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Personal Injury

What Is “Personal Injury”?

Personal injury describes situations where a person is injured by someone else’s fault. This occurs in car accidents, big truck accidents, on-the-job injuries, pedestrian accidents, shootings and wrongful death cases, dog bites, and several other situations where people are injured at the fault of other people, businesses, or government agencies. In other words, when people say I need a personal injury attorney, they refer to someone who seeks to help a person who’s been injured due to someone else’s negligence.

Personal injury is a unique practice areas because it empowers clients to hire attorneys on a contingency basis. In many practice areas, the client pays the attorney as the case progresses. This can often be frustrating for clients, who continue to have to pay money out-of-pocket for expenses that are not usual to their budgets, nor are they affordable in many cases. The good news about personal injury for clients is that the contingency fee arrangement often levels the playing field for people who cannot afford an unexpected out-of-pocket expense. At the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, personal injury clients do not pay a dollar out of pocket for representation. Our fee comes in only when you approve your case settling, which means you are satisfied with the dollar amount proposed by the insurance company to settle your case.

Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer

We represent clients in every type of personal injury case. Many people think of personal injury as dealing only with car accident claims, but personal injury includes much more. Personal injury deals with any situation where a person is injured by the actions or negligence of another person or company. We’ve handled personal injury claims and cases against every major insurance company, city, county and state government entities, hospitals, airports, and other places of business located in Georgia.

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by the fault of another — whether due to negligence or wrongful misconduct — the law may entitle you to significant compensation for your losses. Compensation includes money to pay your medical bills, physical pain and suffering, emotional suffering, lost wages, and compensation for any other loss you may have suffered as a result of the negligence of another person or company.

Studies show that injured people who hire a plaintiff’s personal attorney to represent them recover more money on average than people who represent themselves. Unfortunately, many injured plaintiffs do not realize the importance of consulting an attorney. By speaking to an attorney soon after your accident, you will gain the assistance of a professional who can identify and preserve relevant evidence, evaluate your potential claims, file your lawsuit, and begin the engagement with opposing counsel.

We Handle A Broad Range of Personal Injury Disputes

Here at The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, we represent clients in a range of personal injury disputes, including:

Attorney Walter Gabriel has recovered millions of dollars for his personal injury clients. Walter Gabriel has built his career litigating personal injury disputes and complex business disputes. This broad experience has given him unique insight into how to level the playing field against parties who may enjoy substantial resource advantages.

We have applied these insights — along with an aggressive approach to personal injury advocacy — to ensure that clients can be more effectively represented, whether in early settlement negotiations or at trial. We enjoy helping injured people change their lives for the better. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for Atlanta area personal injury victims.

Do I Have A Personal Injury Case?

You have a personal injury case if you were injured by the fault of another person. In other words, if you were hurt in a car accident, injured at a business, or have a relative who suffered a wrongful death caused by another person or company, you may have a valid personal injury case.

In car accident cases, you have a case if the other driver caused the car accident and caused you injury. In most cases, you know the other driver is at fault when the other driver is cited by the responding officer, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, both drivers are cited, and other times, neither driver is cited. The key is knowing that you can prove to a jury that the other driver caused the wreck, and caused your injury.

In cases against companies or corporations, most often in the context of slip-and-fall or premise liability cases, liability is much harder to prove. For example, case law places a higher burden on restaurants to inspect floors for slippery substances than is placed on places of business that do not serve food and beverages. 

If in doubt, you can only help the situation for yourself and your family by contacting our office for a free consultation. 

Can I Represent Myself on My Personal Injury Case?

Call us to help you figure that out! We’ve helped people through the process before that chose to settle their personal injury cases on their own. If you eventually decide that you need representation, let us know and we’ll schedule an intake appointment with you. Of course, having an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate for every possible dollar on your behalf will likely earn more money for your case and save you a lot of time and stress, but we respect people who decide to be their own advocate. Call us talk about your situation. We’ll provide you with a free consultation, and you will decide what works best for you.

Should I Call A Lawyer For My Case?

The National Law Review features an excellent article that discusses when it may make sense to hire a personal injury attorney. In a nutshell, if you have a claim that is relatively minor, you have received what you believe to be a fair offer to settle, and you are comfortable with the law and settlement process, then it may make sense to settle your claim on your own. However, if your answer is a “no” to any of these questions, you should consult with an attorney.

Insurance adjusters are employed to minimize payment for personal injury claims, and adjusters will often deny claims or offer significantly less if a claimant is not represented by legal counsel.

If you have any doubt, call us for a free consultation. We’ve settled a number of cases where the insurance company decided not to offer any money at all, due to a variety of excuses that we have proven to be meritless. There is no charge to calling our office to see if you have a case. 

Do I Have A Personal Injury Case If I Didn’t Miss Work?

Absolutely. Many people who are injured manage to maintain their work schedules while dealing with the pain that their injuries have caused. The person or company who caused your injuries should not rewarded because you were fortunate enough to manage medical treatment while maintaining a normal work schedule. The truth is, personal injury lawsuits play a role in deterring wrongful conduct on the part of negligent individuals and companies who hire unsafe drivers and employees. We have had a number of successful settlements on behalf of injured people who did not miss work as a result of their personal injury cases.

Do I Have A Personal Injury Case If My Health Insurance Covered My Medical Bills?

Yes, you still have a case. This is an important question because many people believe that if they don’t currently “owe” large medical bills, they don’t have a case. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The tortfeasor – referred to as the person who is legally responsible for your injuries, should not be rewarded because you had health insurance and treated inside your health insurance network. And Georgia law does not reward at-fault drivers because you had health insurance in place. In fact, if your case were ever tried by a jury, the fact that your medical bills have already been covered is not even legally admissible. This means that a jury hearing your case will never know that your medical bills were already paid for.

How is this to your advantage? We advise clients who have health insurance to seek doctors who are in their health insurance network to treat injuries they received from their personal injury case. This turns into a big savings for you when your case settles. For example, if your case settles for $60,000, and you had $20,000 in medical bills – and bills were incurred without insurance – and attorney’s fees are $20,000, your client recovery is $20,000. Now if you have the same $60,000 settlement and $20,000 in attorney’s fees, but your medical treatment was in your network, your recovery is much closer to $40,000 (subject in some cases to partial health insurance reimbursement). In these two scenarios, your recovery basically doubles with the same $60,000 settlement, thus illustrating the importance of treating within your network if you have access to health insurance.

If I Can’t Afford An Attorney, How Do I Get Representation?

Don’t worry. We understand that you’ve already gone through enough. We will work for you and with you. It’s simple – you pay nothing, unless you win!

A contingency fee contract is an agreement between the you and your attorney where the attorney agrees to advance the all of your costs of the case until the case is over – either by a settlement from the insurance company for the person or company that caused your injury or from an amount awarded by a jury. When we represent you, we use contingency fee agreements so that you and your family don’t have to pay for the costs until they’ve received a good outcome to end their case. So that means you have nothing to lose and have everything to gain.

How Do I Pick A Law Firm for My Personal Injury Case?

You need to know and feel that the law firm you hire cares about you and your case. At the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, every case that comes into the law firm is personally handled by Attorney Walter Gabriel. In fact, Walter Gabriel personally keeps in touch with each of his clients on a regular basis. This firm is structured so that Attorney Walter Gabriel can give as much personal attention to his personal injury clients as possible.

This is important to know because it is easy to like a personality that you see on television and radio advertisements on behalf of the attorney’s firm, but know that the “face” of the firm cannot possibly provide personal attention to every case that comes into the firm. This means that an attorney who you know nothing about will be representing you. In many cases large personal injury firms do a great job for their clients, but when hiring a large firm it is nearly impossible to know which attorney will represent you at the time you sign up with a large personal injury firm.

It’s Been Months Since my Personal Injury – Is It Too Late for Me?

Not at all. In Georgia, you have two years to file a lawsuit for your personal injury claim, unless your claim is against a governmental entity. You have six months to send notice to a city in Georgia, 12 months to send notice to a county in Georgia, and 12 months to send notice to a state agency in Georgia. With these deadlines in mind, it is still important to choose an attorney as soon as possible. Many personal injury attorneys will not accept a client who contacts an attorney only a few months before the expiration of the statute of limitations.

If I Already Hired Another Attorney, Will I Pay Extra to Switch Attorneys?

You won’t pay anything additional if you switch to another attorney. Attorneys who take personal injury cases very often represent clients on a contingency basis. This means that of the amount of money recovered on your behalf, a percentage goes toward attorney’s fees. When attorneys are switched, only the attorney fee portion is divided between the attorneys. In other words, if you want to switch attorneys while the insurance has a standing offer offer of $10,000, and your case settles with a different attorney who obtains a settlement for $50,000, one-fifth of the attorney fee would go to the first attorney, while four-fifths of the attorney fee would go to the attorney who settles your case. In this scenario, your client recovery remains exactly the same as if you only had one attorney when your case settled for $50,000.

The truth is, it’s very difficult to choose a personal injury firm that is the best fit for you. There are seemingly endless options to choose from, and people often find that, somewhere in the middle of representation, that their current law firm is a bad fit. Many law firms will not accept a client who is represented by another law firm. We consider your situation and the status of your case, and we decide whether we can take on your case on a case-by-case basis. So if you’re considering a switch to our firm, contact us, and we’ll figure out together whether switching to our firm is a good fit for you.

How Do I “Win” My Case?

In nearly all personal injury cases, the person or company being sued has insurance coverage that is available for pay for your medical bills and other losses. With regard to car accident cases, even when the other driver doesn’t have insurance, your own uninsured motorist coverage might be your source of payment.

In many cases you need a skilled advocate to present a claim on your behalf that convinces the insurance company to admit fault. Once fault is established on the part of the other party, a successful claim convinces the insurance company to a settlement that pays for all of your medical bills, legal fees, costs, and importantly, your physical pain and suffering and emotional harm.

If the insurance company does not agree to settle your claim, you need an attorney who is also skilled in the courtroom and can convince a jury to award you the money you deserve.

What If I Don’t Have Money or Health Insurance for Medical Treatment?

Under basically any circumstance, it is preferable for a personal injury client to get medical treatment for injuries sustained from their personal injury case in their own health insurance network. However, we understand that in many cases, people who suffer a personal injury do not have health insurance. Attorneys who are experienced in personal injury are able to work with a medical professional on what is referred to as a lien arrangement. Under a medical lien, the client does not owe the medical provider directly out of pocket, and the client does not have to pay his or her medical provider any co-pays or other costs until the case settles. We regularly get our clients the medical treatment needed in cases where there is no health insurance to turn to. We regularly work with doctors and other medical providers on a lien basis, which means that medical bills get paid once your case settles. And once your case settles, a portion of your settlement goes toward your medical bills incurred as a result of your personal injury.

Recently, the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel helped a client get access to medical treatment, which included a surgery, despite his not having health insurance.His medical bills were higher than $100,000. We were able to provide our client with access to medical providers with a medical lien, which was paid after his case settled. The young man was able to get back to work shortly after his surgery. When his case ended, his settlement paid for his surgery, and he walked away with a six-figure settlement check for himself.

Personal Injury Litigation Can Be Complicated

Personal injury litigation often appears to be simple or straightforward to those who are not familiar with the process. In truth, many personal injury scenarios involve hidden complexity that may not be obvious upon first impression. If your attorney fails to identify the complexities early on, it can complicate your case down the road.

An attorney may have told you that you don’t have a case. It’s not uncommon for attorneys to turn down victims of personal injury when it appears the individual doesn’t have an obvious route to seek compensation for their injuries. This is because some attorneys may not understand the full spectrum of what the law provides in the way of compensation for victims of personal injury.

These individuals have turned to the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC for help after being “stiffed” by big insurance companies and told by other attorneys that they have no route to get compensation for their injuries. The truth is, Walter Gabriel has secured six-figure outcomes for the very same clients who have been turned down by other attorneys.

Given that your case may be quite a bit more complicated than you expect, it’s important that you get an attorney who is capable of handling and resolving similarly complex disputes.

My Injury Doesn’t Fit One of Your Practice Areas. Can You Represent Me?

Yes! People often run searches for “personal injury firms near me” because their situation often doesn’t fit neatly into one identifiable practice area. The truth is, we represent people who have been injured in a very broad range of circumstances, and there are too many circumstances to fit into practice areas. We’ve had the great privilege of representing women, men, and families of many religions, ethnicities, and backgrounds. We’ve represented children as young as 5 years old, and adults who are in retirement. And the circumstances that have caused their injury are just as broad. Call us, and we’ll figure it out together. All of our client consultations are free, and we’re happy to guide you in the right direction if your case is better for a law firm that handles your type of case more directly.

Contact the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel for a Free and Confidential Consultation

The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel is a personal injury litigation firm with a focus on providing clients high-end, personalized legal representation. We believe that the most effective advocacy is that which is tailored to the needs and circumstances of each client. To that end, we engage with clients closely at every step of the dispute process to ensure that our clients stay up-to-date and fully informed of the legal strategy and case developments. We are a dedicated personal injury firm that has recovered millions of dollars for our clients.

Find out if you have a case. Call 404-549-6742 or submit a case evaluation form online to request a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer at the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC today.