Accidents and Injuries

Injury Types and How they Occur

No two personal injury cases are the same. Personal injuries, in a legal sense, are those resulting from the irresponsible or unlawful actions of another person, business, or government entity. For example, they can be caused by someone negligently operating a motor vehicle, or by not maintaining their property properly.

They can be physical (injuries to the body) and psychological (injuries to the mind) and the impact they have is unique to the person who experiences them, often affecting long-term quality of life. The type of injury and its specific impact on a Plaintiff are key to determining damages due.

Injury Types

Physical Injuries:

Physical Injuries are typically the result of a serious accident – such as motor vehicle accidents or falling on someone else’s property. At C. Ron Smith Attorney at Law, we have experience representing clients who have had a broad range of physical injury types. We have a deep understanding of the terms used by doctors in medical records and treatment notes to help build your personal injury case. For example, these physical injuries include soft tissue injuries, joint damage, nerve damage, and broken bones. More serious or catastrophic injuries could include burns, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries, loss of limb, paralysis, and death.

Psychological Injuries:

Psychological injuries often surface after a traumatic physical injury and can be quite debilitating. They can manifest as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including sleep disorders, trouble concentrating, feeling tired or restless, irritability, depression, worry, fear or terror, uncontrollable crying, and more. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a form of anxiety, in which victims often re-experience the trauma that caused the onset in addition to the typical effects of anxiety. PTSD can appear as flashbacks, hallucinations, bad dreams or other physiological distress. After a serious auto accident, for example, something as simple as driving a car can be impossible for someone suffering from PTSD. While psychological injuries might not be visible to the eye, they can have a devastating impact on one’s quality of life.

Catastrophic Injuries:

Catastrophic injuries are life-changing injuries that usually occur suddenly and without warning. They can be physical and psychological, resulting in long periods of incapacitation, or permanent disabilities. A catastrophic injury typically comes with a very difficult recovery process, multiple surgeries, and possibly a lifetime of medical and psychological treatment. These injuries not only impact the victim’s lifestyle forever but that of their families as well.


Many people approach their day with a scheduled routine. While our individual routines may vary (e.g. taking a morning run, driving to work, meeting with friends, etc.), most of us do not start our day thinking it could be the last “normal” day of our lives. We understand and we can help.

How do these injuries occur?

There are countless things we do in our daily lives that result in injuries. The injury causes we focus on as a Personal Injury practice are those that are no fault of your own. A majority of the cases we handle fall into two categories: Motor Vehicle Accidents and Premises Accidents.

Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA):

MVAs involve the negligent or unlawful operation of a motorized vehicle that causes injury to another driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist. Motor vehicle examples include:

  • Automobiles
  • Tractor/Trailer Trucks
  • Commercial Vans and Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Boats


Generally, people don’t take control of a motor vehicle intending to hit another car – that’s why accidents are called “accidents.” This might include turning in front of another car without right-of-way, passing in a no-passing lane, or misjudging the distance of a car in front of you and not stopping in time. These accidents may not be intentional, but they are negligent actions nonetheless.


On the other hand, there are times when a driver makes a bad decision behind the wheel that they know has the potential to cause a crash – like texting, eating, using their phones, tailgating, reaching for something, changing lanes without looking, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These bad decisions typically account for more than half of Georgia’s annual roadway fatalities.


When these bad decisions lead to injuries to others, we don’t treat them as accidents at C. Ron Smith Attorney at Law. If you are injured in an auto accident, call us for a free case consultation.

Premises Liability Accidents:

In terms of a personal injury claim, Premises liability is the responsibility that a property owner has to maintain a safe environment for any guests that visit his or her property. Premises Accident cases stem from injuries that occur on someone else’s property, or premises, when the owner is negligent in ensuring that safe environment. This can be a residential property, a retail location, a public location, a city-owned location, or any other type of premises. The most common Premises injury cases include:


  • Slip or Trip & Fall injuries
  • Swimming Pool injuries
  • Inadequate Security

Slip or Trip & Fall Negligence:

As the name indicates, “Slip or Trip & Fall Injuries” are those that are caused when a victim slips or trips on someone else’s property due to an unsafe condition and then falls. Property owners and occupiers (tenants) have a duty to exercise ordinary care to maintain a safe environment for any welcomed visitors to it. The foundation of a Slip & Fall case is showing that the owner/tenant failed to do so. Slip & Fall cases are some of the most common cases under the Premises Liability umbrella, perhaps because the number of potentially dangerous conditions is almost infinite. Some examples include: uneven surfaces, wet floors, landscaping neglect, carpet that is not secured, and poorly lit walkways and stairways. Gathering evidence after a Slip & Fall accident is extremely valuable. Take pictures of the unsafe condition right away, so you have an accurate record of what it looked like when the fall occurred. Take photos of the condition close-up, from your viewpoint as you approached the condition, and of the surrounding area of the property.

Swimming Pool Injuries:

Swimming pool owners, like any other property owners, have a duty to maintain a safe environment and follow city, county, and state safety codes. For example, Georgia laws require pools to have fences of a certain height with self-closing latches and vertical slats that disallow children to squeeze through them. The regulations in this example are primarily designed to prevent drowning, one of the most common accident injuries that can happen around a pool. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning is among the top ten leading causes of death for children and young people in every region of the world. Because drowning compromises breathing and reduces or stops blood supply to the brain, injuries quickly become catastrophic with long-term cognitive and/or neurological impairment, coma, or death. Other safety issues around a swimming pool that may occur with improper maintenance include faulty ladders, loose handrails, slippery surfaces around the pool, improper chemical balance, and more.

Negligent Security:

When you are out and about – in parking garages, apartment buildings, shopping centers, hotels, etc. – you deserve to be safe. If you have been attacked, assaulted, robbed, or injured on someone else’s property because the property owner did not provide adequate security, you may be able to file a Negligent Security claim. Under the “Premises Liability” umbrella, property owners have a duty to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for their employees, customers, and tenants. Essentially, that means they should implement proper safety and security measures (such as appropriate lighting, barriers and fences, functioning locks, gates, and security cameras, security guards, etc.) to prevent criminal misconduct. To prevail in a Negligent Security case, the Plaintiff may be required to demonstrate that security measures in place were inoperable or ineffective or that the property owner was aware of criminal activity in the area.