How Long does a law suit take? This video teaches and informs its audience to understand the length of a lawsuit

How long does a lawsuit take?

One of the most common questions from our clients is, "How long will a lawsuit take?" There are many factors which determine how long a lawsuit may take to be settled. The first factor is in which court the lawsuit will be filed. In Georgia there are really two types of courts for injury claim, (1) Magistrate Court or (2) State or Superior Court. Magistrate Court at the time of this blog is for cases where the recoverable amount is less than $15,000. The benefits of Magistrate Court are it is a lot faster, usually the case is resolved three to four months after filling, and the work is generally more informal and less complicated. State or Superior Court has no limit on the recoverable amount. The downside of State or Superior Court is this court is more expensive and take much longer. The reason it takes longer is due to the discovery and trial process.

The process begins with a complaint being filed. A complaint is a document that basically says these are allegations and this is what we are entitled to recover. The answer comes about a month later from the defendant. An answer is a response to the lawsuit with a defense, reasons why the defendant is not responsible for paying items to the plaintiff. Once this stage is complete, the case is sent to discovery. Discovery can take six month or sometimes even longer. In this process, the parties share questions, information, documents, and they also take depositions.

Depositions are statements that are often recorded by a court reporter to come up with a transcript that can be referenced later. Depositions help everyone learn what witnesses and parties saw, their opinions, and certain facts about the case. Discovery can also take up to six months or longer. After the discovery period ends, the parties talk about expert testimony if needed. Then the court sets the case for trial. Even though the parties ask for a trial does not mean the trial will happen right away. Trial courts are busy and can have thousands of cases pending especially in State or Superior Court. Often when a civil case gets put on for trial, it gets put on the bottom of the list and then the parties have to wait for their turn as number one. The number can vary greatly. Once it's your turn you show up to court and the trial begins. trials can take hours, sometimes weeks, and even months to finish.

Another factor is if the case is decided by a judge or a jury. Jury cases tend to take longer due to having to finding, picking, and striking the jury. In the end, State or Superior Court is worth it if the case has value that is worth filing. If we can help you with your case, or answer questions for you, please give us a call.

In this video the Gwinnett accident lawyer discusses what to expect with your personal injury claim

What can you expect with a personal injury claim?

 

What can you expect with a personal injury claim

What can you expect with a personal injury claim and how long is this going to take? The first thing we’re going to do is we are going to set up all the insurance claims with every insurance coverage which could apply for your particular case. We are going to call, talk to the insurance company, and prepare them for what is to come, but we are not going to talk any settlement at that point.

The next thing that’s going to happen is you are going to continue to get your medical treatment.  We are going to call and check in with you about every two to three weeks and see how you are feeling, see what the doctors are telling you, and see how the treatment is progressing. We are going to take really good notes in our system of what’s going on, and we are going to keep the insurance company up to date. We are not going to talk any settlement until you totally get released because once we settle, we cannot go back. And so what we need to do is wait until you are totally done treating before we start talking settlement. Once you tell us that you are completely done with your medical treatment, we will get copies of your medical records. Unfortunately, that can be a slow process. It usually takes about 30 to 60 days to get your medical records. 

Once we get all your medical records in the office, we do a full review of every page of those records, comb through them, every detail, and we put together what’s called a demand package. A demand package is about a seven to eight page letter that talks about you, your accident, the case, and how the injury affected you. Then what we do is we sent that off to the insurance company after you and I have had a discussion about the value of the case. Once we’ve had that discussion and we send the demand, the insurance company legally has 30 days to respond to our first offer.

Once we get their response, we have another discussion, about the offer and value your case.  Then, we do about a month of negotiation. Sometimes it can take longer, sometimes it can take less time. In most cases, at that point, we can come to a resolution or a settlement of the case. But for some cases, we have to file what’s called a lawsuit because there is some sort of dispute and liability or we just can’t come to an agreement on the value of the numbers. In those cases, a lawsuit can take substantially more time, generally up to two to three years. We discuss that in another video. But for most cases, our firm is able to settle before we ever file a lawsuit. 

How long a case going to take depends on how long it takes you to feel better. For some of our clients, they could take maybe three to four months, but for some of our clients, it could take two to three years. It just depends on how long it takes the doctor to release you from the care from that date. If I can ever answer any questions about your specific case, please do not hesitate to give me a call.

the Gwinnett accident lawyer discusses How to know if you have a dog bite case

How to Know if you have a Dog Bite Case?

As the Gwinnett County Accident lawyer, some of the worst injuries we see are dog bites, particularly with children. How do you know if you have a Gwinnett County dog bite case? Well, the first thing to ask yourself is were you bit by someone else's dog? If someone else's dog bit you or someone you love, then you might have a dog bite case. Georgia has very complex dog bite laws. There are really two ways that you can win your dog bite case.

The first way to win your dog bite case is if you were bit by somebody else's dog off of their property and the dog was not on a leash. Most counties and cities have what are called leash laws. Leash laws require dogs to be on a leash any time that dog is off the owner's property. If you have a free running dog, maybe running through the neighborhood, and you are bit by that dog, then there is a also if your son good chance that you have a dog bite case, because that owner violated the law by having that dog off their property and not on a leash. 

The other way to win your dog bite case is by using the one bite rule. Let's say you're bitten by a dog that's on the owner's property and the dog comes up and bites you. Well, in order to bring a dog bite case, you have to prove that the owner knew that the dog had what is called the “dangerous propensity to bite.” In other words, did the owner know that that dog had bitten somebody before? If you can prove that dog had bitten someone else and the owner knew about it or the owner had knowledge that this dog was aggressive or would snap at people, you might have a case. 

Dog bite cases aren't easy, and they require an attorney that knows dog bite laws and can do a thorough investigation. Sometimes, in order to win your dog bite case, you have to talk to multiple witnesses, maybe neighbors who had seen the dog on the loose or other people who may have had encounters with the same dog. With people always moving or traveling, it is really important that you talk to these witnesses right away to preserve your case. 

If you or someone you know has been bitten by someone else's dog and you think that you might have a dog bite case, I would encourage you to call our office immediately so we can start our investigation. After we speak, we will talk with the dog owners insurance company to confirm the availability of homeowners insurance coverage to cover the incident. If we can help you with your dog bite case, do not hesitate to give us a call today.

Where to get your Gwinnett accident report after your Gwinnett accident

How to Get Your Gwinnett Accident Report

If you have been involved in a Gwinnett County accident you are probably wondering how do I get my police report? The first thing that is important is the police officer probably gave you a business card that has a number written on it. That number is your case number or your accident report number. You want to save that because it is important when getting your report. There is two ways in getting your Gwinnett accident report.  

The first way is you can show up to the police station. If you want to show up to the police station it tends to be cheaper. You want to go to the police station where the accident occurred. If you’re accident happens in Gwinnett County, then you will need to go to the Gwinnett County records office, 770 Hi Hope Rd, Lawrenceville, GA 30043. When you show up make sure to have that accident report number and your I.D. to get  copy of your report. If the police that Responded to your accident is under city jurisdiction and not county, then you need to go to that city’s police office. After you show the department your I.D. and give them the report number, and then they will print it out for you. Many police departments do not take a personal check, so you will need to bring cash or a credit card to pay.

The second way to get your report is you can get it online. The report is generally available online takes about five business days. Getting the report online tends to cost a couple dollars more, but you can download the police report as soon as it is ready. You can do this on a website called http://buycrash.lexisnexisrisk.com. 

To get your report you are going to need some information. The first thing you are going to need is the state where the accident happened. The second thing you’re going to need is the jurisdiction. The jurisdiction is just a fancy word for the police department. The third thing you will need is the last name of one of the partiers involved. Then the last thing you will need is the accident report number, vin number, or driver’s license number. The easiest way to get the last information is to use the number that was on that card that was given to you by the police officer, but If you lose that card there are other options. The Buycrash report still takes about five days to be available online, but if for some reason if five days pass and you still can’t find your report call your local police station and see why the report, is not available. Unfortunately, sometimes, you will still have to go in person to pick up the report if Buycrash isn’t working. 

what to do after car crash

What Should You Do After Being Involved in a Car Crash in Gwinnett County?

While cars have become safer over the years, distractions while driving have increased with cell phones and other technology, and injuries sustained in car accidents occur every day throughout the U.S. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are critical steps you can take to ensure that your rights are protected, and you can maximize your settlement if you qualify.

What Steps Should You Take After a Car Accident?

Car accidents leave little time to stop and think, so being prepared with steps to before an accident occurs will ensure you know what to do when you are involved in one. Knowing how to react, what to say, and things to avoid after an accident can have a large impact on your settlement.

Here are a few things to do after being involved in a car crash.

Check for injuries and call 911

If you are able to do so, it’s important to call 911 immediately. Let them know where you are and what injuries you might have sustained, so they can send an ambulance if necessary.

Begin Gathering Testimony

Again, if you are able to safely exit the vehicle, begin recording the scene. Take photos of your vehicle, the area around the vehicle, and the other vehicle involved. Take a video and record your thoughts and findings immediately. Once bystanders and other drivers begin to stop and help, the scene of the accident can quickly change, so it’s imperative to take any records early on.

Work with Police to Provide a Firsthand Account

When police arrive, they will begin asking crucial questions to piece together what happened. They may also ask to see your registration, driver’s license and proof of insurance for the vehicle. You’re required to provide the items requested. You can offer the police officers any proof you gathered to assist in the investigation.

Fill Out the Accident Report

Georgia car accident reports must include a description of the accident based on witness statements, how the cars were found after the accident, any damage incurred on the vehicles and, sometimes photo records. These accident reports mat also include the officer’s opinion about what led to the accident. You may request a copy of the accident report from the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

Call Your Insurance Company

You will want to quickly complete a claim with your insurance company for any damages to the vehicle and to cover medical bills for any injuries you experienced during the accident. Many insurance companies will ask to see photos and records of medical findings, so keep meticulous records and have them ready to present.

Know Your Rights

Georgia is a third-party liability state, meaning victims of car accidents can pursue the at-fault drive for damages. First, file a claim with your own insurance company—called a first-party claim. Then you may also file a damage or personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company—called a third-party claim. You may also file a suit against the at-fault driver with a local accident lawyer.

Hire an Attorney

While some car accidents can be handled without representation, others may require the expertise of an auto accident lawyer in Gwinnett County who has extensive experience in these types of lawsuits. If you would like to explore your options for settlement after an auto accident, Gwinnett Accident Lawyer, R Michael Coker, specializes in personal injury and car accidents, and will help guide you in how to handle the responsible parties and hold them accountable.

Reach out to our office today for a Free Case Evaluation.

Loganville Accident Lawyer

Loganville Accident Lawyer

Between the feeling of a good, southern hometown and the beauty of the Vines Botanical Gardens, Loganville, Georgia, is a city filled with many visitors and residents. With the big majority of traffic traveling on Highway 78, accidents happen and problems arise day in and day out. Highway 78 is considered one of the most dangerous roads in the State of Georgia, and Loganville accidents can be serious. In 2010, an accident occurred at the intersection of Brand and Oak Grove roads. Two teen brothers were injured when their vehicle collided with a pick-up truck. Both boys were transported to Gwinnett Medical Center, one being in critical condition.

Our Loganville accident lawyer has handled many Loganville personal injury car accidents both in Gwinnett and Walton Counties, and we are ready to answer questions you may have about your rights and responsibilities after an accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Loganville, please call our Loganville accident lawyer for a free case evaluation from an experienced Loganville accident lawyer. Our accident lawyer can help with medical bills, accident expenses and insurance policies. Our Loganville accident lawyer will help you navigate the next steps when moving forward after a life changing even, such as an accident.

Loganville, Georgia is a city where residents and visitors leave the crazy and hectic schedule of the city to relax in the comfortable feel of a great town. Sometimes, though, there are accidents caused by citizens who are distracted and serious injury and damage can result. If you are looking for a Loganville accident lawyer to help you with a Loganville accident, our firm is always available to give you a free, no-obligation case evaluation. A member of our team can even meet you in Loganville. We are prepared to answer any questions you may have resulting from the accident. Call today to learn more about our experience helping Loganville residents in car accident and injury claims.

truck driver collision gwinnett county

5 Most Common Injuries Sustained in Trucking Accidents

It’s no secret that Atlanta’s highways can be extremely busy, often translating into more accidents. As Georgia accident lawyers, we know that one of the most dangerous characteristics of Atlanta highway travel is the potential for truck accidents. Accidents involving large commercial trucks are more likely to result in severe injuries than those found in typical passenger vehicle crashes. Below, we will discuss common injuries sustained during a trucking accident, and how to find the best personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in a collision with a commercial truck.

Common Trucking Accident Causes

A commercial truck can weigh more than 30,000 lbs. not counting the weight of the freight it carries, while a typical passenger vehicle is only around 4,000 lbs. That math equates to more deadly accidents when a passenger car collides with a truck. Even more unsettling is that a majority of trucking accidents are caused by driver error, including truck-driver fatigue, distracted driving, alcohol and drugs, poor maintenance and dangerous driving.

These are some common, yet traumatic injuries sustained from truck accidents.

  1. Back and Neck Injuries

Whiplash can occur when your head and neck snap forward due to impact from a collision. Whiplash injuries are especially common in trucking accidents since the impact may be so much more severe. Oftentimes, whiplash injuries and symptoms may not appear until hours or days after a crash, which is why it’s important to know what to look for.

  1. Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can involve temporary or long-term paralysis to the lower body or torso, or injuries to the vertebrae. Spinal cord injuries from trucking injuries can be severe and often require months or years of treatment, as well as physical therapy. They can also involve complete paralysis, resulting in permanent disability.

  1. Burns

With large commercial trucks—especially those carrying fuel or other combustible/ hazardous materials—there is a larger risk of fire caused by ruptured fuel tank or their materials igniting. This poses risk of severe burn injuries being sustained during a trucking accident.

  1. Head and Brain Injuries

Head injuries involved in a trucking accident can range from a mild concussion to injuries with longer-lasting effects, like a traumatic brain injury, which can often require surgery or rehabilitation.

  1. Internal Injuries and “Minor Cuts and Bruises”

Passengers involved in trucking accidents may suffer from internal injuries, which are more difficult to notice or diagnose at first. Common injuries sustained include that to the spleen, liver, kidneys or bladder. Injury to these internal organs can be very dangerous and expensive.

The most common injury experienced in these accidents is minor cuts and bruises caused by broken glass and lighter impact. Still, many of these injuries, such as lacerations, may require a trip to the emergency room for stitches or other treatment, which equates to medical costs.

What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Truck Accident

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury caused by a trucking accident in Georgia,  it’s important to speak with a truck accident lawyer right away. The first step after a Gwinnett County accident is to get a copy of your Gwinnett County Motor Vehicle Accident Report. And you can do so easily online.

You can also reach out to our office for a Free Case Evaluation.

An attorney who handles automobile accident cases might not also be equipped to handle the unique challenges that truck accidents present. Gwinnett Accident Lawyer, R. Michael Coker specializes in personal injury and truck accidents, and will work with you to determine long-term future costs associated with serious injuries. Gwinnett Accident Lawyer will also help guide you in how to handle the trucking companies or any other responsible parties and hold them accountable.

Best of Gwinnett

R. Michael Coker Voted “Best Personal Injury Lawyer” for 5th Time

The Gwinnett Accident Lawyer, R. Michael Coker, has been named the “Best of Gwinnett’s” best personal injury lawyer for the fifth straight year. Recognized for his strong courtroom skills, high verdicts and settlements, and reputation among insurance companies, R. Michael Coker continues to be recognized as one of Gwinnett County’s best personal injury lawyers.

The “Best of Gwinnett” is an honor reserved for the highest quality businesses in the Gwinnett County community. Customers and clients vote for those companies that are the best in their field. For five straight years, the The clients of Mr. Coker have voted him and his staff as Best of Gwinnett for the best personal injury lawyer category.

What do you need to do if you are injured in an accident or other incident? Immediately, call an experienced personal injury lawyers that is known in the insurance industry for his strong, trial skills and willingness to push the insurance company to maximize the amount of your settlement or jury verdicts. Also, research what that lawyer’s former clients say about the lawyer by reading reviews and client awards. Michael Coker has been named by his clients as the best personal injury lawyer by Gwinnett Magazine and Best of Gwinnett for five straight years and has multiple 5-star reviews on Google.

If you would like to speak to the Gwinnett Accident Lawyer, R. Michael Coker and his team about your car accident, slip-and-fall, or other injury case, call us for a free consultation and case evaluation. If you cannot travel or are in the hospital, our team is willing to come to you. You can contact us at 404-602-0005 to speak with a best personal injury lawyer today.

super-mom verdict

Client Story: Why Sometimes Small, $11,000 Trial Verdicts Mean the Most to Me

Mandy (not her real name) was your typical “super-mom.” She owned her own business, drove her two sons to travel-team soccer practice and games, and managed the every day stress that came with being a busy, working mother. But all that changed when one day she was hit head-on by a distracted driver on her way to picking up her sons from school.

Mandy felt immediate pain in her back, but brushed it off. Her husband was set to leave soon for China on an extended business trip. Her boys had school, practice, and soccer games, and her business customers were not going to stop calling simply because she was in an accident. Orders would still need to be shipped, the soccer teams would still have practice, and her husband was now 7,000 miles away. Mandy took over-the-counter pain medicine, used ice packs, and did not take a single day off from her company or her full-time job as “mom.”

A few weeks later, her pain still had not resolved. If she could just wait until her husband got back home, she thought, he would take care of the boys and help with her business so that she would finally be able to go to the doctor. She would cry to him on the phone in China about how much her back hurt. When her husband finally returned home from China, he took care of the boys and she took care of herself. Her doctor recommended physical therapy for the next three months – costing her over $3,000.

When she submitted the medical bills to the insurance company of the at-fault driver, the insurance company saw an opportunity to deny her claim. They were now trying to use her working and caring for her boys against her — saying she waited too long to go to the doctor. They offered her $1,000 so she would just “go away.”

But Mandy did not go away, and punishing a mom for putting her family first did not sit right with me. She hired our firm and the case was set for trial. At trial, the insurance company lawyer grilled Mandy about the delay in treatment and argued that she was not really hurt because she did not rush herself to the hospital. That is not the type of person Mandy was, and I knew it. We explained to the court the reasons for the delay, and how Mandy was the type of person that always put her boys before her self.

Today, the court sent us their decision: $11,469.75 plus court costs – over eleven times the insurance company’s offer to settle and every penny we asked for. Sometimes, the system just works.

An $11,000 verdict is not going to put us in the papers, it is not going to be broadcast on the news, but sometimes, $11,000 of justice for a “super-mom” means more to me than the $1.1 million settlements. Mandy could have been my mom, my wife, or my sisters. So to all the “super-moms” out there, thanks for all you do. I am glad we were able to (in a small way) return the favor today.

– Michael