Ponton Law Blog
Variable Factors If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, it’s highly advisable that you estimate the value of your claim before taking any legal action. This would allow you to get an upper hand and know beforehand what settlement would be fair and what would be unacceptable. There is no fixed value for a slip and fall settlement. It varies depending on so many factors. One has to know every single detail about the case in order to have an idea of what they should settle for, which is a difficult feat to achieve. Moreover, factors that contribute to slip and falls vary extensively from one case to another. The severity of the injuries for the injured party or the property damages of the defendant where the accident occurred all have to be considered before settling on the amount. It’s really nearly impossible to take them all into account. However, when judges and jurors are reviewing slip and fall cases, there are several primary factors that are considered that can help one estimate the settlement on their own. Medical Costs To calculate how much the case is worth, one of the leading points a good Atlanta attorney considers is the medical costs. The attorney looks at the medical expenses incurred related to slip and fall injuries they have handled in the past. They c..
Slip and Fall Case Misconceptions One of the greatest misconceptions about slip and fall cases is that they are easy to win. Many people generally believe that because they slipped and fell on somebody else’s property, it automatically means that they should win the case. Truth is, slip and fall cases are actually very difficult to prove in a trial, and they end up taking months or years in court. According to courtroom statistics, only one in five of slip and fall cases result in a money verdict for the injured party. If one has to go into a trial for a slip and fall settlement, they have to greatly consider how much time, money and effort has to go into the case in order to realize a positive outcome. The Settlement Amount Even on winning the case, most of them settle for a lot less. It is generally believed that a slip and fall settlement is about three times the medical bill, which is not true for the majority. If one has a very strong case, they are likely to get a lot of money, which is why insurance companies try not to go to trial for strong cases. From looking at court statistics, insurance..
Ponton Law has handled many bus accident cases. While it is always important to retain an attorney as soon as possible if you are injured in any sort of auto accident, it is very important to retain an attorney involving an accident on a bus. This is important for two reasons. First, many times there will be a limited amount of money to compensate all of the individuals who were on the bus at the time of the accident. For example, in the last bus accident case we did involving a Megabus on I-75, there were 22 claimants who claimed that they were injured. The total available liability coverage to satisfy all of the injured claimants was $1,000,000. With significant injuries, including multiple back and neck surgeries, a $1,000,000 might seem like a lot but would actually be exhausted fairly quickly. Thus, the first to file a claim and pursue a lawsuit has an advantage. The insurance company is free to adjust the claims it receives and pay one and not the others as long as it exercises good faith. For example, assuming that 1 of the 22 claimants had a significant surgery and hospital stay with medical bills totaling $1,243,498, the insurance company could tender the entire policy limits of $1,000,000 to the injured claimant and not pay any monies to any of the other individuals who have suffered injuries. It’s important to get a bus accident attorney to..
(1) Disputed Liability In cases where the other side is disputing fault for the accident, it makes it difficult to pursue a claim if the other party is claiming that you were at fault. For example, the other party claims that they had the green light when they entered the intersection. Some things you can do to combat this is to obtain copies of the 911 records to see if a passerby called into 911 to report what happened and obtain video surveillance of the area where the accident occurred. For example, we recently represented an individual who was struck in a crosswalk in the City of Atlanta and was able to secure footage from barbershop across the street which depicted the area where the accident occurred. (2) No Visible Property Damage. If you were rear-ended by another vehicle and there is no visible damage to your vehicle, it makes your case very difficult. The insurance defense a..
Have you been in involved in an accident involving a Ryder semi-truck or box truck? These types of cases present many different types of challenges. Make sure you hire the right attorney who handles these types of cases and is familiar with the issues that tend to arise. James has handled many. Here are two of the issues that pop up in almost every one of these cases: Who is an “insured” under the policy? Ryder does everything they can in an attempt to disclaim coverage under the policy. For example, in a recent case we handled we represented an individual who was hired by a moving company. The moving company hired a Ryder truck and purchased supplemental liability coverage in the amount of $1M. While transporting the goods across I-16 and up to Atlanta, the Ryder truck rear-ended a semi-truck while getting onto I-285. &n..
Here is a scenario which happens, on average, 2-3 times a year in this office. An individual is involved in a horrific accident resulting in significant injuries and a lengthy hospital stay. The person who caused the accident has a minimum amount of insurance available, often times $25,000, but sometimes $50,000 or $100,000. There is either no underinsured motorist coverage or very little. How do you handle paying the hospital back, while also making sure the client is fairly compensated for the significant injuries? There are a couple of ways to handle this. The first is to try and get the case settled prior to the hospital lien actually being filed. Generally speaking, the Atlanta hospitals, including Wellstar, AMC, Grady, North Fulton, and AMC, are required to file a hospital lien within 75 days of your discharge. Thus, if you can obtain an itemized st..
Poorly maintained tires are a leading cause in Atlanta car accidents. In the context of a commercial motor vehicle, the standards are generally set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which provide that no commercial motor vehicle shall be operated on any tire that: (1) has body ply or belt material exposed through the tread or sidewall; (2) has any tread or sidewall separation; (3) is flat or has an audible leak, or has a cut which exposes the ply or belt material. 40 CFR 393.75. In terms of the actual depth on the tires themselves, it ranges between 2/32 of an inch to 4/32 of an inch, depending upon where the tie bars, humps, and fillets are located. Additionally, under federal regulations, there are tire loading restrictions. As a general rule, a motor carrier is not allowed to operate a commercial vehicle that carries a weight greater than that marked on the sidewall of the tire. F..
Ponton Law has handled many accidents in the Atlanta area that were caused by a negligent driver who was delivering pizzas, including Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Uber Eats. The first thing to look at is whether the accident with the at-fault driver occurred while he was on the clock. If the accident occurred on the clock, then generally speaking you would have a claim not only against the driver but the driver’s employer as well under the Georgia doctrine of Respondeat Superior. This doctrine makes an employer liable for the negligence of an employee if the employee was acting in the course of scope of his employment at the time of the crash. If the delivery driver is dropping a pizza off or on his way back to the pizza place, then he is in the course and scope of his employment. If he is headed to or from work, then he is not in the course and scope of his employment at the time. Notably, if the crash did not occur while the at-fault driver was in the course and scope of his employment, then you still..
When we are suing a corporate company whose driver was involved in an Atlanta accident or we are suing a trucking company whose driver was involved in an Atlanta accident, we will typically assert a claim for the negligent hiring of the driver. Negligent hiring, entrustment, supervision, and retention claims are causes of action based upon the defendant’s direct negligence in employing an incompetent driver rather than vicarious liability for the driver’s actions. Thus, the company’s liability is not dependent upon a finding that the driver was acting within the scope of her employment at the time of the wreck. Georgia, like many other jurisdictions, does not allow a plaintiff to bring these causes of action when the company admits an agency relationship with the driver. See Bartja v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 218 Ga. App. 815, 818 (1996). This is because a company’s admission of an agency relationship establishes the liability link from the negligence of the driver to the carrier rendering proof of negligent hiring and retention unnecessary and irrelevant. The e..
Ponton Law has handled many taxi accident cases in the Atlanta area and throughout the Southeast. The first issue that comes up in every taxi case is the amount of the total available insurance coverage. This is why we always advise all of our clients to utilize an Uber or Lyft for their transportation needs in the greater Atlanta area. This is because Uber and Lyft have minimum amounts of liability coverage which are available in the event that the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault. In Georgia, Uber and Lyft drivers have a minimum of $1,000,000 in coverage. Of course, this does not mean that the insurance company is paying that sort of money on each and every case. Rather, this is the outer limit of what would be paid in the event that your damages, including your special damages and general damages, were worth the policy limits. On the other hand, Georgia law only requires taxicab operators to maintain minimum limits in Georgia, which is $25,000 per person. This means that the total available insurance coverage to pay for all your damages is $25,000. We have never handled a taxi accident case in Georgia where the liability limits exceeded $25,000...