As a personal injury lawyer Georgia residents trust, we have taken on the biggest insurance companies and some of the world’s largest corporations. From car giants like Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler, to pharmaceutical behemoths like Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, our top-notch personal injury lawyer in Georgia has fought and won. Our team at Butler Law Firm has individuals who are not just strong trial lawyers, but are compassionate counselors who truly care.
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is simply a way of saying someone is injured and she has the right to get back something taken from her. You may have heard the word “tort.” A tort is a wrongdoing. For example, when someone sexually assaults another person or when someone drives drunk and causes a crash, that person has committed a tort. That is a personal injury claim. As a top personal injury lawyer Georgia knows, we know which code section to cite, what investigation needs to be done, who to hold responsible in court, and the possible value of that personal injury case.
Every tort claim, or personal injury claim, is based on two parts—liability and damages. Liability means responsibility. When someone does something wrong, whether it is done intentionally like a shooting case or accidentally like a rear-end collision, that wrongdoer has liability. The second part, damages, is evaluating and determining the value of that wrongdoing.
What are damages in a personal injury claim?
Think of damages sort of like you think of time. Your time is valuable; your time is precious. Damages in a personal injury claim is stolen time and an injury, and pain, and medical bills, and disruption of your health and life. You can never get back your time, and you have to live with your pain. A top-notch personal injury lawyer Georgia residents can count on, should help you recover for the time, pain, injury, medical bills, and disruption through what is called compensatory damages.
Compensatory damages are money that is paid to a victim based on his injury or loss. In Georgia, we have general damages and special damages. General damages are the money that represents the time stolen: the pain, the suffering, the mental anguish, the scarring, the injury, and the overall change in the victim’s life. Special damages are the bills: they are quantifiable. Talking to a personal injury lawyer Georgia relies on is actually quite easy—look for someone who has excellent reviews to answer your questions. In some situations, a victim can also recover punitive damages.
What are punitive damages?
Some wrongdoers act with such recklessness that their actions deserve heightened punishment. Our Georgia personal injury lawyers have carved a niche in representing victims of drunk drivers. Drivers who choose to drive while drunk or high jeopardize other human lives. That choice to drive drunk or high is inexcusable and that choice can lead to the award of punitive damages in a civil lawsuit. This is money intended to deter, punish, and send a message that the behavior simply is unacceptable to our community. An experienced personal injury lawyer Georgia knows, will know when to seek punitive damages and when to only focus on compensatory damages.
In the course of our investigations we have sometimes uncovered facts that establish the drunk driver is not the only responsible party. Of course the driver’s choice to drink and then drive is his choice and therefore he will be held liable with a personal injury claim. However, sometimes there are other parties who also have liability. In Georgia, if you go to a bar, restaurant, or club and the waiter or bartender keeps serving you alcohol even though it is plainly apparent you are drunk, and then you get behind the wheel of your car, the establishment may be held liable if you cause an accident. There are several factual components that need to be established in order to hold the establishment liable for the drunk driver—such as proving the driver was “noticeably intoxicated”, and that he was going to be driving in the near future—but an experienced personal injury lawyer Georgia residents can count on, knows how to conduct the investigation. These kinds of cases are called “dram shop” cases.
How do I know I have hired a good personal injury lawyer Georgia residents can trust?
Hiring someone to represent you ultimately means you are placing your trust in someone else. You should expect the lawyer you hire to treat your case with the same respect and care that you have for your own case. There is no such thing as the “best” personal injury lawyer in Georgia. There are, however, excellent lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases.
Here are two key tips for picking the right lawyer to help you with your injury claim:
- Do your research. As you begin looking for a top personal injury lawyer Georgia residents recommend, make sure you speak with the actual lawyer; not just his staff or someone claiming to be from his office. When you hire a particular lawyer, you deserve to get that actual lawyer who you’ve hired; not someone else in the lawyer’s office. You should run a Google search. You should read reviews. You may want to jump on Facebook and ask the members of the groups you belong to who they recommend. Visit his website, and consider this: does the lawyer’s website make you think he handles lots of different areas of the law, or does the lawyer’s website show you that he is a personal injury lawyer Georgia residents trust for serious personal injury cases.
- Meet with the lawyer. A good injury lawyer will agree to speak with you for free. This initial consultation sometimes takes place in person and other times by phone. Either way, during the initial consultation you should feel free to ask questions. While the lawyer may be interviewing you, you should feel comfortable to interview him. Consider asking the lawyer questions like:
- Are you a Super Lawyer? (Only 2.5% of all lawyer earn this status—our firm’s lawyers have earned this recognition along with several other high accolades both locally in Georgia and nationally.)
- What verdicts have you won? (Our firm has won many verdicts including a $150 million dollar verdict recently in 2015.)
- Do you handle a lot of cases or a few cases? (As a personal injury lawyer Georgia residents trust, we keep our caseload small so that we can devote our full attention to every client we represent. When you hire us, you get us.)
- Have you appeared as experts on any news stations? (Our lawyers have appeared on CBS, Fox News, NBC, and ABC and we have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Daily Report.)
- Can I communicate with you by phone and email? (Our firm never makes a client wait to hear from us.)
When is a slip and fall accident worthy of hiring a Georgia personal injury lawyer?
Our personal injury lawyer in Georgia offers injury victims a free consultation to discuss their case with confidentiality assured. After a brief consultation with our trusted lawyer you will have a clear understanding of how strong your claim is and the likelihood of getting compensation from the property owner. If your injury has left you unable to travel, you can discuss your case by phone or our lawyer can meet with you in your hospital room. Call us today to arrange your complimentary consultation.
Who is liable for slip and fall injuries?
This is a common question asked of our Georgia personal injury lawyer. When the accident occurs in one’s home, it is usually the responsibility of the resident to pay for their damages. An exception to that is when the slip and fall accident occurred because of defective repairs or manufacturing of the home. Another exception is in an apartment building or rental home when the building’s owner or the management company was negligent in the upkeep which led to hazardous conditions.
Generally speaking, the party that owns the property may be held liable if they were negligent in maintaining the property which caused the victim’s slip and fall injury accident. If a third-party created a hazardous condition, a personal injury lawyer in Georgia may determine that the third-party as well as the building owner share responsibility for compensating their client. Here are some common examples of who might be held liable under various circumstances:
- The municipality that owns and maintains a sidewalk, walkway, or roadway that does not address a hazardous condition within a reasonable time period after becoming aware of the issue may be liable for a pedestrian’s injury damages if they slip and fall.
- A store owner that does not repair or clean an area of the floor that is broken, cracked, or wet may be held liable if they do not address the hazard within a reasonable period of time. What constitutes a reasonable period of time is a grey area, but our Georgia personal injury lawyer can review your case and determine if your claim has merit.
When is a slip and fall injury claim worthy of a lawyer’s attention?
When a victim’s injury is significant enough to warrant substantial and costly medical attention among other damages such as lost wages, it is more likely to cover the lawyer’s fees and legal costs to pursue the claim. As a general rule, the more damages the victim sustained, the more interested a personal injury lawyer will be in representing the victim. An injured victim needs a powerful advocate.
You deserve to have someone experienced and passionate representing you. For a free in-home consultation with a personal injury lawyer Georgia can count on, call Butler Law Firm at (678) 940-1444.
“Jeb and his team are extremely attentive. I was well informed throughout my entire legal process which helped me feel very comfortable. You’ll not find a more caring law team then [Butler Law Firm].”