Seven Biggest Mistakes People Make After an Injury

There are many factors that can help or hurt your personal injury claim.  The things you do or choose not to do after an injury matter.  Here are the seven biggest mistakes we see people make after an injury that can negatively affect their personal injury case.

1. Not seeking medical treatment in a timely manner.

Waiting too long to seek medical treatment is the most common mistake we see people make after a personal injury.  We understand that life is hectic and that seeking medical care and following a treatment plan is a process.  However, popping some Ibuprofen and hoping injuries get better on their own is not a good choice to make.  If you do not seek medical treatment and fail to comply with the doctor’s orders, the insurance company will argue that your injuries must not be that bad or you’re not really hurt, simply because you waited to seek treatment.

You also want to avoid any gaps in treatment.  Be consistent with your treatment plan. If you don’t follow up with your doctor’s recommendations or appointments, the insurance company will dispute the seriousness of your injuries and the validity of your claim.

2.  Not taking pictures at the scene of the injury.

Cellphones are ubiquitous these days. If you are able, take as many pictures as possible.  Capture the property damage, injuries, the scene, and weather conditions.  Document as much as you can. Take a video, too.  Record witness information.  If a wreck looks like a clear liability case to a police officer, he/she might not take witness statements, but those statements are valuable to a personal injury case.

As soon as an attorney gets your case, he or she will likely take pictures of the property damage and the scene, but firsthand pictures and documentation are more valuable.  Documenting all the evidence at the scene can be crucial to winning your case.

3.  Trying to handle a case without a lawyer.

Honestly speaking, there are some cases where you might not need to hire an attorney.  That said, you should always speak to an attorney first.  Simply reach out and educate yourself on the process of a personal injury claim before tackling it yourself.  Consultations are usually free, individualized, and can give you valuable insight about your case and how to handle it.  If you try to manage things on your own without consulting an attorney first, you could miss vital steps that will harm your chances of obtaining a fair recovery.

4.  Failing to research a lawyer before hiring one.

There are a lot of attorneys out there; unfortunately, not all of them are knowledgeable and/or trustworthy. Do your research before hiring an attorney.  Look at their websites and social media; try to discern if the attorney is someone you can trust and work with.

Schedule an in-person consultation.  You can do this with multiple firms.  Lawyers are like doctors; they specialize in certain fields.  You need to find a competent and trustworthy attorney who specializes in personal injury.  You want an attorney who is experienced in settling cases and trying cases before a court or jury.  If you hire an attorney because you saw them on several commercials or billboards, that attorney is probably NOT going to be your attorney.  A common business model we see in personal injury law is to spend a lot of money on ads in multiple places and pass your case onto paralegals or lesser-known attorneys for a finder’s fee.  These attorneys try to settle your case quickly and don’t have a lot of experience going to trial. Here are 15 essential questions to ask before hiring an attorney.

5.  Giving a recorded statement to an insurance company.

You are not required to give a recorded statement to the at-fault insurance company, and you should never do this without consulting an attorney.  Anything you say can potentially be used against you and insurance adjustors are skilled at asking questions for their company’s benefit.

6.  Signing anything without a lawyer’s review.
You don’t want to sign anything an insurance company sends you without having a lawyer review it.  If you sign the wrong document, you could destroy your rights to bring a claim against the at-fault insurance company or to pursue an underinsured motorist claim. Sometimes, insurance companies will send an injured person a check along with a full release and the injured person might think this is only partial payment. If the injured person signs the full release, the claim will end, and the insurance company will not pay any bills that come after the release is signed.

Additionally, if there are any liens placed on your claim by a health plan, hospital, or medical facility, the liens must be addressed out of any settlement. If you sign documents settling you case without knowing the full extent of any hospital or medical liens, you could walk away with nothing.

7.  Waiting too long to file a lawsuit or make a claim.
If you wait too long to file a lawsuit you may be barred by the statute of limitations, which is basically the maximum amount of time the law allows for you to file a lawsuit. Also, it takes time for the attorneys to investigate the claim, send open records request, and review medical records. Attorneys need time to do all those things before filing a lawsuit or making a claim. If you want an attorney to do a good job, make sure you give them plenty of time to properly investigate all angles of your case before they must file a lawsuit.

If you or a loved one has been injured and are trying to navigate the personal injury claim process, call Williams Elleby for a FREE consultation today, 833-LEGAL-GA.

Lawsuit Loans: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Litigation Loans

What is a Lawsuit Loan?

 A litigation loan, commonly known as a lawsuit loan, is a type of loan from a private company that specializes in providing loans that must be paid back, with interest, from the recovery in a lawsuit.  It offers you a way to borrow money for whatever it is you might need at the time.  Instead of having your house or your car as collateral, your pending case serves as “collateral” on the loan.  You pay the loan back from the recovery you receive after your case settles or a judgment is paid.

Some lawsuit loan companies offer better rates than others; however, even when working with the best loan companies, we advise you to proceed with caution. Lawsuit loans should be considered a resource of last resort because they are very expensive. Let’s break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of lawsuit loans.

The Good

 Lawsuit loans serve a purpose and have their place in the litigation world.  We understand a lawsuit loan can be vital in some situations.  For example, if you are badly injured, out of work with no income, and your rent or mortgage is due, a lawsuit loan can help you keep your place of residence.  In their most basic sense, lawsuit loans provide immediate relief for injured people who are forced to suffer financial hardship while their case is pending.

The Bad

 A lawsuit loan is basically a cash advance on a potential recovery from a settlement or verdict.  As you can imagine, there are no guarantees of success on any case or claim so the cost of a lawsuit loan can be expensive.  There are costs to apply for the loan and to have the money wired to a bank. Then, interest begins to accrue and compounds quickly over a short period of time.

The Ugly

 There are some companies that are notoriously bad to work with and costs can add up quickly, sometimes doubling or tripling the amount you originally borrowed.

If you are considering a lawsuit loan, most companies will not give you a loan unless you are working with an attorney.  We highly suggest discussing all of your options with an attorney before taking out a lawsuit loan.  If there are no other options, your attorney should be able to recommend a reputable lawsuit loan company.  A good attorney should know which litigation loan companies set caps on the costs and which companies are willing to work with clients after a recovery is secured.

If you are navigating a personal injury claim and would like a free consultation, call Williams Elleby today at 833-LEGAL-GA (833-534-2542).

How to Give a Deposition

If you are the plaintiff, defendant, or witness in a legal case, you will likely be asked to give a deposition.  A deposition is a discovery tool where a lawyer may ask you a wide variety of questions about the lawsuit. In their simplest form, depositions are question-and-answer sessions that are used to collect information from the parties and witnesses involved in a case. There is no judge or jury present during a deposition. Depositions act as your sworn under oath, out-of-court, oral testimony and they usually take place at an attorney’s office. Although, some depositions will take place through a platform like Zoom when in-person meetings are not practical.

Here are our TOP 6 TIPS when preparing to give a deposition.

#1. Dress Appropriately and Stay Professional

The first thing to consider when preparing for a deposition is how to dress.  You want to make a good first impression.  Our recommendation is to dress business professional, or like you are going to court. Avoid jokes and wisecracks. A lawsuit is a serious matter.

#2. Tell the Truth.

In any lawsuit, honesty is always the best policy. The truth must be told, even when it hurts. When an attorney asks you questions, he or she usually already knows the answer. Don’t try to hide or fluff any information. Be truthful with your answers.

#3. Be Polite.

People are often afraid depositions will be these very heated back and forth situations, but that is rarely the case.  Most of the time, depositions are simply question and answer sessions. Some of the questions might feel difficult at times, but just remember to remain calm and polite. We are all human and experience emotions. Showing some emotion is fine; however, but if you find yourself getting frustrated or angry, take some time to collect yourself and remain professional. 

 #4. Keep Your Answers Short.

 Take your time when answering questions. Make sure you understand the question before providing an answer. Whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, a deposition is not the time to try to “win” your case.  Do not oversell, drag out, or exaggerate your answers. Your only job in a deposition is to answer the questions you are being asked simply and truthfully.  It is your lawyer’s job to ask the correct questions at trial to get the evidence in that is needed to win your case.

 #5. Avoid Absolutes.

 Be wary of time and distance questions.  We are all notoriously bad at estimating time and distance. Keep in mind, you are not expected to know exact answers. It is perfectly fine to give a range in your answer(s).  For instance, I left the house between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m.  Depositions are not memory contests. You also don’t have to guess just to provide information. If you don’t know the answer, “I don’t know,” or “I don’t recall” is perfectly fine to say.  This is especially true in reference to prior medical issues or care.  Guessing or assuming an absolute ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can put you in a difficult spot if you make an incorrect assumption.

#6. If You Hear an Objection, Ask to Rephrase the Question.

Attorneys should not assert a speaking objection or explain their objections in a deposition. Even so, take pause if you hear your attorney object to a question.  You might want to ask the opposing attorney to rephrase their question before answering.

If you would like to learn more about How to Give a Deposition, you can check out this video where Williams Elleby partners, Joel Williams and Chase Elleby, discuss The deposition process in a personal injury case:

How to Deal With an Insurance Company After a Wreck

After being hit by another driver, we often wonder “How do I deal with an insurance company after this wreck?” Naturally, most people immediately call their insurance company to report the wreck. However, few people stop to think about what they should say or how speaking to an insurance company may affect any claim they need to bring for property damage or personal injuries. Following these simple steps will save car wreck victims a lot of time and money.

Call a Car Wreck Attorney

If you have been injured in a car wreck, call a car wreck attorney first.  A vast majority of our first time clients come to us frustrated and upset after attempting to manage the aftermath of a wreck themselves. They often feel jerked around with bills to pay, subjected to delay tactics and little support from the insurance companies.

In our experience, people aren’t litigious or “sue happy,” and don’t want to get a lawyer involved if it seems unnecessary at the time. However, a quick phone call to a trustworthy attorney can help you get clear on how to proceed after you’ve been injured in a wreck.  A free consultation offers you a road map on how to move forward and an honest attorney will tell you if you really need to hire someone at that point in time.

There are a lot of excellent personal injury attorneys that help car wreck victims but there are some bad apples too. Before you call an attorney, you may want to check out this video to get a good idea of what you should expect from a personal injury attorney:

Be Careful What You Tell the Insurance Company

After you’ve been in injured in a wreck, you will have a minimum of at least two claims with the insurance company — a property damage claim and a bodily injury claim. Both will be assigned to different adjustors and handled separately.  Be careful what you say to any adjustor.  Every conversation you have is likely going to be recorded and can be used against you to minimize other claims. For example, if you tell the property damage adjuster “I’m fine but I need my car fixed,” the insurance companies records will reflect that you are not injured. Worse, if the statement is recorded, the insurance company will use your statement against you if need to bring a personal injury claim at a later time.

Let the Insurance Company Move Your Vehicle

With property damage claims, it is important to communicate where the wrecked vehicle is and let the insurance company inspect and move the vehicle as soon as possible. This mitigates the damages and expenses that can accrue the longer your vehicle sits at a tow yard.

If your vehicle is likely a total loss, you should also start shopping around for a replacement vehicle pretty quickly. As soon as you are paid for your property damage claim, the insurance company will no longer pay for a rental vehicle (if you have and are using rental coverage).

Do Not Minimize Your Injuries

Keep in mind, some injuries can take time to manifest. You do not want to settle your case until you know the full extent of your injuries. It’s best to consult your doctor(s) in terms of your diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of treatment. Once you settle your claim with the insurance company, it is done.  You can never go back and get more money if you end up needing additional medical care or procedures related to your injuries from the wreck.

Keep in mind, insurance companies are for-profit corporations that maximize their profits by collecting premiums and paying out as little as possible on claims.  You will likely receive a quick settlement offer in hopes you’ll take it and be done, but these offers are typically less than the fair value of your case.  Your best bet is to call an attorney first, to help you deal with the insurance company after you’ve been in a wreck.

If you have been injured in a wreck, call Williams Elleby today for a free consultation at 833-LEGAL-GA or (833-534-2542).

Store Safety and the Holidays

Premises Liability and Store Safety During the Holiday Season

The holidays are here, and stores are bustling with customers. During this busy time retailers must prepare their stores for a safe shopping experience.

Store Safety

Many hidden dangers lurk when careless store owners are more concerned with moving inventory than keeping their property safe. Examples of these dangers include wet floors, falling inventory, poor lighting, and even criminals looking to prey on innocent shoppers. The National Crime Prevention Council provides great safety tips for last minute holiday shoppers.

In Georgia, business owners and occupiers owe their customers a statutory duty to keep their premises and approaches safe. O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1. Whether a business owner exercises ordinary care in a particular situation is usually a question that must be decided by a jury if a lawsuit is brought for personal injuries. Robinson v. Kroger Co., 268 Ga 735 (1997).

In most cases, the property owner can still be held liable even when the owner hires a third party to manage the property. This is called a “non-delegable duty.” However, if the owner surrenders full control to an independent contractor the landowner no longer owes the duties required by O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1. When this happens, the landowner is considered an “out of possession” landlord and the landowner will not be held liable for the third parties’ negligence.

Store Owner Responsibility

Despite these statutory duties, an owner or occupier is not an insurer of its customers safety. First Pacific Management Corporation v. O’Brien, et al., 184 Ga. App. 277 (1987). This means that the law requires the landowner to act in an ordinarily prudent manner to discover dangers and fix them. If the danger cannot be removed, a warning should be given. However, landowners are not obligated to warn against open and obvious hazards. For example, a business owner/occupier is required to warn customers when a floor is slippery from being mopped or recently waxed, but the business would not be required to warn a customer about rainwater near the store entrance during a storm. Roby v. Kroger Co., 219 Ga. App. 459 (1995).

The duty to keep a premises safe is not limited to physical defects on the property. Dangerous animals and persons can harm customers. If the conduct of an employee or third person is sufficient to pose threat of danger to customers, the business owner or occupier must act with care to intervene and prevent injury to innocent customers. A classic example of this is when a business is located in a high crime area and the business owner knows that innocent victims have been robbed in the past. A responsible business owner would hire security and install surveillance cameras to deter the criminals from preying on his customers. When the business owner does not act to deter the criminals from harming customers, the owner may be held liable for his or her negligence. Negligent Security Attorney Joel Williams has resolved several multi-million-dollar cases where innocent victims were harmed by others on a business’s property.

Customer Responsibility

Even though the owner or occupier of land must exercise ordinary care to keep his premises safe, the customer must also exercise care for his or her own safety. If the customer fails to exercise ordinary care for his own safety, his claim may be barred by the doctrine of contributory negligence. For example, if the customer sees a wet spot on the floor, then falls on it, he should not recover because he knew of the hazard and voluntarily encountered it. In Georgia, a Plaintiff cannot recover if he is 50% or more at fault for his injuries. O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33(g).

Superior Knowledge Rule

In all Georgia premises liability cases, the injured party must prove (1) the premises owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard and (2) despite the exercise of ordinary care the plaintiff lacked knowledge of the hazard. Georgia courts often refer to this as the “superior knowledge rule.” If the owner has superior knowledge of the hazard and the hazard causes the Plaintiff’s injuries, the business owner is liable. Custer v. Coward, 293 Ga. App. 316, 319 (2008).

If you or a loved one has been injured on a business property due to the carelessness of the business owner, contact the attorneys at Williams Elleby for your free case evaluation by calling 833-LEGALGA or 833-534-2542. If your injuries are serious, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation.

Family-Friendly Holiday Activities in Georgia

Georgia Holiday Activities

For many in Georgia, the holidays are a time for family-friendly activities. Gifts are exchanged, songs are sung, and a good time is had by all. Georgia offers plenty of safe adventures during the holidays, and you are sure to find one that is a perfect fit for your family. This year, we have gathered a list of some of our favorite activities across the state for you and your family to enjoy.

Georgia Aquarium: Festival of the SEAson

Atlanta is full of activities this season. You don’t want to miss all the holiday fun at Georgia Aquarium. As the largest aquarium in the United States, you are sure to find activities for the whole family. Look forward to The Polar Express 4-D Experience, daily tree-lightings with live carolers, and Georgia Aquarium’s favorite underwater Santa, SCUBA Claus.

Six Flags Over Georgia: Holiday in the Park

If you are ready for a spectacle, the “Holiday in the Park” event at Six Flags Over Georgia might be exactly what you need. The park is packed with fun attractions, rollercoasters and food. During the holiday season, the park is lit up with Christmas lights and other displays. The event runs throughout the season and is prefect both for the thrill-seekers of the family and for those who are happy to just to view the lights.

Holiday Lights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Speaking of lights, there are few options better than the display at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The Garden’s natural beauty transforms during the holiday season. Over the holidays, be sure to visit their amazing lightshow after the sun goes down. It is a must-see attraction for most families.

Drive-Thru Light Shows at Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights

If Christmas lights are for you but you’re looking for a drivable option, we have a compromise you will love. Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain offers a sprawling light display known as Fantasy in Lights. The show takes 45 minutes to drive through, and if you’re looking for a little shopping along the way, there are shops and snack vendors on location.

Stone Mountain Christmas

Stone Mountain Park offers millions of lights to enjoy, and several shows including a 4-D version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. They even host a parade featuring Santa Claus himself. One of the highlights is a ride up the lift to the top of the mountain. From there, you have a magnificent view of Stone Mountain Park with the Atlanta skyline in the distance.

Old-Fashioned Christmas at Dahlonega

If you are looking to spend Christmas in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Dahlonega is the place to be! Rich with history, the town’s old-fashioned Christmas celebration offers you the chance to step back in time. In addition to almost-daily events through December, there is no shortage of food and shopping all topped off by the beautiful scenery.

Staying Safe During the Holidays

Hopefully, you will have a wonderful holiday season free from injury. However, if you are involved in an accident, it is important to protect your legal rights. Let the team at Williams Elleby review your case and walk you through the claims process. By working with our professional team you can leave your claim to us and focus on the holiday season. Call us at 833-LEGALGA.

Motorcycle Wrecks

motorcycle accident injured attorney

Motorcyclists face unique risks every time they get on the road. Drivers often fail to pay attention to motorcyclists or aren’t aware of safety rules regarding motorcycles on the roads. When motorcycle accidents occur, the consequences are usually most detrimental for the cyclist.

The personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby understand motorcycle accident cases and help accident victims get the personal injury compensation they are owed. If you have been in a motorcycle accident and would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby online or call 833-LEGALGA to schedule a free case evaluation today.

Motorcycle Accident Facts and Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,014 motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2019, with motorcycle accidents accounting for 14% of all traffic fatalities. In Georgia, there were 93 fatal motorcycle accidents. Of those 93 killed riders, 16% were not wearing a helmet.

Multiple studies have proven the efficacy of wearing a helmet. The NHTSA has calculated that wearing a helmet can dramatically increase a motorcyclist’s chances of surviving an accident. According to the CDC:

  • Helmets saved approximately 1,859 lives in 2016.
  • Each year, the United States could save more than $1billion in economic costs if all motorcyclists wore helmets.
  • Helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% for motorcyclists and 41% for their passengers.
  • Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 67%.

Georgia Law

All vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders have a duty to use reasonable care when on the road. If a driver or rider fails to meet this standard of care and causes an accident, injured victims are entitled to compensation. Determining whether a party was negligent or in breach of this standard requires a careful analysis of the facts. A presumption of negligence is created in Georgia when a driver or rider commits a traffic violation by violating one of Georgia’s “rules of the road.”

Motorcyclists generally must follow the same rules as all other motor vehicle operators, but there are some special rules that apply specifically to motorcycles. Motorcyclists are permitted to use a full lane of traffic, and two motorcycles are permitted to ride side-by-side in one lane. Motorcyclists are not allowed to pass a vehicle in the same lane of traffic, and riding between lanes of traffic (“lane splitting”) is prohibited in Georgia. Motorcyclists should also remember that Georgia law requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Call Williams Elleby Today.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby are dedicated to getting accident victims the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident, call Williams Elleby at 833-LEGALGA to schedule a free consultation today.

The Georgia Recreational Property Act

Georgia recreational property act

Fall is the perfect season for spending time outdoors with family, especially in the beautiful state of Georgia. Camping, hiking, fishing and hunting are just a few popular outdoor activities that Georgia residents enjoy doing. However, few people actually own land that can be used for such purposes. Instead, most people use public land or use private land that has been made available to the public.

Great places to spend time outdoors in the North Georgia area include:

Great places to spend time outdoors in the South Georgia area include:

When someone in Georgia suffers an injury on land that has been made available for recreational purposes, however, the Georgia Recreational Property Act (GRPA) bars the injured person from suing the landowner in most cases.

The purpose of this law is to encourage landowners to make their land available for recreational activities. Without the GRPA, many landowners would close off their land to the public to eliminate their risk of liability, and in doing so cut millions of people off from the ability to enjoy their favorite outdoor activities.

Activities Covered by the GRPA

Only land made available for recreational purposes is covered by the law. Several notable activities, such as cycling and running, are not actually covered by the law. The law strictly defines “recreational purposes” as:

  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Pleasure driving
  • Nature study
  • Water skiing
  • Winter sports
  • Viewing or enjoying historical, archeological, scenic, or scientific sites

Exceptions to the GRPA

There are two major exceptions to the GRPA that landowners and outdoor enthusiasts should be aware of. The GRPA does not apply when there has been a “willful or malicious failure” of the land owner to guard people against a dangerous condition. Therefore, landowners that make their land available to the public still have a duty to take action to prevent harm when they are aware of a dangerous condition on their property.

The GRPA also does not apply when a landowner charges a fee for the use of the land. Landowners should remember that they forfeit their immunity under the GRPA if they charge any fee in exchange for permission to use their land; but if the fee is collected for some other purpose, the GRPA will still apply. For instance, if a land owner profits by selling goods on the same property, the GRPA will still provide immunity despite the fact that they are making money as long as the purchases are not required in order to use the land.

For More Information, Contact Williams Elleby

While participating in outdoor activities is a fun way to spend your time, injuries may happen. If you suffer an injury while doing a recreational activity, or if you are a landowner making your property available to others for recreational purposes, it is important to be aware of the Georgia Recreational Property Act and to protect your legal rights accordingly.

The experienced legal team at Williams Elleby has deep knowledge of all aspects of Georgia tort law and represents clients in personal injury cases all throughout the state of Georgia. If you have suffered a personal injury and would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby today at 833-LEGALGA to schedule a free consultation.

Georgia Halloween Safety Tips

halloween safety tips law

With Halloween just around the corner, be sure to keep you and your family safe while trick-or-treating or participating in other festive events. This Halloween, the Williams Elleby legal team wishes everyone in Georgia a safe and fun holiday. Below are a few safety tips to consider for parents and property owners.

Keep Your Kids Safe While Trick-or-Treating

Parents and guardians should ensure that their children have a safe trick-or-treating experience. This means making sure that the child’s costume is safe and that the child has age-appropriate supervision. Innovative costumes are integral to Halloween’s fun, but parents should make sure that their child can still see and move safely. If they will be trick-or-treating at night, children’s costumes should also be visible to drivers.

When older children are out trick-or-treating without supervision, it is safest for them to do so in a group and carry a cell phone in case of an emergency. Children should also watch for traffic and follow pedestrian traffic rules, stay in well-lit areas, only go to homes that have a front porch light on, and avoid taking short-cuts through back-yards or alleys that may not be safe.

It is also important for parents to inspect their children’s treats to make sure there is nothing dangerous and that their treats contain no tricks. For candy, this means ensuring that the treat does not present a choking hazard and is still in its factory-sealed condition.

Avoid Premises Liability

If you live in an urban or suburban neighborhood, you should assume that children will come onto your property. Young children will likely ring your doorbell even when you leave your porch light off. So, make sure you don’t have anything dangerous in your yard or on your front porch and clearly mark any risks. It is also a good idea to make sure there is nothing on your property that could be considered an “Attractive Nuisance” under Georgia law. If you are a homeowner and a child is injured while on your property, you could be considered at-fault under a theory of premises liability.

Drive with Extra Caution

With so many children walking around, it is extremely important to drive more cautiously on Halloween. Not only will many children fail to follow traffic rules, but they may also be dressed in costumes that make them difficult to see. Stay focused behind the wheel, and take extra care when turning or going through intersections.

There will also be more people out on the road on Halloween and over the weekend before Halloween, so it is important to drive defensively to avoid getting in an accident with a Halloween party-goer. And of course, if you are going to a Halloween party yourself, never drink and drive.

For More Information, Contact Williams Elleby, Today

The experienced GA personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby are dedicated to helping injury victims get the compensation they deserve. Williams Elleby is located in Kennesaw, Georgia, and serves clients throughout the state. If you or a loved one have been injured due to the wrongful actions of someone else, call Williams Elleby to schedule a free consultation today at 833-LEGALGA.

Who are the Players Involved in a Car Wreck Case?

Who are the Players Involved in a Car Wreck Case?

When involved in a car wreck in the state of Georgia, there are at least 30 players that may be involved in your case. Despite the many people you’ll likely encounter throughout your case, your personal injury attorney will assist you through every step. Read more to learn about each party and what they do to make or break your case.

  1. The At-Fault Driver: If you suffer injuries in a car wreck that was not your fault, make sure to get the at-fault driver’s contact and insurance information. You will need to know the at-fault driver’s contact and insurance information if you intend to bring a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
  2. The Injured Party: This might be you! If you are injured in a car wreck, you may be asking for compensation from the at-fault driver or their insurance company. You must find a diligent lawyer who will take the time to understand your injuries and help you recover what you deserve in your injury claim.
  3. Other Drivers in a Multiple Car Collision: This includes other drivers of vehicles involved in the accident who are not the injured victim or the at-fault driver. It’s important to get the contact and insurance information from these drivers, as they can provide more information throughout the case.
  4. Independent Witnesses: People who witness a wreck or those who stop to help the people involved are called independent witnesses. An independent witness may have seen enough of the accident that they can make or break your case. Be sure to get his or her contact information.
  5. Investigating Police Officer: The investigating police officer is the one filling out the accident report, getting information from both parties, issuing citations and filling out the narrative report.
  6. Ambulance or EMS Crew: An ambulance may arrive at the scene to provide care to any injured victims. If you are injured, be sure to let the EMS crew know of any pre-existing conditions you may have.
  7. 911 Operator: After a wreck, the first phone call you should make is to 911. The operator takes all information provided and transmits it to emergency response officers. Remember to remain calm and speak clearly to the operator so they can understand you and send necessary help.
  8. Emergency Room Personnel: ER personnel includes the doctors, nurses and technicians who assess your injuries and determine the next steps for your healthcare treatment. Let them know your injuries are from the car wreck.
  9. Adjuster for At-Fault Driver’s Insurer: The adjuster of the at-fault driver’s insurance company looks at your claim and offers a settlement for your case. They will try to settle your case for the smallest amount possible since they are not on your side. Be sure to hire a personal injury attorney who will ensure you are compensated fairly.
  10. Uninsured Motorist (UM) Adjuster: This adjuster works for your own insurance company and adjusts your claim in the instance that you are hit by a driver who has insufficient liability coverage to compensate you for your damages. They will also try to settle your claim for as little as possible. Hiring a personal injury attorney will ensure you get the most money out of your claim.
  11. Medical Payments or PIP Insurance Adjuster: This adjuster handles medical payments coverage that you may have under your automobile policy that will cover your bills regardless of whose fault the wreck was. This person is who you will send your bills to, and they will then either pay the bills directly to the provider or to you up to the amount of your insurance policy limits.
  12. Tow Company: If your vehicle sustains disabling damages, it will likely be towed to a salvage yard along with all of your personal belongings. The police officers who attended the scene will be able to give you the name of the tow truck company so you can locate your vehicle and retrieve your belongings. You will also need to let your insurance company know where your vehicle is being stored so they can assess the situation and determine any necessary further steps.
  13. Injured Victim’s Attorney: Also known as the trial lawyer or the plaintiff’s attorney, this attorney is responsible for handling all aspects of the claim for the injured victim, including pre-suit and post-suit aspects.
  14. Injured Victim’s Health Insurance Company: As the injured victim, it is important for you to get medical treatment from a provider that accepts your health insurance whenever possible. This will save you money, which can ease your financial burden.
  15. Medical Funding Company: A medical funding company assists injured victims who may not have medical insurance and cannot pay out-of-pocket but need medical treatment. These companies will pay your medical bills and receive reimbursement from the proceeds of your claim once it is settled.
  16. Lawyer for Hospital for Physician Lien: In Georgia, there is a law that allows a hospital or doctor’s office to file a lien on medical bills. This allows the doctor to collect the full amount of their bills instead of accepting the reduced amount from an insurance company. A lawyer will be able to assist you with the lien.
  17. Subrogation Analyst: A subrogation analyst’s job is to recover as much money as possible from your car wreck settlement to reimburse any relevant health insurance or lien holders for any amounts they paid related to the injured person’s care. It’s important to have a personal injury attorney on your side that can negotiate on your behalf, to save you as much money as possible.
  18. Medical Specialist: Other than your primary physician, a medical specialist includes medical doctors, chiropractors, psychiatrists, and other specialists that may help you after you’ve been involved in a car wreck.
  19. Process Server: This person is hired by your lawyer to make sure the at-fault driver is properly served the lawsuit if filed.
  20. Staff Attorney: This lawyer is employed by the court to work with judges to help them come to the right decision on disputed legal issues in your case. They are also responsible for any additional research about questions of legality to help the judge come to a decision.
  21. Court Reporter: This key player will attend all depositions, motion hearings and trial. The court reporter is responsible for transcribing all words spoken to create a written transcript that will be utilized by all parties involved.
  22. Trial Court Judge: The trial court judge is the overseer of litigation car wreck cases. The trial judge will decide who is right about what law applies to your case and may also issue scheduling orders and deadlines throughout your case.
  23. Insurance Defense Lawyer: Also known as the defense attorney, this person is responsible for defending the case on behalf of the at-fault driver. They will conduct discovery and try the case on behalf of the at-fault driver, if needed.
  24. Expert Witness: This includes accident reconstructionist, biomechanical experts, medical doctors, etc. These people can attend trial and offer an opinion that may be beyond the knowledge of the average juror.
  25. Investigators: In a car wreck case, an investigator may be hired by the at-fault driver’s insurance company to follow the injured party around in an effort to try and catch them doing something that makes it appear as if they are not injured. Investigators are also used by both parties to locate witnesses for more information on the case.
  26. Mediator: A mediator is the middleman of a mediation. His or her primary duty is to meet with both parties involved and help them come to a settlement so a trial is not needed and both parties are satisfied.
  27. Focus Group: To better help your personal injury attorneys prepare for trial, they may hire a focus group that will listen to both sides of the case and provide feedback and/or helpful suggestions that will benefit your case.
  28. Jury: The jury is composed of twelve disassociated citizens that will decide which side wins at trial. The jury will return a verdict in favor of the injured party or the defendant. If the verdict is in favor of the injured party, the jury will normally decide how much should be awarded.
  29. Courtroom Visuals: Visuals, including medical illustrations, PowerPoint presentations, videos, recorded 911 calls, etc., are beneficial to a case in allowing the jury to fully grasp the extent of the car wreck and any sustained injuries.
  30. Appellate Court: The appeals courts in Georgia include The Court of Appeals of Georgia and The Supreme Court of Georgia. After a car wreck trial or motions hearing, The Court of Appeals is usually the first line of appeal for any alleged errors from the trial court. The court will hear the case and decide whether to affirm or reverse the trial court or to remand the case to trial court.

There are many moving parts involved with a car accident case, and it can become confusing and overwhelming to face alone. Trustworthy personal injury attorneys like those in our office are here to help. Have you recently been involved in a car accident in the state of Georgia? Call Williams Elleby at 833-LEGALGA (833-534-2542) today to schedule a free initial consultation.