Rental Car Accident

Rental Car Accident

The rental car industry is a billion dollar industry. Here in Georgia, the new Rental Car Center at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has increased the number of rental cars driven in the City of Atlanta. The Rental Car Center provides rental cars to travelers who come to Atlanta through one of the busiest airports in the world. Many of those travelers that rent a car are using Georgia interstates, meaning those who travel on interstates have a higher chance of being involved in a rental car accident. In either situation, it is important to be knowledgeable of how to handle a rental car accident since theses cases are very different from regular car accidents.

When you are involved in a rental car accident there are some steps that you need to follow. First, call the police so the accident is properly documented. Second, be sure to take pictures of the damage to all vehicles. It is important that there is evidence of the damage for both the insurance companies and the rental car company. Third, gather the other driver’s personal insurance information as well as the rental car company’s insurance information so that you can properly file a claim with both companies. With this information, an attorney can help you find out whether the rental car driver also had extra coverage available to you through their rental car company. Last, contact your insurance carrier to report the accident and setup a claim if necessary.

If you are the driver of a rental car, you should always be familiar with rental car accident coverage on your personal auto insurance policy. Your insurance agent can give this information to you. Rental companies such as Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, and Avis offer more coverage at a higher cost to further protect you if you are part of a rental car accident. Be sure to always ask the rental company what coverage applies when you rent the car. Finally, many credit card companies now also offer complimentary rental car insurance through certain cards. Check with your credit card company to see if your card could offer extra coverage if you are involved in a rental car accident.

If you have suffered injuries from a rental car accident where you were not at fault, please call our law firm for a free case evaluation. Rental car cases are more complicated because they include multiple insurance policies. It is important to have a knowledgeable attorney that knows how to best handle these type of cases and will get you every penny you deserve. Failure to properly file with all applicable insurance companies could cause you to miss out on critical insurance money to pay for expensive medical bills. We have successfully handled rental car accident cases and discovered extra insurance coverage for clients. Call our firm today.

Drugged Driving Accidents

Drugged Driving Accidents

We are all too familiar with accidents being caused by drunk driving. Drugged driving accidents, however, are another growing problem. Drugged driving is driving while under the influence of illegal drugs or unhealthy amounts of prescription/over-the-counter drugs. 10.3 million people on the roadways have admitted to driving under the influence of some drug. Back in 2012, a driver in Gwinnett County was driving under the influence of a sedative and caused an accident. Other drivers in the accident suffered serious injuries, and the drugged driver was forced to serve jail time.

Drugs have similar effects as alcohol on driving abilities. Drivers lose their general attention to the roadway and the ability to react quickly. Gwinnett County has many busy roadways. It is important for a driver to be attentive and focused on their commute. Gwinnett County has one of the largest populations in Northeast Georgia, and drivers may have a higher risk of potentially being involved in drugged driving accidents.

Our firm has handled many cases of people seriously injured in drugged driving accidents. If you have been involved in a drugged driving accident, please contact our firm so we can discuss your case and best help you. Too often people do not pursue a claim and no action is taken against the driver. The driver is allowed to continue their reckless behavior without any real consequence. This could potentially endanger other drivers by causing another drugged driving accident.

As a leading personal injury law firm in Gwinnett County, we know the importance of keeping our roadways safe. We want to make sure drivers that cause drugged driving accidents are punished properly – with higher insurance premiums. Since many drugged drivers can escape criminal prosecution by paying a small fine, significant insurance settlements are often the best remedy for stopping the dangerous behavior. Call our firm so we can discuss your claim. We appreciate you doing your part in making roadways in Gwinnett County safer after drugged driving accidents.

drunk driver accident attorney

Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Gwinnett

Drunk driving is a common phrase that we often hear in the news that causes accidents daily, and as Gwinnett’s drunk driving accident attorney, we see the tragic effects of drunk driving regularly. When a driver is behind the wheel intoxicated they lose their ability to react quickly in a given moment. In 2013, there was a fatal accident in Snellville on HWY 78 caused by a drunk driver. The driver was unable to react quickly and rear-ended the car in front of him causing a domino effect.

Being on the road with a drunk driver is a harsh reality. Every two minutes someone is injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Our firm has seen serious, tragic accidents caused by the influence of alcohol, and we have helped families seeking a drunk driving accident attorney. When an accident is caused by a driver under the influence, it is helpful to hire an attorney who will not only get you the compensation you deserve, but will fight for the driver to be punished for their choices. As Gwinnett’s drunk driving accident attorney, we believe in doing everything possible to keep the roadways safe for our families.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol, please contact Gwinnett’s drunk driving accident attorney today so that we can help you in your claim. By hiring a drunk driving accident attorney and taking action against the driver and their insurance company, you may just be the action that gets the drunk driver off the road and saves someone’s life.

Remember, our firm always offers a free consultation. We can discuss your case and help guide you in the best direction to meet your needs. If you are looking for a drunk driving accident attorney, we have settled many cases involving drunk drivers and have the knowledge and ability to best handle this type of case.

Truck Insurance Settlements

Truck Accident Settlements: $100,000.00 in Gwinnett Case

This week, Attorney R. Michael Coker settled a minor truck accident case for $100,000.00. Although the vehicle sustained only moderate damage and the client’s injuries required neither hospitalization or a surgery, Attorney Coker was able to secure a $100,000.00 settlement for his client. Before the client hired our firm, the trucking company offered the client less than $8,000 (or less than 8% of the final settlement amount) and even instructed the client not to get an attorney!

The story is a common one. Trucking insurance companies offer a quick settlement to unknowing victims for pennies on the dollar in hopes that the person will forever waive their right to a fair settlement amount. Some tractor-trailer insurance companies even tell their victims not to call a lawyer. If this has happened to you, this is a huge red flag.

Truck accident cases are common in Gwinnett County, most often on Interstate 85. Truck drivers are often distracted by radios, cellphones, music players, and even other vehicles. Sadly, when a distracted truck driver causes an accident, the damage to other vehicles involved is almost always extensive and people often need hospital treatment, surgeries, and extensive medical care. The injured person should not suffer financial ruin due to a trucking company’s negligence or intentional acts.

A vast knowledge of trucking laws and regulations is necessary to maximize truck accident settlements. That is why having a knowledgeable and experienced attorney is so important. These are necessary documents to see and analyze for before settling a truck accident case:

1. The truck driver’s driving history;
2. The trailer’s weight and whether it exceeded the most poundage;
3. The driver’s log book to see if the driver was on the road for more hours per day than permitted by law;
4. The sleeping habits of the driver to learn if they were proper;
5. The driver’s employment history to see if a history of drug or alcohol abuse;
6. The trucking company’s history of accidents, road violations, and load capacity;
7. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Violations as shown in their online database;
8. The truck’s lighting and reflector strips to see if they met minimum requirements;
9. Past truck accident settlements for the truck driver, trucking company, or trucking insurance company;
10. Other serious violations or problems.

To maximize truck accident settlements, you need an attorney who understands these key points and can find serious federal law violations. Multiple clients have called our office after first trying to negotiate their own truck accident case. Studies show that when a client hires a lawyer, truck accident settlements increase dramatically. R. Michael Coker is a lawyer with vast experience handling truck accident settlements. If we can help you check your truck accident settlement, then please send us a message or give us a call. We are happy to give you a free consultation and explain how we do not collect any attorneys’ fees unless we win for all truck accident cases. Call us today as time is precious when preserving evidence in truck accident cases.

Dacula, Georgia

Dacula Car Accident Lawyer

Did you know that the Fence Road and Georgia Highway 316 intersection is one of the most dangerous intersections in all of Georgia. Dacula car accidents at or around Highway 316 are becoming more and more common as distracted drivers drive through red lights or fail to yield to traffic. Sadly, the results can be devastating. In 2007, a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel killing a family of four at Highway 316 in Dacula.

Dacula, once a quaint, small town, has become a major suburban center for both personal and commercial traffic. Our firm has seen the number of Dacula car accidents rise in the last year. Unfortunately, the number of uninsured drivers involved in a Dacula car accident has also increased. Hardworking Dacula residents are often left with significant car accident medical bills, particularly in high-speed collisions occurring on Georgia 316. Sometimes, health insurance carriers refuse to cover the accident related expenses, and an attorney must be used to make sure that all past and future medical bills are covered.

Our firm regularly sponsors local youth sports teams in Dacula and even participates in the Dacula Memorial Day parade with some of the local organizations. Our firm has a network of doctors in Dacula that can help you get the treatment that you need after a Dacula car accident. Dacula has some of the best orthopedic physicians, physical therapists, and orthopedic doctors in all of Gwinnett County. If you were injured in a Dacula car accident, you need to make sure that you get the medical treatment you need. Never accept a quick settlement from the insurance company when you are still having pain.

Dacula, Georgia is a beautiful town and a great place to live. If you need an attorney to help you after a Dacula car accident, we are always willing to give you a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Call us today to learn more about our experience helping residents of Dacula with their car accident injury claims.

Health Insurance

Health Insurance Car Accident Letters

Individuals call my office frequently after receiving a letter from their health insurance provider asking for more information regarding the cause of their injuries. Few people know why they are receiving this letter or how they should respond. The letter could come from Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), United Healthcare, Kaiser, Humana, Cigna, Coventry, or one of many others. Allow us to explain why your health insurance company is contacting you, and why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you respond properly to the health insurance car accident letter and prevent the loss of your health insurance coverage.

When the insurance company sends you a letter asking about the cause of your injuries after an accident, they are seeking to collect information to enforce their right of reimbursement or subrogation rights under the terms of your insurance contract. You might not remember signing an insurance contract, but you likely agreed to the terms when you applied for the health insurance coverage. One of those terms you accepted likely requires that you pay back your health insurance provider from a settlement if you are ever injured because of someone’s negligence. Health insurance car accident negotiations are almost always best left for an attorney.

Most insurance contracts contain a health insurance car accident right of reimbursement. This means that any time your health insurance company pays for your medical treatment related to a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or some other injury, you are responsible for reimbursing them from any settlement or jury verdict for the amount they paid. This applies even when the settlement is minimal. Failure to pay back the health insurance company means that they could have sufficient grounds under the law to drop your coverage!

Do not think you can just hide the information from the insurance company and they will not find out. The negligent party’s insurance company will likely report any settlement. Plus, the terms of your health insurance contract likely also require that you cooperate by providing injury and settlement information. Failure, by you, to provide the information as required could cause you to lose your coverage.

Having an attorney guide you through the health insurance car accident process critical. These health insurance car accident subrogation rights are extremely complicated. For example, if you receive health benefits through your employer or the employer of your spouse, you might be violating federal law by not cooperating and reimbursing the health insurance plan. Federal law is very strict on which employer funded plans are legally entitled to be reimbursed. Only an experienced attorney can tell you which employer’s plans have that right.

Certain government health plans have even stricter and more complicated requirements. Medicare, Medicaid, the V.A., and others all have their own specific requirements. Medicare’s processes are the most complicated. Failure to follow all of the federal requirement with Medicare could cause you to experience a denial of Medicare claims.

You need an attorney that will not just settle your case, but will also ensure that all health insurance car accident rights of reimbursement are handled so that you do not face a future loss of health insurance coverage. You might think that you can save some legal fees by handling your own case, but failing to comply exactly as the law prescribes for your specific health plan could have devastating consequences.

Our firm routinely handles cases with health insurance car accident reimbursement implications. We take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to worry about paying any legal fees from your pocket. We simply take a percentage of the settlement. Unlike some other lawyers, we do not take any additional amount for resolving any potential health plan or government right of reimbursement or subrogation issue. We consider this an added benefit for our clients as a thank you for hiring our firm. We will fight to ensure that the amount you are required to pay back is as low as possible and give you peace of mind knowing you don’t run the risk of losing your coverage.

If we can help you with a personal injury matter and the potential complications associated with health plan rights of reimbursement, call us at (678) 537-1209 or contact us on our webpage. We would be happy to answer your questions.

Courthouse

Gwinnett Accident Lawyer R. Michael Coker Selected as One of National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40

Duluth, Georgia – Gwinnett County residents no longer need to look to Atlanta for a high-rated lawyer. Gwinnett lawyers are some of the best in the state, and national organizations have taken notice.

Gwinnett personal injury lawyer R. Michael Coker was recently named one of the 2014 top 40 trial lawyers under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Coker is one of many lawyers helping to establish Gwinnett County as one of the state’s leading counties for superior legal services.

“I was raised in Gwinnett County,” Coker said from his office in Duluth’s Sugarloaf Center. “When I was deciding where to build my law practice, Gwinnett was always my first choice. Gwinnett is my home, and I wanted to make the quality of Gwinnett’s legal services competitive with those in Fulton, Cobb and the City of Atlanta.”

The National Trial Lawyers only invite those attorneys who possess the knowledge, skill and expertise of the best lawyers in the country. The nomination of a Gwinnett lawyer into the National Trial Lawyers’ top 40 under 40 is rare. The majority of the Georgia attorneys selected to join the elite organization practice inside the Atlanta city limits.

The inclusion of a Gwinnett lawyer into the top 40 under 40 shows that Gwinnett residents do not have to leave the county for superior legal representation.

“Gwinnett families need strong legal representation when an accident threatens to put the family into financial ruin,” Coker explained. “No one ever wants to bring an injury claim or lawsuit, but medical bills alone can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. I am proud that the National Trial Lawyers organization has recognized that the people of Gwinnett are well-represented if a serious injury occurs.”

About R. Michael Coker: Michael Coker represents victims of serious personal injuries in car accidents, truck accidents, dog bites and pedestrian collisions throughout Georgia. For more information, visit https://www.gwinnettaccidentlawyer.com.

Georgia fallen tree

Georgia Fallen Tree Responsibility Law

Georgia is getting pounded this year with intense summer storms. Almost every night the local news tells stories of downed trees crashing through houses, cars and power lines. The combination of high winds and Georgia pine trees can lead to a serious disaster.

But what happens when a tree from your neighbor’s property falls on your house or car? Who is responsible for paying the expensive repair bill or medical bills? The answer is a complex and often misunderstood aspect of Georgia’s fallen tree responsibility law.

Georgia’s fallen tree responsibility law uses the “visibly dead or diseased” rule for falling trees. In other words, when a tree from your neighbor’s property falls and injures someone or causes damage to your property, the neighbor is responsible for paying for any damage when the fallen tree showed visible signs that the tree was dead or had a disease. If the tree showed no signs of death or disease, then you are responsible for covering the cost for the damages. It is important to remember that this law only applies to “urban landowners” [rural landowners have their own set of rules and laws].

Obviously, this means that you have certain duties as a homeowner to find and remove trees on your property that are dead or diseased under the fallen tree responsibility law. Failure to remove these dead trees from your property will mean that any damage that they cause will be your responsibility. Even more important, however, trees that show signs of disease, look unhealthy or have died altogether are dangerous to all people nearby. Always take proper action to remove these dangers from your property. In the event that one of these trees fall and causes injury or even death, you will be personally liable under the fallen tree responsibility law.

If you have a neighbor’s tree fall on our property and cause injury or damage, you want to keep any evidence you can to show that the tree itself was dead or diseased when the tree fell. Pictures are a great tool. Taking photographs of the fallen tree can be good evidence if you find yourself in court with your neighbor arguing over whether the tree showed visible signs of disease or decay.

Of course, if you are the victim of a dead fallen tree, always contact a good lawyer who can help you navigate this complex area of Georgia’s fallen tree responsibility law – especially when a person suffers injury caused by the fallen tree. If I can help you in any way, do not hesitate to call or email me.

Insurance Diminished Value

Georgia Diminished Value Law: The Insurance Company’s Dirty Little Secret

Nothing is more irritating after an accident than getting your car fixed. Calling to set up the claim, taking your car to collision centers for estimates, setting up a rental car — the list goes on and on.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the insurance company is intentionally “keeping quiet” on extra money you are entitled to receive under Georgia diminished value law. Georgians leave millions of dollars of their money in the pockets of insurance companies every year.

“Diminished Value” is the most misunderstood concept in insurance law. Diminished Value is compensation after a car accident for the anticipated future loss that will occur when the vehicle owner tries to re-sell the vehicle. To better understand this legal concept under Georgia diminished value law, let me give you an example:

Bob gets rear-ended by Jan, and Jan’s insurance company pays for the repairs to Bob’s vehicle. Bob’s vehicle looks like new, after the frame damage is hammered back out. Two years later, Bob takes his car to CarMartWorld to sell. CarMartWorld pulls the car history and sees his vehicle has been in a bad accident. They offer Bob $10,000 for the vehicle even though the car’s normal value is $12,000.

As you can see, Bob will lose $2,000 because of the accident caused by Jan. Under Georgia diminished value law, Jan’s insurance company is responsible for paying Bob the $2,000 diminished value as part of the property damage settlement.

Here is the kicker: Most insurance companies will not offer to pay you diminished value unless you ask for it, and 99% of all Georgians involved in a car accident don’t know to ask. The higher the cost of repairing your vehicle, the more important it is that you to ask for compensation for diminished value. Remember never to sign a property damage release until you receive your diminished value payment.

First, try to find the re-sale value of your car and compare it to cars for sale online that have been in an accident. Then ask the insurance adjuster to pay you the difference. Generally, the insurance adjuster will counter with their own amount — ask how they arrived at the number. Most often they will tell you they arrived at the number by a “formula,” but this “formula” is not necessarily the final authority. Keep negotiating until you come to an amount you feel good accepting.

If you still cannot recover what you feel you deserve, talk to a lawyer or file a lawsuit in small claims court. A lawyer can be particularly helpful if the insurance company is acting in bad faith — as the court can force the insurance company to pay a serious penalty if they are intentionally not paying a valid claim.

Best of luck in your negotiations, and always get all the compensation you deserve under Georgia diminished value law.  If you have any questions, we are always here to help.

Gwinnett Transit Accident

Gwinnett Transit Accident Lawyer

The county founded Gwinnett Transit in 2000 to offer transportation to people across Gwinnett County. Gwinnett Transit operates bus service locally, around Gwinnett County, and even has commuter routes into Atlanta. Recently, our firm has discovered that accidents involving Gwinnett Transit buses are becoming more and more common. With the continued increase in riders and more Gwinnett Transit buses on the roads, more people are getting injured in Gwinnett Transit accidents.

Our firm understands that many people do not know what to do or who to call after a Gwinnett Transit bus accident. You might not know how to set up a claim or who in the Gwinnett County office to call.

First, if you are a passenger on a Gwinnett Transit bus involved in an accident, it is very important that you tell the bus driver of your injury at the scene, even if you believe your injury is minor. You will want an adequate record if your doctor later discovers that your injury is more serious than you originally thought. Your bus driver should fill out paperwork, noting your contact information and your injury, and an insurance representative will likely follow-up shortly afterwards. If you failed to tell the driver, then you might still have a case, but filing a claim will be much more difficult.

Alternatively, if your vehicle is hit by a Gwinnett Transit bus, you might not know where to turn to get your car fixed or how you are going to get your medical bills paid. The Gwinnett Department of Transportation, a part of Gwinnett County, operates Gwinnett Transit. Since you are dealing with a government entity, special requirements apply to Gwinnett Transit cases that do not apply in regular car accident cases. Failure to give the county proper written notice of the claim in a limited amount of time will forever bar your ability to receive compensation. In other words, you could be stuck with the bill to fix your vehicle or to pay your doctors. You need to speak with an attorney to protect your legal rights. With our firm, the call is free, and we know the proper people to call when setting up a claim.

It is very important that you contact an attorney before the insurance adjuster contacts you about your injury claim. Many times, Gwinnett County insurance adjusters record conversations with victims of Gwinnett Transit accidents, and sometimes, you as the passenger might say something that could be potentially damaging to your case without even realizing what you are saying. One of the benefits of hiring an attorney is that your attorney will do all the talking with the Gwinnett Transit insurance agent on your behalf.

Our firm has handled many cases against the Gwinnett Department of Transportation for Gwinnett Transit accidents. Gwinnett Transit accidents are very different from typical car accident cases whether you were a bus passenger or the driver of a vehicle hit by a Gwinnett Transit bus. If you need help, please call our firm for a free case evaluation. We would be happy to explain to you the proper steps and channels for filing a claim. We offer a free consultation, and all of our injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis – which means that you pay nothing out of your pocket and attorneys’ fees are merely a percentage of the settlement. Contact us now about your Gwinnett Transit accident today.