Common Myths about Personal Injury Attorneys

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For those that have never needed a personal injury attorney, it might be easy to believe or perpetuate the common myths we hear about our profession.  Let’s address the common myths we hear and explain what really happens at a personal injury firm.

Myth #1: Lawyers Will Sue for Anything

Technically you can sue for anything, but good lawyers consider the cost and if there is a credible claim to be made. Most personal injury attorneys are fronting their own money and advancing case expenses for your case.  Attorneys will only bring claims they believe have merit or a reasonable chance for success.

Myth #2: Lawyers Take All The Money

Personal injury attorneys work on contingency, meaning they do not get paid unless their clients get paid.  Injury attorneys earn a percentage of the recovery, the amount settled for or awarded at trial.  The percentage amount varies based on the type of case and whether the case is in suit or not in suit. Most attorneys charge somewhere between 30% and 40% for the vast majority of injury cases.

Myth #3: Lawyers Chase Ambulances

Any reputable lawyer is not going to “chase down” cases however, there are some lawyers and even non-lawyers that try to find cases and then sell those cases to other lawyers.  Unfortunately, this does happen, but it is not fair to assign that stigma to all personal injury attorneys. Reputable attorneys do not find you in the emergency room or contact you after an injury.  If an attorney is approaching you about a car wreck offering his or her representation, please know that is unethical and against the law.  You do NOT want an attorney that chases you because that means they are so desperate for clients that they are willing to violate legal and ethical rules just to gets clients.

Myth #4: All Cases are Worth A Million Dollars

You don’t want a million-dollar injury case because if your case is worth that much, something life altering happened and you are terribly injured.    Each case is different and evaluated on many factors that include property damage, severity of injury, treatment, pain and suffering, missed work, and so on.  Personal injury attorneys try to get you what is fair and reasonable based on your unique case.

Myth #5: All Personal Injury Lawyers Try Cases

It is important to know that not all personal injury attorneys try cases.  Some attorneys will not even put cases in suit, meaning they won’t file a complaint or do litigation to get maximum value for your case.  These attorneys look to settle cases early and as fast as possible because that is their business model.  Injury victims should always ask about a lawyer’s trial experience before deciding whether to hire the lawyer.

Myth #6: Lawyers are Too Expensive

Some people believe you have to pay a retainer in order to hire an attorney.  That is not the case with personal injury attorneys.  Again, most injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they don’t get paid until they obtain a financial recovery for their client.  Contingency fees are variable as discussed in Myth #2 above; however, if an injury attorney wants to charge 45%-50% for a simple car wreck case, they are likely asking too much. Take your time and interview several attorneys, ask about their contingency fee, then choose the right one for you. 

Myth #7: Lawyers Drive Away Business from the State

This myth was generated by politicians. Any reputable business is going to have insurance. Attorneys will almost always give corporations and individuals the opportunity to settle their case within their insurance limits.  Good attorneys are not in the business of forcing people into bankruptcy or running businesses into the ground.  Of course, attorneys want to ensure their clients are fully compensated for their damages. However, forcing someone into bankruptcy doesn’t benefit anyone, not even the injured client because the full judgement is rarely collectible when the defendant is in bankruptcy.  Politicians might try to speak about a rare case to vilify someone or increase their political platform, but those politicians are usually speaking on behalf of the insurance industry and the lobbyists who fund their election campaigns.

Myth #8: My Lawyer Can Solve My Problems

An individual lawyer cannot solve all of your legal problems.  Attorneys, just like doctors, specialize.  For example, our firm can help you with personal injury matters such as a car wreck case, slip and fall, bicycle accident, medical malpractice, burn injuries and more, but we are not the firm to call when you are getting a divorce or find yourself in a criminal case.  Remember to seek out and ask for an attorney that has expertise in your area of need.

What Should I Do If I’m Hit by an Uninsured Driver?

A two vehicle motor vehicle accident with police on scene.

There are several things you should be aware of if you are hit by an uninsured driver. A driver may have an insurance card at the scene of a wreck but you have no way of knowing whether that insurance is expired, whether it applies to that particular vehicle, or whether that driver has permission to be driving that vehicle. So what should you do if you’re hit by an assumed uninsured driver?

Find out if the driver is, in fact, an uninsured driver.

Being hit by an uninsured driver could mean a handful of things.  There could be no insurance on the vehicle or the person that hit you may not be authorized to drive that vehicle. An attorney can determine whether the at-fault driver is uninsured by looking at the police report and sending a letter to the applicable insurance company to find out if that person is a proper driver.

Notify your own insurance company.

Most automobile insurance contracts require you to notify the insurer about any car accident within a reasonable time. If you do not comply with the terms of the insurance contract, your insurer may deny coverage.  If you have been hit by an uninsured driver, the uninsured motorist coverage of your policy would be utilized to cover any damages you suffered in the wreck.  If you are hurt by an uninsured driver, it is best to speak with an attorney because your own insurance company is going to defend that case against you, which puts you in a tricky position.

 Identify all insurance policies.

There are many different types of insurance policies and it is important to locate and share them all with your attorney.  Some insurance companies write specific policies for each vehicle in a household where as others write one policy that covers all vehicles in a home. 

Additionally, most all of your common insurance companies have what is known as resident relative coverage. This means that all relatives from the same household are entitled to use insurance policies from all other relatives in the same household, regardless of company.

 Treat your wreck like any other wreck.

Just like if you were hit by an insured driver, follow the same steps we suggest doing after any wreck.  Click here to read the 7 MOST IMPORTANT things to do after an accident

 If you are the victim of a hit and run, your case would be treated the same as if you were hit by an uninsured driver.  Your own insurance company is going to defend that case against you, so it is important to document as much as you can, take photos, look for witnesses, and seek medical treatment.

If you have been hit by an uninsured driver and would like to discuss your case for free, give us a call at 833-LEGAL-GA.

How Do I Prove Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Case?

One construction worker wrapping an injured arm of another construction worker with construction equipment in the background.

If you have been injured and are forced to miss work or miss the opportunity for work, you can seek lost wages as an item of damages from the at-fault insurance company.  A common question we are asked is, “how do I prove lost wages in a personal injury case?”

W-2 Employee

Proving lost wages for a W-2 employee is pretty clean and simple.  If you are a W-2 employee, someone who gets paid the same amount every two weeks, the easiest way to prove lost wages is to get a pay stub.  From your pay stub, calculate your hourly rate and multiply that by the number of hours you were forced to miss work.

1099 Employee

Currently though, we have an increasing ‘gig economy,’ a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations hire independent workers for short-term commitments” (Tech Target, 2022).  Most gig employees are paid by 1099, meaning hours of work are not necessarily consistent.  So if a 1099 employee is forced to miss work due to a personal injury, it is more difficult to prove how much work, or compensation, was actually missed.

The best way to prove lost wages for a 1099 employee is to average out your typical compensation and hours worked.  The longer the history of contract work available, the easier this is to do.

Another way to prove lost wages is to show documentation of work you were scheduled to do, that now will be delayed or canceled due to your personal injury.  Documentation of scheduled work could be a text, email, or signed contract showing the type of work and compensation agreed upon by both parties.

Business Owners

Unless you are in a real niche industry, a business owner’s income fluctuates with the success of the business.  Therefore, a business owner’s lost wages can be more difficult to prove in a personal injury case.  Business owners need to review their tax documents, profit and loss statements, and more to determine a reasonable income or compensation for missed work.

Proving lost wages for 1099 employees and business owners is made easier with a history of earnings. Trying to extrapolate figures from your history of work to projections of what you would have earned had you not missed work due to a personal injury is how we go about calculating lost wages.  This does not have to be proven with exact certainty;  a reasonable projection of what you would have earned is legally sufficient in most states.

One thing to keep in mind when you receive damages for lost wages is that money is taxable.  As opposed to money you might receive for bodily injury, medical bills, or pain and suffering, money for lost wages is still and will be considered taxable income.  For this reason, depending on your case and the size of your claim, it may or may not be in your best interest to make a claim for lost wages. For instance, if you have a million dollars worth of medical bills and catastrophic lifelong injuries, it might not be worth arguing a small lost wages claim—you want the court to focus on your larger claims and your attorney will have more leeway to argue for an overall larger award that is not taxable.  This allows you to benefit the most from the money awarded to you for your personal injury.

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence and would like to discuss your case for free with one of our attorneys at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter, please give us a call at 833-LEGAL-GA.

How to Evaluate a Personal Injury Attorney and Their Rates

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If you’ve been injured in an accident, slip-and fall, or medical procedure and are considering a personal injury lawsuit, your first step is to pick an attorney. This is an important and often daunting decision since your attorney will have a huge impact on the outcome of the case. The following are some tips to help you evaluate a Georgia personal injury attorney and their rates.

Evaluating Personal Injury Attorneys

The first step to evaluating a possible Georgia personal injury attorney is to learn about them. Review their website, Google search results, and online reviews. Look for an attorney who has solid ties to Georgia, has a strong legal education, is experienced in personal injury cases, cares about his or her clients, and has a good reputation. To make this evaluation, look for information about:

  • The attorney’s location and willingness to meet with you at a convenient location.
  • The attorney’s ties to the community.
  • Where the attorney went to law school.
  • The attorney and law firm’s experience working on personal injury cases in Georgia.
  • Awards and recognitionthe attorney has received.
  • News articles about the attorney or law firm.
  • The resultsof the attorney and law firm’s cases.
  • How the attorney’s law firm views its clients; for example, does the tone of the website sound like the firm cares about its clients or just treats them as a way to make money?
  • Reviews of the attorney and law firm’s work.

When reading reviews, pay most attention to the majority opinion. What do most reviewers think about the attorney? As with all types of online reviews, there are sometimes people who write reviews that do not accurately reflect the situation, and sometimes, unethical competitors even write bad reviews.

In addition to reading about the attorney, if possible, talk to anyone you know who has used the same attorney. Ask them about their experience working with the attorney. This type of first-hand information will help you learn what the attorney is really like.

Interview the Attorney

Don’t hire an attorney without talking to them first. You will get a much better sense of them during a conversation than you can based on just reading about them online.

Ask the attorney about their experience handling personal injury cases like yours, experience going to trial, the outcomes of their past personal injury cases, how much support they have from their law firm, their relationships with local experts, how often they will be in touch with you, and anything else you want to know about their abilities. A good Georgia personal injury attorney will be happy to answer these questions.

In addition to evaluating their experience, pay attention to how the attorney treats you, their tone of voice when answering your questions, and if you feel like they are someone you can trust. Trust is a cornerstone of the attorney-client relationship. You will be sharing confidential information with your personal injury attorney and trusting them to take action in your best interests.

Evaluating Personal Injury Attorney Rates

Determine whether the attorney’s fee is an hourly rate or contingency fee. Most personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency-fee basis which means you only pay the attorney’s fees if you win the case, or obtain a settlement in your favor. The fees come out of your recovery so you do not have to pay out of pocket. Contingency fee agreements must be in writing, so read the agreement carefully before you sign.

Consider Costs

In addition to the contingency fee, some law firms charge their personal injury clients for the legal costs associated with the lawsuit. Costs can include things like filing fees, expert evaluation fees, medical record fees, copying costs, mailing costs, and other expenses incurred in litigation of a lawsuit.

Ask prospective attorneys whether they charge for legal costs and if so, what costs they charge for. Also ask whether you are responsible for the costs if you do not recover money from the case. Consider costs and the risk of having to pay out of pocket when evaluating a law firm’s rates.

Take Experience Into Account

Experience should be considered in determining whether a law firm or attorneys’ rates are reasonable. For example, it is typically better to hire an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney with a higher rate than to pay a Georgia business law attorney with no experience at a lower rate.

Experience affects the outcome of the case, which affects how much you recover. It is possible to take home more money paying an attorney a higher percentage than paying a less-experienced attorney a lower percentage because the experienced attorney gets you a higher recovery from the lawsuit.

At Williams Elleby Howard & Easter, we understand that if you are considering a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, you likely have questions about what it will cost you. We would be happy to talk to you about your potential case and our legal costs. Call us at 833-LEGALGA (833-534-2542) or sign-up here to set up a free consultation.

Georgia’s Hospital Lien Statute: How Hospitals Rip off Insured Patients

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Georgia’s hospital lien statute, codified as O.C.G.A. § 44-14-470, gives hospitals the opportunity to rip off injured victims. When a hospital provides medical care to an injured person, such as someone injured in a car accident, they have the right under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. 44-14-470, to file a lien against any cause of action related to the injury. The lien is a legal claim that the hospital is entitled to a portion of the funds recovered by the injured person in any lawsuit or settlement.

Georgia law sets forth requirements that hospitals must follow to assert a valid lien, such as providing notice to the patient and filing the lien with the local court within a set period of time. Hospitals are experienced in filing medical liens so with few exceptions, they typically comply.

There are hospitals in Georgia that use Georgia’s hospital lien statute to rip-off injured patients. It’s unfair, unethical, and inconsistent with Georgia’s caring and hospitable nature. We want you to know about this abusive practice so that if you or a family member ever require hospital care after an accident, you can fight back.

How Hospitals Rip off Injured Patients

You may be wondering what’s unfair about hospitals using Georgia’s hospital lien statute. After all, shouldn’t hospitals be paid for the care they provide? Hospitals and other medical care providers should always be paid reasonable amounts for the services they provide. The problem lies in how some hospitals use the lien law.

Hospitals typically have a “chargemaster,” which is a list of the prices for every single service or supply that a hospital provides. Chargemaster rates are typically very high, an average of four times the cost of the service or supply provided. Hospitals do not usually receive these high rates, instead, they offer health insurance companies far lower rates.

When a lawsuit is involved, some hospitals see it as a money-making opportunity. They file a lien for the heavily inflated chargemaster rates — sometimes instead of billing insurance. That’s right. Hospitals routinely refuse to bill the patient’s health insurance because they know they won’t get paid as much. In many cases, the chargemaster rates are unreasonable, which is impermissible under Georgia’s hospital lien statute. The statute only permits hospitals to recover “reasonable charges,” O.C.G.A. 44-14-470.

Reasonable charges are exactly what anyone is entitled to when they provide a service for someone else but many hospitals don’t see it that way. Hospitals often get away with filing liens for these exorbitant fees because injured patients are not aware they can challenge them. The hospital ends up with a windfall at the expense of the injured person who little, or virtually nothing, from the lawsuit that was supposed to compensate them for the injuries they suffered.

Unreasonable Hospital Liens Hurt Patients and Drive up Litigation Costs

During the trial of a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, Plaintiffs must prove the medical expenses incurred due to the accident were reasonable and necessary. Allen v. Spiker, 301 Ga. App. 893 (2009). If the Plaintiff can’t show that the bills were reasonable and necessary, her or she cannot recover the amount of those bills. So, why should a hospital be allowed to place a lien on the Plaintiff’s case and recover for services that aren’t necessary or for charges that are unreasonable? It makes no sense and only benefits hospitals that try to rip off their patients.

Hospital liens also drive up the costs of litigation. How? Suppose a hospital places a lien on a patient’s injury claim for $100,000.00 for the “chargemaster rates.” Assume further that the patient has health insurance and the health insurer would have paid the hospital $50,000.00 for the reasonable value of the services. What if there is only $100,000.00 of automobile insurance available to compensate the patient? In this situation, the patient is not likely settle his or her claim for the insurance limits because the hospital will have its hand out waiting to be paid its grossly excessive fees.

This forces the patient to file a lawsuit in a case that could otherwise be settled. It also subjects the at-fault party to personal financial exposure from a verdict that exceeds the insurance limits. In our hypothetical situation, litigation could have been avoided if the hospital simply accepted reasonable payment from the injured patient’s health insurance company.

Fighting Back Against Hospitals Unfair Lien Practices

At Williams Elleby Howard & Easter, we believe that when someone is injured in an accident, they should be able to obtain the medical care they need without worrying about hospital bills in the future. We believe that hospitals should charge fair prices to all patients and not try to drive prices up when they know a patient may receive money from a lawsuit or insurance company. These are pretty basic ethical standards, but unfortunately, not all hospitals seem to agree.

The good news is that people are becoming aware of some hospitals’ abusive billing practices. Personal injury attorneys across the country are fighting against hospitals that try to rip off patients. As injured patients learn more, they have started hiring attorneys to advocate on their behalf. News organizations are publishing articles that highlight the hospitals’ attempts to rip off personal injury patients and calling out — by name — the most abusive hospitals. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but the progress is positive.

If you or someone you know has suffered personal injuries in Georgia, make sure you hire a law firm that is knowledgeable in the state’s hospital lien laws and not afraid to fight back. If you have questions about lien laws or whether you have a case, call the attorneys at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter at 833-LEGALGA to schedule a free consultation with one of our Georgia trial attorneys.

Get to Know Chase Elleby – Partner

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Personal injury attorney Chase Elleby has recently become a named partner at Williams|Elleby. Together with Joel Williams, they litigate serious cases involving car accidents, tractor-trailer wrecks and premises liability injuries throughout the state of Georgia. Chase shared his thoughts on practicing law, his relationships with his clients and where he sees his career taking him in the future.

What is your favorite thing about being a lawyer?

Not to sound too cliché but my favorite thing about being a lawyer is being able to help people in a time of need. A personal injury claim and lawsuit is extremely overwhelming. Being able to help people navigate the claims process and fight on their behalf to make sure they receive fair compensation is very rewarding. 

What excites you about being able to practice law in your hometown of Kennesaw?

Everything! Growing up in Kennesaw and being able to work and raise my kids here is great. The community gave me so much growing up (including my wife, who also grew up in Kennesaw), and I hope to give back as much as I can.

What are some of the biggest challenges your personal injury clients face after an injury?

The biggest challenge facing our personal injury clients is getting better. Any injury, including minor and severe ones, can be scary because you never know if your body will recover or if you will be living with the injury for the rest of your life. Injuries not only take a toll physically, but they are also mentally and financially debilitating. Making sure you are protected, and that your attorney is going to fight to help you in a time of need, is very important.

How has your experience as a defense lawyer helped your personal injury clients?

My prior experience has given me perspective. Understanding what most insurance companies and defense attorneys are trying to accomplish with each case helps me explain to my clients what they are up against and what to expect. It also helps me to identify weaknesses in my cases so I am better prepared to fight for my clients.

Looking back on your legal career, what is the one thing you are most proud of?

Becoming a partner with Joel. He’s a fantastic lawyer and mentor and an even better person. I’m grateful to be a part of this firm.

You recently became a named partner at Williams|Elleby. What are your goals as a partner and where do you see the firm 10 years from now?

My goals will be the same – to keep doing my best and working hard every day for all of my clients to help them through one of the most difficult moments in their lives. I see the firm continuing to grow in the years to come and making a positive impact in our community.

If you would like more information about the attorneys at Williams|Elleby or would like to discuss your situation, get in touch for a free consultation – 833-LEGALGA.

Chase Elleby Named Firm Partner

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Williams Elleby Howard & Easter is happy to announce the naming of Chase Elleby as an official partner of the firm, which has changed its name to Williams Elleby Howard & Easter. This name change is effective October 1, 2019 and represents the important contributions that Elleby has made through his work.

Elleby joined the firm in 2017, handling a variety of personal injury cases including auto and truck collisions, school bus accidents, medical malpractice, negligent security, wrongful death and day care injuries. During this time, he helped recover millions of dollars on behalf of the firm’s clients, exemplifying the hard work and dedication that is valued at the firm.

“Changing the name of our firm recognizes Chase’s significant contributions and the outstanding results he has achieved on our clients’ behalf,” said Joel Williams, founding partner. “Chase is a very talented attorney who works tirelessly to get justice for personal injury victims throughout the State of Georgia.”

Elleby also offers a unique perspective to the firm. Prior to representing the injured and their families, he represented corporations and insurance companies. This provided him with valuable insight into how insurance companies work and he has implemented this into his current practice. He also has extensive knowledge of automobile insurance law, medical billing, and medical insurance coverage which helps him maximize the recovery for our clients.

Williams and Elleby look forward to the opportunity to work together as partners as they continue serving their clients. “It is an honor to fight for justice for our clients,” Elleby said, “I am proud of the work Joel and I do to help our fellow Georgians.”

If you would like to learn more about the firm, reach out to Joel and Chase by phone at 833-LEGALGA or by email at and

Obtaining a Car Accident Report in Georgia

A typed list describing types of vehicle collisions including head-on, side swipe, rear end, broadside, etc.
While a car accident is a stressful event, there is a very clear process in place to obtain a car accident report in Georgia. The first thing that you should do after a car accident is to call the police and report the accident. The police report will be a vital piece of evidence for your personal injury claim. If you file a personal injury claim with an automobile insurance company, the insurer will most certainly ask whether an accident report was filed and then ask for access to it.

What Is a Car Accident Report?

car accident report is a document that the responding police officers fill out while at the scene of the accident. It captures essential information about the who, what, when, where, and how of the accident. Specifically, this includes:
  • The names, addresses, contact number, and insurance information for those involved in the accident — this includes the drivers and passengers in both vehicles
  • Vehicle damage
  • The date of the accident
  • The time of the accident
  • The location of the accident
  • Contact information for any witnesses to the accident
  • Any injuries
  • Additional notes on behavior or circumstances surround the accident

How Do You Obtain a Car Accident Report?

There are usually two ways that you can obtain a copy of the police report: paid or free. If you do not want to spend any money, then after you file a claim with your insurance company, you can ask if they can obtain a free copy for you. If you decide to take the paid route, you will use the receipt number that the responding police officer provided to you at the scene of the accident and contact the traffic division of the police department to request a copy. You will be required to pay a fee, but it is usually nominal. You can also access most Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reports at the website If you do not have the police report receipt from the responding officer, you can still get a paid copy from the traffic division by providing specific details of the accident as well as your name. Usually a letter with the following language will be sufficient to obtain the accident report and other publically available evidence you may need: “Pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70 & 50-18-71), I am requesting a complete copy of the original motor vehicle accident reports, photographs, dash cam videos, and any additional documentation you may have regarding an automobile wreck I was involved in on [INSERT DATE OF YOUR WRECK] in [INSERT COUNTY] at [INSERT ROAD NAME WHERE THE WRECK OCCURRED].”

How Is a Car Accident Report Used in a Lawsuit or Settlement?

Prior to trial, a police report is extremely useful during settlement negotiations with the automobile insurance company. Unfortunately, the complete police report is usually not admissible evidence if your personal injury case ends up going to trial. Some portions of the report may be admissible while other portions are not.

For More Information, Contact Our Georgia Car Accident Lawyers

Obtaining a car accident report is pretty straightforward and painless — which is a good thing considering how important it is to your Georgia car crash case. If you have recently been in a car accident in Georgia and think that you may want to file a personal injury claim, it’s best to seek out an experienced legal professional. Contact Williams Elleby Howard & Easter to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.

Preparing for a Consultation with a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer

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If you need to consult with a personal injury attorney in Georgia, there are some things you should know prior to meeting with the attorney. There are many fine personal injury attorneys in Georgia but you need to find the one that is the best attorney for your case. This begins with the initial consultation.

What Is a Lawyer Consultation?

Most personal injury consultations are free of charge. The vast majority of Georgia personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and will only get paid if you win your case.

Think of your initial meeting like an interview — you are interviewing the attorney and the attorney is interviewing you. A bad lawyer can kill your case so be sure you are comfortable with the lawyer’s skills and professional accomplishments before you agree to hire his or her firm. It is a huge red flag if the attorney sends an investigator or paralegal to meet with you during the initial consultation. Stay away from attorneys that don’t attend initial consultations because they are likely too busy to handle your case if they can’t make time for an initial consultation.

During your initial meeting, you will share details and talk about your accident or injury. The attorney should be listening carefully to determine whether they can help you, and whether you have a valid claim. When sitting face-to-face with the attorney, you can get a feel for who they are and how they might work. Don’t overlook this point because you are entrusting them with your case.

What to Expect During a Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer

During the consultation, you can expect to discuss the facts of your case, any evidence you may have, whether the facts of your case meet the legal requirements for a lawsuit, and your eligibility for any compensation. You should also discuss the steps involved in bringing a personal injury case as well as things you should and should not do in regards to your injury.

The Facts

An attorney will need to know the events that led to your accident or injury. Where you were, what you were doing, your relationship to the defendant, were you driving, were you a pedestrian, what sort of vehicles were involved, were there any warning signs of danger, was the floor wet, and many other facts that help create a picture of what happened. If you took notes immediately after your accident, this is one instance where they will be valuable.


An attorney should not expect you to have every single bit of evidence at this stage in your case; however, do share with the attorney contact information for any witnesses, photos of the scene, police reports, medical records, and any other proof to support your case.

Legal Requirements

This is the part of the consultation where the attorney will assess whether the at-fault party should be required to pay you damages. If the facts of your case don’t meet the legal requirement to file a lawsuit, the attorney should let you know. At this stage, the attorney has only your version of the facts to go on, so you should answer all of their questions honestly and truthfully.


If you have met the legal requirements for a lawsuit, during the consultation the lawyer will go over the types of compensation you may be awarded, either in a settlement or if you win your case at trial.

You should also discuss the importance of identifying all sources of insurance because the vast majority of defendants in Georgia personal injury cases do not have enough assets to pay a substantial judgment.

For Your Free Consultation, Contact Williams Elleby Howard & Easter

Our attorneys are here to help you figure out what to do next. If you have been injured in Georgia and have questions about the law and the facts of your case, contact Williams Elleby Howard & Easter to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.

Metro Atlanta Truck Driver Fell Asleep before Bus Crash that Killed 13 in California

fatigued driving crash injured

One year after a crash in California that left 13 dead and 30 others injured, authorities arrested the truck driver deemed to be responsible in Georgia. The truck driver put his truck in park when the freeway he was on was shut down in the early morning due to construction. He fell asleep. When the freeway reopened, the driver didn’t wake up and his truck remained stationery as traffic began zooming past. The dangerous situation ended in tragedy when a bus traveling at more than 75 mph slammed into the truck. The driver was arrested on vehicular manslaughter and gross negligence charges.

Truck drivers are supposed to sleep a certain number of hours for every day that they work, but authorities believe that the driver chose to keep driving through that time. The driver is believed to have violated federal regulations by driving too many hours and attempting to hide the violations by falsifying his daily driver’s log.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there are roughly 72,000 accidents caused by drowsy driving each year, resulting in an estimated 41,000 injuries and more than 800 deaths. According to the NHTSA:

Drowsy driving is not just falling asleep at the wheel – it is impairment that in many ways mimics driving when drunk. Drowsiness leads to slower reaction times, and impaired attention, mental processing, judgment, and decision making. Drowsiness can occur from accumulating sleep debt (typically <6 hours a night) across multiple nights, or from only one night of not sleeping.

Crashes caused by fatigued truck drivers can happen anytime, but occur most frequently late at night or early in the morning. Research has also shown that young drivers are nearly twice as likely to be drowsy at the time of a crash. But the demographic most likely to drive drowsy are truck drivers, who are often pressured to work long hours at a time and drive multiple days in a week. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits the number of hours that truck drivers are allowed to be on the road each day and week; however it is all too common for truck drivers and trucking companies to ignore these regulations.

The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has determined that the “risk, danger, and often tragic results of drowsy driving are alarming.” Shockingly, in a survey conducted by the CDC, 4% of drivers stated that they fell asleep behind the wheel in the past 30 days. Drivers should always make sure they have been getting enough sleep before going on long trips, and should prioritize remaining alert when on the road. Drowsy driving isn’t a risk worth taking. Remember, if you think you might be too sleepy to drive, you are almost certainly too sleepy to drive.

For More Information, Contact Williams Elleby Howard & Easter

Williams Elleby Howard & Easter, is dedicated to helping truck accident victims get justice. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, Williams Elleby Howard & Easter, can help you understand your legal rights and options. Call today to schedule a free consultation at 833-LEGALGA. You can also find more helpful information on the dangers of drowsy driving at