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When a family member is killed or seriously injured in a crash with a tractor trailer, a normal human instinct is to wait a decent interval before consulting an attorney. Then one may be inclined to take one’s time talking with a hometown lawyer who handles an occasional car wreck case along with divorces, criminal cases and real estate closings.  Meanwhile, trucking companies and their insurance companies are busy burying incriminating evidence. A recent…
You are a great lawyer in your area of practice. You are also smart enough to know when a big case may require prompt action outside your comfort zone. Just as a trial lawyer may not feel comfortable handling a complex real estate, divorce or estate planning matter, a great lawyer in those fields may not want to risk a client’s rights by trying to figure out how to handle a catastrophic truck crash case. When…
Death by decapitation due to trailer underride  can  result when tractor trailers park on the roadside. The kneejerk response of most people seeing pictures of these incidents is to simply blame the dead person. But it’s not that simple. When an innocent passenger is killed or maimed, some portion of fault is normally apportioned to the driver who departed from the traffic lane for whatever reason. But it is necessary to also examine a trucking…
Recently it came come to my attention that whenever anyone Googled my name in the mobile version of Google, the first thing that up was ads for competitors who had purchased my name in Google Ad Words®.  After I asked several law firms that had used my name in their Ad Words® advertising to immediately stop, their ads disappeared from searches in my name. The only remaining company that appears to target my name in…
In handling Georgia wrongful death cases in which the victim had very little conscious survival time, we often have to address the question whether to make a claim for pain and suffering before death. In Georgia, wrongful death cases may include two separate claims. First is the wrongful death claim for “full value of the life” which belongs to family members designated by O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2 – spouse, children or parents. Recovery for the…
In catastrophic truck crashes that kill or catastrophically injury innocent people, the root cause of the tragedy is often not the momentary carelessness of a truck driver. Rather, the root cause is very often the systemic mismanagement by a company that puts behind the wheel of an 80,000 bomb a person who never should have been driving it. The driver may be a good guy who because inadequate training or experience, bad driving record, or…
Often in a catastrophic truck crash, the trucking company admits that the truck driver was negligent and was in the course and scope of employment. That is a smart tactic to attempt to focus all blame on two seconds of driver negligence rather than months or years of corporate conduct including negligent hiring of the driver. They may get by with it because of a Court of Appeals decision that bars claims for the company’s…
When my father’s generation came home from World War II, many of them carried psychological scars about which they kept quiet. My parents married young, at 21 and 18, the week he returned from combat in 1945. My mother said that dad fought the air war over Europe every night in his sleep for at least a decade. The longer-term ramifications of that played out in many ways throughout his life. As he lay dying…