Articles Posted in Uncategorized

Blog-Images-Robin-Frazer-Clark--300x169When someone suffers an injury due to another’s actions, it’s not just the physical pain that affects them. The ripple effects can touch every aspect of their life, from financial stability to emotional well-being. In such challenging times, understanding how the law works to compensate for these losses can offer a glimmer of hope. The legal system recognizes two main types of damages in personal injury cases: compensatory and punitive damages. These legal mechanisms aim to restore balance, offer relief, and ensure justice for those wronged.

Compensatory Damages: Restoring What Was Lost

At the heart of most personal injury claims in Georgia is the concept of compensatory damages. These are the funds awarded to the injured party to cover both the tangible and intangible losses they’ve endured. Economic losses are straightforward and include costs like medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and any property damage that may have occurred. These are measurable and aim to reimburse for out-of-pocket expenses directly linked to the injury.

Blog-Images-Robin-Frazer-Clark--300x169When you’re hurt because someone else was negligent, it’s not just about the physical injuries. Personal injury law accounts for the mental toll—what we call emotional distress or mental anguish—is just as real. Whether someone did something wrong on purpose or just wasn’t paying attention, if it left you dealing with psychological pain, that matters.

Although your anguish is quite real, proving it in court is another story. You need solid proof of how deep the hurt goes and how it’s impacted your life. It’s not just about saying you’re stressed or upset; it’s about showing the real impact of what you’ve been through.

Types of Emotional Distress Claims

In a Georgia courtroom, the path to justice in a personal injury case unfolds through a series of critical stages, each carrying profound implications for the case’s outcome. From the meticulous selection of an unbiased jury to the final delivery of the verdict, every step in a jury trial is pivotal. The key to facing this challenge is understanding what happens in a courtroom during a jury trial.

Jury Trial Process

The jury trial process in Georgia follows a structured series of steps, each critical to the case’s outcome. It starts with jury selection, known as “voir dire.” Here, attorneys from both sides question potential jurors to assess their suitability for the case. The objective is to form an unbiased jury, crucial for a fair trial. This selection process can vary in length, depending on the number of jurors required and the case’s intricacies.

Blog-Images-Robin-Frazer-Clark--300x169The perception of bullying has evolved significantly over the years. Once considered a normal part of growing up, it is now recognized as a potential cause of severe and lasting trauma. In the realm of personal injury law, particularly in Georgia, bullying is not just a schoolyard issue but can be a legal matter, especially when it results in intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) or even physical harm.

Understanding IIED in the Context of Bullying

Bullying can sometimes be a basis for an IIED claim under personal injury law. To establish an IIED claim, the victim must demonstrate that the bully’s conduct was intentional or recklessly indifferent, extreme and outrageous, and caused severe emotional distress, often evidenced by physical or psychological symptoms. This legal perspective acknowledges the profound impact bullying can have on an individual’s mental health and overall well-being.

As many of you know, since 2012 when I became President of the State Bar of Georgia and after a dear friend of mine, who was a Past President of the State Bar, killed himself, I made suicide prevention for Georgia Lawyers one of my causes to which I devoted my time and resources to promote. We began with “How to Save a Life,” a suicide prevention program for the Georgia State Bar, which, almost immediately, began saving lives. We reduced the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health matters, especially for lawyers. We increased the number of free mental health visits each Georgia Lawyer receives to six and with the “Use Your Six” campaign.   The State Bar created the “Lawyers Living Well” program, thanks largely to the leadership of Lynn Garson, the Chairperson of the Lawyers Assistance Program. Lynn began her “Lawyers Living Well” podcast, through which she and many other wonderful Georgia Lawyers share their stories, including me.  I hope you will listen. The Georgia State Bar’s Suicide Prevention Program continues under the extremely capable leadership of Judge Shondeana Morris, and many of us participated in the “Out of the Darkness” walk in Piedmont Park to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). I am so proud of the work the State Bar of Georgia has done, and continues to do, to reduce the suicide of Georgia Lawyers and their family members.

As part of this large effort, we have learned a lot. One thing we learned is the concept of “means restriction,” which is to eliminate the means by which someone could kill themselves when you know or suspect that person to be suicidal. This includes guns, drugs, ropes, alcohol, etc. It is important to remove any means of suicide from the surroundings of someone you believe is suicidal. Research has shown that if the means to kill oneself are eliminated and you prevent even that momentary thought of suicide, that person is not likely to resort to suicide again once the idea of it is gone and the means to do it were eliminated. As published in the medical journal Lancet, “[l]imitation of access to lethal methods used for suicide—so-called means restriction—is an important population strategy for suicide prevention. Many empirical studies have shown that such means restriction is effective. Although some individuals might seek other methods, many do not; when they do, the means chosen are less lethal and are associated with fewer deaths than when more dangerous ones are available.”

So I was thrilled to read that the long-awaited means restriction of nets under the Golden Gate Bridge have finally been installed.   The effort was sparked over 20 years ago when a young man, Kevin Hines, jumped off the bridge to kill himself, but he survived. He said the second he jumped he regretted it. He said: “Had the net been there, I would have been stopped by the police and gotten the help I needed immediately and never broken my back, never shattered three vertebrae, and never been on this path I was on,” said Hines, now a suicide prevention advocate. “I’m so grateful that a small group of like-minded people never gave up on something so important.” There are other examples of means restrictions, right here in Atlanta. You may recall that I wrote about a project my son, Chastain B. Clark, collaborated on, designed, created and installed at the Georgia Tech Library called “Crosland Chroma,” which is a series of beautiful screens that allow a scenic view of the city but prevent anyone from being able to jump off the library. This photos shows the beautiful means restriction on top of the Tech Library.

In Georgia, pedestrian accidents can lead to serious injuries, often requiring legal action to recover damages. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) plays a vital role in this process, providing necessary coverage for those injured in such incidents. Understanding the intricacies of PIP and how it applies to pedestrian injuries is crucial for anyone involved in a pedestrian accident in Georgia.

Personal Injury Claims for Pedestrians

Victims of pedestrian accidents may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim, which requires proving four key elements. First, the defendant or negligent party had a duty of care to act in a manner that prevents harm, such as adhering to traffic laws. Second, there must be a breach of this duty, for instance, through distracted driving or ignoring pedestrian right-of-way. Third, causation needs to be established, linking the defendant’s actions directly to the injuries sustained. Lastly, the claim must demonstrate actual damages, encompassing physical injuries and the financial, emotional, and psychological impacts on the victim. Successfully proving these elements allows victims to secure rightful compensation and hold the responsible party accountable.

Bostick-Lexus-2-300x225 Bostick-Lexus-3-300x225
A large part of my law practice is representing people who have been seriously injured in traffic or road collisions. This  includes not only drivers and passengers of vehicles, but also many pedestrians. The photographs above are just a small example of the carnage that occurs on Georgia roads every day. I am currently representing the family members of two separate families who have lost loved ones when they were killed as pedestrians on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in Atlanta.

Sunday marks the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.  It is a high-profile global event to remember the many millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and to acknowledge the suffering of all affected victims, families and communities – millions added each year to countless millions already suffering: a truly tremendous cumulative toll. This Day has also become an important tool for governments and all those whose work involves crash prevention or response to the aftermath of crashes, since it offers the opportunity to demonstrate the enormous scale and impact of road deaths and injuries, call for an end to the often trivial and inappropriate response to road death and injury and advocate for urgent concerted action to stop the carnage.

“As every year, the objectives of WDoR 2023 are to provide a platform for road traffic victims and their families to:

Blog-Images-Robin-Frazer-Clark--1024x576As consumers we interact with countless products daily, from the moment we wake up until we go to bed. Most of the time, these products work as intended, making our lives more convenient and enjoyable. However, sometimes, things can go terribly wrong, leading to serious injuries or even death. That’s when defective product claims come into play, and it’s an area of law that’s more complex and ever-evolving than you might think.

What is Considered a “Defect”

Product defects can take various forms. Most often, these defects are found in design, manufacturing, or marketing. In Georgia, as in many other states, a product is considered defective if it poses an unreasonable danger to its users, and this defect directly causes harm. It’s a simple and yet incredibly important concept because it directly impacts our safety.

In the past, we’ve discussed medical malpractice and wrongful death, but we don’t often consider exactly how someone with years or decades of training could overlook or outright refuse to treat patients with real concerns. Overweight women in particular have to contend with sex-specific ailments that tend to cause even OBGYNs to attribute every type of pain to “obesity” in general. Everyone can agree that being “healthy” is ideal, but isn’t that the point of going to the doctor in the first place? When doctors ignore their patients’ concerns, it can lead them to make poor choices that lead to injury or even death for their patients.

Non-Collaborative Treatment Plans

Every individual seeking medical care needs a specific treatment plan that fits their lifestyle and treats their concerns. The trouble with that is doctors aren’t specialists in every field. Complaints of stomach pain to a general practitioner may lead them to believe that a patient’s issues are simple to treat with over the counter medication; while a gastroenterologist may be better equipped to pinpoint what’s causing the pain. The trouble is getting to that specialist and for them to take your issues seriously.

Georgia has a thriving tourism industry and people from all over the world want to visit our amazing cities. As great as it is for our economy, it also brings thousands of drivers with different driving styles and oftentimes different personal injury laws. Like many states in the U.S., Georgia follows an “at-fault” system, otherwise known as comparative negligence, for determining liability in personal injury cases. Conversely, some of our neighboring states follow contributory negligence, which can add a layer of complexity to personal injury cases. Understanding these concepts may be helpful when traveling or if you’re in an accident that involves an out of state party.

The Foundations of At-Fault Systems

In an “at-fault” or “tort” system, determining fault is essential in personal injury cases. Comparative and Contributory Negligence are two legal doctrines used to allocate fault and assess liability for damages which impacts the amount of compensation for affected parties.

American Association for Justice Badge
Georgia Trend Legal Elite Badge
State Bar of Georgia Badge
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association Badge
LCA Badge
Top 50 Women attorneys in Georgia Badge
Super Lawyers Badge
Civil Justice Badge
International Society of Barristers Badge
Top 25 National Women Trial Lawyers Badge
Contact Information