Trusted Georgia Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been hurt as a result of someone’s carelessness, you probably feel a lot of different emotions – anger, frustration, worry, and anxiety are common. That is not abnormal, and it is certainly understandable. One of our goals is to provide you with information that will help you identify a personal injury lawyer that can get clarity and the compensation that you deserve from the person that caused your injury.
We’re focused on getting to the heart of your case. It’s really easy to get bogged down in the details of any given case and to get held up with procedural problems. When delays occur, evidentiary problems arise with the loss of evidence and an inability to locate witnesses. Our goal is is to make this process as simple as possible as we can for you and to help you understand what is going to happen with your case – it is your personal injury case. We want you to know what actionable steps we’re taking to make sure that we help you get the maximum recovery out of your case as quickly as possible. Those are our goals and everything that we do going forward should be with those goals in mind.
Whether you have been hurt in a car accident or suffered as a result of the negligence of a doctor, call The Sessions Law Firm, LLC, today for a free consultation.
How Much is Your Personal Injury Case Worth?
For many of our clients, their injury severely and even catastrophically impacted the financial wellbeing of their family. The financial strain of an injury can be overwhelming, so it is not surprising that many clients are concerned with how much their personal injury case is worth.
Be careful of only valuing your personal injury case based upon a multiple of your medical expenses. It is very common for lawyers to take the total of your medical expenses and to recommend that clients settle cases for 1.5 to 3 times that amount without giving consideration to other important value drivers in a case.
Know What Will Be Paid From Your Personal Injury Settlement
There’s hardly a week that goes by where I don’t receive a call from someone who’s been involved in a personal injury case, had their case settled up, received a check, and then they start getting calls from a hospital, a doctor, even a health insurance company about monies that are owed to them out of the settlement. That is a very frequent problem. And one that is completely preventable. If you just have a lawyer, who’s willing to have one. I came to the conversation with you about what your actual recovery is about the case. And two is willing to actually take the time to figure out what monies are still owed, whether or not you owe any reimbursement to an insurance company. So before you settle a personal injury case, you need to make sure that you’re having a really hard conversation with the lawyer. One before you even agreed to the amount that’s being offered to you by the insurance company, but two at the time that you’re actually signing the documents to know, Hey, are you in fact, taking care of all the bills? Am I going to receive any calls from a doctor in the future, a health insurance company in the future to say, Hey, you owe me this money reimbursement for this. Make sure you know that because honestly it will be a very difficult thing to do to strike a check out of your own account that for that money that’s already been spent or already been allocated towards something else in the future. I hope this is helpful. Um, you guys have any questions, feel free to drop them below. Thank you so much. Have a good weekend.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer Should Not Be the Cause of Delays in Your Case.
One of the most frustrating aspects of a personal injury case for many clients is the time delay that’s associated with getting a settlement or judgment in their case. Far too many lawyers wait too long to begin actually investigating and pursuing your claim. That is a real concern in our office. We work diligently to try to avoid this problem in each and every one of our cases. When delays occur, problems creep into the case and it puts off your recovery. A delay could also compromise your ability to get recovery. Let’s say for example, that your lawyer sits on your case for 16 months, does virtually nothing to pursue the claim until about 16 months after the date of the accident. If that were the case, and if that were to occur, then your ability to interview witnesses that may have seen the accident or talk to people who may have information about the accident is virtually gone.
Your personal injury lawyer may have a very difficult time finding and locating witnesses if he/she delays the pursuit of your case. Beyond that, your lawyer may be unable to pursue the claim because they cannot find and serve the defendant with the complaint because of the delay. Now, if your defendant can’t be located and your lawyer can’t serve them with the complaint through a marshal or through an appointed process server, then you’re not going to be able to maintain a lawsuit against them. If you can’t settle the case within the statute of limitations, it is not uncommon at all for insurers to recognize that your lawyer has procrastinated on the handling of the case and to refuse to settle the case. Then, you’re in a position where a lawsuit must be pursued in order to obtain a settlement or a judgment against the defendant. However, if they refuse to settle the case up against the statute of limitations and you can’t serve the defendant, then you’re in a position where you can’t obtain a recovery. And the case is for all practical purposes, worthless, despite the fact that you may have had clear liability and very real injuries after the accident.
WHY IS TIME THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN YOU GETTING PAID FOR YOUR INJURIES?
Getting paid in your personal injury case requires attention to detail and focus. Unfortunately, many lawyers that handle personal injury case do not give the cases the attention and focus required. This is not because they are incapable of focusing. The problem is that most lawyers do not have the time required to focus upon their cases. Many personal injury lawyer are simply always focused on getting the next and, hopefully, larger case.
Most clients simply do not recognized that many personal injury attorneys are engaged in this constant sales process, and that they (the client) are part of a process. The client does not recognize that their case will likely be handed off to a paralegal or secretary and that they will have very real difficulty speaking with the lawyer again.
The problem is this: you, as the client, want to get paid as quickly as possible. If you are like most of my clients, you money in order to get back on your feet. However, your case will likely never be resolved without attention for your attorney.
It is difficult but you need to be aware of the business environment that you are stepping into. You need to know how and by whom your case will be handled.
If you would like to discuss your personal injury case with us, please call us today.
What Determines the Value of A Personal Injury Case?
You’ll frequently hear people discussing the valuation of personal injury cases talking about value enhancers. Value enhancers are facts in the case that increase what the case is perceived to be worth. Things that increase the value of your personal injury case can take many different forms. Value enhancers may be an extreme or graphic injury caused by the party. It could be exceptional cases of recklessness or negligence by the defendant. For example, a DUI driver in a car accident is a real value driver in most cases. It could also be a repeated pattern of failure to properly maintain a truck, for example. All those things are facts that we can look at as potential value drivers in personal injury cases, and they are by no means an exclusive list of value enhancers or value drivers. We certainly want to look for those things and, particularly, actions on behalf of the defendant or things that the defendant failed to do that could be real value drivers or enhancers.
Frequently Asked Questions in Personal Injury Cases
- What is negligence and why does it matter in my Georgia personal injury case?
- Can I change lawyers in my Georgia personal injury case?
- Can I settle my personal injury case myself?
- Should I be cautious about referrals from medical care providers to a lawyer?
- Will I be responsible for attorney’s fees or costs if we do not win?
Have you been harmed in a Bird scooter accident?
The Sessions Law Firm is here to represent you and help guide you through the process of your case. Visit our page on Bird Scooter accidents for more information.
Fire Injuries and an Insurer’s Expert Strategy
Injuries in fires are heavily scrutinized by insurance companies, and you have to be very aware of the level of strategy that they employ in their efforts to avoid paying out for personal injuries and property loss resulting from fires. Once you gain some level of insight into the level of planning and strategizing that insurance companies undertake to avoid responsibility for making payments to people that have paid for policies, you will quickly understand why it is crucial that you retain an experience injury and insurance attorney to help protect your rights.
The quote below is from the Claims Journal, which is an insurance industry publication. This article was produced following an insurance industry seminar in which a presentation was given on expert witnesses in fire-related cases:
“Fire Experts in Today’s Courts: A Dramatization Legal Update”, was presented last month during NASP’s annual conference held in Reno, Nevada. The panelists included subrogation attorneys Ken Levine, Michael Munger and Raymond Mack, all with de Luca Levine and David Klitsch, the owner of Technical Fire Analysis.
The experts cautioned against receiving a written report too early in a claim in that it could hinder subrogation efforts later.
The session touched upon Daubert factors that apply to fire expert testimony. Daubert refers to the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. The Daubert decision defines when expert witness testimony will be permitted. The federal expert witness standard states that expert witnesses are only allowed to testify based on sufficient facts and reliability of testing methods in coming to their conclusion. The factors include:
- Whether the expert theory or technique can be tested;
- Whether the theory or technique can be measured;
- Whether the theory or technique is generally accepted among peers;
- Whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication.
The panel experts said that the plaintiff in a case has the burden to prove an expert is qualified. Once expert testimony is submitted, the court may make its decision solely on submitted briefs, sometimes just on testimony and sometimes on both.
I emphasized this statement: “The experts cautioned against receiving a written report too early in a claim in that it could hinder subrogation efforts later.” So, if an insurer’s witnesses are being candid about their observations, why would providing a written statement “too early” be a concern?
What do you do when an insurance company makes an offer to resolve your case that you believe is just completely unreasonable?
What should you do when an insurance company makes an offer to resolve your case that you believe is just completely unreasonable? This is a common question and a common problem that clients have to deal with in personal injury cases.
From the outset of your case, you should know that it is very likely that an insurance company is going to make an offer that will appear downright offensive when it comes to valuing your case and your claims. The question is how will you, and your lawyer, respond to that initial offer?
When a client comes to our office, I like to talk to them about low settlement offers from the beginning of their case. I will ask them whether or not they would be willing to reject low settlement offers and take their case to court if necessary. What I want to know is if they really believe in their case and will be willing to pursue it all the way until the end. Understanding my client’s willingness to fight against unreasonable settlement offers allows me to fully commit time, money and resources to getting the recovery they deserve.
So when you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, know that you will likely receive a low offer from the insurance companies. That is expected. With the help of your attorney, you can respond to the offer and continue building the strength of your case.
What You Focus on After You Have Been Hurt in An Accident
Video: “What you focus on after you have been hurt in an accident”
If you were to ask me what it is, the one thing that someone should focus on if they’ve been hurt in an accident, I would tell you really simply, that the focus of every person that’s hurt in any type of accident, whether that’s a car accident, a work-related accident, an accident that relates to a slip and fall in any type of store, the one thing that those people should really focus on is getting better. That is, getting the very best medical care that they can receive in their set of circumstances. So, focus on yourself, and everything else will sort of take care of itself. If you have questions about your injury case, feel free to call me.
The Impact of Medical Expenses on Your Personal Injury Case
Video: “The Impact of Medical Expenses On Your Personal Injury Case”
One of the questions that people frequently ask me is, how is it that their medical expenses actually factor into the value of their personal injury case. What I’d like for you to do if you’re in this situation, is focus on the actual quality of care that you’re receiving. Don’t worry about the numbers necessarily. What I’d like for you to focus on is getting the best treatment that you can form the most qualified medical professionals that you can find. Follow the course of treatment very, very rigidly that they recommend for you. Don’t deviate from that treatment. Follow that, take care of yourself, get better, and the value of the case will increase along with that. As long as you’re doing the things that you should do on your end, in terms of getting better, getting to feeling better, and making a recovery as well as you can, and following the course of treatment that the doctors recommend from you, from well-qualified doctors, it — the most well-qualified doctors that you can find, that will really help the value of your case in the long term. So, don’t worry necessarily about the amount of money that — that you’re going to recover, based on the treatment that you may or may not get. Instead, focus on getting better, and focus on getting the best treatment that you can. I believe that long term, you’ll get the value out of the case that you should. If you have any questions about your case, please feel free to call me.
Importance of Understanding Personal Injury Lawyer Fees
Transcript – Importance of understanding personal injury lawyer fees
One of the things that I would really encourage you to do, as you’re deciding upon which lawyer it is that will actually represent you and your case, is have a firm understanding of how it is that the fees that the attorney will charge you at the conclusion of the case will actually be calculated. That is, you wanna understand where it is they’re gonna take the money out of, how much it is they’re gonna charge you in each phase of the case, and you wanna understand when they actually move from each phase, whether or not that’s going to be something that will actually net you more money, most likely. So, evaluate those decisions, and understand your fee agreement really well, before you actually engage in the lawyer for representation. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
One of the primary factors that an insurance company or a jury eventually may look at in evaluating what the value of your case is whether or not you have any sort of future pain and suffering or future limitations on your enjoyment or of life or, or future limitations on your ability to earn income. That is very important, what we call the value driver in your case. And we need to make some real efforts to make a decision as to whether or not you do have any limitations on your life going forward as a result of this accident. It’s very important. Firstly, your lawyer recognizes how important that is in driving the value of your case. And second that your lawyer has the resources to actually put you in a position where you’ve got an expert witness who can testify to those things that they exist in your case.
And that we understand how important going through an evaluation like that is because it can make a tremendous difference in terms of, of your ultimate recovery and whether or not you are made whole as a result of this case. So, um, if you have any questions about the future value, um, of your injury or whether or not you do in fact face a, an injury that could possibly have future impairment on your ability to enjoy life or your ability to earn.
Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer
This weekend, I was finishing up reading a book called the art of choosing truly. He is a fascinating book about how it is that we make decisions, both in our personal life, professional life, business, life, investing, that type of thing. Um, it really is pretty interesting and thinking about how it is and my clients ultimately decide which lawyer to choose for their case. And I think there are a couple of traits that you can really key on if you’re trying to choose between lawyers first, look at the actual lawyer’s intelligence and whether or not you’d feel comfortable with that person standing up in front of a group of strangers and speaking on your behalf for some reason, so many clients neglect this as probably the most important characteristic that they’re using in evaluating a lawyer they’re misguided by something like numbers that the lawyer gives them, the lawyer has supposedly written all this sort of thing that really has nothing to do with the end result of, Hey, am I comfortable with this person representing me in court, in front of the group of strangers? So first look at that second look at whether or not the lawyer appears to be organized and together all together. Often I see lawyers who are really disheveled, who appear really overwhelmed and disliked. Like either they have got too much on their plate or they just can’t handle what it is as their, um, uh, whatever the reason is that client really needs to be conscientious of whether or not the lawyer has the ability and the time to focus on their case. And that is a much more subjective thing that you need to look at, but it truly is very important. And then look at whether or not the lawyer actually wants your case. So whenever they’re communicating with you about it, do they appear as though they actually want to represent you in it? I think the, if you’ll look at those three characteristics, those three traits, um, and kind of use them in the process as you’re moving through it, it’ll help you a lot. And getting someone who is both motivated to help you and that you feel comfortable with in dealing with throughout the entirety of the process
WHAT YOUR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY PROBABLY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO ASK
It is an unfortunate reality of the current personal injury practice that many of the lawyers engaged in it have very little actual trial experience. Many have taken multiple course and seminars on jury trials, many regularly participate in mock/fake trials, and many regularly engage in pre-trial litigation, but very few have actually spent any real time in front of juries. Most personal injury lawyers are worried over the notion that their client might ask them how many jury trials they have handled. That isn’t a concern for us.
The irony of personal injury attorneys not really having any trial experience is that on their advertisements, personal injury attorneys generally hold themselves out as “trial attorneys”.
That is really unfortunate because if you have little actual jury trial experience being up there and actually doing it can be scary as hell. I know. I remember those days. The problem is that you don’t want a lawyer doing this for the first time on your case, and you don’t want a lawyer that is learning what a trial is like with your future on the line.
If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer that has actually tried cases to a jury, call The Sessions Law Firm. Ben Sessions has individually tried more than 50 jury trials. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN A BIG AND A SMALLER PERSONAL INJURY FIRMS?
THE PERSONAL ATTENTION THAT YOU RECEIVE WITH A SMALLER PERSONAL INJURY FIRM CAN BE A TREMENDOUS ADVANTAGE.
It is easy to be confused by the glut of advertising put out by large personal injury firms. Many people are mistakenly led to the conclusion that because larger personal injury firms advertise more, they are better. This could not be further from the truth for most clients.
THE DIFFERENCE IN BIG AND SMALL(-ER) IS USUALLY IN THE ABILITY OF SMALL(-ER) FIRM PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS TO ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO YOU AND YOUR CASE
In smaller personal injury firms, you will typically find that your lawyer has the ability to spend personal time on you and your case. Your lawyer will have the ability to call you every now and then to see how you are doing and to see if you have questions. Imagine that! A lawyer actually calling you to see how you are doing? That is virtually unheard of amongst larger firm personal injury lawyers. That is because when you are represented by a smaller firm, you have the ability to build a relationship with your attorney. Your attorney will actually get to know you and your case, and that can yield real returns for you at the end of your case. If you personal injury attorney is personally connected to you and your case, he/she is more likely to take the resolution of the case as a personal matter, not a business transaction.
WE ONLY ACCEPT YOU INJURY CASE IF WE ARE WILLING TO PUT IN THE TIME NEEDED TO HELP YOU.
In a lot of the larger personal injury law firms, cases are accepted with no real expectation that any lawyer will actually commit the time and resources required to help the client. Those personal injury firms simply plan to delegate the case(s) out to a paralegal that will basically work to settle the case when they have the time. Clients are truly penalized in these arrangements. They don’t get advice, and they don’t get a time commitment from an attorney necessary to obtain the recovery that they deserve.
When we accept an injury case, we commit to the client that we (the lawyers in our firm) will commit the time and effort necessary to help the client throughout the case.
CAN I SETTLE MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE BY MYSELF?
If you have been injured in a car accident in Georgia, more than likely the other driver’s insurance company will make some effort to settle your claim. When they try to settle your case, they will require that you sign a “release”. A release is a contract in which the injured party agrees to give up certain legal claims in exchange for a settlement. In Georgia, when you find yourself dealing with a release following an accident, you will see two types of releases: GENERAL RELEASES and LIMITED LIABILITY RELEASES. If you have been involved in a serious car accident, it is really important that you understand how these different types of releases can affect your ability to obtain a full recovery of the money that you are entitled to.
GENERAL RELEASE OF LIABILITY
When you sign a general release, you give up any and all rights to ever sue the person who injured you in exchange for compensation. After this release has been signed there is no turning back. A general release will bar you from obtaining compensation if there is other liability insurance covering the person who injured you. Unknowingly signing a general release could cost you and your family a substantial amount of money.
LIMITED LIABILITY RELEASE
A limited liability release allows people who have suffered serious injuries to settle part of the case with the at-fault party’s insurance company, as well as pursue their own uninsured motorist insurance. A limited liability release provides you and your family with a greater opportunity to obtain full compensation following an accident.
OTHER DANGERS OF SIGNING A RELEASE WITHOUT REPRESENTATION
One of the main dangers associated with releases are indemnity provisions. Indemnity provisions can prove to be dangerous for you and your family. Indemnities can be drafted too widely and needlessly expose you and your family. Having legal representation when dealing with the potential ambiguous provisions within a release can make a world of difference in the long-term outcome of your case.
A second danger when signing a release is a subrogation clause. Subrogation is defined as “[t]he principle under which an insurer that has paid a loss under an insurance policy is entitled to all the rights and remedies belonging to the insured against a third party with respect to any loss covered by the policy”. A subrogation clause could lead to the uninsured motorist insurance company to argue that the limited liability release defeats their right to sue the driver at-fault driver for subrogation.
Be very careful when considering an insurer’s proposed release. Consult with a qualified accident attorney before you sign any release. We look forward to helping you and your family.