Michael discusses some of the major differences between Georgia State Courts and the Georgia Federal Courts and provides practice pointers and pitfalls for state court litigators who find themselves in federal court.
Slip and fall incidents are more common than you might think. Spills or other hazards that may cause slip and fall injuries can often go unnoticed or disregarded at grocery stores, pharmacies, office buildings, and parking lots, and these unsafe conditions can lead to serious injuries. Oftentimes, falls will go unreported or undocumented as people may believe it was their own fault; however, many of these incidents occur due to property owner or manager negligence to fix potential hazards on their property.
In these cases, an experienced injury attorney knows how to present a strong case against the store or property owner. Below, we will discuss some of the most frequently asked questions we get about slip and fall cases in Georgia.
Q: What do I do after falling in a store or on someone else’s property?
A: Notify the manager or property owner, and have them make a report if possible. Seek medical attention immediately and keep record of any doctor or hospital visits. Business or property owners must take precautions to ensure their property is a safe environment for customers by notifying them of any known hazards and repairing those issues as soon as they are discovered.
Q: Should I sign or complete the report?
A: Generally, do not put anything in writing, but tell the property owner or manager what happened. Avoid signing any forms and contact a personal injury lawyer.
Q: Will I get a copy of the report?
A: Always ask for a copy of the report. They are not required to provide you with their report, which is why it is especially important for you to keep records of your own.
Q: What photos should I take?
A: Take photos of the substance or hazard on the floor or in the area that caused you to slip (or trip) and fall. You should also photograph your clothes if they are wet, the general area where you fell and any security cameras in the area that may have captured the incident. You can also take a video of the area and record yourself on camera in the exact spot to record what happened right after it occurred.
Q: What should I keep for record?
A: Be sure to keep your photos, the report (if the owner or manager supplied you with it), and files of your injuries, medical bills and other expenses that resulted from the fall. Try getting the contact information of the owner of the property or the store manager, as well as any eyewitnesses that may have seen the fall, if possible. Keep the clothing and shoes you were wearing at the time of the incident in the same condition—avoid washing them!
Q:What should I do after I leave?
A: Do not talk to anyone who calls in regard to the incident, find a personal injury lawyer immediately. It’s in your best interest to get an accident injury lawyer involved as soon as possible after your slip and fall injury who can help you fight for the best outcome for your situation.
Gwinnett Accident Lawyer, R. Michael Coker specializes in personal injury and slip and fall accidents, and will work with you to determine long-term future costs associated with your fall. We will also assist you in how to handle the store or any other responsible parties. You can contact us to get a Free Case Evaluation today.
Chiropractic bills and records have always been under assault by the insurance company, but the process is getting much worse. With more reliance on computer models and programs that scan medical bills and records, insurance companies are using chiropractors to attack their patients’ personal injury claims without them even realizing it. Mistakes or problems in the chiropractic records have become a primary attack on plaintiffs during settlement negotiations and at trial. The following is a list of the most common attacks we see as it pertains to chiropractic medical and billing records:
1. Typographical Errors
I am routinely shocked at the number of mistakes in medical records from hospitals, large orthopedic offices, and even chiropractic offices. These often small mistakes have a huge effect on the patient’s personal injury claim because the insurance company and their lawyers are going to present those mistakes as absolute fact to a jury. The patient might testify that he or she has never had another car accident, but if the records notate that the patient had an accident in April of 2019, instead of the correct May of 2019, then the insurance company is going to present the patient’s failure to disclose her “April accident” as fact to the jury. The chiropractor can save a patient’s case by taking an extra minute to ensure that the patient’s history, past treatment, and dates are correct.
2. Copy and Paste Records
Insurance companies love attacking chiropractors and medical providers who copy and paste the same History, Examination, Assessment, and Plan sections into the records for each date of service. Insurance company lawyers have started pointing out to jurors how these sections are often repeated without any notated change in the patient’s condition. Insurance lawyers often insinuate that the chiropractor is “lazy” or is “money-hungry” and cares more about their bill than patient care through their “form records.” Assuming that the patient is receiving some benefit from the treatment plan, the medical records should reflect the improvements in the client’s condition throughout the course of that treatment.
3. Pain Scale Number Discrepancies
I believe that chiropractors often fail to properly explain the pain scale to their patients. For example, a patient who is able to walk, talk, and carry on a conversation should never have their pain listed as a “10 out of 10” on the pain scale. For example, a chiropractor can help the patient provide a correct response by explaining to a patient that a “10 out of 10” on the pain scale is equal to childbirth. Childbirth, for example, is a good benchmark that most people can understand when rating their pain. Similarly, a patient’s pain should not be a “2” then increase on the next visit to a level “8,” as such an increase signals to the insurance company that the patient likely suffered a new injury.
4. The Word “Chronic”
Using the word “chronic” in any context is damaging for a patient’s personal injury claim. Insurance companies employ computer programs that scan thousands of pages of medical records in search of buzz word. One such word is “chronic.” “Chronic,” when used in medical records, is argued by insurance lawyers to mean “pre-existing” even if it is meant to mean “chronic pain since the accident.” “Chronic” and “pre-existing” have become synonyms in the legal industry. Unless you are intending to describe your patient’s condition as pre-existing the accident, the word “chronic” should be avoided if at all possible.
5. Billing Errors
Lastly, I understand that how certain procedures or treatments are coded can greatly affect the compensation rates for chiropractors, but sometimes, the way that the treatments are coded can have a large effect on a patient’s injury claim. For example, assume you had a patient who has been treating with your office for back pain before a collision, but no neck pain. Then, that patient gets in a car accident and has new neck pain complaints. The insurance company is likely going to request all prior records for the patient. If the prior billing codes show “manipulation – all regions of spine,” then that client now faces the argument her neck pain predated the collision. Similarly, after a collision, coding your bills as “manipulation of all regions of the spine” when the patient has only neck pain complaints can jeopardize the compensation for your full bill. Coding procedures properly can protect your patients ‘ injury claims and your bill.
We see most often those five pitfalls where chiropractors can have a large effect on patients’ personal injury claims. By making these minor adjustments and putting safeguards in place to ensure that the records and bills are both accurate and correct, you can help your patient receive all the compensation that they are justified to received.
If you have any questions about your bills and records, or how we could help one of your patients, please do not hesitate to call at 678-935-6000. We are happy to provide any guidance or suggestions.
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.
The first step after a Gwinnett County accident is to get a copy of your Gwinnett County Motor Vehicle Accident Report. Gwinnett is actually one of the most efficient counties when it comes to obtaining reports as many of the Gwinnett accident reports are available online. Generally, Gwinnett accident reports take up to four days to complete. You can check the status of your report by calling the police department that responded to your accident (contact numbers below) or by logging into buycrash.lexisnexisrisk.com.
Individuals involved in car accidents in Gwinnett County can get a copy of their accident report one of three ways:
(1) Online: – Gwinnett makes almost all of their Gwinnett accident reports available online at LexisNexis Risk. LexisNexis Risk is an online service that allows you to print your accident report from the internet. Purchasing Gwinnett accident reports on LexisNexis Risk are generally more expensive than picking up Gwinnett accident reports in person [$11.00 LexisNexis Risk fee for Gwinnett Police Department reports as of the date of this article, less for some city police department reports].
Please note that to buy your report on LexisNexis Risk you will need the following (a) the date of the accident, (b) the police department that responded to the accident scene [i.e. Gwinnett County, Duluth, Lawrenceville, etc], and (c) ONE of the following: driver’s last name, accident report number, or vehicle VIN number. For security purposes, LexisNexis Risk will not let you get the report without all the needed information.
(2) In Person Pick-Up: The accident report cost and pick-up site are going to depend on the police department that responded to your collision. City and county departments have different precincts and headquarters for picking up Gwinnett accident reports:
Please note that as of the date of this article, the information below was. Prefect to the best of knowledge and we make no warranty or claim as to the accuracy of any of the information contained therein. Please call and independently verify the correct cost, availability date, and pick up place for your report.
Gwinnett County Police Department Reports – Gwinnett accident reports are available at the Gwinnett County Police Headquarters, 770 Hi Hope Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30044. As of the date of this article, the charge for accident report pick ups are $5.00 CASH ONLY, and often the headquarters will not break a bill larger than $10.00. Please call (770) 513-5000 in advance to confirm price and availability.
Auburn Police Department Accident Reports – Call (770) 513-8657 to receive your accident report cost and availability date. Prices vary by pages copied. As of the date of this article, The Auburn Police Department accepts check, cash, or money order. Pick up at 1369 Fourth Ave., Auburn, GA 30011.
Braselton Police Department Accident Reports – As of the date of this article, people can pick-up their accident reports at 5040 Georgia 53, Braselton, GA 30517. Call (706) 658-2852 x1101 before arriving to confirm cost and availability of report.
Duluth Police Department Accident Reports – As of the date of this article, accident reports are $5.00 (sometimes free for involved party) and are ready for pick-up after 5-10 days at 3276 Buford Highway, Duluth, GA 30096. Call (770) 623-2771 to check the status of your report, availability and cost.
Lawrenceville Police Department Accident Reports – Call (770) 962-4173 to check the status of your report, cost, and pick-up site. As of the date of this article, accident reports are $5.00 (sometimes free for involved party) and can be picked up at 300 Jackson Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.
Lilburn Police Department Accident Reports – As of the date of this article, accident reports are $5.00 and can be picked up at 76 Main Street, Lilburn, GA 30047. Confirm cost, pick-up site, and availability by calling 770-638-2193.
Loganville Police Department Accident Reports – As of the date of this article, accident reports take 3 to 5 business days to complete, cost $3.00, and can be picked up at 605 Tom Brewer Road, Loganville, GA 30052. Call (770) 466-8087 before arriving to make sure of cost, and availability of report.
Norcross Police Department Accident Reports – As of the date of this article, accident reports are generally available within 3-5 business days and can be picked up at 65 Lawrenceville Street, Norcross, GA 30071. Call (770) 448-2111 to check the status of your report, availability, and cost.
Snellville Police Department Accident Reports – To confirm status, cost, and pick-up site, call (770) 985-3555. Accident reports cost $5.00 [Cash, Visa or Mastercard] and can be picked up at 2315 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, GA 30078 as of the date of this article.
Suwanee Police Department Accident Reports – Call (770) 945-8995 to check the status of your report, cost, and pick-up place. As of the date of this article, accident reports are $3.00 and can be picked up at 373 Buford Highway, Suwanee, GA 30024.
(3) U.S. Mail – If you want to receive your Gwinnett accident reports via the U.S. Mail, you may do so by calling (770) 513-5000 and obtaining your cost. Then you can mail your cashier’s check payment and a self-addressed stamped envelope to Gwinnett County Police Department, Attn: Records, P.O. Box 602, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 with your accident report case number.
Note: This only applies to reports taken by the Gwinnett County Police Department. Reports taken by the City Police Departments have different request rules for U.S. Mail delivery, and the accident report cost varies by city. Call your city police department ahead of mailing to confirm address, cost, and payment method before mailing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Everyone deserves a safe place to live and to raise their children without needing an apartment shooting lawyer. In Georgia, however, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of apartment complex shootings. An apartment complex’s lack of proper security makes the complex dangerous. For example, this week a gunfight erupted in a Norcross apartment complex.
Most apartment complex shootings are preventable if the apartment company takes the safety and security of their residents seriously. An apartment shooting lawyer can explain the duties of apartment complexes to keep their property safe. This includes protecting residents from crime that is foreseeable. Crime is foreseeable if there has been a history of crime in the area.
These apartment shooting cases are called “negligent security cases” and the following questions are often most important in determining whether you have a case:
- Size of the Apartment Complex Company?
- Number of Residents at the Apartment?
- Amount of Crime in the Area in the Last Year?
- Any Previous Shootings?
- Proper Lighting at Complex?
- Any Security Guards on Duty?
- Proper and Working Apartment Complex Gate?
- Other Security Requirements?
An apartment shooting lawyer can help you determine whether or not your apartment complex had a duty to provide security guards, to maintain a proper security gate, or to report criminal activity on the property to police. First, an apartment shooting lawyer can identify if the apartment company failed to protect their residents from foreseeable shootings. Second, the apartment shooting lawyer can discover if the apartment complex cut back on security to increase their own profit. Finally, the lawyer can help you determine whether your apartment complex provided the proper level of security and whether you have a case.
R. Michael Coker is an experienced apartment shooting lawyer. Michael has protected the rights of his clients to recover from apartment complex owners and management companies for failing to do what was required to protect shooting victims at apartment complexes. He has recovered millions for his clients. Last, if you or someone you know was a shooting victim at an apartment complex or business and needs to speak with an apartment shooting lawyer, our office is happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your legal case. Call us today.
Charter bus accidents have been too occurring frequently in Georgia. Victims need a serious charter bus accident lawyer to assist with their injuries. In 2018, a charter bus accident caused serious injuries when a bus containing a group from Gwinnett County overturned on its way to the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Also in 2018, members of a West Georgia Tech women’s basketball team sustained injuries when their charter bus overturned in Virginia as they drove to a national tournament. Both incidents allegedly involved drivers subjecting the passengers to unnecessary risk and danger.
Charter bus accidents are serious. Passengers place their faith and trust in drivers and bus companies to get them to their location safely. When a company and its drivers are driving erratically, not taking appropriate driver sleep breaks, or driving under the influence, the resulting accidents are devastating. Charter bus companies often do not put seat belts in their buses. This means that nothing keeps the passengers safely in their seats in a rollover accident.
Charter bus accidents require a charter bus accident lawyer who understands the important differences between charter bus accidents and regular car accidents. The courts consider some charter bus companies “common carriers” under the law. “Common carriers” are a special grouping that must obey stricter safety requirements. A charter bus accident lawyer can use the bus company’s failure to follow these requirements to help the injured victims in court. An experienced charter bus accident lawyer can tell you if your bus company qualifies as a common carrier. A charter bus accident lawyer can determine if your bus company followed these stricter requirements.
The attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker handle complex and complicated charter bus accident cases. R. Michael Coker understands this complicated area of the law as a charter bus accident lawyer. He has handled some of Georgia’s most high-profile bus accident cases. If you or someone you know has been injured in a charter bus accident, call our law firm for a free consultation today. You must act quickly to preserve critical evidence in the case. You can protect your case by speaking with a charter bus accident lawyer as soon as possible.