Posts Taged law-practice

4 Things to Know About Toxic Contamination of Water Sources

Clean water

Toxic Contamination

We would like to believe that our water supplies are safe and reliable, but that’s not always the case.  In fact, water supplies can become contaminated with various types of chemicals and toxins due to being dumped or accidentally spilled into the groundwater or emptied into the sanitary sewer system where it cannot be effectively removed at treatment plants. The contamination often occurs through the negligence or criminal actions of others, especially those that run manufacturing plants, landfills, dry cleaning businesses and gas stations.

Determining Fault:

If you suspect that your drinking water has been contaminated, you should first contact your county or city health department, the environmental protection division of your State government and the Federal Environmental Protection Division (EPA). Next contact a law firm that practices environmental law to determine if there are other steps you need to take. The State and Federal environmental agencies will conduct at an investigation at some level to determine if contamination has occurred and the source.

Water Faucet

Determining Health Risks:

The governmental agencies and attorneys will provide you with any information on any health risk associated with the contamination and any steps you can take to safeguard you and your family’s health. Ultimately, it is medical professionals who can best weigh the risks. The law firm that you contact may be able to point you to various state and federal health resources that can assist you in finding the appropriate health providers to advise you.

Property Values:

In addition to potential health risks, contaminated soil and groundwater can severely depress your home’s fair market value. When you go to sell your home, you will most likely be required to reveal that such contamination exists, especially where the chemicals or toxic contaminants have caused noxious vapors to intrude into your home.

Just ask yourself if you would be willing to purchase a home where such contamination exists. Even if you would, don’t you believe a substantial discount would be warranted? In some severe situations, you may even be forced to move from your home by a governmental health agency and prohibited from selling your home.

Clean Water in the Home


Obviously, the costs of medical care and the loss of your property’s fair market value can be substantial and devastating. Both Federal and State laws exist that allow you to seek recovery of those expenses.

You also entitled to seek compensation for the mental duress, and physical pain and suffering, caused by the contamination.  Finally, in a number of situations, you can even recover the contingency fees and litigation expenses incurred in having to retain a law firm.

Even if you feel that getting your case to trial and winning will be difficult, do not be discouraged. An experienced attorney can provide you with the knowledge and advice that can help you decide whether to pursue legal action.

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Car Crashes: Everything You Need to Know When Misfortune Strikes

Car Crash

Imagine driving down the road on your daily commute to work, or heading to the grocery store, when all of a sudden … BOOM. Another driver has crashed into you. Once the shock subsides, you will find yourself asking “What do I do,” Who do I call?” Chances are, even if you’ve been in a wreck, you don’t know the right steps to take after a motor vehicle collision.

Although no driver wants to think about being in a car crash, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, in 2013 (the last year for which statistics are available), there were 30,057 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States, resulting in 32,719 deaths. That

Car Crash

people are injured or disabled in car collisions. Knowing what to do if you’re in a wreck may not help prevent it, but it can make a big difference in terms of keeping you and your passengers safe, and preserving your claims.

Luckily, we know the right steps to take after an accident does occur. Below we have outlined the actions you should take to make sure everyone is safe and that claiming your insurance is simple, and what to do if you have long-term or serious injuries.

After Initial Scene

Before you do anything, always call for the police and/or medical attention. Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §40-6-273) requires the driver of a vehicle involved in a collision resulting in injury or death of any person, or property damage of $500.00 or more, to report the collision to local authorities (police) immediately.

Activate your hazard lights and place flares or warning signs.This will help give clarity to other drivers and will help avoid an even larger accident.

If there do not appear to be any serious injuries or death, you should move your car from the roadway to a safe place such as the shoulder of the road, emergency lane, or median

Take caution when exiting your vehicle. When out and around the accident scene, take note of environmental elements and other motorists, and be extremely cautious


If medical assistance is needed, but does not arrive within 10 minutes of your initial call, make another call to 911 (obviously, the nature and extent of injury may dictate that you call sooner).

Obtain the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the collision. If you can convince witnesses to remain on the scene until the police arrive, that would be best.

Obtain the name(s)and telephone number(s) of the other driver(s) drivers involved in the collision, as well as the name(s) of their insurance companies. Provide the other driver(s) involved in the crash with your name and insurance information as well. You should not provide anyone with your address, and NEVER provide anyone with your Social Security Number.

If you can safely do so, take photographs and/or videos of the scene of the collision, the damage to the vehicles – yours and others involved – and any visible injuries you or your passengers may have


Even though you may want to help, or you think you can help, do not administer first aid unless you are qualified to do so.

If someone is in harm’s way, do try to move him/her to safety

Be careful about what you say and to whom you say it. Be polite – to the other driver(s) and the police/emergency personnel – but do NOT take blame for the collision.

Once you have returned home,or as soon as practicable, call and report the collision to your insurance company (you MUST do this even if the wreck was not your fault).


Remember, while you are required to cooperate with your insurance company, you are not required to give a statement to the other driver(s) involved in the collision or their insurance companies.

Make notes about how the collision occurred and any injuries you or your passengers may have suffered

Make notes about the weather, the scene, and anything such as a malfunctioning traffic light, a misplaced sign, or a defect (e.g., non-working headlights or taillights of the other vehicle) which you believe played a role in the collision.

Remember to keep calm and not to argue with anyone.

Arrival of Law Enforcement

Remember to still remain calm when speaking with the police and medical assistance. Keeping a calm demeanor will help them collect all the facts. You also need to recall all of the information and details of the accident. When you are hysterical or angry, the details are more likely to slip your mind.

Only make a statement about the accident to police. Provide necessary details, but don’t ramble. If you are hurt, make sure the police officer knows it. Be sure to get the officer’s name, badge number, and department.

Before you leave the accident scene, make sure you have all your facts.

After the Crash

If you are injured and need immediate medical attention, you should be taken to an emergency room by ambulance.

Even if you don’t feel any pain at the scene, you may feel pain hours or days later. If that occurs, you should seek immediate medical attention, and you should be sure to explain to the doctor that you were injured in a motor vehicle collision.

Promptly call your insurance agent for claims. Understanding what your policy covers and receiving a prompt detailed report of the accident will ensure a quick reimbursement.

After the Crash

Even though referred to as “accidents,” motor vehicle crashes rarely happen by accident. Rather, collisions typically are the result of the negligence of a driver who did something he/she should not have done, or failed to do something he/she should have done. This can be something as simple as speeding, following too closely, failing to maintain lane, or failure to yield. In more egregious cases, using electronic devices/cell phones (talking and/or texting and driving) and DUI cause many serious collisions. If you believe you were injured in a collision caused by the negligence or recklessness of another driver, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you with your claim and get you the compensation you deserve. At Kopelman Sitton Law Group , we have decades of experience in handling such claims, and we are always here to help.


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