How do you choose a good Personal Injury Attorney in Atlanta?
Personal injury lawyers are a dime a dozen in this city and the one you choose will be handling the largest financial transaction you will ever have, outside of a home purchase. Scary right?
Sorting through the sad cast of characters can be as frustrating as reading a foreign menu because it is just not a world most people ever have to deal with. Do you choose between them based on a nice suit, a good photoshop job, a picture of an impressive building or skyline? Do you read reviews, are they real, what “awards” are phony? We will work through some good criteria here together.
1. Most of the photos across the masthead are photo stock.
That’s not the view from their office nor is it their building. Just Google the street view of their address and you will see what I mean. Value: 0
2. A list of awards such as top 100 litigators or something silly like that.
The truth is most of those organizations are complete B.S. All you have to do is have a pulse and send in the check and boom, you are in. Super Lawyers is the only one that is actually based on peer voting. Everything else is garbage. Value: 0 Value Super Lawyers: 1
I don’t know about you, but I read reviews on everything I buy from electric toothbrushes to lawnmowers. It is the digital replacement for asking a neighbor. Google has a pretty good list of reviews for most law firms but be sure to read more than ten. Law firms are not beyond having employees, family members, and paid companies post these reviews.
Dig deep. Compare the five-star reviews to the one-star reviews. Yes, there are some perpetually angry people out there who will leave negative reviews but if the five stars seem a little too rosy, they are usually fake. Look for details about the results and the actual people they worked with. Use your gut.
4. Large personal injury firms versus small ones.
There are no great rules out there but having worked for a large firm at one point I can tell you that if your law firm advertises on television, they are low quality as a general rule. This is the simple test; our lawyers meet in person with every single client in the first meeting. We do not use case managers or investigators. If the firm you signed up with cannot take the time to have the lawyer meet with you in person at their office then you are working with a mill operation and will have assistants screwing up the case from the word “go.”
5. If the firm sent you to a chiropractor and you had health insurance, run away now.
Chiropractors can be great and they will see you on a lien, but their involvement in a case holds down the value in front of a jury because they are not as respected as medical doctors. Moreover, their pay comes out of your settlement. That’s fine if you have no health insurance, but if you do, bill your insurance and see a real M.D.!
The firm you do choose should:
Educate you on your rights.
Lay out a timeline and a strategy in the first meeting.
Inform you as important developments occur in the case.
Our experienced Atlanta injury lawyers are committed to helping you understand the process for filing a civil action after an injury, and will aggressively represent you throughout the process of proving fault, establishing damages, and getting the settlement that you deserve.
Our lawyers understand what it is like to be injured and feel as though there is nowhere to turn. We want to inspire hope for your future by aiding you in the personal injury claims process. Contact us today for your free case consultation.
Our Personal Injury Practice Areas
We are highly skilled at representing members of our community who have been injured in a number of different accident types. While we realize that no two accidents are the same, we apply the same level of skill and dedication to every case we take on. Our personal injury practice areas include:
Motor vehicle accidents. Because of Georgia’s tort liability system and fault laws, recovering the compensation that you think you deserve after a car accident is not always as straightforward as it should be. We help you prove fault, gather evidence for your claim, and handle negotiations with an insurance adjuster.
Dog bite claims. The owner of a dog that bites another person in Georgia should be held liable for damages, and Georgia maintains strict liability rules for dog bites. We can help you to prove liability and recover your full compensation amount.
Wrongful death. There are few things more difficult than losing a loved one, especially when you know that the loss of life could have been prevented but for someone else’s reckless or wrongful actions. When a wrongful act leads to death, Georgia’s law allows the personal representative of the deceased to file a claim for damages for beneficiaries.
Pedestrian and bicycle accidents. When a pedestrian or cyclist is struck by a motor vehicle, their damages are often severe and devastating. We want to help those who are recovering from tragic injuries recover the compensation that they need to pay for their medical treatment and address their lost wages and suffering.
Premises liability accidents. All property owners in Georgia have a legal duty – that duty is to maintain their property in a manner that is reasonably free from hazards and dangers for those who may enter the property. When a property is not reasonably maintained, an injury, such as one caused by a slip and fall accident, may occur. If it does, the property owner can be held liable.
Product liability accidents. Just like property owners, manufacturers of goods and products also have a duty to ensure products are reasonably free from hazards, and that warning labels make known any hazards that are inherent in the design (i.e. risk of electrocution, side effects of medication, etc.). When a product is defective in its design, manufacture, or label, and such defect leads to a consumer’s injury, the manufacturer may be held liable.
If you have been injured in an accident type that you do not see listed above, please call our law offices.
Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Claims in Georgia
In addition to ensuring that evidence for your case is properly collected and preserved, another reason why it is so important to act quickly after being injured in Georgia is because of the state’s statute of limitations. According to Georgia Code Section 9-3-33, a claimant has two years’ time from the date of the cause of action to file a claim for damages. Keep in mind that if the claim is against a government entity, this period of limitations changes. Working with an attorney can help you to understand which statute applies to your case.
Comparative Negligence Laws in Georgia
Another law of which to be aware when filing a personal injury claim in Atlanta is Georgia’s comparative negligence law. In Georgia, a claimant cannot recover compensation when they are found to be more than 49 percent at fault for an accident. In the event that a claimant is found to be less than 49 percent at fault for a personal injury, they are allowed to recover compensation. However, the defendant named in their suit will only be liable for the defendant’s percentage of damages. For example, in a personal injury slip and fall case in which the owner of a property is found to be 60 percent at fault, the property owner is only liable for 60 percent of the claimant’s damages.
Types of Compensation Recoverable in a Personal Injury Suit
When you are injured and need financial compensation to help you move forward in life, our attorneys at Christopher Simon Attorney at Law will advocate for your full recovery amount. You have the right to seek compensation for all losses, including:
Economic damages, which are the damages for your actual financial losses, such as property damage, lost wages, and medical expenses; and
Noneconomic damages, which are damages for immeasurable, intangible losses, such as the value of your pain and suffering, disability, loss of quality of life, etc.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be allowed. Punitive damages are damages that are awarded solely to punish the defendant in the case for willful misconduct, malice, or fraud. Punitive damages in Georgia are capped at $250,000, per Section 51-12-5.1of Georgia Code.