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Atlanta Personal Injury Law Blog

Appeals court upholds parking garage death verdict

On July 13, it was reported that the Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld the $39 million jury verdict against a builder who was held liable in the death of a 15-year-old boy. The jury's verdict included compensatory and punitive damages that would be paid to the boy's family, others who had been injured in the accident and the county.

In 2010, a concrete slab weighing 13 tons fell in a city-owned parking garage, killing the 15-year-old boy. The parking garage was constructed in the 1980s by a construction firm that was hired by the county. On the outside of the structure, heavy decorative concrete panels lined the building. While the panels were designed by an engineering firm, it was determined after an investigation that the panels had not been installed or manufactured to the engineering firm's specification.

When a property owner may not be held liable

In general, a visitor who is injured while on another person's property may be eligible to seek compensation for any damages associated with the accident. This is because Georgia property owners have a duty to protect visitors and others from harm that could be caused by dangerous conditions. However, there are some exceptions to this that could prevent an injured person from seeking compensation.

The open and obvious rule states that if the hazard, risk or dangerous condition was obvious to a reasonable person, the owner of the property could potentially be relieved of liability. Ultimately, the visitor should be able to recognize certain warning signs, avoid obvious dangers and protect himself or herself when possible.

Banking on safety at the ATM

"I'll just stop by the ATM for some cash." You probably say those words frequently in a typical week. In fact, if you examine your monthly bank statement, you may be surprised at how often you make a trip to the automated teller machine. ATMs are one of the most convenient and welcome inventions of the modern world, keeping your money safe and accessible at the same time.

Nevertheless, as much as some Georgia banks profess to care about your financial security, they may not seem to feel the same way about your physical safety. Whether you use the same drive-through bank machine every time or travel to a variety of ATMs when you need cash, you may not realize the potential dangers of using an outdoor machine.

The risks of trampolines

Trampolines can be a source of enjoyment for children. However, Georgia parents should know that these fun devices can cause injuries serious enough to warrant a visit to an emergency room. According to a study from Indiana University, between the years of 2002 and 2011, approximately 288,876 fractures were caused by the use of trampolines. Over $1 billion worth of emergency room visits resulted from trampoline injuries.

For children under the age of 16, dislocation and fractures were the most common injuries associated with trampolines. The American Academy of Pediatrics reported that the home is the site of 95 percent of trampoline injuries.

Can a bar be held responsible for an alcohol-related crash?

At any given time, you may share Georgia's roads with a driver who got behind the wheel after drinking. In fact, you may shudder to think of just how many times you managed to avoid becoming involved in a serious -- yet preventable -- accident with a drunk driver. Then, the unthinkable happened.

You may have spent time in the hospital and time out of the hospital recovering from your injuries. You lost income, gained medical bills and incurred other damages as well. When the dust settled, you found out that the driver who police believed caused the crash had been drunk at the time. You may already know that you can file a personal injury claim against the driver, but did you know that someone else may also bear some legal responsibility?

18-year-old girl dies from brain-eating amoeba

Georgia residents who enjoy cooling off at water parks or water-based outdoor recreational parks may be interested to learn that a family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against one such establishment following the death of their 18-year-old daughter. According to the lawsuit, the woman became infected with the Naegleria fowleri amoeba after visiting a North Carolina outdoor recreational park in June 2016.

According to the family, the woman visited the park while taking a post-high school graduation trip. She died just one week after returning home. The family claimed in their lawsuit that the recreational park caused the woman's death by failing to properly chlorinate the water and regulate its temperature. They also claimed that the park failed to warn visitors of the potential hazards. The family is seeking more than $1 million in damages.

Slip and fall accidents may cause ankle injuries

Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injury to any part of the body. Ankle injuries, including sprains and strains, fractures and tendon or ligament tears, are among the most common. Georgia residents who have been in one on another party's property may want to learn more about the ways in which an ankle injury may manifest following an accident.

Sprains and strains occur when the ligaments around the ankle are stretched or injured. While sprains and strains do not involve broken bones or torn ligaments, they can cause severe pain and result in significant functional limitations, such as restricted movement. Such injuries may also last for months and require rehabilitation.

High liability risks the norm for amusement park rides

Although accidents on Georgia amusement park rides are rare, they tend to place high levels of financial responsibility upon the manufacturers and ride operators when they do occur. For example, the terrible death of a 10-year-old boy decapitated in a 2016 water ride accident produced a civil settlement with the park owners, operators and raft manufacturer that was suspected to approach $20 million.

In another incident, a boy only suffered cuts and scrapes, but the accident was especially alarming because the $43 million wave ride had only been open for a short period of time, and the water slide threw the boy on to concrete.

Court awards amputee $95.6 million

Georgia residents may have read about a trial in a Philadelphia that resulted in an arbitrator's decision to award $95.6 million to a woman who lost her legs in a 2013 building collapse. Her award was the largest amount from the $227 million settlement, which is to be distributed among the 12 others who were injured and the families of seven victims who lost their lives in the incident.

The incident occurred on June 5, 2013, when an empty nearby building that was being demolished suddenly collapsed, dropping debris on the 55-year-old woman while she shopped in the nearby Salvation Army store. Emergency responders to the scene had to work 13 hours to free the woman, who was trapped under building rubble.

Hotel staff plays a role in preventing assaults

Your getaway may have been spur-of-the-moment or planned months in advance, but you could almost feel your stress melting away as you checked into your hotel and began to explore your surroundings. Maybe you traveled with your family, with some friends or by yourself.

If you vacationed in a place that was new to you, perhaps the beauty and excitement distracted you. However, even if this was a place you have visited many times in the past, you expected to make some special memories. Unfortunately, the memories you brought home with you are ones you would rather forget.

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