the job when the injury occurred. Therefore, we brought a workers compensation claim to obtain the benefits afforded to Mr. Smith under Georgia’s workers compensation system. Secondarily, we brought a premises claim against the retail store where Mr. Smith was working for failing to keep its premises safe. Finally, we brought negligence claims against both the worker who dropped the tool for failing to exercise due care in transporting the tool up the ladder and his employer for failing to adequately train its employee.

During the litigation, we argued that all parties involved violated multiple OSHA regulations on the date of the incident. We used those rules to point out that each of the defendants could have taken relatively simple actions to prevent this catastrophic injury from occurring. For example, the retail store could have required workers to post a sign warning of overhead work taking place or the worker climbing the ladder could have utilized a rope and bucket method to raise his tools up the ladder. As a result, we were able to successfully prove that the store, the worker, and the worker’s employer negligently breached their duty of care to Mr. Smith.

We also relied on the medical opinions of Mr. Smith’s treating physicians to prove that the tool hitting Mr. Smith caused his injuries. These opinions were crucial in proving Mr. Smith’s damages. We relied on these records to highlight the significance of the trauma, the need for surgical repair of Mr. Smith’s neck, and the permanence of his injuries. Normally, we would take a deposition of the treating physicians to elicit testimony as to whether the incident in question caused our client’s injury. However, here we were able to rely on Mr. Smith’s medical records because they clearly stated that Mr. Smith’s injuries were caused by the tool hitting him on the head.

We spent hours investigating and researching these issues to make sure we painted a clear picture of the injury, liability, and damages involved with this case. As a result, we utilized this information to secure a significant settlement for Mr. Smith that would compensate him for his injuries.

For More Information, Contact Williams Elleby Howard & Easter

Worksite accidents can be devastating, particularly when caused by falling objects. Victims need the support of qualified and experienced legal counsel on their side. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter work hard to get accident victims the compensation they deserve.

Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, Williams, Elleby, Howard, & Easter serves clients throughout the State of Georgia. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at a work site due to a falling object, the attorneys at Williams, Elleby, Howard, & Easter can help you understand what possible claims you may have and work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call 833-534-2542 today.

$6,440,000 Personal Injury Verdict Awarded in Cobb County, GA

A judges wooden gavel is resting on top of the left side of a red hardcover book with the word LAW in gold writting writting with a white paper rolled into a scroll with the words Personal Injury wrtting on the scroll.

A Georgia jury in the State Court of Cobb County awarded a man post-apportionment damages of $3.45 million with an additional $1.84 million in attorney’s fees for injuries he sustained after falling into an unguarded concrete pit beside a golf course clubhouse in Hiram, Georgia.

Insurance Company Rejects Lower Settlement Offers

The verdict came after the Defendant’s insurer rejected numerous offers to settle for less than the insurance policy limits. Plaintiff’s counsel, Joel Williams of Williams Elleby Howard & Easter and Matthew Stoddard of The Stoddard Firm, said that multiple attempts to settle the case were made throughout the course of litigation, culminating with Plaintiff proposing a high-low agreement of $465,000 – $1.5 million after closing arguments (The high low agreement would have limited the Defendant’s exposure to $1.5 million [an amount within the insurance policy limits] if the verdict were for a higher amount but guaranteed the Plaintiff at least $465,000 if the verdict was for less). However, the Defendant’s insurance company declined all of Plaintiff’s offers to settle within its insured’s policy limits, forcing the case to trial and subsequent verdict.

The case was defended by Beth Bentley and Bill Casey of Swift, Currie, McGhee, & Hiers. Stoddard and Williams were complimentary of the professionalism displayed by Bentley and Casey. Williams’ stated, “Beth and Bill are excellent lawyers that did the best they could with a tough set of facts.”

Facts Leading to Fall from Unguarded Concrete Pit

The case initiated from an incident on February 6, 2021, when Plaintiff was invited to a country club in Hiram, GA to pick up his girlfriend who was the bar & grill manager at the club. The Plaintiff arrived at the bar and had some drinks while waiting for his girlfriend to finish her shift. As the bar was closing, Plaintiff’s manager/girlfriend asked him to go put some DJ equipment in his truck. The plaintiff walked outside and put the equipment in his truck. It was a cold and rainy night, so Plaintiff wanted to get back inside. He tried to re-enter the bar & grill, but the Defendant’s employees had locked all the doors and turned off all exterior lights. Plaintiff attempted to call his girlfriend to open the door.

When Plaintiff’s phone calls went unanswered, he decided to walk around the building and see if any other doors were unlocked. He made it around one side of the building when he fell nearly 12 feet from an unguarded retaining wall and into a concrete pit where he landed on his head, broke multiple bones, and sustained a brain injury. In this picture, emergency worker’s can be seen attending to the injured Plaintiff at the bottom of the dark and unguarded pit:

A white building with a deck, without any lights on, in the night.

Plaintiff’s Injuries

Plaintiff was rushed to the emergency room where he spent nearly a week in the hospital. Upon release, he began treating with an orthopedic surgeon who eventually recommended that he undergo a cervical fusion surgery. He had the procedure and recovered well. However, his life was forever changed by the seriousness of his permanent injuries. Plaintiff’s past medical bills at the time of trial were about $362,000.00.

Defendant Failed to Act on Warnings

Testimony revealed that approximately four months prior to the fall, the Defendant hired a landscaping company to remove bushes and trees that acted as a natural barrier around the edges of the concrete pit. The bushes can be seen in this photo (sorry, the picture quality is poor but it is the best picture available):

Picture of bushes and trees in front of a building.

At the time of removal, the landscape company warned Defendant that the pit was dangerous and that they should install a fence to guard the pit. There was also evidence that the unguarded pit violated municipal safety codes previously adopted by the City of Hiram. In additional to violating safety codes, the evidence showed that the Defendant had another concrete pit on the opposite side of its building that was guarded by a metal railing as shown in this photograph:

There is a railing beside a paved concrete slab in front of a white building with a deck.

Furthermore, one of Defendant’s employees testified that she observed children playing tag near the pit. Another employee testified that Defendant discussed concerns about a drunk person falling into the pit at a management meeting prior to the fall. The Defendant’s owner, testified that safety was the company’s number one priority and that the Defendant intended to place a fence along the pit due to safety concerns. Despite all this, a fence was not installed before Plaintiff’s fall because it remained on a to-do “list” while the company completed other projects during its “slow season.” Shockingly, some of those other projects included installing decorative split rail fencing around other areas of the golf course.

The Defenses

Stoddard and Williams said the Defense asserted a plethora of defenses. The defense argued that Plaintiff was a trespasser who never paid for his drinks (despite testimony from the club manager that he saw a tab with Plaintiff’s name on it); that Plaintiff was drunk at the time of the fall; that Plaintiff should have used his phone’s flashlight to see where he was going; that Plaintiff was not allowed on the part of the property where the fall occurred; that Plaintiff left a path and walked through the woods to reach the pit; and finally, that Plaintiff’s spinal injuries were degenerative and not caused by the fall.

Trial Begins

Trial began on December 18, 2023, before Judge Jane Manning in the State Court of Cobb County. Plaintiff’s counsel relied on testimony from Plaintiff, his ex-girlfriend/bar manager, the landscaper, ex-company employees, and Plaintiff’s treating physicians. Defense counsel called two of the Defendant’s employees, along with a code expert, toxicology expert, and neurologist to dispute liability and causation.

In the lead up to trial and throughout, Plaintiff continued to make offers within Defendant’s policy limits to resolve the case. However, Defendants declined all of Plaintiff’s offers, never offering more than $585,000. After a four-day trial, the jury spent about five hours deliberating before returning a verdict for $4,600,000 in compensatory damages. The jury apportioned 25 percent of the fault to Plaintiff, reducing the total compensatory award to $3,450,000. The jury also found there was bad faith in the underlying transaction and awarded $1,840,000 in attorney’s fees pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11. In awarding attorney’s fees, the jury found that the Defendant’s conduct demonstrated a conscious indifference to the consequences of its actions (i.e. failing to act on its admitted knowledge of the danger, its failure to heed warnings from its landscaping contractor, its failure to comply with code, and other things).

Stoddard and Williams agree that this is a very sad case involving serious life altering injuries and that this tragedy is made worse by the fact that the Defendant is now facing a judgment that exceeds its insurance limits due to its insurer’s refusal to accept multiple settlement offers within its insurance limits. Plaintiff’s counsel, Joel Williams, explained, “This is the perfect example of what happens when insurance companies refuse to protect their insureds. Insurance companies readily accept our premium payments but they often fall short when we need them to do what we pay them to do: Protect us, and our assets, when we face liability claims. Special interest groups love to blame lawyers for so-called “nuclear” or “excess” verdicts but the truth is that we would rarely see large jury verdicts if insurance companies would accept reasonable settlement offers and protect their insureds when they are given an opportunity to do so, as we did numerous times prior to the verdict in this case.”

Beyond Jail Time: The Civil Impact of Drunk Driving in Georgia

A clear glass of liquor on ice beside a set of car keys and handcuffs on a wooden table.

Drinking and driving is deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day 37 people die in drunk-driving crashes, that’s one person every 39 minutes. Because the effects of drinking and driving are often catastrophic, the laws in Georgia to keep its citizens safe and keep people from drinking and driving carry some serious consequences, both criminally and civilly. Simply put, criminal cases involve jail time and fines and are prosecuted by the government, whereas civil cases involve money and involve disputes between people or organizations.

What is considered drunk driving?

Under Georgia law, it is illegal for people to drive a motor vehicle is their blood alcohol concentration percentages are as follows:

  • 08% or higher, if they are twenty-one years old or older operating a passenger vehicle (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391)
  • 04% or higher, if they are operating a commercial vehicle (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391)
  • 02% or higher, if they are younger than twenty-one years old.

What are the criminal consequences?

The consequences for drinking and driving vary depending on the circumstances. But generally speaking, if you are caught drinking and driving, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety:

First Offense

  • Possible jail time up to one year
  • Fine of $300 minimum, up to $1,000
  • License suspension of up to one year
  • 40 hours of community service, which is a mandatory minimum
  • $210 license reinstatement fee

Second Offense:

  • Minimum mandatory 48 hours in jail, possible 90 days to one year
  • Fine of $600 minimum, up to $1,000
  • License suspense of three years
  • Minimum 30 days of community service
  • $210 set license reinstatement fee
  • A mandatory clinical evaluation, and if indicated, completion of a substance abuse treatment program at the offender’s expense

Third Offense:

  • Minimum Mandatory 15 days jail time
  • Fine of $1,000 minimum, up to $5,000
  • License revocation for five years
  • Minimum mandatory 30 days community service
  • Violators name, photo and address published in local newspaper at violators expense
  • Declared as habitual violator
  • Mandatory clinical evaluation and, if indicated, completion of a substance abuse treatment program at offender’s expense.

What are the civil consequences of drunk driving?

In addition to the criminal consequences of driving under the influence, there can also be civil consequences if you cause a wreck and injure someone while driving under the influence of alcohol. The injured party has to prove that the at-fault driver was negligent in causing the wreck.

In order to prove negligence in a civil case, you have to prove “1) a legal duty to conform to a standard of conduct; 2) a breach of this duty; 3) a causal connection between the conduct and the resulting injury; and 4) damages to the plaintiff.” Johnson v. American National Red Cross, 253 Ga. App. 587, 591 (2002). If the Plaintiff can prove these elements by what’s known as the “preponderance of the evidence”, then the at-fault party will be financially responsible to the Plaintiff for the damages awarded by a jury.

Negligence per se is a legal theory wherein an at-fault party’s unexcused violation of a law creates a presumption that the defendant is negligent. It doesn’t prove the negligence – it only creates a presumption that the defendant is liable for negligence.

In a car wreck scenario where a person suffers injuries and the at-fault driver committed a DUI, there is a presumption that because the at-fault driver was driving drunk, they are then negligent for causing the wreck. In order to get this presumption it must be established that the at-fault driver was driving over the legal limit (this can happen when they plead guilty to the offense). Once that is established, the injured party can claim that because they violated the law, they are presumably negligence. At this point, the burden then shifts to the defendant, who must prove that they were not negligent in causing the wreck even though they were driving under the influence. Negligence per se is a powerful tool in proving the negligence of another because it creates a burden-shifting presumption.

Punitive damages for drunk driving!

With a DUI case, in addition to compensatory damages, the injured party can seek punitive damages from the at-fault driver. Punitive damages are damages awarded as a punishment or to penalize and deter the at-fault driver from engaging in the behavior that caused the injuries. Normally, punitive damages are limited to $250,000.00 in Georgia, but that is not the case if the at-fault driver is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1. Being able to pursue punitive damages greatly increases the value of your civil case against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.

If you have been injured in a wreck due to the negligence of another, especially by someone who was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you must find a lawyer who will aggressively fight on your behalf to ensure justice is sought from the wrongdoer and their insurance company. Contact the personal injury law firm of Williams Elleby Howard & Easter at 833-534-2542.  Not quite ready to call? Check out our YouTube channel for additional resources and information in our video covering alcohol and its effect on personal injury cases.

Ordering Medical Records for a Personal Injury Case

A doctor sitting at a desk,writing on a clipboard.

Understanding the Importance of Medical Records:

When pursuing a personal injury claim, obtaining accurate and complete medical records is crucial. Additionally, these records serve as vital evidence to support your claims and demonstrate the extent of your injuries. Medical records provide an objective account of your injury and how it impaired your life. These records can include physician notes, diagnostic reports, laboratory results, imaging studies, surgical reports, and other relevant documents. Collecting comprehensive medical records is vital for building a strong personal injury case.

Identify Relevant Providers and Facilities:

The first step in ordering medical records is to compile a list of all medical providers and facilities where you received treatment for your injuries. This may include hospitals, clinics, specialists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and any other healthcare professionals involved in your care. Gathering accurate and up-to-date information about these providers will make the record retrieval process more efficient.

Differentiating Legal Requests from Patient Requests:

When requesting medical records, it’s important to understand the distinction between legal requests and patient requests.

  1. Legal Requests Are: Typically made by an attorney or legal representative on behalf of a client. These requests are governed by specific laws and regulations, such as the [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)] in the United States. Legal requests are often more formal and should adhere to the following guidelines: 

          a. Written Request: Create a written request that is addressed to a specific facility the client received treatment at. This authorization                        should include specific details, such as the time frame of treatment for records being requested, the healthcare providers involved, and                  the purpose of the request.

b. HIPAA Compliance: Ensure that the legal request complies with all HIPAA regulations. This includes protecting the privacy and confidentiality of the client’s medical information throughout the process.

     2. Patient Requests: As a patient, you have the right to access your own medical records. Patient requests are typically more straightforward,             but it’s still important to follow certain steps:

a. Authorization: Complete and sign any necessary forms provided by your healthcare provider to authorize the release of your medical records. These forms may vary depending on the provider’s policies.

b. Identification: Provide valid identification to verify your identity when making the request. This is to ensure that your medical records are only released to the authorized person.

c. Time Frame: Specify the time frame for the records you need. Including the dates of treatment relevant to your personal injury case.

d. Fees: Some healthcare providers may charge a fee for copying and processing medical records. Inquire about any applicable fees and payment methods.

In the state of Georgia physicians may charge a fee for copying and mailing patient records under O.C.G.A. § 31-33-3 and may even require the payment be made “up front”. These charges are determined by the Georgia Department of Community Health.

Methods for Ordering Medical Records:

Once you understand the type of request you need to make, there are several methods available to order medical records:

  1. Written Request: Prepare a written request and include all necessary details and authorizations. Send the request by certified mail, return receipt requested. This method provides proof of delivery and ensures a paper trail.
  1. Online Portal: Many healthcare providers have online patient portals where you can access and download your medical records. Ask your medical provider if they offer this option and follow their instructions for accessing the records.
  1. Fax or Email: Some healthcare providers accept requests via fax or email. Ensure that the method you choose complies with their guidelines and includes all required information and authorizations.
  1. In-Person Request: You can visit the healthcare provider’s office or medical records department in person and fill out a request form. Some facilities may require you to show identification or provide specific details to verify your identity. This method allows you to clarify any questions or concerns directly with the staff.

Remember that healthcare providers may have specific policies, procedures, and associated fees for accessing and obtaining medical records. It’s essential to contact them directly to understand their requirements and any associated costs.

Organize and Review the Records:

As you receive the medical records, organize them in a systematic manner. Create a secure digital or physical file to store and safeguard the documents. Review the records carefully, noting any inconsistencies or missing information. Discuss any concerns or questions with your attorney to ensure a thorough understanding of the records.

In situations involving numerous medical providers, it may be helpful to summarize the medical records in a chronology that lists things like dates of service, diagnoses, treatment plans, etc.

Medical records can be powerful evidence in a personal injury case. Work closely with your attorney to determine how best to use the records strategically. They can help establish the link between the accident and your injuries, demonstrate the severity of your condition, and support your claim for damages.


Ordering medical records is a critical step in building a strong personal injury case. By understanding the importance of medical records, complying with privacy laws, and working closely with your attorney, you can navigate the process effectively. Remember to be organized, thorough, and proactive throughout the process, ensuring that you have all the necessary documentation to support your claim. Seek legal guidance to maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

WILLIAMS ELLEBY provides legal representation for personal injury and wrongful death cases in Georgia. When you choose our firm, you are not just a client. You are a real person with real problems. You deserve a personal injury lawyer that will fight for justice, offer encouragement, and stand by you through all the tribulations you may face. Your case deserves us. Give us a call at 833-LEGAL-GA (833-534-2542) for a free consultation.

Georgia Slip & Falls: What To Do If You Slip & Fall On Ice Or Snow

Woman slips and falls on an icy driveway.

According to the CDC, unintentional falls are the leading cause of nonfatal emergency department visits in the United States. When temperatures drop, the risk of slip and fall incidents increases dramatically. Colder weather means that Georgians will encounter more icy staircases and frozen puddles on sidewalks. This increased risk poses potential legal challenges for property owners and victims alike. In this post, we will explore the laws surrounding slip and fall incidents in Georgia due to icy conditions.

Premises Liability in Georgia:

To determine who is responsible for a slip and fall on ice, we must first understand the basics of Georgia premises liability law. Georgia law holds landowners responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their premises. O.C.G.A §51-3-1 states that an owner of land who invites people onto their property must exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe. This means that property owners should take reasonable actions to guard against danger on their property.

Types of Visitors:

However, the steps an owner must take depends on the status of the injured person at the time of the injury. The law places different duties on a landowner depending on the category of person who is injured. When you walk onto someone else’s property, you are either an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.

  1. An invitee is a person who is invited onto the property by the owner for both parties’ benefit. An example of an invitee is a customer entering a business to make a purchase.
  2. A licensee is a person on a property solely for her own interest. For example, Georgia law considers a social guest to be a licensee. See Stanton v. Griffin,361 Ga. App 205 (2021).
  3. Finally, a trespasser is a person who enters another’s property without permission.  Interestingly, a person can be considered a trespasser even if they enter another’s property accidentally. See Crosby v. Savannah Electric Co., 114 Ga. App. 193 (1966).

Duty to Visitors:

Georgia law provides different rules for landowners depending on the type of visitor.  A landowner owes a duty of ordinary care to an invitee. See O.C.G.A §51-3-1. This means that a landowner must take reasonable steps to make sure his property is safe for any invitee that comes onto the property.

However, a landowner owes a lesser duty to a licensee. A landowner must not injure a licensee willfully or wantonly. Stanton v. Griffin,361 Ga. App 205 (2021). In other words, the owner is only liable to a licensee if he intentionally injures the guest or acts in an extremely reckless manner.

Finally, a landowner owes no duty at all to a trespasser. See Crosby v. Savannah Electric Co., 114 Ga. App. 193 (1966). Therefore, it is difficult, if not impossible, for a trespasser to recover for an injury sustained on someone else’s property.

Comparative Negligence:

We must also consider whether the injured party contributed to her injury. Georgia recognizes the doctrine of comparative negligence. This allows a jury to consider whether the plaintiff did anything wrong to contribute to the injury. The jury can then assign a percentage of blame to either party depending on how much each party contributed to the injury. See Clark v. Rush, 312 Ga. App. 333 (2011). Therefore, if the injured party is found to be partially at fault for not taking reasonable precautions, their recovery may be diminished.

Bringing a Claim for a Slip & Fall on Ice:

Now that we understand the law, let’s discuss how it applies to a slip and fall on ice. Georgia law says that property owners must take appropriate steps to make their property safe. Negligence on the property owner may arise if they fail to:

  1. Monitor weather conditions: Property owners should stay informed about weather forecasts, especially in the winter months, and take preemptive measures to address potential ice accumulation.
  2. Remove ice promptly: If ice does accumulate, property owners are expected to promptly remove or mitigate the hazard. This may involve salting walkways, clearing snow, or posting warning signs.
  3. Warn visitors: In situations where the removal of ice is not immediately feasible, property owners must adequately warn visitors about the hazardous conditions.

Failure to take these reasonable steps could result in the property owner being held responsible for injuries that occur when someone falls. However, what is reasonable depends on the status of the person who was injured:

  1. For an invitee, the property owner could be at fault for simply failing to recognize that the ice formed and failing to take steps to remove it.
  2. However, a licenseewould not be able to recover unless she could show that the property owner intentionally put water on the sidewalk to cause the fall.
  3. Finally, a trespasser likely would not have a claim for injury no matter the actions of the property owner.

After determining whether the property owner acted reasonably under the circumstances, we must also determine whether the injured party acted reasonably. In other words, did she do anything that contributed to her injury:

  1. Did she recognize that there was ice on the sidewalk and decide to walk on it anyway?
  2. Did she see a sign warning not to enter due to ice and enter anyway?
  3. Was she distracted and not paying attention to her surroundings, which caused her to slip?

These are just a few examples of situations that could cause a jury to assign fault to the injured party and lower the amount she would recover based on Georgia’s comparative negligence rule.

Proving Liability:

To successfully pursue a slip and fall claim in Georgia, the injured party must establish the following elements:

  1. Duty of care: The property owner owed a duty of care to the visitor.
  2. Breach of duty: The property owner failed to meet the standard of care by neglecting to address the icy conditions.
  3. Causation: The breach of duty directly caused the slip and fall incident and subsequent injuries.
  4. Damages: The victim suffered measurable damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

We work through the invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser analysis to establish the duty of care that the property owner owed to the injured party. This involves asking questions to determine why the injured party was on the property at the time of the fall so that we can determine which category the person falls into. Once we know whether the injured party is an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser we are able to determine the duty owed.

Subsequently, to determine whether the property owner breached her duty we examine the facts of the incident to determine whether the property owner acted with the level of care required under the duty analysis. For example, in the case of an invitee, we would try to determine how the hazard came to be on the property and whether the property owner took reasonable steps to protect against the hazard.

The next step is to determine causation. This simply means, did the hazard (the ice on the sidewalk) cause the injuries that the injured party is complaining of. Sometimes, this is very straightforward- a person slips on ice, falls, and breaks her arm. It is easy to understand that the fall caused the broken arm. However, in other situations, it is more complicated. For example, a person slips and falls on ice. Four days later, he starts having back pain. A year after that he has back surgery. In this situation, it takes months of examining medical records and talking with doctors to determine whether the fall on the ice caused the need for back surgery.

Finally, we examine the extent of the injury caused, the amount of medical bills incurred, any lost wages from missing time from work, and the overall pain and suffering to determine the total amount of damages caused by the fall. The damages calculation involves adding up all the losses the plaintiff sustained to determine the full value of the case.


Navigating slip and fall incidents in Georgia resulting from icy conditions requires a careful examination of the circumstances and a thorough understanding of premises liability laws. If you find yourself in such a situation, seeking legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney can be crucial in ensuring your rights are protected and justice is served. Call Williams Elleby Howard & Easter at 833-534-2542.  Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for our video on this topic and many more topics.

The Amount of Compensation I Can Expect for My Personal Injuries?

The front end of a car is smashed after a car wreck. The underside of another car lying on it's side is visible in the background.

How Much Compensation Can I Expect?

If you’ve suffered personal injuries due to an accident or negligence, you’re likely concerned about receiving fair compensation. Understanding the factors that determine the amount of compensation you can expect is crucial for managing your expectations and ensuring a just settlement. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key aspects that influence personal injury compensation and provide you with valuable insights.

1.  Nature and Extent of Injuries:
The severity and long-term implications of your injuries play a significant role in determining the compensation amount. More severe injuries, such as spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injuries, often result in higher compensation due to their substantial impact on your life, including medical expenses, rehabilitation, and loss of earning capacity.

2.  Medical Expenses:
Compensation should cover all reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with your injuries. This includes hospital bills, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, assistive devices, and ongoing treatments. It is crucial to keep track of all your medical bills and related expenses to ensure they are factored into your compensation claim.

3.  Loss of Income:
If your injuries have caused you to miss work or rendered you unable to continue working in your previous capacity, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This includes both the income you have already lost due to the injury and potential future earnings that may be affected.

4.  Pain and Suffering:
In addition to financial losses, compensation also takes into account the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have endured. This category is subjective and often calculated using formulas based the specific facts of your case, the severity of the injuries, and their impact on your daily life.

5.  Property Damage:
If your personal injuries resulted from a car accident or similar incident, compensation may also include the repair or replacement cost of damaged property, such as your vehicle or personal belongings.

6.  Comparative Negligence:
In some cases, the court may consider the degree of fault or negligence on your part and reduce the compensation amount accordingly. If it is determined that you or a third-party contributed to the accident or injury, your compensation may be adjusted proportionally.

7.  Insurance Coverage:
The insurance policies involved, such as auto insurance or liability insurance, can have a significant impact on the compensation you receive. Policy limits and coverage types may restrict the maximum amount available for your claim. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate through the complexities of insurance claims.

8.  Legal Representation:
Working with a skilled personal injury lawyer can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case. A knowledgeable attorney can assess the unique circumstances of your situation, negotiate with insurance companies, and build a strong case to maximize your compensation.

Determining the exact amount of compensation for personal injuries can be complex, as it depends on various factors specific to each case. While there is no “one size fits all” answer, understanding the key elements involved can help you gauge the potential compensation you may be entitled to. Remember, seeking legal advice from a qualified personal injury attorney is crucial to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Stay informed, document your losses, and call us today to discuss your case. The attorneys at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter will advocate for your rights during this challenging time. 833-LEGALGA.  Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for our video on this topic and many more.

What is The Statute of Limitations on a Personal Injury Claim?

A gavel, eye glasses and a book with the title, Statute of limitations, on a desk.

Personal injury claims arise when an individual is injured due to the negligent or intentional acts of another person or entity. These claims range from car accidents and slip and falls to medical malpractice and product liability. If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, one of the first things you need to know is the statute of limitations that applies to your case. In this blog post, we discuss what the statute of limitations is, how it works, and how it can affect your personal injury claim.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

The Statute of Limitations is a law that sets a time limit for filing a lawsuit. This time limit varies depending on the type of case and the jurisdiction where the case will be heard. In the context of personal injury claims, it is the time limit for filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries.

How does the Statute of Limitations work?

The statute of limitations clock begins ticking on the date of the injury or when it was discovered. Once the clock starts ticking, the injured party usually has a set amount of time to file a lawsuit. If the injured party fails to file a lawsuit within the specified time frame, the case will likely be dismissed by the court. It’s important to note that this time frame is a strict deadline and courts rarely make exceptions.

How does the Statute of Limitations affect your Personal Injury Claim?

It is an important factor to consider when filing a personal injury claim. If you miss the deadline, you may lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it’s crucial to act quickly and consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you determine the applicable statute of limitations and ensure that your claim is filed within the required time frame. Failing to file a claim prior to the statute running out is cited in our article on Seven Biggest Mistakes People Make After an Injury

The length of the statute of limitations can vary depending on the state and the type of personal injury claim. In some states, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is as short as one year, while in others, it can be several years. Additionally, some states have different statutes of limitations for different types of personal injury claims, such as medical malpractice claims or claims involving government entities.


If you have been injured due to the negligence or intentional act of another party, it’s important to act quickly and consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. The statute of limitations can affect your ability to seek compensation for your injuries, so it’s crucial to understand the applicable time limit and ensure that your claim is filed within the required time frame. Experienced lawyers at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Call us today at 833-LEGALGA