Car Accident Case Study Under Georgia Law

22 Apr, 2016 SMB_Lawyer

Defendant crossed over several lanes of interstate traffic and struck my client’s vehicle, causing it to roll over four (4) times. After multiple surgeries to her dominant hand, my client has over $600,000 in medical bills and lost her job. The at-fault driver claims one of the tires suddenly blew out causing her to lose control. The at-fault driver carried only $25,000 of applicable insurance. Since there were no assets over insurance limits, my client offered to settle with the at-fault driver for her $25,000 of insurance, despite the largely inadequate recovery for her injuries. However, the at-fault driver’s insurance company ignored essential terms of my client’s offer to settle and decided they would call the shots and do it their way.


What Is The Law In Georiga?
Under Georgia law, when an insurer fails to properly pay policy limits on a claim that is clearly worth more than policy limits, claims for bad faith can arise. If bad faith can be proven, it can mean that an entire verdict will get paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance regardless of the insurance limits. Here, it could mean s fair recovery for my client’s injuries. Since the at-fault driver’s insurance company decided they wanted to dictate the terms of settlement, we rejected their offer and filed suit. It was funny that, after their initial attempt to control the settlement, a claims adjuster and her manager showed up personally at my office to try to deliver a $25,000 check. It was rejected, again.

Preserving Evidence
When we were hired about three (3) weeks after the wreck, we immediately notified the at-fault driver and her insurance company that the car and its tires must be preserved. Despite several subsequent letters again telling them to preserve the car and its tires, the at-fault driver’s insurance company gave orders to the storage facility to get rid of the car. And that is what happened. The most important piece of evidence was destroyed before anyone could have an expert do proper testing on the tire to determine the real cause of its failure. Driver error and poor maintenance, both of which are the driver’s fault, not just manufacturing defects, cause tire failure.

Fighting Insurance Companies
The insurance company took away the only opportunity for us to defend against their unfounded argument that the tire was just defective. They claim the destruction of evidence was inadvertent. We were not so sure, so we filed a motion asking the judge to punish them for their actions. The judge agreed that the other side was on proper notice to preserve the car, but that they failed to do so; they destroyed material evidence. Therefore, the judge will not allow them to argue that a tire defect caused the wreck, essentially stripping them of their case because they tried to strip my client of her case.

Compensation You Deserve
If this case doesn’t settle prior to court, we will be asking a jury for an amount that well, will make the at-fault driver’s insurance company wish they would have settled.
It is tenacious dedication that wins car accident cases. It is tenacious dedication that teaches insurance companies they cannot squeeze out the little guy. If later confidentiality doesn’t prohibit it, I will update this post to let everyone know the final outcome.

Should You Call A Tractor Trailer Accident Attorney Marietta?

10 Dec, 2014 SMB_Lawyer

If you have been involved in a trucking accident, you are lucky to be alive. Tractor trailers are extremely dangerous and cause far too many deaths each year. With the average large commercial truck weighing around 80,000 pounds compared to 3,000 pounds for the average automobile, even a minor tractor trailer accident can have disastrous consequences.

How To Prove Your Case

When you are trying to prove your case after a trucking accident, legal liability is defined as negligence. To determine whether you have a case or not a tractor trailer accident attorney should look at the details of the trucking accident to determine if there is enough cause to show that the driver of the tractor trailer breached a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances of the accident which then resulted in the injuries sustained to you.

The problem with establishing negligence is that the longer you wait, the harder it is. It is important to begin investigating the details of the accident as quickly as possible to ensure that no evidence is lost. Some information that could be extremely important to your case include the speed of your vehicle as well as the truck, maintenance records of the truck, driver’s log books, eye witness testimony from first responders as well as any one who may have witnessed the accident. By gathering all of this vital information, you can ensure that you have your best chance at winning a case against a tractor trailer driver that may have been driving erratically which led to your truck accident.

Do Tractor Trailers Have Black Boxes?

Another vital part of a tractor trailer accident investigation is what is called a “black box” in the industry. You likely have heard of “black boxes” when it comes to airline accidents, but these boxes also exist on certain tractor trailers. These boxes can provide vital information including data before, during as well as after the accident.

Who Is Responsible For A Tractor Trailer Accident?

The responsible parties for a tractor trailer accident can be quite complex. Potential claims could be pursued against a variety of parties including the driver, the trucking company, mechanics, inspectors or even the trucking company’s insurance company. It is important to partner with an experienced tractor trailer accident attorney to understand how to approach the complicated process of determining responsibility in a trucking accident.

Have Questions? Contact Tractor Trailer Accident Attorney Steven M. Barnett

Steven M. Barnett is a tractor trailer accident attorney in Atlanta with years of experience representing accident victims like yourself. For more information give Steven M. Barnett a call today at(770) 998-2102.

When Is A Lawyer Required For A Workers Comp Claim?

13 Oct, 2014 SMB_Lawyer

The purpose of Georgia’s workers compensation laws is to help make sure that workers get compensated fairly for the various expenses associated with injury in the workplace — and they do this without identifying who is at fault for an accident. The result is that most workers can get immediate medical attention following an injury at work, that is, immediately after the employer has been notified that the accident occurred. It’s common for workers who need basic medical attention for a fairly minor injury to receive full medical care without needing to pay a bill or complete a claim form.

Sadly, not all injuries in the workplace are this straightforward. Many can involve serious injuries that take a great deal of time away from work. When the injuries are this serious, or if a claim is not being considered valid, victims of an injury need the assistance of an Atlanta workers comp attorney.

When A Lawyer Might Be Necessary

Here are a few examples of when someone who has been injured needs experienced legal help to aid with the claim:

Workers Comp Denied Claims

– the insurance claim or your employer might deny the claim if they think it is invalid. It’s true, according to state law claims can be invalid in certain situations — if you were not actually injured while working or if your injury was the result of a pre-existing condition, they can deny your claim. Whatever the reason, if your claim has been denied you will not receive any workers comp benefits until you and your attorney can convince your employer or insurance company that they should pay, or until a judge tells them to pay.

Workers Comp Reduced Claims

– in this case, the employer or insurance company does not deny the fact of your injury, but may approve only part of the expenses in your claim. Good workers comp attorneys can help bring together the evidence needed to prove the complete value of your claim and then either appeal the decision or negotiate a settlement.

Occupational illnesses and injuries

– these are conditions which develop over time, rather than as the result of specific accidents. A number of groups, from laboratory workers who are exposed to toxic substances to office workers who develop repetitive strain injuries, commonly experience illnesses or injuries that cannot be attributed to specific accidents. For these cases, you normally need a skilled attorney who can navigate through the rules and pull together a case which proves your claims to the standard required by law.

Call Steven M. Barnett at Phone:770.998.2102 or Toll Free:866.592.4221 or schedule a Free Consultation today.

What to Look For in a Car Accident Lawyer Marietta

11 Aug, 2014 SMB_Lawyer

car accident attorney Marietta
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and don’t know where to turn, it is important to consult with a car accident lawyer in Marietta to protect your rights. In Georgia alone, 1 in 10 drivers will be involved in a car accident this year. This is a staggering number and should cause you to think about whom you should call if you are involved in an accident. Before you make a decision as to which personal injury attorney in Atlanta to call, look over these few tips.

Car Accident Victims Need Someone They Can Trust

The process of hiring a car accident lawyer in Marietta should not be taken lightly. You want someone in your corner that will fight for what you are due, which could include astronomical medical bills, lost wages, long term disability as well as other expenses.

When you are going up against an insurance company, you should be prepared for all out war! It is the job of the insurance company to wear you down and give you the absolute smallest amount of money possible. When insurance companies start mentioning payouts, some injury victims make the mistake of taking the first offer. This is exactly what the insurance company wants you to do.

By hiring Marietta car accident attorney, Steven Barnett, you are hiring someone who has been on both sides of the car accident equation. In fact, Steven Barnett started out his career defending insurance companies against injury claims. This gives him a unique perspective, which proves invaluable when going up against the big insurance companies. Steven understands exactly how insurance companies tick and will work to ensure that you are not taken advantage of with tactics such as delaying money, creating useless red tape and just generally being almost impossible to deal with when it comes to getting what you deserve.

Choose a Firm That Doesn’t Treat You Like a Number

Some of the large car accident attorneys in Atlanta work on a volume business model. This means that they are trying to gain and close as many clients as possible in a short amount of time. This allows them to collect huge fees while not necessarily providing the highest level of service. Steven Barnett has a much different approach when it comes to his clients. Steven has been in private practice since 2003 and is always focused on providing the highest level of service to each and every one of his clients. If this means not taking on quite as many clients as some of the large Atlanta personal injury law firms, that is ok with him. Having worked for insurance companies in the past, he understands that it is often the underserved that are taken advantage of the most by insurance companies.

Involved in a Car Accident? Call the Trusted Car Accident Lawyer Marietta, Steven M. Barnett

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident give Marietta personal injury attorney Steven Barnett a call today at 770-998-2102. Steven would be happy to sit down with you for a free, no-obligation consultation to confidentially discuss the details of your case.

What You Need to Know if You’ve Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident

1 Aug, 2014 SMB_Lawyer

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to consult with an Atlanta motorcycle injury attorney for not only legal representation, but also to collect any compensation that you may deserve.  Riding motorcycles is extremely popular in the Atlanta area and motorcycle registrations saw an over 50% increase between 2000-2005 across the country.

Unlike automobiles, motorcycles do not offer the typical protections in terms of airbags or any sort of barrier between you and the extreme force that exists during a wreck.  If you have been injured due to someone’s negligence, hiring an Marietta motorcycle injury attorney like Steven M. Barnett can help you receive what you deserve.


Shocking Motorcycle Injury Statistics

Data from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers some bleak statistics when it comes to motorcycle accidents.

  • For each mile driven, a motorcyclists’ risk of being involved in a fatal crash is 35 times greater than in an automobile.
  • Over 4000 motorcyclists were killed in 2004, which was an 8% increase from 2003.

When Should You Call Marietta Motorcycle Injury Attorney?

A motorcycle wreck is often caused by negligence on the part of the motorcyclist or an automobile driver.  To establish this negligence, the injured party must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty that was breached and resulted in some type of injuries.  These cases are common when someone who is driving a car strikes a motorcyclist.


Another instance where a person could become injured from a motorcycle is due to a defective motorcycle or motorcycle part.  In this case, the injured party may be able to bring a case against the motorcycle or part manufacturer.


How to Properly Build Your Case

If you or someone you know is injured in a motorcycle accident it is important that you take certain steps to protect your rights.  The first thing that you must do is consult with an Atlanta motorcycle injury attorney.   If the police arrive to the scene of your accident, give them basic information about the accident as well as your contact information.  It is important for you to seek medical treatment immediately if necessary and keep track of any medical bills.  It is also important to keep track of any repair expenses that you incur after the accident as well as other expenses such as rental car costs and wages that are lost due to having to miss work.


If it is possible to talk with witnesses of the accident, it can help to significantly strengthen your case.  Try to find at least 2 people who witnessed the wreck and urge them to wait for the police to provide their account of the accident.  If these witnesses do not want to wait for the police, try to get their contact information so that you can follow up with them later if necessary.


Still Have Questions?  Contact motorcycle accident attorney Marietta, Steven M. Barnett

If you still have questions after being involved in a motorcycle accident contact Atlanta motorcycle injury attorney, Steven M. Barnett.  Steven has years of experience protecting motorcyclists rights and would be happy to sit down with you for a no-obligation consultation.  Give Steve a call today at 770-998-2102 or toll free at 866-592-4221.

Workers Compensation Attorney in Marietta GA

9 Dec, 2013 SMB_Lawyer

If you’ve been injured on the job, the rules of getting compensated are very complex. You’re in pain and frustrated. The deadlines are elusive; and your rights may not be known unless you have a workers compensation attorney in Atlanta to help with each aspect or the process.
An attorney will help in many ways. First, they know all the looming filing deadlines. Many cases are thrown out because the allotted time, usually a year, has passed and the claim can no longer be pursued.
Monetary compensation is just one benefit. An experienced attorney will also help you find treatment for an injury, all the while receiving payment. The case can be wrapped up after the treatment is completed and then the attorney will work to come to a settlement.
Most people do not know the correct procedure for reporting an injury. There are tight rules for notifying the right people, finding a doctor, and documenting who you spoke to and when. That is why having an attorney on your side is so beneficial. Having experience in the field means you get professional advice every step of the way, and won’t trip up on any unexpected deadline or filing requirements.
Steven M. Barnett will help you get the compensation you need; go to to learn more.