In case you or a loved one are ever in a serious accident, or have a serious burn injury, anywhere in northern Georgia, memorize these four words: 

"Take me to Grady!"

While Grady has a public reputation as an overburdened, financially troubled inner city hospital dealing with a huge population of indigent patients, it is also the teaching hospital for Emory and Morehouse medical schools and the premier center for trauma and burn treatment in north Georgia.

Last night I attended the open house for the newly expanded and renovated clinic facilities at Grady Burn Center. Previously, they had the expert staff and state of the art equipment, but physical facilities were dated and somewhat less than you normally see at newer, better funded hospitals.  Now, with help from the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, the Grady Burn Center has a facility worthy of the excellent staff and program for treatment of burn patients. 

For me as a former patient, the tour was a poignant experience. I have no clear memory of my brief time in ICU, so that did not even look familiar. But a fire chief who was with me commented that when we entered the all too familiar hydro room, and I walked over to touch the hydro table, he could tell detect some emotion. (No words are adequate to express, and no amount of morphine is adequate to mask, the pain of debridement and hydrotherapy after a burn injury.) While I have recovered well with the help of the medical heroes at Grady Burn Center, my experience with a burn injury adds depth and empathy to my representation of burn injury survivors and the families of those who did not survive.




Ken Shigley, an Atlanta attorney, is a national board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group. His practice focuses on representing people who are catastrophically injured, and families of those killed, primarily in commercial trucking and bus accidents. Mr. Shigley also has extensive experience representing parties in  products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacyhas been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale).  Currently he is treasurer, and unopposed as a candidate for president-elect, of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia.

 For criteria to be considered in selecting an attorney, see The Smart Consumer’s Guide to Hiring a Great Lawyer.