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I’ve been hurt in a car wreck. Will hiring a lawyer really impact how much the insurance company pays me for my pain and suffering?
The short answer is ‘yes’ but see my blog post titled “Can a Lawyer Really Make a Difference’ for the long answer.
How much do you charge to handle a misdemeanor?
Many factors come into play in determining a fee in a case including the nature of the charge (DUI’s, sexual battery, or other more aggravated misdemeanors generally cost more), the jurisdiction prosecuting the charge, and the number of charges among other things. Please contact me for a free consultation for a fee estimate in your case.
What counties or jurisdictions do you cover?
It depends on the type of case. Email me or call me for more information.
What is a contingency fee and how does it work?
A contingency fee agreement is a method of hiring a lawyer for your case without actually paying any money out of pocket to the lawyer. It only works in cases where the client is making a claim against another individual/entity to get money. While the agreements vary from lawyer to lawyer, the basic concepts are that the lawyer works on the case and bears the burden of covering all expenses that arise during the litigation in exchange for a percentage of the gross recovery (typically between 33% to 50% depending on the type of case) obtained in the case through either settlement or judgment. The costs and fees in a case can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands or more depending on the complexity of the case. Most common costs are filing fees, fees for medical or other records, costs of depositions, expert witness fees, demonstrative evidence costs, etc. When the case is resolved either through settlement or payment of judgment, the lawyer receives the agreed upon percentage of the total recovery as well as the repayment of all expenses incurred in the case. The remainder is paid to the client.
What’s the difference between a civil and criminal case?
The term ‘civil case’ covers a variety of different actions from a suit over a car accident to a divorce case. It essentially means any case where one party takes another to court in an effort to receive money, property or to stop certain behavior. A criminal case is not brought by a private party or individual, but rather by the state or federal government and seeks to punish a person through incarceration or probation.
Is there a certain amount of time within which i need to file a lawsuit?
Yes, there is a time limit within which all civil cases must be brought to court. If you don’t get your case filed within the time limit the claim expires and you can no longer bring it. The Georgia legislature has enacted statutes governing the time within which claims must be brought. I have referenced a few below. Please understand that there can be things can impact the time limit in your case (can either lengthen or shorten it). Do NOT rely on the information found on the web but rather contact a lawyer for a professional opinion.
- Personal Injury – 2 years from the date of the incident O.C.G.A. §9-3-33
- Injury to Personal Property – 4 years from the date of the incident O.C.G.A. §9-3-31;
- Loss of Consortium (loss of services of spouse) – 4 years from the date of the incident O.C.G.A. §9-3-33;
- Medical Malpractice Claim – 2 years after date on which injury or death from negligent act occurred O.C.G.A. §9-3-71;
- Foreign Object Left in Body after Medical Procedure – 1 year after the discovery of the item O.C.G.A. §9-3-72;
- Injury to Reputation (Slander, Libel) – 1 years from the date of occurrence O.C.G.A. §9-3-33
- Breach of Contract Actions – 4 years for verbal contracts, 6 years for written contracts O.C.G.A. §9-3-25, 9-3-24.
What’s the difference between a district attorney’s office and a solicitor’s office?
The solicitor generals in this state are charged with the responsibility of prosecuting misdemeanor cases. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is punishable by not more than 12 months in custody. District Attorneys are responsible for prosecuting all felony offenses. A felony is punishable by more than 1 year in custody and includes everything from shoplifting to death penalty cases. Not all jurisdictions have both solicitor and district attorney’s offices. Some only have District attorneys who are responsible for handling both misdemeanor and felony cases.
If i’ve been in an accident do i need to notify my insurance company about it?
The short, safe answer is yes but in reality is somewhat depends. If you are not at all at fault in the accident, neither you nor anyone in your car was injured and you know the other person had insurance then you really don’t need to notify your insurance company. However, if you were injured (or a passenger in your car was) then you might want to notify your insurance company even if it wasn’t your fault because if the other party doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough then you may have to go against your own insurance company through uninsured motorist coverage to get coverage for the accident.
Do you handle divorce cases?
No. But feel free to contact me for a referral.
What do I do if i get served with a complaint?
Immediately contact your insurance company. Make absolutely certain that you keep notes and proof if possible of how you notified them. If you haven’t made a claim to your insurance company in recent months or years then you probably need to talk to a lawyer about the matter as the incident you are being sued for might not be covered by insurance. Most courts require a response within 30 days from the date the complaint is served on you (some only 20 days). If you don’t respond within the time allowed by law then you basically have lost the case.