15 Situations Where You Need a Personal Injury Attorney

A red car crashing into a yellow car with the title, "15 situations where you need a personal injury attorney".
Do you know when to hire a personal injury attorney? A personal injury claim results after you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else. It may be confusing to know what types of injuries warrant a personal injury claim, so our team has gathered 15 situations to help you understand when to contact a personal injury attorney.

Situation 1:

After a Car Wreck

Car accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury claims. Calling a personal injury attorney immediately after a car wreck is crucial in order to document the scene, your injuries and your property damage. A personal injury attorney can also help guide you through the insurance process with the at-fault driver to avoid false claims.

Situation 2:

After a Fall at a Business

If you take a tumble at a commercial establishment, call a personal injury attorney with knowledge about Georgia Premises Liability Law. It’s important to hire a lawyer quickly so he or she can preserve the necessary elements of your case such as video or incident reports.

Situation 3:

After a Criminal Attack at an Apartment or Hotel

If you have been attacked, assaulted or harmed by a criminal at a hotel, apartment or other commercial establishment, a personal injury attorney can assist you and investigate if you have a viable negligent security claim. This process involves assessing the criminal history of the property and the actions taken by the owner/manager of the establishment.

Situation 4:

After You are Hit by a Drunk Driver

You may be entitled to punitive damages for both bodily injuries and property damages after being involved in a DUI wreck. Many attorneys and insurance adjusters don’t recognize property damage as punitive damage, so make sure to hire a knowledgeable attorney if you find yourself involved in a DUI accident.

Situation 5:

After You Hire a Lawyer Without Personal Injury Expertise

We get it, you may have a friend or family member who is an attorney so you turn to them when you need a lawyer. However, their expertise may not lie in the personal injury realm. It’s important to hire a personal injury attorney for personal injury cases to help maximize your claim and properly guide you through your case.

Situation 6:

After You are Hit on a Bicycle

Georgia roads are dangerous, especially when biking on busy or residential streets. If you are hit by a motorist, you may need a personal injury attorney to help recover for your bills and for your pain and suffering. Motorists and bicyclists both have a duty to follow rules of the road, but sometimes motorists fail to pay attention or fail to adhere to safety laws. Call a personal injury attorney to get your claim settled.

Situation 7:

After You are Hurt by a Medical Professional

Errors can happen during medical procedures and treatments, however we expect our medical professionals to exercise a reasonable degree of care and skill. If you suffer an injury due to the lack of such care, you may be entitled to compensation. In the state of Georgia there are certain aspects of a medical malpractice case that must be proven using expert testimony. It is important to hire a personal injury attorney quickly so they can help find an expert for your case and let you know if you have a viable case that is worth pursuing.

Situation 8:

After You are Hit by a Driver Insured by Allstate

Over the past 5-10 years, Allstate has developed a reputation for being one of the most difficult insurance companies to deal with when it comes to getting fair settlement values for your claims. Being involved with a driver insured by Allstate will likely result in trial. This can be avoided by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve.

Situation 9:

After Your Child is Injured at Daycare

As parents, we often trust our children to childcare professionals for proper care and supervision. Unfortunately, injuries happen at daycare facilities due to the negligence of management and employees. Common daycare personal injury cases include improper supervision, improper handling, letting a child consume something they are allergic to and exposure to dangerous objects or equipment. If your child was injured at daycare, reach out to Bright from the Start and your local authorities to begin an investigation. You will then need to hire a personal injury attorney to assess the situation and determine if a claim can be made.

Situation 10:

After a Tractor Trailer or Big Truck Wreck

Claims involving trucking accidents can be complex and it is important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who handles big truck accidents. When hiring a personal injury attorney for a case involving a tractor trailer or other large vehicle, make sure they are knowledgeable about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rules and regulations that apply to trucking companies and their drivers.

Situation 11:

After a Dog Bite

An injury caused from a dog bite can be traumatic and painful. It is important to contact a personal injury attorney who is familiar with this sort of personal injury claim. There are certain rules that go along with proving liability toward a pet owner, such as proving dangerous propensities or determining a potential violation of leash laws. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you find out if you have a viable case.

Situation 12:

If You Don’t Have Health Insurance

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence but you do not have proper health insurance, we suggest contacting a personal injury attorney. Most reputable personal injury attorneys in Georgia have connections to medical providers that can treat you on a lein-basis and help you receive the quality care you deserve after an accident.

Situation 13:

After a Car Hits a Pedestrian

Georgia statutes determining who has the right-of-way between a pedestrian and a motorist can be confusing. If you’ve been hit by a motorist as a pedestrian, hire a personal injury attorney to identify insurance and properly advise you on whether you have a viable claim.

Situation 14:

If You are Injured by a Falling Tree or Limb

If you have been injured by a falling tree or tree limb in an urban or heavily populated area of Georgia, hire a personal injury attorney. If the owner of the property is aware of damage or disease on the tree, they can be held responsible for your injuries.

Situation 15:

After Someone Kills Your Loved One

The death of a loved one is hard enough on a person. If the death was caused by another person due to a car wreck, negligent security issue, medical malpractice, etc., a personal injury attorney can take the legal issues off of your plate and determine a wrongful death case. We understand that the time following these accidents can be confusing, traumatizing and isolating. However, you do not have to face a lawsuit alone. We help our clients get the compensation they deserve. To learn more, call 833-LEGALGA or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Stay Afloat on your Boat; Know the Rules Before You Cruise!

Boating Accident Injury Attorney Kennesaw Ga

Boating Safety Tips from Williams Elleby Howard & Easter

Some prefer fishing, like Attorney Joel Williams; others prefer skiing, tubing or just going for a breezy boat ride at places like Lake Allatoona. Water activities are fun, but they also present risks.

Below are a few safety tips to help you and your family avoid accidents this summer.

Boating Safety Tips

  • Don’t mix excessive alcohol consumption with water activities. The dangers of mixing alcohol and boating have been well documented by countless stories in the news. It is crucial for people to remember the risks involved with operating any machinery while intoxicated and to maintain a clear head while out on the water. While enjoying a beverage or two on the water can be fun, it isn’t an experience worth risking your life over. Also, operating boats or other watercraft while intoxicated can get you into legal trouble even if you don’t cause an accident. Under the Georgia Boat Safety Act, “operating any boat, sailboat, personal watercraft, water skis, sailboard or similar device while intoxicated” at over the legal limit of .08 BAC is a crime.
  • Wear life vests while operating a boat. Anyone out on the water should be wearing a life vest and making sure their friends and family members have one on, too. Water Safety USA emphasizes the importance of wearing a life jacket, even if you’re a good swimmer. “Wearing a life jacket is a key component of boating safety, along with the knowledge and skill needed to keep various types of craft under control in different environments.” Out of the 633 deaths caused by boating accidents in 2018, 77% of those deaths were caused by drowning and 84% of those were not wearing a life jacket. Even if you know how to swim, a life vest could save you in the event that an accident leaves you impaired.

  • Make sure you fully understand how to operate a boat before taking it out on the water. Some accidents occur because the boat operator simply doesn’t know what he or she is doing. Make sure you fully understand how to operate any boat or watercraft you are planning on taking out on the water.

  • Don’t go out alone. Boating, using watercraft or swimming in open water alone is rarely a risk worth taking. Try to always bring someone with you. When you participate in water activities with another person or in a group, you are simply better prepared to respond in case of an accident.

  • Know your abilities and limits. Take stock of your swimming abilities and don’t put yourself in a situation that pushes you beyond your basic capabilities. Also, pay attention to how you are feeling throughout the day. A few hours in the summer heat can wear on a person. If you are feeling tired or lightheaded, take a break from the water.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter wish everyone a fun & safe summer out on the water. In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one ever do suffer an accident, feel free to contact Williams Elleby Howard & Easter, at 833-LEGALGA to better understand your legal rights.

15 Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

A wooden gavel behind the title 15 questions to ask before hiring an attorney.

Hiring a personal injury attorney can be a daunting process. There are many choices and aspects to consider. But, discovering which attorney is best for you and your personal injury case can be easier than you think. Our team has gathered 15 questions you should ask before hiring any attorney.

Question 1:

What types of cases are you handling right now?

No matter the type of legal case, you want to be a priority for your attorney. As a personal injury victim, you do not want to have a distracted attorney who is busy handling a divorce or property line disputes. A way to prevent this is by finding an attorney who focuses their practice strictly on personal injury cases. Not only will this increase your chances of taking precedence, but it will also ensure that your attorney is familiar with the pre-suit process.

Question 2:

Can I have your cell phone number?

Communication is vital to a healthy attorney-client relationship. While email and letters can be effective, sometimes it is not enough. You deserve to know exactly what is going on with your case. Find an attorney who is willing to give you his or her cell phone number to ensure that you will have open communication about your case.

Question 3:

Will you be the attorney handling my case?

Some law firms have designated attorneys to speak with clients. However, this may not be the attorney who will take your case. They may give your case to a junior associate or even a different law firm. To prevent your case from being handed off to others who may be less experienced, ask this question before hiring the attorney.

Question 4:

How many cases have you tried before a jury?

Not all cases can be handled quickly and out of court. You want an attorney who is experienced in front of a jury and prepared to take your case to trial to obtain the compensation you deserve. Hiring an experienced trial attorney could make the difference in your recovery if your case has to be tried.

Question 5:

How much will it cost to hire you?

Most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning if they win your case, they get paid a percentage of the gross overall recovery that you are awarded in your case. You will want to make sure that percentage is reasonable. You should be aware of how the firm manages the expenses they advance on your behalf. Ask them about interest and overhead. These expenses can add up and be the difference of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Question 6:

How many cases do you handle at one time?

Again, you need to make sure your attorney dedicates the proper amount of time to your case. If an attorney handles several cases at one time, then they may not have enough time to devote to you. As previously mentioned, the amount of time an attorney gives to your case ultimately impacts the amount of recovery you receive. Plus, being one of several cases may foster a bad relationship between you and your attorney.

Question 7:

What percent of your time is spent working cases?

Some attorneys busy themselves with business management practices. You need an attorney who spends a great deal of time focused on trying cases. You should be confident in the amount of time your attorney spends working on cases and make sure your case receives the attention you deserve.

Question 8:

How often will I receive updates on my case?

A lack of case updates is the number one complaint from clients to the State Bar. All attorneys have a duty to communicate with their clients. To understand what communication efforts to expect from your attorney, ask them this question. This will ultimately promote a healthy attorney-client relationship.

Question 9:

How long do you think my case will take?

Cases can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. Due to all the factors that play a part, your attorney will not be able to give you an exact number. However, they should be able to give you a general estimate. It is always best to have similar expectations as your attorney when understanding the general timeline of your case.

Question 10:

What are the weaknesses of my case?

In order to receive the maximum recovery, you will need to show your case in the best light. Having an attorney that knows your case’s challenges is key. This way, they know how to best present your case and prevent any shocking revelations while your case is being tried.

Question 11:

What happens if I need to fire you?

Make it easier on yourself in case this event occurs. Ask this question before hiring anyone so that you and your attorney are on the same page. Having to fire an attorney is already stressful. Knowing how to fire someone and the consequences can relieve some of the stress. Plus, it can prevent you from having to pay unexpected fees and expenses.

Question 12:

Are you willing to try my case?

There are lawyers who want to settle no matter what. This can limit your overall recovery costs. However, trial lawyers have better results all around. This is often because insurance companies are aware that trial lawyers will fight for the maximum recovery. Having someone truly in your corner is much more beneficial than hiring someone who wants to make a quick buck.

Question 13:

How long will it take to return my phone calls?

Again, communication is key when it comes to your satisfaction with your attorney. Asking this question is a great way to know what to expect from your attorney. While they could be busy with another case or deposition, there should be a reasonable turnaround time for any questions you have.

Question 14:

Can you guarantee a certain amount?

This is a trick question to ask your attorney. Any attorney that guarantees a certain amount is misguided and needs to be avoided. It is against the law to guarantee any recovery amount. However, many attorneys may be able to give you an estimate of what they think the case is worth, which is much more reasonable.

Question 15:

Can you explain all aspects of the claims process?

This question will serve three purposes: determine expectations for your suit, ensure the attorney’s knowledge of the claims process and show the attorney’s amount of patience for your questions. You need to be comfortable with their reaction and response to this question before you hire that attorney.

We hope these questions provide you with the information and confidence you need to hire the right personal injury attorney. Remember, communication and the right expectations are key to having a successful experience. If you or a loved one needs a personal injury attorney in Georgia, contact Williams Elleby Howard & Easter at 833-LEGALGA to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. We are committed to fighting for and protecting our clients.