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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 Accident Repoert

Gwinnett Accident Reports

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.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 buycrash.com. Buycrash is an online service that allows you to print your accident report from the internet. Purchasing Gwinnett accident reports on Buycrash are generally more expensive than picking up Gwinnett accident reports in person [$11.00 Buycrash 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 buycrash.com 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, Buycrash 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.

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.

Truck Accident in Gwinnett

Truck Accident Lawyer in Gwinnett

Semi trucks (also called tractor-trailers, 18 wheelers, or big rigs) frequent Gwinnett County roads, highways, and interstates. Michael Coker has become the Gwinnett County Truck Accident Lawyer, helping victims who have suffered the most serious injuries after a tractor-trailer accident.

Interstate 85 is the most commonly used truck route in Gwinnett County, followed closely by Georgia Highway 316. Many people pass semi trucks on Gwinnett roadways everyday, but few truly understand or appreciate their destructive potential.

In 2014, semi truck accidents became national headlines when a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer collided with a vehicle driven by Saturday Night Live celebrity Tracy Morgan in New Jersey. The force of the impact nearly killed Mr. Morgan, causing serious and significant injuries. Investigators later learned that the driver of the semi truck had been awake for over 24 straight hours – driving in clear violation of federal laws.

Sadly, as the Gwinnett Truck Accident Lawyer, we have seen first hand how often truck drivers violate federal safety laws, often at the request of their employer, to maximize profits with a complete disregard for the safety of the public.

Federal regulations govern a truck driver’s driving hours and sleep requirements, a tractor-trailer’s maximum speed, a driver’s use of the radio, the trailer’s lights and reflective tape. Thousands of federal state and local safety regulations protect the public, but violations are common. Only an experienced Gwinnett Truck Accident Lawyer can find if any violation caused or contributed to your collision.

Truck accident victims should speak with a truck accident lawyer as soon after an accident as possible. Trucking companies either intentionally destroy or unintentionally allow critical case evidence to vanish over time. Georgia law permits a truck accident lawyer to send “spoliation notices” requiring that the trucking company protect critical evidence from destruction. Failure to protect evidence after receiving a proper spoliation letter can open up the trucking company to sanctions by the court. Only an experienced truck accident lawyer can protect, view, and present the critical evidence in a way that maximizes your case’s value.

If a Gwinnett County truck accident injured you or someone you know, call us now for a free case evaluation. You need a truck accident lawyer who can help you now in the race against the clock to protect all necessary evidence. Our experienced team is ready to help. Call now for a free consultation.