Confidential Settlements – bad secrecy or good privacy?

Though common in litigation, confidential settlements can be controversial.
While confidentiality agreements had help expedite settlement, there are concerns that secret settlements can work against public safety by covering up health and safety hazards. As with much in life, the hardest choices are not between good and bad, but between good and good, and between bad … Continue Reading

Tradition of Excellence Award: “The Calling to Become a Virtuous Lawyer”

On June 7, 2019, Ken Shigley was presented the Tradition of Excellence Award by the State Bar of Georgia General Practice and Trial Section. It is a lifetime achievement award given annually to four lawyers and judges with long experience. Many  prior recipients of the award were more illustrious and deserving. Mr. Shigley’s acceptance remarks follow:

The … Continue Reading

Why it is important to immediately hire a real trucking trial attorney after a catastrophic truck crash

When a family member is killed or seriously injured in a crash with a tractor trailer, a normal human instinct is to wait a decent interval before consulting an attorney. Then one may be inclined to take one’s time talking with a hometown lawyer who handles an occasional car wreck case along with divorces, criminal … Continue Reading

Why it is important to immediately associate a trucking litigation specialist when you are called about a catastrophic truck crash

You are a great lawyer in your area of practice. You are also smart enough to know when a big case may require prompt action outside your comfort zone.
Just as a trial lawyer may not feel comfortable handling a complex real estate, divorce or estate planning matter, a great lawyer in those fields may not want … Continue Reading

Death by decapitation when big trucks park on the roadside

Rear underride crash test
Death by decapitation due to trailer underride  can  result when tractor trailers park on the roadside.
The kneejerk response of most people seeing pictures of these incidents is to simply blame the dead person. But it’s not that simple. When an innocent passenger is killed or maimed, some portion of fault is normally apportioned … Continue Reading

When may a jury award damages for a decedent’s pain and suffering before death?

In handling Georgia wrongful death cases in which the victim had very little conscious survival time, we often have to address the question whether to make a claim for pain and suffering before death.
In Georgia, wrongful death cases may include two separate claims.
First is the wrongful death claim for “full value of the life” which … Continue Reading

What is the law in Georgia on negligent entrustment of a commercial motor vehicle?

In catastrophic truck crashes that kill or catastrophically injury innocent people, the root cause of the tragedy is often not the momentary carelessness of a truck driver. Rather, the root cause is very often the systemic mismanagement by a company that puts behind the wheel of an 80,000 bomb a person who never should have … Continue Reading

What is the law in Georgia on negligent hiring and retention of a truck driver?

Often in a catastrophic truck crash, the trucking company admits that the truck driver was negligent and was in the course and scope of employment. That is a smart tactic to attempt to focus all blame on two seconds of driver negligence rather than months or years of corporate conduct including negligent hiring of the … Continue Reading

What is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and why does in matter in highway crash cases?

When my father’s generation came home from World War II, many of them carried psychological scars about which they kept quiet. My parents married young, at 21 and 18, the week he returned from combat in 1945. My mother said that dad fought the air war over Europe every night in his sleep for at … Continue Reading

Georgia School Bus Injuries and Sovereign Immunity

When my children were riding a bus to elementary school every day, like most parents I trusted the school bus driver to deliver them safely to school and back to our neighborhood. Usually that is what happens as school buses are generally considered the safest means of transporting children to and from school.
But occasionally children … Continue Reading