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Betts & Associates is committed to providing each of our clients with top quality legal representation and achieving successful outcomes for their cases. We specialize in representing individuals and businesses in all areas of complex civil litigation matters. Our firm provides legal services with skill, strength, and integrity to residents all over the state of Georgia.

Betts and Associates offer a wide range of skills in almost all areas of the legal practice. Our commitment to growing a wide range of more discrete practice areas allows us to better assess client needs and provide prompt and effective legal solutions. Our firm was founded on the belief in providing personal service and valuable legal counsel that addresses our client's needs creatively. After a decade, that has not changed. We ensure that every client's case is carefully handled every step of the way.

If you need advice about the best way to approach and resolve your case, consider Betts & Associates. To request a legal consultation, contact our office at 404-577-8888 to schedule an appointment. We are proud to provide personal service and practical solutions for those with even the most complex legal concerns.

Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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The Georgia Department of Public Health sent an email over the weekend warning of dangerous products currently on store shelves:

“The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has become aware of a dangerous, potentially lethal substance surfacing in convenience stores and smoke shops. When ingested or inhaled this neurotoxin can render a person motionless and/or unconscious and cause severe cardiac problems. In the last 24 hours, at least eight patients in Southeast Ga. have been hospitalized; some patients have been admitted to intensive care and are on life support. Two patients have been intubated.

The substance is marketed as “herbal incense,” bath salts, or “roll-your-own” tobacco – similar to what public health and law enforcement have seen before containing cannabinoid receptor agonists (THC homologs), but there are now indications the chemicals or ingredients have been altered.

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Georgia Personal Injury and Loss of Consoritum

When a married person is injured, the emotional toll of worrying about the health and well-being of the injured spouse can be overwhelming for the other spouse. In addition to the emotional hardship caused by the accident, a spouse may face demanding physical and financial burdens in caring for their injured loved one. Georgia law recognizes a separate claim for loss of consortium in personal injury cases where a married person suffers a loss of services and companionship as a result of an injury to their spouse caused by a third party’s negligence or intentional misconduct.

1262597_hands_in_love.jpgLoss of consortium claims can also compensate the non-injured spouse for an increase in the demands and burdens caused by the ordeal. Often, once injured, spouses are unable to offer the same level of affection, intimacy, and companionship as before. For example, an injured spouse may not be able contribute to performing household chores or help out in other spousal duties such as childrearing to the same extent that he or she could before the accident, requiring the non-injured spouse to assume the role of primary caretaker. In Georgia, spouses have a right to recover damages for the loss of such services and companionship a spouse normally could provide absent the injuries, such as household and family expenses, property maintenance and household chores, child care and parenting duties, emotional support and care, affection and sexual intimacy between spouses.

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Even if you can make out the elements for a claim of premises liability (that is, you are an invitee, an owner/occupier owed you a duty to keep premises safe and/or to inspect and that such duty was breached because the owner/occupier knew or should have known of the danger, and that breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injury), there may still be another hurdle for you to recover…

The most common defense owners/occupiers raise in claims of negligence based on premises liability is the defense of assumption of the risk. In order to establish the defense of assumption of risk, defendants must show that a plaintiff (1) had actual knowledge of the danger; (2) understood and appreciated the risks associated with such danger; and (3) voluntarily exposed himself or herself to those risks. Admiral Ins. Co. v. State Broad. Corp., 314 Ga. App. 648, 650, 725 S.E.2d 789, 791 (2012), cert. denied (July 2, 2012).

760413_danger.jpgOften patrons at amusement parks are said to have assumed the risk when they understand and appreciate risks associated with park rides and voluntarily expose themselves to the risk by going on the ride. However, this defense cannot overcome situations in which there are static conditions on the ride or premises nor can a judge grant summary judgment on issues such as how closely a particular retailer should monitor its premises and approaches.

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First, we hope everyone is keeping safe from the slick, rainy conditions outside! Today, we will continue our discussion on Premises Liability in Georgia by talking about the types of knowledge an owner/occupier must have to be liable in negligence.

How Can I Prove Premises Liability for Hazardous/Dangerous Conditions?

An invitee can recover damages in a slip and fall if she proves two things: (1) that the owner/occupier had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard, and (2) that despite the exercise of ordinary care, the invitee lacked knowledge of the hazard due to actions or conditions within the owner/occupier’s control. Cocklin v. JC Penney Corp., 674 S.E.2d 48 (Ga. Ct. App. 2009). Absent knowledge of the dangerous condition, there can be no causation (an essential element to make out a claim in negligence).