FAQs - The Cochran Firm Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia Injury Attorneys - The Cochran Firm Atlanta
- What kinds of cases does The Cochran Firm Atlanta handle?
- How can common people afford to hire The Cochran Firm Atlanta?
- How were the lawyers selected for The Cochran Firm Atlanta?
- How long will it take for my case to get to trial?
- Why does it take so long to litigate cases?
- How do I know if I have a good settlement offer?
- Will my case settle?
- Are small claims cases worth pursuing?
- How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
- When should I consider a claim for a defective product?
- When should I consider a claim for maritime injury?
- Should I go to the doctor to get checked out?
- What are the caps on medical malpractice damages?
- What are the restrictions on cases involving death?
- Should I document the events of my malpractice incident?
- How do I pay my medical bills after a medical malpractice incident?
- Should I talk to an insurance adjuster about the crash?
- What is the statute of limitations?
- What do I do at the accident scene?
- When should I consider a claim for auto injuries?
- What if the negligent driver lives outside Georgia?
- What can I do if the police killed my loved one?
- Should I move my loved one from the nursing home we're suing?
- Do most truck accident cases settle?
- What damages may I recover from a trucking incident?
- Why do I need a truck accident lawyer?
How can we help you?
What kinds of cases does The Cochran Firm Atlanta handle?
Our firm remains devoted to handling cases for everyday people who have civil claims. We handle civil cases such as personal injury or wrongful death cases for accident victims, as well as cases for consumers, workers, and average citizens who have been injured by the negligence or wrongful conduct of others.
How can common people afford to hire The Cochran Firm Atlanta?
Our firm handles cases on a contingent fee basis. This fee is based solely on a percentage of the money we recover for our clients. If there is no financial recovery for the client, then we charge no fee.
How were the lawyers selected for The Cochran Firm Atlanta?
The attorneys at The Cochran Firm Atlanta include seasoned, successful litigators and talented young lawyers with a passion for the law. Our lawyers are dedicated to representing you and are committed to Johnnie Cochran's motto of "preparation, preparation, preparation."
How long will it take for my case to get to trial?
Most cases settle before trial, which means that both parties come to an agreement about the monetary damages. Although most routine automobile cases can be resolved within 2-2 1/2 years from the date of filing, many that involve complex issues of liability, insurance coverage disputes, or high-dollar damages can last much longer.
Why does it take so long to litigate cases?
This is a frequent question raised by clients. Lawyers have their work cut out for them when they first accept a case. They need to do research and find out the facts of the case, conduct depositions, request documents from various sources, and find witnesses. Good communication with the client during all phases of the litigation can help alleviate any anxiety and speed up the process of the lawsuit.
How do I know if I have a good settlement offer?
Most cases settle out of court before proceeding to trial. However, not all cases settle for what they should. If you have a chance of proving liability, then your settlement should be fairly high. Some factors such as the financial needs of the plaintiff can diminish settlement value because the defense knows that the plaintiff is eager to recover funds. Ultimately, you should consult with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer made by the other side.
Will my case settle?
There are many factors that will determine whether your case will settle or whether you will have to proceed to trial. The most significant of these factors is the type of case involved. Generally, the more sophisticated issues and cases do not resolve early in the process of litigation. Most automobile accident cases do settle without the need for a trial. Medical malpractice cases, products liability cases, and premises liability cases usually do not settle early on in the process and may very well require a trial to determine the outcome.
Are small claims cases worth pursuing?
Lawsuits can be expensive. Before deciding to push a case, clients should look to see if the cost of the case would outweigh the damages recoverable through trial or settlement. If the cost of preparing the case and hiring experts and producing documents is substantial and the damages recovered are expected to be minimal, it may not be worth it to try the case.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for negligence that causes injury is two (2) years from the date on which an injury or death arising from a negligent or wrongful act occurred. This statute may vary depending on the type of case. For medical malpractice, a person has one year from the date they either knew, or should have known, of the potential malpractice for which to bring a claim. If a claim is not instituted within this time period, it is barred by prescription.
Personal Injury question
When should I consider a claim for a defective product?
The cost of proceeding with the litigation as compared to the potential recovery should be considered. If a case will cost $10,000 to pursue and the available coverage if the claim is successful is $10,000, the case may not be worth pursuing. Unless the damages are substantial and clearly above the available policy limits, most insurance adjusters will not offer their policy limits in settlement. It is only after the case is developed, depositions are taken, and money is spent that most contested cases can be resolved.
When should I consider a claim for maritime injury?
Passengers, visitors, and invitees aboard vessels have a cause of action against a negligent vessel operator for their injuries under federal general maritime law. However, a seaman has no cause for action against his employer under the general maritime law for the negligence of his employer. When a seaman is injured on a vessel owned by his employer, under federal law, the Jones Act provides that seaman with the legal ability to file suit against his employer for those injuries. This is one of the few instances in which a lawsuit, as opposed to a worker's compensation action, is allowed against an employer by an employee. If the injuries are minor and do not prevent the seaman from returning to work on the vessel, the victim may want to forgo a claim and continue his employment with the company.
Should I go to the doctor to get checked out?
Yes. After an accident, an initial evaluation at a local emergency room is recommended. X-rays can be performed, which will generally rule out broken bones or fractures. Muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory medications can be prescribed to address muscle strains or pulls.
What are the caps on medical malpractice damages?
Most caps limit a victim's recovery of non-economic damages per claimant, regardless of the number of physicians involved in the case. Caps also include the lost wage component of economic damages. None of the caps apply to the recovery of economic damages such as medical bills. A claimant can still recover the total amount of provable out-of-pocket damages associated with a medical malpractice claim.
What are the restrictions on cases involving death?
Law sets forth a specific law on who can legally recover for the wrongful death of a loved one. Generally, if a married person who has children dies, the spouse and the children have a claim for wrongful death. If the spouse has the survival action, the children cannot also have the survival action since it represents the victim's suffering and not their own suffering. If a person dies without a spouse, then the children have the survival and wrongful death actions. If a person dies without a spouse or children, then the surviving father and mother of the deceased may bring the actions. If the deceased left no spouse, no children, and no surviving parents, then his surviving brothers and sisters inherit the actions. Thus, the parents of a deceased victim do not have the right to bring a claim for the wrongful death of their child if the deceased is survived by a spouse or children.
Should I document the events of my malpractice incident?
One of the challenges in proving a medical malpractice case is the documented written evidence that is to be presented to the jury. The more evidence that is documented in writing, the more credible the claim appears to the jury. Thus, it is important for patients to document bad medical care as it occurs. This is true even if a claim is not contemplated or ultimately filed. Documenting the events simply refers to the process of writing down the events while the patient is receiving the medical care. This documenting process can have multiple benefits. In the context of a medical malpractice claim, it gives written credibility to the patient's version of events. Even if a medical malpractice claim is not being contemplated, it helps prevent potential errors.
How do I pay my medical bills after a medical malpractice incident?
Each jurisdiction determines the available damages a party may recover in an action resulting from an automobile accident. The policy behind compensation for injures is to place the injured party back into the same position he would have been in if the accident had not occurred. This concept is referred to as making a person whole. In attempting to make a person whole, the law recognizes that damages from an automobile accident can come in many forms: lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, loss of earning capacity, a spouse's loss of consortium, or loss of the services, society, and intimacy of the relationship. Most jurisdictions attempt to make a victim of an automobile accident whole by allowing the recovery of these types of damages.
Should I talk to an insurance adjuster about the crash?
When filing a claim, most insurance contracts require that their insured customers cooperate with them. This means that if your own insurance company contacts you, you will likely have to discuss the accident with them. However, if you have already retained an attorney by the time you are contacted by your own insurance company, you should tell them to contact your attorney to arrange any discussion or meeting about the accident. Generally, you are not legally required to cooperate or discuss the accident with the insurance company for the other driver.
What is the statute of limitations?
The statute of limitations is the time period that the law allows for filing a claim. If a claim is not brought within the statute of limitations, the case will be barred. This means that even if you have a clear-cut case against someone arising out of an automobile accident, the court will dismiss your claim if you do not file it within the time period allowed by the statute of limitations. Once a claim is barred by the statute of limitations, there is no chance of resurrecting it. In Georgia, automobile accident claims must be brought within two years from the date of the accident. These time periods change every so often. Contact an attorney at The Cochran Firm Atlanta to determine the applicable statute of limitations for your claim.
What do I do at the accident scene?
Get the name of the driver and the occupants, the driver's license numbers of all persons, the insurance information, the owner of the vehicle's information, addresses, phone numbers, and work information. Record the make, model, and license plate number of all involved vehicles. Attempt to avoid discussing the details of the accident or how it happened with the other driver. You do not want anything taken out of context or attributed to you that you did not say. Remain calm even if the other driver becomes irate. If the accident is at an intersection or on a city street, make a note of any malfunctioning traffic signals or missing or damaged stop signs. Watch the traffic signals for several changes to ensure proper functioning. If you observe a malfunction, make sure to report it to the investigating police officer. You may also want to observe the other vehicle to see if any obvious mechanical problems are apparent. Malfunctioning headlights, blinkers, or other items could later prove to be significant. Again, report any visible signs to the investigating officer. With the overuse of cell phones on today's highways, be sure to report cell phone use observed of the other driver to the investigating police officer. Cell phone records can be matched to the approximate time of the accident.
When should I consider a claim for auto injuries?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. Probably the first and foremost consideration is the nature and extent of your injuries and losses. Obviously, minor injuries and losses may not be worth the heartache associated with bringing a formal claim as a result of the accident. In automobile cases, the choice of whether to institute a claim must always consider on which party the fault has been initially placed by the investigating police officer. Moreover, there are certain legal presumptions that operate to place fault on one driver or the other depending on how the accident occurred. For instance, in a rear-end collision; there is generally a presumption that the driver who rear-ends another car is at fault in the accident. Of course, there are instances in which the front vehicle that was rear-ended is at fault. However, the ability to prove fault is a key factor in deciding how to proceed.
What if the negligent driver lives outside Georgia?
You may still be able to have a claim. Ultimately, this depends on how much involvement the driver has with, or within, the state of Georgia. That information will determine what court the lawsuit will be heard in and if your claim will be able to heard in a Georgia state court.
What can I do if the police killed my loved one?
If a police officer has wrongly murdered your loved one, you may be able to push police brutality or wrongful death case. But, police officers are trained to know when to use deadly force and when it is justified. You should hire an attorney to look at the facts of the case and see if damages are recoverable.
Should I move my loved one from the nursing home we're suing?
It is not recommended that you stay at a facility against which you are thinking about filing a lawsuit. However, it may be difficult to just get up and leave due to restrictions on resources and places to go. This is ultimately a personal choice, and you should speak with an attorney before you decide to make a big decision like this.
Do most truck accident cases settle?
Generally, most accidents involving a motor vehicle, be it a passenger vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle, usually settle out of court. However, this assumes that both parties to the lawsuit agree and understand how the accident happened and who was determined to be at fault.
What damages may I recover from a trucking incident?
Each state sets forth the types of damages and sometimes limits what a plaintiff can recover as damages in personal injury cases involving truck accidents. You should hire anattorney to look through the facts and circumstances of the particular case and determine what measure of damages may be appropriate.
Why do I need a truck accident lawyer?
It can never hurt to hire an attorney; they have extensive knowledge of the law and can see opportunity that an average person cannot. If you have any doubts in your mind about the legality of your case, you should contact an attorney who can walk you through the benefits of filing a lawsuit of this type.