Major League Baseball Opening Day is April 3rd. Players will step up to the plate to use everything they’ve got. No matter how strong they are, they’re still at risk for injuries on the field, including concussions. As we’ve said before, there is no such thing as a minor injury to the brain.
No matter what age, athletes face the risk of concussion in sports. While most associate concussions risks with football, the fact is that soccer has a very high incidence of concussions which are often more severe. The most vulnerable group in sports are younger players. High school athletes, especially, are at risk. This is why coaches, officials and parents must be familiar with the signs and symptoms of concussion. They must also err on the side of caution. Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries can be hard to diagnose – the symptoms are subtle and nonspecific most of the time.
The focus on safety has increased. Just the same as the NHL and NFL, the MLB has adopted a concussion protocol. A committee of experts created the policy, which will oversee the manner in which concussions are diagnosed initially and will be used to determine when players and umpires can return to the field following a concussion. Professional sports organizations have recognized that concussions are not benign – they have long-lasting, degenerative effects. Just last week the NFL acknowledged, for the first time, the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a progressive, degenerative brain disease.
Head injuries can cause extensive damage to an individual. The National Institutes of Health defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as an acquired condition that occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. A TBI can be caused by a violent blow or jolt to the head. But it can also occur without a violent blow in which a person’s skull is subjected to rapid acceleration or deceleration, which we commonly see in rear-end collisions.
Cash Krugler Fredericks has vast experience representing individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of violent impacts or injuries. Cases involving TBIs present several unique challenges in litigation and must be handled by a skilled litigator – not someone who believes one call will solve the problem.
When you or your children are playing sports, make sure to wear all the regulation equipment properly, follow the rules of the game and err on the side of sitting it out if there’s any concern about a concussion or head trauma. Remember to play safely. If you or someone you know has suffered what you believe to be a brain injury, feel free to reach out to us after seeking medical attention.
On March 12, 2016, Cash Krugler Fredericks was proud to serve as the MVP or lead sponsor for the Side By Side Brain Injury Clubhouse’s 5th Annual Sawbones v. Jawbones Basketball Benefit. This is the signature fundraising event for Side By Side, pitting local lawyers versus doctors in a basketball game that raises awareness of the issues faced by those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. In addition to awareness, this benefit serves as a tremendous fundraiser as well, raising significant money for this important nonprofit organization. This year, Side By Side hosted the event at Decatur High School and enjoyed record crowds, as huge numbers turned out to support Side By Side and its mission improve the lives of those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.
For the last five years, Cash, Krugler Fredericks has proudly supported Side By Side and its signature event, serving as the lead sponsor for the last four years. Having represented numerous clients with significant brain injuries over many years, Cash Krugler Fredericks has seen firsthand the incredible impact that Side By Side has on its “members,” helping each person to rebuild and find meaning in his or her life after suffering a devastating brain injury. The mission of this amazing organization is to advance the long-term well-being of people who have suffered brain injuries and their families through skills development, support and advocacy. Having enjoyed the tremendous support of The Shepherd Center, Side By Side has made on incredible impact on the lives of brain-injured victims and their families for over 15 years now and, fortunately for its members, their families and our community, continues to do so. Side By Side is truly a remarkable organization and one that Cash Krugler Fredericks is very proud to support year after year.
-Andy Cash, Dave Krugler and Alwyn Fredericks
Our firm represented a family who suffered catastrophic injuries when their rental home exploded and burned down.
One evening, when the family of five was getting ready for bed, an explosion sent a fireball through the home and engulfed the home in flames. While fortunate to survive, the mother and three of her daughters suffered terrible second and third degree burns requiring multiple surgical skin grafts. The youngest daughter, a 6-year-old, was so badly burned that she had to spend six weeks in the ICU and two months in the hospital. The mother and 6-year-old continue to face a future with more surgeries to treat the burns. There is no doubt that life of each family member has been permanently changed.
Earlier that day, before the explosion, the mother notified the property manager that the water heater was not working. The manager contacted the homeowner who authorized replacement of the water heater. The property manager sent out an unlicensed plumber to install a new water heater.
The unlicensed plumber testified that he turned both gas valves off, replaced the water heater and then turned both gas lines back on. The problem was that one of the gas valves led to an uncapped gas line that was no longer in use. The uncapped line vented to the attic. From the time that the unlicensed plumber finished changing the water heater to the time of the explosion, gas flowed into the attic. Eventually, around 11 P.M. that evening, a spark of some kind ignited the gas building up in the attic and the results were catastrophic.
Like many catastrophic injury cases, injuries result when somebody fails to do their job correctly. In this case, there were multiple failures. First, the local Housing Authority was required to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for low-income families by conducting routine inspections of all homes. The Housing Authority had a duty to insure that all gas lines running through the house were in safe working order. Where the gas lines were no longer in use, they were supposed to be properly capped or removed altogether. Despite confirming in inspection reports that the gas lines were safe, they clearly were not.
The cause of the fire was not immediately evident. However, Cash Krugler Fredericks with a team of expert engineers were able to determine how the fire took place and successfully pursued claims against the Housing Authority, the homeowner, the property manager, and the appliance store that originally replaced the gas stove with an electric stove, leaving the line uncapped.
No amount of money adequately compensates our clients for what they lost, the pain and suffering they endured and continue to endure. The money does not erase the significant emotional and physical scars they suffered and will carry with them the rest of their lives. However, with our involvement and our efforts, a multi-million dollar settlement was reached and we made sure that those at fault paid every dollar available.
For the fourth consecutive year, CK&F was the lead sponsor for the Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse’s charity basketball game, Sawbones v. Jawbones. Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse is a bridge of support for people with brain injuries to transition from medical patients to contributing community members. For more information or to donate, please visit Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse’s website at www.sidebysideclubhouse.org.
Andrew Cash recently spoke to attorneys at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLA) for the State Bar of Georgia on the topic of “Litigating Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Cases.”
This week sports reporter Erin Andrews won a $55 million award in her lawsuit against a Marriott hotel and the man who recorded her during her 2008 stay there. Andrews sued the operators of three hotels for allowing a stalker to videotape her naked through peepholes in the doors to her rooms. Her attorneys claimed the hotels were negligent, enabling the man to shoot the video that went viral on the internet. This type of case is premises liability.
When you go out to dinner, shop at a store or visit a friend at work or at their apartment, the property owners are responsible for keeping you protected and safe. Georgia law regarding premises liability cases is complex and ever-changing. Our firm has handled many types of premises liability cases and our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable in this area of law.
We recently handled a premises liability case where we represented the family of a gentleman that was shot while attending a party at an apartment complex. These types of cases are “negligent security” cases and they generally involve an injury to an individual as a result of a criminal assault or robbery at a commercial property. These incidents frequently occur at apartment complexes, rental properties, malls, shopping centers, hotels, motels, office buildings, schools or parking garages. The majority of cases arise from strong arm robberies and sexual assaults.
In our case, we represented the family of a 28-year-old man who had been attending a party at an apartment complex. A fight broke out at the complex after gang members drove onto the property through a gate that had not been working properly for more than six months. They opened fire and one of the shots hit and killed the 28-year-old man. These types of tragedies often times can be avoided if the property owners take the appropriate steps to insure the premises were safe for individuals. As a result of our efforts, our client received a settlement of $1,975,000.00.
Common premises liability actions include:
- Failure to remove foreign substances left on floors or failure to block off the area to prevent people from falling
- Failure to ensure walkways and floors are free from hazards such as black ice.
- Failure to repair physical hazards on properties, such as faulty or dangerous stairs, decks, etc.
- Failure to rope off dangerous areas, such as construction sites, holes and elevator shafts
- Failure to provide adequate security at apartments, hotels, and commercial properties in the face of certain known dangers or risks to patrons or tenants, including past crimes.
Many times individuals who are injured on a property aren’t aware of their rights or that someone else was likely responsible for their safety. Combined with our expertise, our firm works closely with engineers and security experts on premises liability cases to guarantee the best outcome for each case.alwy
If you’re headed to the beach or another vacation destination this spring, Cash Krugler Fredericks has some tips to help keep you and your family safe.
If you’re driving, make sure you have the proper automobile insurance before you hit the road. You might think you’re covered, but your coverage may be inadequate. One family came to us when their car was rear-ended by a speeding driver and their child suffered serious injuries, including skull fractures. The driver who hit them had the minimum liability limits of $25,000. Unfortunately, the family did not purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) for their vehicle, so they were left with an amount that didn’t even cover the medical bills. You can protect yourself from this situation by checking your insurance before you head out and specifically asking your insurance agent about whether you have adequate UM/UIM coverage.
It’s also important to make sure that your car is ready for the drive. Get a service inspection and an oil change and be certain that your tires are properly inflated. Also, check to see if your car is part of any recalls. Our firm has successfully litigated defective products cases, including automobiles and tires under recall. Most recently we handled a case involving a KIA Sorento recall. You can visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall website to search by make/model or by your car’s unique vehicle identification number.
Once you’re on the road, stay alert and be aware of other drivers, especially those driving big trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association declared that I-285 in Atlanta is America’s deadliest interstate and the American Transportation Research Institute revealed the nation’s worst truck bottleneck is also in Atlanta at “Spaghetti Junction” where I- 285 and I-85 intersect. These two high rankings make Atlanta a prime location for a truck accident. The damages and injuries that motorists suffer in trucking accidents are typically severe and often deadly. Cash Krugler Fredericks has extensive experience representing clients injured in automobile and trucking accidents.
If you have children, it’s crucial to check if the vacation rental or home of friends or family you’ll be visiting has an elevator. Many residential elevators have a dangerous gap between the interior and exterior doors large enough to allow children to fit between those doors and become trapped. When the elevator is called to another floor, the trapped child can be crushed, causing death or catastrophic injuries. Cash Krugler Fredericks has represented the families of children who have been seriously injured by these elevators. Our firm doesn’t stop when the case ends, but instead continues to fight to make it right. Our advocacy efforts have contributed to significant changes to the elevator code in Georgia, and we continue to pressure the industry to make their existing and new elevators safe. We also continue to work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to institute a nationwide residential elevator recall to eliminate the hazard and prevent future tragedies. We look forward to the day that these elevators are no longer deadly hazards. Until then, if you have children and are staying in a home with an elevator, make sure to keep it off limits for the kids unless there is adult supervision.
We hope these tips help and we wish you a fun and safe Spring Break.