what makes a good lawyer

Do you find yourself in need of a reliable personal injury attorney but you’re unsure of how to go about finding the right one to handle your case? There are some traits you should look for in an attorney before deciding on one to hire.  What makes a good lawyer anyway? Read the following 7 traits to look for to help you narrow down your search and find the right attorney in no time: 1. What Makes a Good Lawyer? Someone Who Communicates Clearly Wondering what makes a good lawyer? Well one of the top traits to seek in an attorney to handle your auto accident case is someone who communicates clearly. They should make it easy for you to understand how they will help you with your case and what’s required of you. They should provide clear information about all their fees and their process upfront.  If you have any questions along the way, their answers should be direct and to the point and not leave you walking away with more questions than you have answers.  If an attorney is unable to give you clear insight into their practice and process in the initial consultation, chances are you’ll have communication issues all along the way if you hire them.  2. They’re Engaging  A good, reliable lawyer is one who’s interested in your case so you don’t feel like just a number. Lawyers who aren’t engaging will only put in the minimum amount of effort and work on your case. This can lead to you getting a smaller settlement than you might have been able to obtain from someone more receptive.  But how can you tell if your lawyer is engaging? If they ask you lots of detailed questions about your case and your legal goals, there’s a good chance they’ll be engaging throughout.  3. A Willingness to Provide References Before you hire an attorney, you should ask each one for a list of references to speak to first. References are used to give you an idea of the reputation of the lawyer in question. A good lawyer will happily provide you with references to speak with. Even if you don’t end up contacting any of the references, at least you can have confidence in knowing the attorney was willing to share them with you.  An attorney who either won’t provide you with any references or doesn’t have any to give you is one that you should avoid.  If you’re given references, take the time to give a couple of them a call and ask them questions about their experience with the attorney you’re considering. Ask them if they felt like they were treated respectfully, if they felt like the attorney was knowledgable about the case, and if their case was settled in a satisfactory manner.  Keep in mind that each person will have had a unique experience, but by speaking with at least a few references, you should get a good idea about an attorney’s ability and professionalism. 4. One Who is Organized When you go to visit prospective attorneys, take a look at their office space. The more organized the office, the more organized they are likely to be.  Observe their staff members and other members of the team to see how they manage their workspace and interact with other clients. If you notice a lot of disorganization or struggle to manage all the clients in an orderly manner, you can take this as a reflection on their ability to handle your case in an efficient manner.  5. Reliability When you trust your car accident case to an attorney, you are trusting them to handle it with care. The way they handle your case can either make or break the settlement agreement that you receive. This is why it’s so important that you find an attorney that is trustworthy and reliable. What makes a good lawyer? A good personal injury attorney should be able to handle all your evidence properly and be trusted to return your calls within a reasonable time frame. You can expect a good attorney to file all necessary court documents and paperwork ahead of pressing deadlines and answer your questions along the way.  6. Personality An often over-looked trait that plays a big part in your overall experience is your attorney’s personality and if it’s a good fit for your own. Though you don’t need to be best friends, it’s important that you’re able to feel comfortable with your attorney and share all the important details surrounding your accident. You want to feel like your attorney treats you as a person and not just a job. Some attorneys are aggressive and serious and others have a warm, open personality. You might appreciate one over the other.  7. Someone Well Experienced Everyone starts somewhere, but as you go about choosing the best car accident attorney to handle your case, it never hurts to seek out someone with years of experience under their belt. If an attorney has been working on similar cases for many years, they’ve gained a lot of useful knowledge surrounding personal injury law. Their experience also means they’ve likely handled plenty of cases that are similar to your own which can give you an edge in seeking a settlement you’re happy with.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about an attorney’s experience before you hire them on to take your case.  Look No Further Now that you know what makes a good lawyer, we invite you to learn more about our team and schedule a free consultation. Our team has the experience and professionalism to handle your personal injury case and help you get the settlement you deserve.  Give us a call today to set up a meeting; we look forward to hearing from you! 

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The demand for lawyers is expected to grow by 6% in the next 10 years. Many legal situations call for a lawyer, such as getting an auto accident injury. There are many skilled and adamant lawyers. However, not all of them act ethically and you might be left questioning “what can i do if my attorney is not doing his job? “ When you hire a lawyer, they’re required to abide by specific ethical standards. If they don’t, the client as their own rights. You should know what to do if you’re not satisfied with your lawyer and if you can switch lawyers. Are you wondering, what can I do if my attorney is not doing his job? Here are the options you have. Reasons Clients Are Unhappy With Their Lawyers There are common reasons why clients aren’t satisfied with their lawyers. These reasons may or may not be unethical. Here are a few examples. They’re Not Communicative One of the many core aspects of a lawyer’s rule is the ability to communicate with their clients. If your lawyer isn’t returning your calls, is not answering your questions and/or not addressing your concerns, this is a red flag. They’re Not Settling Your Case Some cases are more complex, require more evidence, or are just difficult. Your lawyer should work diligently in your favor, regardless of your case type. However, if a significant amount of time has passed and your lawyer hasn’t settled your case, this is another red flag. In addition, you should also be alarmed if a significant amount of time passed and the lawyer hasn’t started your case at all. Financial Issues Let’s say you filed a lawsuit for an accident and you won. Your lawyer is entitled to a cut of the settlement; however, they take your entire settlement. This is an example of unethical attorney behavior. You can report your lawyer and contact additional sources (such as your state’s client security fund) to retrieve your settlement. In some cases, you may need to contact the police. What If You’re Unhappy With Your Lawyer After Your Case Is Over? Unethical behavior isn’t limited to pending cases. Your lawyer can act unethically even after your case is over. A common example is charging their clients after they lost, even if they state they won’t in the contract. Before reporting your lawyer, contact them. There could have just been a simple misunderstanding or an honest mistake. If they are still disobedient, report them to the state. However, there are examples that don’t pertain to unethical behavior. For example, maybe you don’t think your lawyer represented you effectively. If this is the case, talk about these concerns with your lawyer. Your voice is also powerful online — leave an honest review to inform potential clients. What if you believe your lawyer was negligent toward you and your case? This negligence can be dire — causing you to lose your case and lose money. If this sounds like your experience, you can file a malpractice suit against your lawyer. What If Your Lawyer Acted Unethically? A lawyer has to follow a strict ethical code. Some of the behaviors they must follow include: Following the client’s instructions Competency Exercise effective communication Diligence Confidentiality Be honest and upfront with fees Care when holding onto a client’s property Loyalty If your lawyer went against you or this code, you can research their specific behaviors to see if you can report them. It’s recommended you resolve any issues directly with your lawyer unless they acted unethically. In Georgia, you’ll want to contact the State Bar of Georgia or the Georgia Consumer Protection. These organizations will investigate your lawyer. Keep in mind, you may not be reimbursed for the money you already spent. Should You Get the Police Involved? You should only contact the police if you believe your lawyer committed a crime. Common examples include the lawyer stealing your settlement, stealing your property, or using any information against your will. Keep in mind, you shouldn’t contact the police unless you’re certain your lawyer committed a crime. Contacting the police should also be a last resort — always contact the Bar association and other consumer protection services first. How to Hire a New Lawyer Before you even fire or report your lawyer, look for a new lawyer. Your new lawyer will help tremendously when firing your previous lawyer. Contact different lawyers, research multiple lawyers and ask specific questions. Inform them you already have a case open and you’re not satisfied with your existing lawyer. When you select your new attorney, sign a retainer agreement. This agreement states the new attorney is taking over your case. From here, your new attorney will prepare a form called the “Consent to Change Attorneys” as well as a “stop work” form they will deliver to your new attorney. Hire the Best Lawyer the First Time If you’re looking for a lawyer, you should ensure you’re hiring the best lawyer to avoid dealing with a poorly skilled, unethical, or criminal lawyer. First, research several lawyers in your area. Look up reviews and ask your loved ones for recommendations. Visit these different lawyers and take advantage of free consultations. Describe your case in-depth and ask specific questions. Some of these questions include: Have you handled a similar case? How long will my case take? What kind of settlement should I expect? Who will be responsible for my case? You should also avoid hiring the first lawyer you meet or the one you’re recommended to. Take time and research different lawyers. What Can I Do If My Attorney Is Not Doing His Job? Are you asking yourself, what can I do if my attorney is not doing his job? Report the attorney if they’re acting unethically or criminally. But if you’re looking for a new personal injury lawyer to handle your case, you don’t have to look farther than our firm. At Georgia Auto Law, every member of our team specializes exclusively in...

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wrongful death suit

Accidents happen every day, whether we use caution or not. Sometimes an accident isn’t preventable.  If you’re fortunate, you might walk away with a few cuts or bruises. But other times, a fractured leg or concussion is the outcome of a car crash. The severity of an auto accident impacts the injuries and could lead to disability or death. Wrongful death is a horrible thing that can’t be reversed. When an unexpected death happens due to someone else’s negligence, a wrongful death suit might be a reasonable option. Certain family members can file for a wrongful death lawsuit.  Read along to learn more about wrongful death suits and what they can do for you. What is a Wrongful Death Suit? A wrongful death lawsuit is a form of personal injury claim where the accident victim died due to the injuries sustained.  The eligibility to file a wrongful death suit varies by each state. Common Causes of a Wrongful Death Wrongful death lawsuits happen for many reasons. But some of the common causes include: Car accidents Birth injuries Medical malpractice Work-related injuries Abuse and neglect Defective products Truck accidents Motorcycle accidents When a family member dies because of someone else, it’s life-changing. Nothing will bring back the person or make the outcome better. But if the person that died left-behind children, a spouse, a dependent, or bills, filing a wrongful death suit might be a reasonable decision. Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit? Losing a family member is never an easy thing. The loss of life leaves a void and might cause depression, anxiety, and long-lasting grief.  In the state of Georgia, according to Ga. Code Ann. § 51-4-2 et seq, the spouse of the deceased, could file a wrongful death suit. When the deceased wasn’t married, then the children could file a claim to collect damages. In the absence of a spouse or children, the parents of the deceased may open a lawsuit.  What Damages Can I Recover? Filing a lawsuit might be frivolous if it doesn’t meet the requirements. Speaking with a wrongful death lawyer might help you avoid unnecessary issues or wasting your time. If you believe your loved one’s death is eligible for a wrongful death suit, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Each state enforces a statute of limitations for the time allotted to open a claim. In Georgia, the statute lasts for two years per Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-33 et seq.  When a claim gets filed after the statute of limitations expires, it could get dismissed by the court. Although some circumstances do allow for the late submission of an application, it’s best to rely on this as a guarantee. Recoverable damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit depends on who is filing the suit. A spouse or child of the person that died can sue for monetary compensation like benefits or wages.  If a child or spouse doesn’t exist, the estate executor might file for money to cover the funeral and burial arrangements, medical expenses, or pain and suffering endured by the deceased before their death.  Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer Lawsuits are complicated and time-consuming. When you’re handling the life-altering effects of losing a loved one, you might not have the focus to do the work an attorney could do. It’s never advised for a person to represent themselves in a case because of the factors involved. When searching for a wrongful death lawyer, it’s essential to find the best. Searching for a Wrongful Death Lawyer Looking for a wrongful death attorney might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. There are ways to sift through your options and find the right one. Referrals When you need an attorney’s help, it’s good to speak with those you trust. Asking friends, family, and close acquaintances for the name of a good wrongful death lawyer is an excellent way to start the search. People satisfied with their lawyers enjoy singing their praises. The same is true for people dissatisfied with their lawyer’s conduct. Receiving positive and negative information about a lawyer is helpful. It might save you from hiring someone unqualified for your needs. Internet Search Conducting an internet search is another way to find an attorney. When searching, it’s important to have a list of questions close bye. If the information you want isn’t posted on their business website, then contact their office for a consultation. Be sure to look for lawyers in your town and state. You want to ensure traveling to the lawyer’s office won’t be a hassle.  Read Reviews The internet makes it simple to find out the good, the bad, and the ugly about a business. During your search for an attorney, look for reviews and testimonials. The information left provides insight into the type of person you would be hiring. While each negative review should be taken with a grain of salt, the positive reviews are always pleasant to read.  The negative reviews could be the result of many factors, such as a client with unrealistic expectations or disappointment in the outcome of a case.  Even seasoned attorneys can lose a case. It’s crucial to remember an attorney is human like you.  Schedule a Consultation The loss of a parent, significant other, or child is horrible. No amount of money will bring them back to life. But the stress of financial instability shouldn’t occur to the family members left behind. A wrongful death suit might bring financial stability and alleviate unnecessary stress. If you’re ready to speak with a seasoned attorney, contact our firm to schedule an appointment. 

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electric scooters for adults street legal

Did you know millions of Millennials are rejecting cars in favor of alternative transport? For a ton of reasons — from saving the environment to saving hard-earned money— people are turning to e-bikes, electric scooters, and even hoverboards. Yes, your kid’s favorite toy scooter is now a legit form of transportation! But is an electric scooter for adults street legal? Do you need a license? Can you ride it on the sidewalk and do you need to wear a helmet? Read on for the 411. Is an Electric Scooter for Adults Street Legal? So, is an electric scooter for adults street legal? Unfortunately, there is no yes/no answer. Because it’s a relatively new form of transportation, current laws and legislation may or may not apply. This is because most laws were originally made for traditional, non-powered bicycles. Whether you can legally ride an electric moped or scooter depends on your state’s local laws. But the confusing part is that your state may allow electric scooters, but your city might not. And your city may encourage the use of e-scooters, but your college campus may not! Mind-boggling, right? But what does Federal Law say? The US 2002 Federal Law states that an electric bike is street legal if: it has a top speed of 20 mph or less it has a motor power below 750W If your electric moped fits into that category, you will not need a license or registration to ride in most states. But this rule and others vary. Keep reading to find out more. Scooter Laws in the US In most areas around the US, e-scooters follow the same rules as electric bicycles. This means in most places you can ride your scooter on trails, public roads, and bike lanes. Riding on side-walks is off-limits for anyone over the age of 12. However, small toy-like e-scooters are not allowed on public roads. To qualify as road-worthy, they must be sturdily equipped with good tires, a suspension system, and steering. Some states also require they have rear-view mirrors, a horn, lights, and turn signals. They are the basic rules to follow. But, in certain states and cities, the rules are slightly varied. Here are a few examples. California In the land of surfing and skateboards, of course, scooters are all the rage! The trendy transportation sparked a surge in popularity. This led to clarifications in their electric scooter laws. Current California state law says: You must have a valid drivers license (or a learning permit) to ride You can’t ride your scooter over 15 mph You cannot ride on a street with a speed limit of over 25 mph (unless a bike lane is available) If you ride on the road, you must stay close to the right curb You must wear a helmet These extra rules are super handy when deciding whether to invest in an electric scooter in California. Georgia In Georgia, the rules are slightly different. These rules apply for the state of Georgia, but you should check your local municipality to find out the rules in your neighborhood. If a scooter has an engine of over 50cc, it’s subject to the same rules as motorcycles. This means you will need a motorcycle license, registration, and insurance. You also have to be the age of 17 or over. However, for a low-powered electric scooter, you don’t need a license, registration or insurance. You can ride on bike paths, bike lanes, and on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. Children who are under 16 need to wear a helmet. And nobody can use them on sidewalks, even kids. New York If you dream of scooting around the city of dreams, you’re out of luck. The state of New York doesn’t allow e-scooters on any street, sidewalk, parking lot or highway. Until the rules change, stay out of the big apple! Ride with Common Sense as Your Guide When you’re riding around on your scooter, you may feel like you’re above the law. But the rules of the road still apply to you. Here are a few examples: Look out for pedestrians Stay out of the way of faster traffic Obey traffic laws (such as stoplights and one-way streets) Ride slow to prevent accidents Be sure your scooter is road-worthy before riding (for example, the brakes are working properly) Use bike lanes when you have the option No passengers allowed You must have at least one hand on your handlebars at all times Don’t hitch the scooter onto another vehicle When driving in the dark, you need to use a white headlight and a red reflector While these rules aren’t on paper, most are basic common sense! Before You Ride, Let’s Wrap Up An electric moped or scooter is a lot of fun. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it’s friendly on your wallet too. It’s easy to see why so many are turning to this alternative form of transportation. But are they legal? Let’s wrap up. Until any laws that address street legal scooters are officially made, remember these points: In most cases, you CAN ride your e-scooter any place you can ride a traditional bicycle. In most states, e-scooters are legal, but in some cities, they’re not. In other areas, riding scooters may be legal, but a few extra rules may apply, such as wearing a helmet. So make sure to check local laws and legislation to be on the safe side! And whatever you do or wherever you ride, use common sense to make your experience safe and secure. Both for yourself and others around you. Keep Calm and Scoot On! So, is an electric scooter for adults street legal? As it all depends on your state, the best thing to do is to keep calm, check local laws, and scoot on! But remember, as electric scooters are still pretty new, you may face issues. If a local policeman fines you for riding street legal scooters without a license, what can...

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motorcycle accident injuries

Being in a motorcycle accident is a terrible experience. You’re going to be shaken, scared, and shocked. At first, you might not know exactly what’s happened, and if you’re injured.  If you are involved in an accident, you should go to a doctor right away. Some bike accident injuries aren’t apparent at first but could become serious quickly.  If the accident wasn’t your fault, it may be possible for you to get financial compensation. While we can’t avoid accidents, we can limit the likelihood of being injured. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the most common motorcycle accident injuries, and what you can do to protect yourself from them. Traumatic Brain Injuries Traumatic brain injuries are caused when the brain experiences trauma. This can be a crushing blow, an impact, or penetration by a foreign object. Different types of traumatic brain injury include: Concussions. Contusions, a bruise on the brain which can bleed. Cerebral laceration, where the brain tissue is cut or torn. These injuries can be fatal. If they are survived, they can cause a host of different long-term effects, including difficulty talking, walking, and breathing. They can also alter the victim’s personality. How You Can Avoid Traumatic Brain Injuries TBIs are one of the most common motorcycle injuries, but they’re also one of the most easily avoided. Wearing a helmet helps to prevent injury and death, and helmets are thought to save thousands of lives per year. Broken Bones While broken arms and legs are usually quite obvious, some fractures may be difficult to detect. The symptoms of a fracture can include swelling, bruising, and being unable to bear weight on that area. Although most broken bones can heal naturally, you will need to go to the doctor, and some may require surgery to fix. How You Can Avoid Broken Bones Fractures can be made less likely by wearing full protective gear. This means wearing leathers that have pads for the knee and elbow joints. However, this is one of the more difficult injuries to avoid completely.  If you think you’ve broken a bone in a motorcycle accident, visit a doctor immediately. Road Rash Road rash is a horrendous motorcycle accident injury but one of the most common. This is deep skin abrasion, caused by sliding along a concrete or tarmac road at speed. In particularly bad cases, such as when the person is shirtless and traveling at speed, the skin can be rubbed down to the nerves, causing serious damage. Road rash can, depending on severity, cause serious consequences. The large area of the wound can lead to infection, scar tissue formation, and serious damage to the affected area.  How to Avoid Road Rash Road rash can be avoided by wearing heavy leathers while riding your motorbike. Always wear thick leathers that cover your entire body, with pads for the elbows and knees.  Whatever the weather, you should never ride your motorcycle without a shirt or long pants on. Spinal Cord Injuries One of the most common motorcycle accident injuries is also one of the most common. A spinal cord injury can be classified as either incomplete, where movement is possible below the affected area, and complete, where you are paralyzed below this area. An example of a complete spinal cord injury is a severed spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries can be lifechanging. Complications can involve: Long-term paralysis. Difficulty breathing and being unable to control bodily functions. How to Avoid Spinal Cord Injuries The most important steps to take to avoid spinal injuries are: Wear appropriate gear. Ride safely, and don’t attempt dangerous maneuvers, particularly at speed. Neck Injuries Neck injuries are common in motorcycle crashes. These can involve broken necks, which can paralyze or kill you, and more minor injuries, such as a broken collarbone.  How to Avoid Neck Injuries It is important to choose gear that protects your neck. This may involve buying a separate piece of protection, such as a brace if your leathers don’t already include it. You should try to avoid having your neck exposed. Arm and Hand Injuries When you’re in a motorcycle accident, you will likely be thrown from your bike. As the natural instinct is to throw your arms out in front of you to break your fall, arm and hand injuries are some of the most common bike injuries. These can be minor, such as a sprained wrist, to serious, such as a compound fracture or severed digits. Long-term effects can include nerve and muscle damage.  How to Avoid Arm and Hand Injuries The most important step to avoiding arm and hand injuries is wearing the correct gear. As well as wearing leathers that cover and protect your arms, you will also need a pair of hardy gloves. A good pair of gloves can protect your hands incredibly well, preventing the worst kinds of injuries. Muscle Injuries Strenuous impacts can tear a muscle, and cause bleeding, difficulty moving, and swelling. Torn muscles must be treated by a doctor immediately, to avoid any complications, and to make sure it heals correctly. How to Avoid Muscle Injuries As with the other motorcycle crash injuries on this list, the best way to avoid muscle injuries is to wear appropriate gear. If your body is cushioned, traumatic injuries like these are far less likely, even if you are in a crash. Have You Suffered One of These Motorcycle Accident Injuries? If you’ve suffered one of these motorcycle accident injuries, we hope that you’re recovering well. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and more.  We offer a free case evaluation, so you have nothing to lose by getting in touch with us. Take a look at our clients’ testimonies, and if you think we can help you, contact us, and we’ll do our best to help you.

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average motorcycle accident settlement

Being in an accident is serious enough, but when it happens to you on two wheels, the results can be absolutely devastating. We all know that motorcycles can be deadly, but you never think it will happen to you or someone you know. If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a motorcycle accident, you already have a taste of the harrowing journey involved. There is the obvious need to seek immediate medical treatment for any injuries you may have sustained. If you have lost someone as a result of a bike wreck, the emotional toll can be overwhelming. But there is also the need to be compensated for the harm caused to you. Finding out average motorcycle accident settlement amounts isn’t exactly common knowledge. So, where do you go? If you have a motorcycle accident claim and are looking to obtain a settlement, it is important to know the ins and outs of settlement negotiations. Here, discover all the various facets of motorcycle accident claims, as well as what you can do to maximize any potential settlement. Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement To start things off, let’s make something clear: having a seasoned and competent attorney by your side throughout any negotiations or court proceedings will result in your final settlement being far higher than if you go about this on your own. Another thing to keep in mind is the unfortunate fact that giving an actual number for your motorcycle accident claims is impossible. Every accident is a unique circumstance, and the final amount you wind up with depends on various interconnected factors.  The good news is, you can get a feel for what your settlement amount might be if you know the factors involved. Also, you need to not commit any blunders to hurt your own case. Let’s take a look at some of those factors. Trial Or No Trial, That Is The Question… A first and pivotal factor in your quest to figure out average motorcycle accident settlement amounts is whether your case is going to go to trial. Fun fact: over 97% of civil cases get settled before reaching the trial stage.  This may seem like a crazy high number, it actually makes sense when you consider what goes into taking motorcycle accident claims to court. First and foremost, there are high costs involved in going to trial. Both sides will incur rather large costs in order to prepare and collect all the necessary information to prep for a trial. These costs can be avoided if the parties stay away from the courtroom and settle it mano a mano.  How Your Injuries Affect Settlements Perhaps just as important as whether you go to trial or not, exactly what injuries you sustained in your motorcycle accident will make a big impact on your eventual settlement. Injuries from an auto accident can be deadly and gruesome. Indeed, the risk of serious injury or death from a motorcycle accident pales in comparison to vehicle accidents. Let’s take a look at what kinds of injuries can affect your ultimate settlement. Physical Injuries This seems obvious on its face, but it actually is extremely important in determining your ultimate settlement. Whether you have suffered broken bones, scrapes and bruises, lacerations, or even more extensive injuries, it is vitally important that you receive treatment for them. You simply cannot expect a substantial settlement if you only go to the hospital once and never have any follow-ups.  So, whether your injuries were minor or severe, be sure to go to all your doctors’ appointments, keep records of all your procedures and medical intervention. This will help build your case to the other side, showing that your injuries are worthy of substantial compensation. While you will likely be compensated for your medical costs, there are other kinds of attendant claims that go along with your injury. This is where a prominent injury attorney will be instrumental in helping you. These other injuries include your pain and suffering damages. These are damages designed to compensate for the anguish and ordeal you have been through due to your injuries. There is also lost wages and the potential for claims of future wages in some circumstances. Other than this, there is also loss of consortium, where you are compensated for your diminished intimate relationship with your spouse or children.  Emotional Injuries When it comes to motorcycle accidents, the entire experience can be rather traumatic, especially if you have suffered rather vivid and debilitating injuries.  This is where the claim of emotional distress may come into play. If you need to seek medical treatment for your mental distress from the accident, this may be compensable as well How To Kill Any Chance Of A Good Settlement This may seem blunt, but it’s the difference between a fair settlement and no settlement at all.  When you are undergoing settlement negotiations or are preparing for trial, you need to remain consistent. What does this mean? This means that if you hurt your neck, you should not be caught at the theme park riding roller coasters. If you hurt your back, do not go to the gym and squat 400 pounds. Whether you are dealing with an individual or insurance company, the potential that you will be investigated is there. Private investigators are hired all the time to document evidence that your injuries are not real or not as severe as you claim. The bottom line is to be sure to not do things that are inconsistent with your claims. All We Do Is Auto Accidents We hope this article may shed some light on determining an average motorcycle accident settlement.  Whether you have been in a motorcycle wreck, car wreck, or otherwise, we got you covered. Our entire practice is solely focused on automobile accidents. Contact us today to get a free case evaluation.

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wrongful death claim

You drove your teenage son to a birthday party in the early afternoon. You come back later in the evening to pick him up.  He tells you about the party and how much fun he had. You embark down a narrow road to take a shortcut home.  Another driver in the opposite lane drives erratically. Then, the car enters your lane without warning.  You scream for your son as your car crashes head-on with the other car. You escape the wreckage. But your son cannot escape.  You ignore the pain in your back and try to help him out. But the contorted metal keeps him inside. You call 911. Firefighters arrive and free your son with the Jaws of Life.  They try to resuscitate him, but it’s too late. Your son died at the scene. Paramedics take the other driver to the hospital. A policeman informs you that the driver was over the legal drinking limit.  The next day, you want to file a wrongful death claim. But can you do so under Georgia law? The answer is yes. You can hold drivers accountable for such offenses as negligence or reckless homicide. This article will show you the ins and outs of a wrongful death lawsuit. Let’s explore. What Does Georgia Law Say? What is a wrongful death lawsuit? According to Georgia law, a wrongful death stems from reckless, criminal, or negligible acts. And, any offender who commits an intentional act that results in death can face civil and criminal penalties. Wrongful death laws also pertain to entities.  The law relegates wrongful death cases to the civil courts. These types of cases don’t take place in criminal courts, even if the death stemmed from criminal activity. Criminal and civil cases function in separate capacities.  Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? Suing for wrongful death is only possible through immediate family members in Georgia. And, not all family members of the victim can invoke a claim. The following parties can bring forth a lawsuit in the following order: Spouse Children Parents Estate executor or representative The spouse of the victim is the first person that can bring forth a wrongful death claim. In the event of no spouse, the children can usher a claim. If there are no children, the parents of the decedent can file a suit.  With no spouse, children, or parents involved, the estate representative has the right to file accordingly. Other family members, such as aunts and uncles or grandparents, cannot petition the court. With that, parents of adopted children can proceed with a lawsuit. And, a child that perished in the womb gives the parents the right to compensation. Moreover, the death of an out-of-wedlock child qualifies the parents to sue. What Type of Lawsuit Should I File? You have two options when filing a claim: a wrongful death claim and a survivor’s claim. A wrongful death case is appropriate when family members need financial compensation as a result of the loss. A survivor’s claim includes any damage suffered by the decedent. The suffering and damages can be in the form of medical bills, ambulance rides, or funeral expenses.  The survival claim is also appropriate in the event of mental anguish and distress that the victim suffered before death.   Example: A person that underwent multiple surgeries and slipped into a coma before dying had suffered a great deal. Therefore, you can commence a lawsuit for the cost of surgery and hospital care. With that, a survival suit is most appropriate during estate matters. The executor can use the funds to pay off the decedent’s remaining debts before disbursing the leftover funds to beneficiaries. Note: Survivor claims are subject to inheritance taxes. Wrongful death claims aren’t subject to the same taxation. If there is no will, the probate court will settle the matter.  If you need immediate financial compensation, a wrongful death claim is the best option. However, speak to an attorney for further guidance.   What Type of Compensation Can I Get?  First, you can get current and future wages that the deceased would have brought to the household. And, you can recover losses in benefits, such as insurance or retirement funds. More importantly, you can get monies based on lost companionship and support. For any other type of compensation, talk to an attorney about your prospects. Regardless, the courts will distribute the monies evenly among the surviving spouse and surviving children. How Much Can I Get? The amount depends on the case itself. However, the court can award compensation based on the full life of the deceased. The amount isn’t based on the value from the viewpoint of surviving family members. Rather, the courts will assess the losses that the deceased would have contributed to the household, such as: The loss of raising children The loss of income The loss of activities The loss of daily life When it comes to activities and daily life, the court can assess how active the person was in addition to hobbies and personal interactions with family members. For income, a jury could calculate the yearly salary of the deceased and multiply it by the remaining working years.  However, the calculation will depend on the judge or jury. Also, an attorney can help you determine the damages that you suffered. How Can I Prove My Case? You must prove three factors to win your case: Breach of Duty Causation Proof of Damages A breach of duty occurs when the driver failed in his or her duties as a responsible driver. Then, the breach of duty must cause the death of your loved one. Finally, you must prove that the breach of duty and death of your family member brought you suffering and damages.  Why Should I Hire an Attorney for my Wrongful Death Claim? An attorney can paint a realistic picture of your wrongful death claim. Overall, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a loved one has died. An attorney can help you file the necessary legal paperwork so you can start your case promptly. A lawyer can also deal with the legal headaches while you focus on the healing process.  Want to...

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minor car crash

Not every accident is a five-car freeway pile-up. Bumping someone from behind at 10-15 miles per hour is also an accident. And Georgia law says you can’t leave the scene of an accident, even if it’s a minor car crash. If you’re the driver who caused an accident, you need to fulfill your legal duties after the crash, or you could be charged with a hit and run. Do you know what to do when you get into a car accident? Keep reading to learn what the law says. 1. Stop and Pull Over (When Safe) If you get in any type of accident, you need to pull to the shoulder or the side of the road when it’s possible and safe. Pulling over allows you to both get out of the car safely and talk to fulfill your obligations. Why should you pull over even if it’s minor and it doesn’t look like there’s much damage? You don’t know if there’s damage until you ask. For example, tapping their bumper may have left a scratch or even a scuff. But what if the other driver had a baby in the backseat, and something fell and hit the baby upon impact? That’s much more serious than a scrape, and you won’t know what happened if you don’t stop and ask. 2. Exchange Information Here is where the Georgia Code kicks in. If you get in an accident, Georgia Code 40-6-270 says you need to do the following to complete your legal duty: Exchange personal information (contact details, insurance details, registration information) Show them your driver’s license (if they ask) Help them if they’re injured, or if someone else in the vehicle is Call 911 if necessary You need to do this if you’re involved in the accident and regardless of how it happened. You don’t even need to cause it for the law to apply. If someone hits you in traffic and sends you forward into the car in front of you, you still need to stop and provide your details. The ins and outs of the accident can get worked out by the police. If you don’t provide all these details, Georgia classifies it as a hit and run case. If you were both on the road and there’s property damage or injuries, a hit and run in Georgia is a felony. You could face up to five years in prison upon conviction and face fines, probation, and lose your license. If you left the scene of an accident when there was no one in the car, it’s possible to argue the hit and run down to a misdemeanor. However, this isn’t guaranteed. Other Details to Get at the Scene If you can, get the names of any witnesses who also stop or who might’ve been on the sidewalk at the time of the accident. These witnesses can be important for insurance claims, even in minor accidents. Additionally, if your phone is accessible, take photos of the scene, including any damage, the general area, and the traffic in the area at the time.  What Not to Do When Talking to the Other Drivers Fulfilling your legal obligation is required to avoid a hit and run charge, but there are things you shouldn’t do when you talk to the other drivers and police or emergency services. First, don’t make small talk, and don’t take the blame for the accident, no matter whose fault it is. Second, if you’re injured, don’t minimize it. Accept medical treatment, and don’t say, “I’m fine.” You might be injured and not feel it yet. 3. Call the Police (If Necessary) In Georgia, the Department of Driver Services says you need to call 911 when one of the following occurs: Personal injury Death of a passenger, driver, or pedestrian Property damage over $500 If it’s a minor car accident, you might not feel the need to call the police, particularly if no one was hurt, and there’s damage to a wing mirror or a scrape on the bumper. However, calling the police from the scene is always the smart choice. Why? Because the other driver could claim you left the scene without providing your details, which means you could get charged with a hit and run. In this case, it’s their word against yours, and the other driver has the upper hand because they called the police first. It’s also important from an insurance perspective. The police report gives your insurance company hard evidence of what happened. You might think there’s a scratch on your bumper, but it could fall off 200 feet down the road. A police report will catch this and arm you with information. The same is true of injuries. Often, the panic of the aftermath of an accident means people don’t feel their injuries. If you or the other driver is injured, then the insurance company might write your account off because if it was that serious, they’ll say, surely, you would’ve called the police. This brings us to the final point: your insurance company may not pay out a claim without a police report. And if you’re in a position where the other driver lies to their own insurance company, you could end up in even more trouble. You’ll be out of pocket, and your rates could go up. Always, Always Stop After a Minor Car Crash A minor car crash might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Georgia law says you must stop and provide your contact and registration details after any accident, even in the most minor of fender benders. If you don’t, you could be reported for a hit and run, which is usually a felony under state law. Were you involved in a car accident and now you’re unsure what to do next? Get in touch for a free case evaluation.

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at-fault accident

Have you recently suffered from an injury due to an auto-related accident? Do you have the feeling that you were the cause of the accident? If so, then it is important for you to understand how at-fault accidents work. These accidents can occur due to a variety of intentional and non-intentional actions on your end. Those who feel responsible for a car accident will need to collect as much information about the incident as possible. This data must be sent to the right professionals to determine who is liable for the expenses. With our knowledge of laws involving car accidents, you can find peace in your involvement of the accident and move on to safer and smarter driving experiences. Here is everything you need to know about at-fault accidents, how to find who’s at fault, and what to do if it’s you. Fault vs. No-Fault States The first factor you have to consider when determining the responsibility of at-fault car accidents is where the crash took place. Whether or not the accident took place in a “fault” or “no-fault” state can help you get an answer. In fault states, the insurer of the person who caused the car accident must take care of the expenses resulting from the incident after the investigation. This includes medical bills, vehicle damage, lost wages, and any pain and suffering that the victims have been experiencing since the accident. Non-fault states require car owners to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to cover these expenses. This means that all parties involved must handle their own costs, no matter who caused the accident. Step 1. Check for Injuries Before everyone starts pointing blame for a crash, you need to make sure that no one is seriously hurt. Check on yourself and anyone that might be in your car for injuries. Afterward, call 911 to seek medical attention immediately, no matter how serious the injuries are. This can help you determine later on if you suffered internal injuries if you don’t suffer cuts, bruises, or broken bones. If you didn’t suffer injuries that hinder your ability to move, check on the other people involved in the accident. Keep yourself, other passengers and drivers, and the cars off the road to prevent further injuries from oncoming cars. Step 2. Collect Evidence The next step in determining an at-fault collision is collecting evidence that shows who caused the crash. Take photographs and record videos of the vehicle damage for everyone involved. Showing the damage to the authorities will help them figure out who’s at fault. It may help to include footage of any property damage in the area of the crash, or if multiple vehicles were involved. We also recommend collecting photos and videos of injuries that you or anyone else may have suffered. The evidence will ensure that no one can get away with changing the story. Step 3. Talk to Witnesses One form of evidence that can help determine the at-fault driver of your accident is the word of other people. While you’re waiting for the authorities to arrive, get reports from people in the area who saw the accident. You can video your interview with witnesses to show the police who question the validity of your statements. This can help counter false statements that other people involved in the accident might make later on. If there were no witnesses to the accident, then insurance companies and lawyers will most likely determine fault based on your driving history. They can look at records of previous accidents or penalties and may side with the person with the cleaner record. Step 4. Exchange Information Whether or not you know you caused the accident, you need to share information with everyone involved. Make sure to write down and provide names, phone numbers, insurance carriers, and insurance policy numbers. We also recommend writing down when and where the accident took place to make it easier for the authorities to determine responsibility. Don’t forget to include the types of vehicles involved. Step 5. Report to Your Insurance Company When it comes to a car accident, whose fault it is can be determined by insurance companies of the parties involved. Report your accident to your agent to figure out any penalties that you might have to pay. Make sure to have all of the evidence you collected when you meet with your insurance agent. Whether or not the evidence shows your innocence can affect your carrier’s ability to find costs on your end for everyone’s recovery. Determining Fault The individuals who will be tasked with determining who is responsible for an at-fault accident include the insurance companies and adjusters of those involved. These individuals will study the evidence and communicate with each other to establish who pays for what damages. The degree of fault will depend on the situation. For example, you may have tried to take an exit on a highway while the other driver merged in the same lane. This can lead to both of you being held responsible and paying for the damage. State laws may also affect if or how much you have to pay. Some states will require drivers to pay 100 percent of the damage even if they are determined to be just 51 percent responsible for the crash. Other states, however, go by a particular percentage based on how negligence and other poor driving decisions. For example, if both drivers made mistakes but one had a stronger influence, there could be a specific split of responsibility, such as 70 percent for one driver and 30 percent for the other. Some cases may end with a 50-50 split of responsibility if there is a lack of evidence. If neither party has footage or eye-witness testimonies from the accident, the insurance companies might have both parties pay for damages. Our Take on At-Fault Accidents If you are responsible for an at-fault accident, then you need to have as much evidence as possible of the situation. This includes the actions of both drivers and the damage or injuries that both...

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car accident settlement

Insurance companies are really, really good at making money. One of the ways they hold onto that wealth is by looking for ways to deny claims against your policy. After you file a car accident claim, your insurance company wants to make sure it only pays for what it absolutely must. No matter how well you document your accident and how fair you are in your ask, your insurance company will fight you. The question is: when should you accept a car accident settlement, and when should you fight it? Take a deep breath and keep reading to learn more. What Is a Car Accident Settlement? When you get in a car accident, you have the legal right to ask for compensation through the civil court system. In most cases, your first point of call isn’t the judge. It’s an insurance provider because all drivers are legally required to keep up-to-date insurance coverage. Uninsured drivers are a different story and usually require filing a personal injury case. When you sue after a car accident, the defendant is typically an insurance provider – not the other driver.  The insurer will almost always offer you a car accident settlement both initially and at various points before trial. Why? Because going to court is expensive and wastes the insurance company’s resources. And if you have a solid case, then they will likely end up paying anyway. Settlements cut the time in half and allow the insurer to remain in control of the solution – lest the judge decides to award you more than you ask for. But when should you accept the check? And when should you reject it? These Accidents Are Best Settled There are some accidents that aren’t worth fighting for over the long-term. If you got in a minor accident and the damage is worth claiming but isn’t severe, your insurer will offer to pay the mechanic’s bill and nothing else. You probably won’t get any more out of them for a scratched car or dented bumper, and it might not be worth trying. It’s also a good idea to settle if you have made a claim in the past two years, and you caused the accident in an at-fault state. (Georgia is an at-fault state.) If you decide to make a claim, then you are better off accepting what the insurer gives you. Most people also find that it’s fine to settle if you weren’t injured in the accident. By the time you start the claims process, you have a good idea of the extent of any injuries. If there were anything you could claim for, then you’d likely know in the first 72-96 hours. Finally, many people choose to settle quickly to get the check quickly. Some feel they can’t afford to bring a case, and others don’t realize they can.  But not everyone who accepts a settlement gets what they are genuinely entitled to. Here are some cases that show when you should be fighting for a claim. When Should You Avoid Settling a Claim? In most cases, settling isn’t a good idea when the accident was both severe and when you weren’t at fault. The one time where it’s never smart to accept an early car accident settlement is when you get injured. If you go to the hospital with injuries and you are still receiving treatment, you don’t know what the future looks like yet. You also don’t know how much those injuries are going to cost you over time. Any time you get injured in a car accident, you benefit from calling a lawyer before you even file your claim with your insurance company. Even if you don’t want to file a personal injury suit, they can help you negotiate the car accident claim process to make sure that you get the coverage your policy allows right away. You should also avoid settling if your accident was the result of a third factor, like if the road is very poorly maintained or if there was a bus involved. In any instance where there are contributing factors to the accident, you benefit from having an attorney at least look at your claim before filing it. When Should You Go to Trial? The vast majority of car accident claims end in an out-of-court settlement. Going to trial is risky because it racks up your legal fees and could even end in a loss. However, it is necessary in rare cases. Why might you decide to go to trial after a car accident? If you were injured and the insurance company won’t budget and won’t say why, it might be worth going to trial. In these cases, you need to present enough evidence to warrant the settlement you’re asking for. However, the discovery process also provides access to the insurance company’s evidence, so you might find out what’s happening at the insurance company. You might also choose to go to trial if the insurer has the material facts wrong. For example, if the insurance company won’t pay because it says you caused the accident and you didn’t, then you may need to bring the conflict to a judge. Will You Settle? Ask Your Attorney for Advice Insurance companies make their money by offering low initial settlements whenever people make claims. It’s nothing personal. It’s just business. If you’re unsure about whether to accept a car accident settlement, the best thing to do is consult an attorney. They can review your case and let you know if you have a claim that’s worth much more than what the insurance company offered. In this case, you can continue negotiating with the insurance company to get a fairer settlement or even take the case to trial if you need to. Were you injured in a car accident and now facing an unfair settlement? Get in touch today for a free case evaluation and to learn whether you should settle your accident claim. 

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