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When you list your house with a real estate agent or broker to lease it, most people are careful to make sure the fee is listed correctly in the contract. While that is certainly important, there are a whole host of other important terms in the typical real estate listing agreement that must be analyzed before you sign. Many of these additional clauses (some hidden in fine print and other more obvious but not very clear) bind you, the landlord/lessor, to having to pay the real estate agent who leased your rental property fees on top of the fee you agreed to have the real estate agent list and lease the house. At times, the additional fees could amount to thousands of dollars in additional fees over and above what you thought you were contracting for.

Many listing agreements also require the payment of a commission if your tenant renews the lease for another year. This is yet another reason to read and understand anything you are asked to sign before you sign it.  Many more require that the payment of a full listing fee to the agent if you wind up selling your house to the tenants, even if that transaction was not even contemplated until after the lease is up. All contracts are negotiable, and you should make sure that you are comfortable with the terms of any agreement you enter into. If a specific condition is important to you and the person you are negotiating with does not want to give in, you may need to walk away and find someone else to work with. But, in order to do this, you must understand what the contract says, what the legal implications of the language are, and under what circumstances the different clauses kick in. Needless to say, this is one of those contracts that you should have your attorney look oer before entering into. If you don’t have an attorney, hire one who litigates contract disputes on a regular basis to review the contract and advise you BEFORE you sign it.

Once armed with the legal knowledge of what the contact says, you are in a better position to negotiate terms instead of blindly signing a piece of paper that is pushed in front of you. Oh, and by the way, I have had too many clients come to me after the fact (after they signed a contract) and tell me to help get them out of paying under the contract because they didn’t read the contract and/or didn’t understand what it said. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but not reading a contact is no defense. In Georgia, the law of contracts is clear: One he can read, must read. Armed with this knowledge, and having had the good sense to address some common scenarios that may play out under the contract before they happen (which is what a good lawyer helps you do), you can gauge if what you are asking for is unreasonable. If it is reasonable and the other side does not budge, realize this early on; do NOT sign the contract, and move on. Only do business with people who, in your best judgement, are reasonable and trustworthy. Obviously, this ability to weed out bad eggs is a variable one, but you should do your best to do this on the front end, i.e., before you sign a legal contract with someone with whom you are bound under the law to work with and honor the contract.

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Otherwise healthy patients who undergo dental implants are at risk of ending up having heart surgery. As evidenced by the recent situation involving an oral surgeon who performed a number of procedures in his practice including installing implants which became infected, dental implant centers who regularly install “all on 4” dental implants in North Atlanta neighborhoods such as Alpharetta and Roswell, Georgia, must comply with sterilization protocol or risk liability for injures caused by, among other things, non-sterile water.

According to reports, the board of dentistry has  issued a licensure suspension and other penalties to a dentist after one of his patients died and 14 others suffered serious heart infections. At least fifteen patients who were treated at the dental office suffered from bacterial endocarditis. Twelve of the patients required heart surgery and one died, according to the release by the board of dentistry. Interestingly, while it is a dentist that did not follow proper infection protocol, the injuries sustained by the dental patients was not limited to the mouth, but rather, in the most serious of cases, affected the heart.

A continued failure to follow infection protocols exposes patients to a whole host of risks due to infection. This is especially true when dental implant centers install implants upon which dentures are mounted, or as the are commonly referred to in the industry as “all on 4 dentures.” They are called this because the dentures are mounted on 4 dental implants that are installed in the lower jaw for stability. The most serious risk to patients who are treated by dental implant centers of contracting the serious heart infection,” Repeated violations of infection control practices can result in many serious conditions.
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As a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, I’ve noticed the “My Bald Lawyer” billboards are continuing to pop up on most interstates in the Atlanta area. This got me thinking, all these billboards must be for a reason? Do people really select a lawyer based on something as simple as a catchy billboard (even one as simple as My Bald Lawyer)? Obviously they do because there are so many billboards with so many catchy phrases.

Do people select a lawyer based on something as simple as a catchy slogan Short answer: Yes? But, should they? Obviously they do because there are all these billboards with so many catchy phrases.I have seen Billboards for My Bald Lawyer, Montlick &  Associates, Ken Nugent/ “Just one call that’s all”/”Call Ken,” Morgan & Morgan, Monge & Associates and many others. But what should someone look for when seeking a lawyer to represent them because of a personal injury or malpractice situation.

Want to find the best lawyer in Atlanta, or a civil trial lawyer in Atlanta, or the best civil trial lawyer in Atlanta, etc then the absolute best way to go about that is asking trusted friends and business associates if they can recommend a civil trial lawyer in Atlanta that they have used in the past and have gotten excellent results. Note well, that you are not asking for a referral or a lawyer who they have not used. Too often, lawyer get referred in Georgia because they go to Church with someone, or work with someone’s wife, or golf with a buddy or on an ALTA tennis team with a friend, etc. Find a great lawyer who works hard for you, knows the law, and get excellent results is a lot harder than being recommended to call someone’s buddy because they like him; or because he throws good parties or because his wife works for a big law firm. Don’t fall for that nonsense. Not today, not any day!

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All of us lawyers start out with the best of intentions. Daily stress and requirements wear on us. We read in the papers about lawyers who have strayed and have been punished for doing things that are unethical, unprofessional, or even at times, illegal. This invariably provides fodder for those who relish in putting lawyers down and casting us as less than worthy of accolades. We are bound by a code of ethics and by rules of professionalism that set parameters of what we can and cannot do in most situations. I strive for more.

As a Georgia lawyer, I aspire every day to do the following:

  • to put the interests of my clients before all else.
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As an Atlanta injury lawyer who has been handling personal injury and malpractice cases for over 25 years, I have seen a lot of potential new clients. Many have asked, in one form or another, some version of the following questions:

My wife fell when leaving our neighbors house. She broke her ankle in 3 places, can we recover for her injuries?

I have a quick question, my husband was hit by that train that was in the news and we need help.

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Long-Term Care Insurance Claims

Long-term insurance is one way to protect family assets and hedge against the high cost of long-term care when an elderly family member is no longer able to live on their own or take care of themselves. Because of declining health, these individuals often require long-term care in the form of home care, nursing home care, assisted living, nursing home care and other long-term care arrangements. Unfortunately, long-term care insurance denials are increasing at an alarming rate, partly because insurance companies did not anticipate the number of claims for this type of care or the amount of money each claim would entail.

Long-Term Care Insurance Denials

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The placement of dental implants is a surgical procedure that comes with many potential complications. Dental implants are designed to be a permanent replacement for teeth and as such are anchored into the jaw. However, with an increased rate of the placement of dental implants comes more injuries and complications from these procedures.  The following are common bad outcomes from dental implants, and in many cases, are the direct result of dental malpractice committed by the dentist who installed the dental implant:

  1. Facial nerve damage from the implant being placed into the nerve under the tooth. Common signs and symptoms include numbness, loss of sensation, and pain in the jaw, lips, chin and tongue. It is common to have pain and numbness at the same time or alternating pain and numbness.
  2. failure of the implant to anchor into the jaw, this is known as failed osseointegration. The most common sign of this is that the implant is very loose or falls out.
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An Alpharetta man who had stopped to aid another driver on I-75 was killed early Monday when a car struck his own vehicle.  The good Samaritan had pulled his Ford Explorer off behind a disabled Chevrolet Impala just south of Delk Road in Marietta about 4:35 a.m., Cobb police Sgt. Dana Pierce said. After turning on a set of white strobe lights on his vehicle, the victim got out and put on a reflective traffic vest, police said. Moments later, a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt hit the rear of the Ford, causing it to hit the victim, who died on the scene.

Time and again, this is the end result of people (both who are broken down on the side of the road and those trying to aid someone who is on the side of the road) who are working on cars in the shoulder of the road. As an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney who handles car accident cases, this is something that I see too often, and the results are almost always catastrophic. Anyone who finds themselves in this position should move as far to the right of the roadway as possible and not attempt to fix their car in the shoulder.

Due to the unique nature of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle, there are unique legal issues which must be addressed as quickly as possible. Injuries in these types of accidents are usually extensive. The injured pedestrian is often taken from the scene by ambulance and not able to give their account of the accident to the investigating police officer. Because of this, legal representation should be sought quickly in order to protect the victims legal rights, even when the victim is in the hospital and cannot advocate for themselves. Many times, an immediate investigation can uncover witnesses and other evidence which can directly controvert what the at-fault driver (the drive who hit the pedestrian on the side of the road) tells the police of accident team. This can be crucial, not only for the trial or ultimate resolution of the case, but it can also affect insurance coverage, medical treatment and other issues related to the care and treatment of the injured person. Many times, there is only a short window of time to uncover this evidence before it is destroyed (either on purpose or accidentally).

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The following was recently received by a colleague from an Atlanta insurance defense firm regarding a personal injury case that he was pursuing on behalf of the plaintiff:

“if any surgery is contemplated for any of the injuries he alleges we demand an IME [Independent Medical Exam]prior to the performance of such surgery. We have a right to see the alleged injuries in an unaltered state for the purpose of ascertaining their existence and causation. If you fail to properly secure and preserve this evidence and alter it prior to the requested IME, we will pursue a spoliation of evidence claim and seek all sanctions available under the applicable law.”

The law in Georgia is:

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As the previous blog related to dog bite cases illustrates, we have been following the recent catastrophic dog attack in southwest Atlanta. Now, after the senseless loss of an innocent child’s life and the hospitalization of another young child, the Atlanta neighbors have told the AJC that pit bulls routinely wander their streets. According to a recent article, it is not uncommon on the westside of Atlanta to see dangerous dogs roaming the streets. According to the article, “there are so many that Fulton County animal control officers could easily remove 100 dogs from the streets if they had the manpower” according to Oliver Delk, director of Fulton County’s animal services.

Dog bites can cause the following injuries:

  • puncture wounds and lacerations;
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