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Legal jargon and terminology can be difficult to understand for anyone, including lawyers.  Below is a list of commonly used legal terms in a Georgia personal injury claim.

Personal injury

Personal injury refers to any injury caused by another party’s negligence. It could be physical, mental, or emotional and includes property damage. The victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover compensation for the negative consequences of the latter’s actions.


Aa lawsuit is initiated by filing a complaint with the appropriate court. The personal injury complaint is the formal expression of your grievances.

Prayer for Relief

The complaint also includes a "prayer for relief", which is a fancy way of saying it includes information concerning how much money you want.


The plaintiff is the individual, or group of individuals, bringing the lawsuit.  Generally this is an individual who is claiming they were injured or damaged as a result of the actions of someone else.  For example, If you slip and fall and sue the store where the slip and fall occurred, you would be the plaintiff in the lawsuit.


The plaintiff serves the complaint upon the defendantThe defendant is the party that is allegedly liable for the plaintiff's injuries. In the prior example, the grocery store would be the defendant.


Defendants file a formal answer to the complaint, which serves to notify the plaintiff and the court of the defendant's position regarding the allegations.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the time period (set by law) in which you may file suit claiming damages. The statute of limitations can vary from case to case depending upon the circumstances, and can vary from as little as one year to as long as ten or more in civil suits.

Personal injury cases, which generally are based on negligence, tend to have statutes of limitations in the area of two to three years, with special exceptions carved out for malpractice cases.

State law controls statutes of limitations, so if you are thinking of filing suit, be sure to speak with a qualified lawyer as soon as possible,


A tort is any wrongful act that is not a crime and does not arise from a contract.  Nearly every cause of action in a civil suit -- including personal injury suits -- is a tort.  Negligence, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and libel/slander are all examples of torts.

Intentional Torts

Intentional torts are wrongful acts committed on purpose. Many intentional torts can also be considered crimes.   For example, assault/battery, can lead to both civil and criminal liability. So, too, can theft, and wrongful death (murder, manslaughter, etc.).

A tort forms the grounds for a lawsuit seeking damages that are necessary to make a plaintiff whole. Criminal cases, even if arising from tortious acts, don't provide for damages. They are brought by the state with the express intent to punish criminals.


Negligence is a tort arising from carelessness or the failure to act with reasonable care, when such conduct causes damage to the person or property of another. To prove negligence a plaintiff has to prove four things. First, that the defendant had a duty or legal obligation to the plaintiff. Second, that the defendant violated or breached that duty. Third, that the breach caused damage to the plaintiff; and fourth, that damages actually exist. Duty, breach, causation and damages are the backbone of nearly every personal injury case.

For example, all stores have a duty to keep the aisles free of hazards.  They breach this duty if they fail to adequately clean up the spills and other hazards in a reasonable period of time.  If a store breaches their duty, and you slip and fall as a result causing physical and financial damages.  Given these facts, the store was negligent.

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof refers to the plaintiff's obligation to prove his or her allegations to be true -- or at least more likely true than not. There are several different threshholds that could apply depending upon the type of case being litigated.

In a personal injury case, the burden of proof normally applied is that a plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is liable. Simply put, personal injury plaintiffs must prove that the defendant's actions more likely than not caused the plaintiff's injuries. Continuing on with our example, in your suit against the grocery store, you'd have to prove that the store was more than 50% at-fault for your injuries in order to recover damages.

Strict Liability

Strict liability is a legal theory that imposes liability for certain acts or injuries causing damage regardless of fault or wrongdoing. For example, farmers are strictly liable for the actions of their cattle. So if a farmer's herd tramples a neighbor's crop, the farmer is liable regardless of any wrongdoing. In the 21st Century, strict liability is most often applied in cases involving defective products holding manufacturers liable for injuries sustained as a result of using their products.

Strict liability essentially shifts the burden of proof to the defendant, forcing the defendant to prove that they are not liable as opposed to typical negligence-based cases where the plaintiff must prove that the defendant is at fault.


Damages are what a plaintiff is seeking to recover in a lawsuit. In a personal injury suit, damages generally equal money. Damages are separated into two categories, economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are quantifiable damages such as medical expenses, wage loss, replacement services and auto repair bills. Non-economic damages are not specifically quantifiable, and include such things as pain, suffering, and humiliation.

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence is a legal concept that relates to personal injury and tort law.  Comparative fault and contributory negligence can reduce or even eliminate damages altogether.   It refers to a situation where the plaintiff's own actions or behavior contribute to their own injury or damages. In other words,  plaintiff was partially at fault for their own injuries or losses.  Georgia has a modified contributory negligence standard, which means if the plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault, then they are owed no damages.

Georgia Courts have held contributory negligence is not an available defense to a defendant when an intentional tort, such as assault, battery, or theft, is alleged.  McEachern v. Muldovan, 505 S.E.2d 495, 500 (Ga. App. 1998).

If you have been injured due to the actions of someone else, give our lawyers a call today at 770-214-2500 for a free consultation.


Georgia Accident Lawyers


Facing a personal injury can be a challenging and overwhelming experience.  Choosing the right lawyer to represent your interests is an important decision that
can often affect the outcome of your case. In this blog post we will guide you through the steps you should take to help you in choosing the best Georgia car accident
attorney to represent you.

Step 1: Assess Your Needs

Consider the type of injury you have suffered, the circumstances around it, and the complexity of your case. Different attorneys specialize in different areas of personal injury law. Therefore, knowing your specific needs will help narrow down your options.

Step 2: Seek Recommendations

It is always a good idea to seek recommendations from trusted friends and family members if they have had personal experiences with injury attorneys in your area. It is also a good idea to ask
other professionals, such as your family lawyer or doctor for referrals.

Step 3: Check Reviews and Testimonials

Online reviews can be a crucial part of finding the right personal injury attorney. These reviews can give you good insight into what experiences other clients of the firm have to say about the legal services they received at the law firm. Look for reviews on Google, Yelp or other legal directories. Consistently positive feedback is a very good sign.

Step 4: Evaluate Communication and Accessibility

Effective communication is a crucial part of legal representation. Discuss communication preferences and assess their willingness to be responsive and communicate with you throughout the
process. Ask about how often you can expect updates on your case and how you can best reach your attorney and their staff.

Step 5: Consider Expertise and Experience

Consider the attorney’s experience in handling cases similar to your case. Ask about their success rate with settlement, mediation, and trial. An attorney that is experienced will have more likelihood of success in navigating complex personal injury cases.

Step 6: Ask Questions

Prepare a list of questions that come to mind after your car wreck or injury. Bring your list of questions to the initial consultation with the attorney. An experienced attorney will give you transparent answers and address all of the concerns you have up front.

Step 7: Assess Compatibility

It is very important to find an attorney that makes you feel comfortable and gives you a feeling of confidence and ease. Trust your instincts and consider if you can build a positive and trusting relationship with your attorney.

Step 8: Discuss Fees and Payment Structure

It is always a good idea to have an upfront and honest conversation regarding fees and payment structure. Most personal injury attorneys get paid on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. Be sure you understand how the fee agreement is structured because every attorney handles it differently.

Selecting the right personal injury attorney is a crucial step in seeking justice and compensation for your injuries. Take the time to do your research and find a good
fit for you. Ultimately, trust your instincts when making your choice. Choose an attorney who make you feel heard, understood, and gives you confidence in their
abilities. Remember that your attorney will be your guide and advocate throughout the process of your case. They should always have your best interest in mind when
making decisions about your case.

If you've been injured in a car accident give our lawyers a call today at 770-214-2500 for a free consultation.

Georgia injury lawyers working

While you may feel you can handle dealing with the aftermath of a car accident on your own, an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer can maximize the compensation you receive, while also easing the burden of dealing with the legal system alone.   As part of their representation, a Georgia car accident lawyer will:

Explain How Georgia Law Works

A good Georgia car accident lawyer will explain how the law works regarding car accidents and negligence.  They should explain that in every car accident case you have to prove the other drivers careless or negligent actions were the cause of the accident.  Additionally, they have to prove that you were damaged as a result of the careless of negligent actions of the other driver.

Investigate the Accident

A good lawyer will spend a large amount of time at the beginning of your case thoroughly investigating the accident.   For example, if you were injured in an auto accident at an intersection, your injury lawyer will want to know about lights, traffic signals, speed limits, or traffic signs that control access to the highway.  This also includes includes the investigating the lighting conditions, any obstructions in the roadway, or anything else that could have caused or contributed to the accident.  Additionally, you lawyer will begin to collect evidence such as:

Some cases may be more time consuming to investigate than others, such as accidents involving rideshare companies, commercial trucks, and public transportation.

Ensure Legal Deadlines are Met

A care accident lawyer will always ensure that legal deadlines, such as the statute of limitations, are met.   The statute of limitations provides a deadline for when you can seek compensation for damages in a personal injury case. The limitation in Georgia for most car accident injury claims is two years, but sometimes you are required to give notice of your claim for injuries much sooner.  Due to the statute of limitations in Georgia, it is important to hire a lawyer in Georgia as soon as you possibly can following a car accident.

Document Losses and Injuries

A Georgia car accident lawyer can help you identify all of the losses you have suffered.  Car accidents can result in a variety of losses.  These can range from damage to a vehicle to serious physical injuries, as well as anxiety, post-traumatic stress, or any other mental/emotional pain and suffering.  You lawyer will do this by gathering documents to prove:

Examples of the types of documents you car accident lawyer will gather include repair estimates, medical bills & records, and pay stubs.

Prepare for Trial/Settlement

All of the investigating and documenting is ultimately done in order to prepare your case for trial/settlement.  A Georgia car accident lawyer will us the gathered information to build your case and establish a strategy.  A car accident attorney will prepare for trial/settlement:

How Much Do Car Accidents Lawyers Charge in Georgia?

     Georgia Car Accident Lawyers charge a contingency fee.  A contingency fee mean you will pay the lawyer a certain percentage of the money you receive if you win the case or settle out of court.

Why Should I Hire SWS Accident & Injury Lawyers?

Georgia car accident victims sometimes believe that not hiring a car accident lawyer will  save them money. This belief has repeatedly been disproven.

The insurance company will have its attorneys representing their case.  The attorneys at SWS Accident & Injury Lawyers will ensure your legal rights are protected and you receive the maximum compensation possible.   Learn more about how our car accident lawyers can help  you by contacting SWS Accident & Injury Lawyers today at 770-214-2500 for a free consultation.

What doe a Georgia car accident lawyer do




If you are injured in a car accident caused by a police officer or other government employee in Georgia can I still sue?  The quick answer is Yes, but the process is much different than a normal personal injury lawsuit.

In Georgia, individuals typically have two years to file a lawsuit after they’re injured. That two-year time period is called the “statute of limitations.”  If  a lawsuit is not filed before the statute of limitations period ends, the court will dismiss it.

Two years might sound like a long time. But, it’s not. Personal injury investigations often take many months. In fact, it typically takes 3-6 months for a victim’s lawyer to obtain the victim’s medical records. If medical causation is disputed, the victim’s lawyer may also have to hire an expert to review the case before it’s filed.  Additionally, depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be continuing to receive medical treatment for longer than 2 years.

This is where the biggest difference involving a lawsuit for injuries against a government employee comes into play.  If you were injured by a city, county, or state entity, they must se served an “ante litem” notice before filing their lawsuit. “Ante litem” is a Latin phrase that translates to “before the action.”  An ante litem notifies the government entity that they may be responsible for your injuries.  The ante litem notice deadline typically ranges from 6 months to 1 year depending upon the government entity that caused the injury.  If you do not serve the anti litem notice before the deadline, a court will dismiss your lawsuit.

What if my was injury was caused by a city or municipality in Georgia?

If you're injuries were caused by a city/municipality, or one of their employees, you anti-litem notice has to be served within 6 months of the date of the injury.  The notice must also include:

  1. Time, place, and nature of the injury;
  2. A description of the negligent act causing the injury; and
  3. The amount of damages sought.

Due to the short time period for providing an ant-litem notice in this situation, it is imperative that you hire an experienced lawyer to help you with your claim.

What if my injury was caused by the State of Georgia?

If you're injuries were caused by the State of Georgia, or one of their employees, you anti-litem notice has to be served within 12 months of the date of the injury.  The notice must include:

  1. The name of the state government entity responsible;
  2. Time and place of the injury;
  3. A description of the negligent act causing the injury; and
  4. The amount of damages sought.

What if my injury was caused by a county in Georgia?

If you're injuries were caused by a county, or one of their employees, you anti-litem notice has to be served within 12 months of the date of the injury.  While the statue of limitations for this notice is the same as claims against a state entity, there are no specific requirements of what to include in the notice.  As such, it is always best to provide the same information you would provide in an anti-litem notice against the State of Georgia.

As you can see, suing a government entity in Georgia can be a complicated endeavor.  Often, you may not know who is responsible for causing your injury. You may not know that the driver who hit you was working for the city or county at the time of a crash. You might not know who is responsible for managing a street or a sidewalk containing a pothole or a crack that you slipped and fell on.  If you wait to act in these situations, you run the risk of being barred from recovering anything for your injuries.  Which is why it is extremely important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury.  Give us a call today so one of our lawyers can ensure you  get the compensation you deserve.

3 Georgia lawyers

Yes -- you can sue someone personally following a car accident.  You have to file the lawsuit within 2 years of the date of the accident.  Additionally, you will be required to prove the following things:

  1. Breach of duty - Every driver has a duty to drive safely when operating a motor vehicle, so you have to prove that the other driver unsafely or negligently operated their vehicle.
  2. Causation - You have to prove the other driver was at-fault, or responsible for causing the accident due to their unsafe driving.
  3. Damages - In order to receive a judgement, or settlement, in your favor you must prove the amount of damage cause by the other drivers actions.  This includes the amount of property damage to your vehicle, as well as any personal injuries you may have suffered.

Proving causation in Georgia car accident

In order to prove the other driver was at-fault, you must show that the accident was due to their unsafe or negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Common causes of car accidents include:

  1. SpeedingIf the other driver was speeding at the time of the accident, it will likely be a partial cause of any accident.  Exceeding the speed limit is dangerous as it allows for less time for a driver to react to situations on the road.  Additionally, the faster a vehicle is travelling at the time of an impact, the greater the amount of damage will be.
  2. Driving Under the Influence - It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Georgia.  If an at-fault driver was under the influence at the time of the accident, it is assumed they were the cause of the accident.
  3. Failure to Obey Traffic Signals - Traffic lights, stop signs, and other traffic signals are placed to regulate the safe flow of traffic on the road.  When someone ignores a traffic signal which results in an accident, proving causation is generally easy.
  4. Distracted Driving - Given easy access to technology today it is easy for a driver to become distracted.  Whether it be using a cellphone or smart watch, or rambunctious children in the back seat, a distracted driver is a dangerous driver.
  5. Following too Closely/Tailgating - Following another vehicle too closely decreases reaction time and increases the chance of an accident.

Proving damages in Georgia car accident

In order to successfully sue someone following a motor vehicle accident, you must show that suffered damages.  These include property damage to your vehicle, as will as personal injury damages such as medical bills or lost wages.  Ways to prove damages include:

  1. Repair estimates Many times your insurance company, or the other driver's insurer, will obtain a repair estimate for damage to your vehicle.  If not, you will be responsible for obtaining an estimate from a repair shop to be used as evidence in court.
  2. Medical bills Any bills received for medical treatment should be saved and used as evidence in court.
  3. Lost wages - If you are forced to miss work due to a car accident, providing pay stubs, or a letter from your employer, will be important in establishing damage to your earnings.

Being the victim of a car accident can affect your life in countless ways. If you were injured in a collision caused by another party, let the attorneys at SWS Accident & Injury Lawyers handle all aspects of your case so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

Georgia injury lawyers working

What is uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance and why is it important to have in Georgia?  In Georgia, every individual driving a motor vehicle (excluding commercial vehicles like big rigs, which have different requirements) is required to carry automotive liability insurance.  The minimum requirements under Georgia law require the policy to have minimum coverage of

This means that in any type of accident involving the covered driver, the insurance policy will only pay a maximum of $25,000 to any individual injured in the accident, with a maximum combined payout of $50,000 per accident.  Additionally, a minimum coverage auto insurance policy will also only pay for up to $25,000 in property damage (damage to another vehicle, building, etc.).  Many of the well known, as well as highly advertised, insurance providers issue these types of policies.

In Georgia, about 12% of drivers do not have liability insurance. Our neighbors, whose drivers come into Georgia every day are even worse. In Florida 26.7% of drivers are uninsured and in Alabama the figure is 18.4% drivers do not have auto insurance. 

Well what happens if you are in an auto accident where the at-fault driver doesn't have insurance, or the accident results in bodily injury or property damage that exceeds the coverage limits of the insurance policy?  This is where uninsured and underinsured auto insurance come into play.

What is Georgia Uninsured Auto Insurance?

Uninsured motorist insurance (UM) is a type of auto insurance coverage designed to protect you if you're involved in an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance, or doesn't have enough insurance coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries and damages. In can also come in handy in other instances, such as hit-and-run accidents where the responsible driver cannot be identified.

Here are situations where uninsured motorist insurance comes into play:

  1. No Insurance or Inadequate Coverage: If you're in an accident caused by a driver who doesn't have insurance, or whose insurance coverage is insufficient to cover your costs, your own uninsured motorist insurance policy will step in to help cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.  The amount of coverage is dependent on the policy.
  2. Hit-and-Run Accidents: If you're involved in a hit-and-run accident where the at-fault driver flees the scene and cannot be identified, uninsured motorist coverage can cover your expenses, just as if the other driver were uninsured.

What is Georgia Underinsured Auto Insurance?

Underinsured Motorist Coverage is often included as part of uninsured motorist coverage.  It's purpose is to kick in when an at-fault driver has insurance, but their coverage limit is lower than the costs you've incurred due to the accident. For example, say an at-fault driver has the minimum coverage required by Georgia law.  Following an accident, the victim has extensive medical treatment due to injuries suffered in the accident and accumulates medical bills of $50,000.   Without underinsured auto insurance, the victim will likely be limited to collecting a total of $25,000 from the at-fault drivers insurance company.  Unless the at-fault driver is independently wealthy, the odds of recovering the additional $25,000 in medical bills is very slim.

Your underinsured motorist coverage can fill in this gap.  If you have underinsured motorist coverage, then your insurance company would be responsible for paying the additional $25,000 for the medical bills resulting from the car accident.

Keep in mind that uninsured motorist coverage generally doesn't cover vehicle/property damage.  It is mainly designed to cover your medical expenses and other costs resulting from the accident.

Does Georgia Require Insurers Provide Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage?

Georgia law requires all automobile insurers operating in Georgia to offer uninsured motorist coverage to policyholders in the same amount as the liability coverage purchased.  Which as previously stated, is a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injuries, and $25,000 for property damage.

That being said, an insured driver can opt out of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage being included in their policy.  This opt out has to be made in writing.

Should I notify my own car insurance if I am involved in a car accident that is not my fault?

You should always notify your own car insurance if you are involved in a car accident, even if it is not your fault and even if the at-fault driver has insurance.  In order to file a claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist you are required to give the insurance company notice so they have time to investigate the accident.  The old adage "the sooner, the better" applies when giving notice to your uninsured/underinsured about a possible claim, as waiting too long could allow the insurance company to deny payment.

If you or a love one have been injured in an auto accident, give our experienced lawyers a call to discuss your legal options today at (770) 214-2500.

Georgia Lawyers

It's that time of year again in West Georgia, where kids start another year of learning at school.  Whether it be by bus, walking, or riding a bike, the increased traffic and congestion on the road can de dangerous.  Below are a few back to school safety tips to think about.

Tips for Driving in a School Zone

In Georgia, school zone's are usually clearly marked and have a posted speed limit which is slower than the surrounding roadway.  When driving through a school zone it is always important to limit distractions.  Additional safety tips include:

Tips for Driving Safely When You See a School Bus in West Georgia

Georgia Traffic Laws Regarding School Buses

Safety Tips for Walking to School

It is always a good idea to practice the walking route with your child before the 1st day of school.  While practicing the walk, it would also be a great time to freshen up on pedestrian safety.


From all of us at SWS Accident & Injury Lawyers we hope everyone has a fantastic and safe start to the 2023-2024 school year.


Dad walking kids to school


In the event you are injured in a car accident in Georgia due to the negligence of someone else, the law allows you to recover damages from the individual who caused the harm. These may include compensatory damages, consequential/special damages, and punitive damages.

What is considered "compensation" for a Georgia car accident?

Compensation, or "compensatory damages," is a type of monetary award that is intended to compensate the injured party for their actual losses and expenses resulting from a wrongful act or negligence of another party. The primary purpose of compensatory damages is to make the injured party "whole" again, as much as possible, by providing financial reimbursement for the harm they have suffered.

There are two main categories of compensatory damages: 

  1. Consequential/special damages
  2. General damages

What are considered consequential/special damages in Georgia?

Consequential damages, also known as "special damages," are a type of legal remedy available in certain cases. These damages are different from compensatory damages, which are the immediate and foreseeable losses resulting directly from another individual's negligence or wrongful act.

Consequential damages refer to the additional losses or harm that occur as a consequence or result of another person's negligence. They are not the direct result of the negligence itself but are rather the secondary or indirect damages that flow from the negligence. These damages are generally not evident or foreseeable at the time the negligence is committed.

Examples of consequential damages may include:

What are considered general damages in Georgia?

Also referred to as "non-economic damages," general damages are intended for losses that don't have a precise monetary value.   These types of damages are subjective and can range from a relatively paltry amount all the way up to hundreds of millions of dollars.  These damages are more subjective and are meant to compensate the plaintiff for the non-financial harm they have endured due to the defendant's actions. General damages may include:

What is considered punitive damages in Georgia?

In Georgia, to be eligible for punitive damages, the plaintiff must show by "clear and convincing evidence the defendant's actions demonstrated willful misconduct, malice, fraud, oppression, wantonness, or conscious indifference to the consequences.   The standard of "clear and convincing evidence" is higher than the typical "preponderance of the evidence" standard used for most other civil matters.

Punitive damages are a type of monetary award that goes beyond compensating the plaintiff for their actual losses. Unlike compensatory damages, which aim to make the injured party whole again by reimbursing them for specific economic and non-economic losses, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for their egregious conduct and to deter others from engaging in similar wrongful behavior in the future.

The key features of punitive damages are as follows:

  1. Punishment: The primary purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for their actions, particularly when those actions are found to be willful, malicious, reckless, or grossly negligent. Punitive damages are meant to act as a form of societal condemnation for the defendant's conduct.
  2. Deterrence: Another purpose of punitive damages is to deter both the defendant and others in society from engaging in similar wrongful behavior. By imposing significant financial penalties, the legal system aims to discourage future misconduct.
  3. Separate from Compensatory Damages: Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages. They are not meant to compensate the plaintiff for any specific losses but rather to address the defendant's misconduct directly.

Recently, Georgia enacted a law that imposes a cap on punitive damages. The total amount of punitive damages awarded cannot exceed $250,000 unless certain exceptions apply. Exceptions include cases where the defendant acted with specific intent to cause harm, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or engaged in conduct constituting a felony for which the defendant was convicted.  Additionally, Georgia law grants immunity from punitive damages to certain entities and individuals, such as volunteer organizations, healthcare providers who treat indigent patients, and manufacturers or distributors of certain products.

Being involved in a car accident in Georgia can be a traumatic experience. Individuals involved may suffer serious injuries that require significant medical treatment and, in some cases, long-term care. In 2020, motor vehicle crashes were the second leading cause of injury deaths and the second leading cause of hospitalizations and ER visits in Georgia.  This can lead to undue medical expenses, lost earnings, and other significant damages for which the responsible driver may be held liable.  In order to understand your rights and determine how best to proceed, give the professionals at SWS Accident & Injury Lawyers a call today for a free consultation (770) 214-2500.


Georgia Lawyers


In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 91,000 children under 12 were injured in car accidents. Sadly, many of these children suffered physical and mental damage. If your child was injured in a car accident, it is your job as the parent to promote healing and show your support.

When it comes to the legal side of things, that's our job. Let us help you get justice for your child's injury. Call 770-214-2500 for a free consultation.

Seek Immediate Medical Treatment

If a child is injured in a car accident, they may be reluctant or unable to communicate that they have suffered an injury. Seeking immediate medical treatment, even for what may seem to be minor injuries, is extremely important to help your child recover from an accident. When seeking compensation for a child's injuries, it is vital to have a medical professional address and record the injuries.

Encourage Kids Through Physical Therapy

Depending on the extent of your child's physical injuries, recovery from a given accident may require months of hard work. Accompany your child to physical therapy appointments, and encourage them to follow through with suggested stretches and exercises when home. Your child may be initially reluctant to stick with these exercises; your encouragement can promote full accountability and lead to significant gains in mobility and overall rehabilitation.

Monitor the Mental Health of Children Injured in Georgia Car Accidents

Working with a therapist is recommended for all children injured in Georgia car accidents. In addition, keep an eye out for symptoms including withdrawal from friends, a loss of interest in favorite activities, sudden weight loss/gain, changes in sleep patterns, or anxiety. Children aren't always equipt to handle the big feeling surrounding a traumatic event. While they may seem fine, trauma and mental illness can present themselves in strange ways among children. Consulting with a professional can help you and your child handle these feelings healthily.

Work With a Therapist

The stress of a car accident can follow children for several months or even years. Their best bet for moving on does not involve repressing stress or anxiety but working with a therapist or psychologist to get into a healthier mindset. Your child's therapist will encourage healthy outlets for stress and serve as a valuable advocate for your child's mental health. Many children injured in Georgia car accidents, while unable to participate in conventional talk therapy, can engage in play therapy, art therapy, and music therapy with a licensed professional. Through these tools, the child's therapist can determine what steps to take to ensure your child's best mental health outcome.

Let Kids Express Themselves After a Georgia Car Accident

Not all kids are willing or able to express their feelings to their parents or therapists adequately. Sometimes, music or visual art is more effective. Therefore, give your children numerous opportunities to express their feelings through various means, including music and artwork.

As a parent, you can profoundly impact your child's recovery. If medical bills prevent your child from obtaining the complete care they deserve, get in touch with Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP, to learn more about your options.

Juggling Duties After Your Georgia Car Accident

While you are recuperating from an accident, life goes on, and the expenses and obligations stack up. In addition to taking care of your child during this challenging time, you also may have sustained some injuries and must take care of yourself. You and your child's medical bills are mounting, you may have missed work, your car is history (or at least damaged), and you must deal with the insurance company. In addition, you can't work without being in pain, and you may need to care for your other dependents during this stressful period.

Taking Stock and Prioritizing

Worrying about the future hampers your ability to get better, which is your primary focus. Focusing on recovery is hard if you don't have someone to care for your and your family's needs. Reach out to family and friends. If you belong to a church, you may be pleasantly surprised by the help offered. If a family member or a boss contends that you're not that hurt – hard to believe, but it happens – ask your doctor to set them straight.

The initial route for finding good child or pet care is to ask family and friends, but if they can't help you, don't despair. If you are active on social media and your town has a local Facebook page, ask for recommendations for such services. In a worst-case scenario, you can board your pets at a local kennel or veterinary practice. If finding an at-home babysitter is a problem, your children may have to go into daycare temporarily or extended after-school care. Finally, speak to the providers regarding transportation. Another parent could pick up and drop off your children, or neighbors could help you.

Pace Yourself After Your Georgia Car Accident

You want to get better, return to work and ensure your children's welfare. You may feel pressure from your company about deadlines and projects on which you worked. See if you can work on some projects from home – if you are up to it. You aren't doing yourself or your employer any favors if such tasks are beyond you.

After a severe injury, it can take a long time to assess how badly you were hurt fully. The insurance company wants you to settle immediately – they are interested in their bottom line. Do not sign any agreements with the insurance company. Georgia law generally allows victims two years to file a lawsuit, so you have plenty of time to determine the extent of your accident-related disabilities. Ongoing rehabilitation may be necessary. The accident may have affected your ability to return to your job or earning capacity. Bear in mind that, depending on circumstances, you may be able to seek compensation for child care expenses or pet care costs you incurred while recovering.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please call the experienced attorneys at Smith Wallis and Scott, LLP, at 770-214-2500 for a private consultation or explore more at swslawfirm.com.

Coping After a Georgia Accident Injury

Coping after a Georgia car accident injury isn't easy. In the weeks, months, or even years following your car accident, you may feel frightened, guilty, angry, or depressed. These emotions can fluctuate wildly and take over at a moment's notice. Unfortunately, they can also get in the way of leading a productive life. It is possible to get your emotions under control without repressing them, but it will take work. 

Fear of the Road After a Georgia Car Accident

Many car crash victims suffer road-based anxiety for years, even decades, following their accident. Your solution may be to stay far away from the driver's seat. Buses, carpools, and Uber make it possible to avoid driving on your own indefinitely. You might not actively need a car, but you'll feel far more confident once you've conquered lingering fears of going. Instead, enroll in driver's education or practice in quiet neighborhoods with a trusted friend. Face your fears head-on.

Lingering Resentment

If a drunk, inattentive, or otherwise negligent driver caused your accident, you have every right to feel angry. But let that anger fester, and you'll never find true satisfaction in your new life. So instead, embrace the challenge of forgiveness, which Mayo Clinic experts call "a commitment to a process of change."

To hasten the forgiveness process:

  1. Write a list of how the responsible driver's behavior harmed you.
  2. Develop a second list detailing your contributions to the accident (if any) and reasons for self-anger.
  3. Read each listed item and mentally affirm, "I'm sorry, and I forgive you." You may not believe the mantra at first; continue the exercise for a week, and your feelings will begin to change.

The Smith, Wallis, and Scott LLP team is committed to delivering a favorable resolution so you can move on with your life. Reach out today to learn more.

Recovering After Your Georgia Car Accident

Give the following tactics a try as you work through the feelings sparked by your accident:


Meditation is widely misunderstood, with many skeptics assuming its chief goal is to suppress emotions. This could not be further from the truth. Instead, meditation can teach you how to observe and respond to emotions more healthily.

Lean On Loved Ones

When you feel overwhelmed with strong emotions, let a friend, family member, or significant other knows. This person should be willing to listen to your concerns without immediately jumping to conclusions.

Write In a Journal

Overwhelmed by emotions but unable to let it all out to a trusted friend or family member? Sometimes, a journal is the next best thing. Record in detail how you feel and why. While writing, you may be struck by several excellent insights that can help you overcome your pain.

Visit a Therapist or Psychologist

You aren't crazy if you visit a psychologist. A mental health professional can give you a valuable perspective on your current emotional struggles. In addition, this person can help you determine whether you have PTSD or depression. Diagnosis is the first step to recovery, so scheduling an appointment is worthwhile.

Coping with PTSD After a Georgia Car Accident

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) After a Georgia Car Accident: What Is It? What are the Consequences? Where Can You Get Help?

PTSD United estimates that 24.4 million Americans struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) at any given time. Keep reading to learn more about car accident-induced PTSD and how you can get help.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs in the aftermath of life-threatening incidents. Although typically associated with veterans, it is also regularly seen in survivors of sexual assault, terrorist attacks, domestic abuse, and car accidents. So, fear and anxiety are natural following such events. Still, for people with PTSD, this trauma takes its toll on everyday life, making it impossible to match past professional and academic achievements or maintain positive relationships.

How Trauma Can Change You After a Georgia Car Accident

PTSD symptoms vary significantly from one sufferer to the next. The disorder is immediately evident in some people but is incredibly difficult to detect in other cases. Common signs of distress include:

Seeking Help After a Georgia Car Accident

Are you concerned that you or a loved one might have PTSD? As a Georgia resident, you can access a vast array of resources. You can secure treatment at any VA Medical Center if you're a veteran. Female sufferers can find support in Marissa Coleman's Women's Trauma Group, which regularly meets in Atlanta's Virginia-Highland area. More intensive therapy is available at Riverwoods Behavioral Health, which employs a variety of empirically-backed approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy, music therapy, and art therapy.

Getting Around After a Car Accident

If your vehicle has been badly damaged or totaled, you will need to get around after your Georgia accident. Thankfully, there are plenty of fantastic transportation alternatives, several of which are highlighted below:

Is there a good bus line or light rail in your area? Take advantage of it. Public transit is affordable and surprisingly freeing — instead of getting outraged in traffic, you can relax on the bus and read a book, check your social media, or listen to music.

Uber is all the rage among Millennials who wish to reduce their carbon footprint and avoid DUIs. It's also an excellent option if you've recently been involved in a Georgia car accident. Use the app to request a ride — a driver will pick you up and drop you off at your desired destination. A popular alternative to Uber, Lyft, performs essentially the same function.

Although typically more expensive than Lyft or Uber, a traditional car rental may be viable if you have multiple destinations to visit or items to haul. Car sharing is also a great solution. Many cities have convenient and relatively affordable car-sharing programs such as ZipCar and Car2Go.

Can't afford Lyft, Uber, or a car rental? Your friends and family members may be willing to lend you their car for a few days or weeks, especially if you sweeten the deal with free babysitting, a meal out, or some other exchange.

The sooner you secure your Georgia car accident settlement, the sooner you can ditch that rental car and get back behind the wheel of your vehicle. Contact Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP today to get started.

Learning To Drive Again After A Georgia Car Accident

You've suffered a terrifying Georgia car accident and are in no hurry to get back behind the wheel. Eventually, however, you'll need to resume your driving routine. The following tactics can help you work through traffic anxiety and avoid future collisions:

The suitable class will allow you to regain control after a horrific car crash. You'll learn to recognize dangerous situations and respond before a wreck becomes imminent.

The first time you get behind the wheel, ask a trusted friend or family member to ride along. Then, you can take solace in knowing that if the experience becomes too overwhelming, somebody else can take over.

There is a better time to tackle a four-hour journey to your cabin up north. Your first unassisted drive should last at most ten minutes. After that, travel to the bank, the grocery store, or a friend's house — anywhere you can reach without hitting nerve-wracking traffic.

If you contributed in some way to the car accident, use that experience to spur better driving habits. For example, drive the speed limit, make necessary adjustments in inclement weather, and ditch distractions such as cell phones, food, or loud music.

According to some trauma authorities, the longer you avoid the scene of an accident, the more you'll feed lingering anxieties. Consider stopping by the former crash site a few days or weeks after you've successfully resumed your status as a motorist—and recovered your psychological equilibrium—and assess how you feel.

There's no need to avoid your car indefinitely; with time, support, and a defensive driving class, you can return to your vehicle feeling confident in your ability to prevent future collisions.

As you deal with the anxiety of post-crash driving, let Smith, Wallis, and Scott, LLP handle the legal strategy to get you fairly compensated for damages you sustained in your Georgia car accident.

8 Resources for Victims of Georgia Car Accident Injuries

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 2.44 million individuals were injured in car crashes in 2015. Survivors experience decades of physical suffering plus extreme emotional trauma. Recovery is a lengthy process, but these resources can expedite the journey and make your pain easier to handle:

Your physical pain and emotional suffering may seem unbearable, but it is possible to recover and emerge more substantial after a car crash. This compilation of stories from AfterTrauma will give you hope and make you feel less alone.

Driving anxiety is perfectly normal in the aftermath of a car accident, but an inability to get behind the wheel can compromise your job performance and social life. Follow these seven tips from Driving Peace to get back on the road with complete confidence.

On the hunt for unusual but practical solutions to accident-based emotional trauma? According to a 2017 NPR story, a simple game of Tetris may be your best option. The report highlights a recent study, which indicates that just twenty minutes of Tetris can block out intrusive memories.

The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association has compiled an extensive collection of statistics regarding the prevalence of auto accidents and the potential for compensation. While browsing through these stats, you'll learn about average liability claims, common causes of car crashes, and the cost of medical care for injured drivers.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety maintains rigorous standards highlighting each year's safest models. To be deemed an IIHS Top Safety Pick, vehicles must earn front crash prevention ratings of advanced or superior, plus good ratings in five additional crashworthiness tests. Top options for 2017 include the Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 3, Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, and Chrysler Pacifica, among others. Keep this list in mind as you search for a new car.

Whether you were recently involved in a car accident or you have distant memories of a crash, you may continue to experience physical and emotional adversity. Share your story and learn how others have coped while visiting this forum from Experience Project.

Guilt and shame are common in the aftermath of car accidents, even for those who are not to blame. Whether you experience survivor's guilt or wish you would have exhibited better behavior behind the wheel, this article will help you address and resolve crippling feelings in the aftermath of your accident.

Learn more about the science of car crashes while watching this intriguing documentary. Award-winning teacher Griff Jones uses scenes from the IIHS Vehicle Research Center to demonstrate inertia and other essential concepts.

Need more help than the resources highlighted above can provide? Contact Smith, Wallis, and Scott, LLP, today for additional information.

Looking Ahead to a Better Life After Your Georgia Car Accident Injury

Even unexpected setbacks can bring new and positive possibilities if you so choose. If you prefer, you can find value and fulfillment in every circumstance. - Ralph Marston

A painful car accident injury can change your entire outlook on life. Suddenly, every trip to the grocery store feels like an ordeal. Many survivors also suffer from PTSD and depression. The following are a few thoughts worth considering as you plan for a satisfying post-accident life:

Confidence Behind the Wheel

Use the pain of your car accident to transform you into a better person. What can you, as a driver, do to prevent future crashes? First, take responsibility for your role (if any) in the accident, and vow to drive attentively and responsibly in the future. Set your goals in writing; researchers at Dominican University claim that those who physically record their aspirations achieve far more than those who merely think about their goals.

Some post-crash driving-related anxiety is natural. Persevere. Bring a friend if necessary, but get behind the wheel often so you can improve your skills and confidence.

Embrace the Stockdale Paradox

Are you still stuck in a rut after a traumatic car accident? Look to the Stockdale paradox for motivation. Named after Vice Admiral James Stockdale, the theory presents an alternative to candy-coated optimism. Instead, it suggests that sufferers should acknowledge the reality of their situation but resolve to persevere anyway. Your post-crash dream life may not look exactly like your past ambitions, but you can accomplish great things with some grit.

Dr. Dennis Charney explains it eloquently here: "The Stockdale Paradox defines the optimism that is most important in becoming a resilient person, and that is, when you're faced with a challenge or a trauma, you look at that challenge objectively. You might assess, 'I'm in huge trouble.' You have a realistic assessment of what you're facing. But, on the other hand, you have the attitude and the confidence to say, 'But I will prevail. I'm in a tough spot, but I will prevail.' That is the optimism that relates to resilience."

As you look forward to a fulfilling post-accident life, don't forget the importance of strong legal advocacy. Contact Smith, Wallis, and Scott, LLP, today to learn more.

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