Newsletter 18 “Safety First” Vehicle Collision Checklist
Number 18 – “Safety First” Vehicle Collision Check List
Our motto at Peachtree Law Group is, “We hope that you never need and attorney, but ~ if you ever do, then contact us for a consultation.”
Always apply “Safety First” and follow governing laws in any state. The following Vehicle Accident Check List is just one of the many ways we can help you if a wreck occurs, to protect you and your family.
Immediately STOP – It’s a crime if you do not stop. Avoid obstructing traffic flow, if at all possible. Don’t leave the scene unless you are seriously injured or need to go with an inured person. Also, don’t leave until the reporting officer releases you.
Attend to INJURED people AND request medical attention.
CALL 911 for the police, sheriff or state patrol.
DO NOT Comment at the scene to anyone except the police AND be honest and cooperate by stating FACTS. DO NOT guess, make admissions, or give your opinions.
Keep DOCUMENTS AND IDENTIFICATION to provide if requested: Give your name, address, vehicle registration information, and provide your driver’s license to the reporting officer. You too, need to get the same information from all drivers involved ~ including the VIN or Vehicle Identificaiton Number found on the other driver’s car or insurance card. Make your own note of the officer’s name recording the information.
Save the Scene:
Get WITNESSES names, addresses, phone numbers, comments (in writing preferably), etc.
Record your own NOTES, by text, email, voice recorded or hand-written.
Get video and pictures of the accident scene, vehicles, damages, injuries, car tags, people, other involved persons, documents, etc.
Identify all parties involved with personal injuries and property damages.
As soon as possible and preferably before you leave the scene, LOCATE any owners not at the scene to document your intent to inform. If necessary leave an obvious written notice providing your contact information and the police authority writing the report.
Of course, it is always advisable that you seek a legal opinion immediately, as the statute of limitations in your state and other important deadlines may prevent you from pursuing.
David R. Moore
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David R. Moore was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1953. His undergraduate work was done at Georgia State University. Mr. Moore graduated from Atlanta Law School and began the practice of law in 1984. He was the Founding and Managing Partner of the Atlanta firm Melnick, Moore & Elliott for over a decade. He now holds the positions of Founder, Manager and Senior Partner of Peachtree Law Group. He was awarded the State Bar of Georgia President’s Cup in his two-term presidency of the South Fulton Bar Association for 1997-99. He is a Silver Member of Law Education Consortium. As President of the Fayette County Bar Association, he was awarded the State Bar of Georgia Best Newsletter Award in 2003, and again as President in 2013, he was awarded the Best Entry Award and the Award of Merit, for the entire State of Georgia.
He is a Sustaining Fellow of the Lawyer’s Foundation of Georgia. The invitation to membership in the Fellows Program is an honor that recognizes those lawyers whose public and private careers demonstrate outstanding legal abilities and a devotion to their communities and the highest standards of the profession. This honor is limited to 3% of the trial lawyers in the state.
Mr. Moore is a Life Member of the South Fulton Bar Association, and President of Fayette Bar Association in 2003 and 2013. He has served on the Board of Directors for Peachtree City Rotary, chairing the International Service Committee, serving on the Rotary International Annual Conference Committee and the Membership Development Committee. He has served on the Board of Directors for Fayette Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Governmental Affairs committee, Legislative committee and Chairman’s Roundtable. He has served on the Advisory Board for Untied Way of Fayette County, chairing the Financial Investment committee and Local Investment group, and serving on the Campaign committee.
Mr. Moore is a retired Atlanta Police officer, where he earned Officer of the Year, Public Safety Employee of the Year and the Mayoral Award. Mr. Moore has served on the Board of Directors for Fulton County Career Technology Advisory Counsel two terms and been a Mock Trial Competition Instructor.
Mr. Moore decided cases for 12 years in Fulton State Court and Fulton Superior Court as an Arbitrator from 1989 to 2001. He has been representing clients in personal injury claims since 1984, and malpractice, both medical and legal, since 1987. He is married to Pam and has 4 children. Also, David Moore enjoys mission work and teaching Children’s Sunday School at New Hope Church in Fayetteville, GA.
Larry M. Melnick was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1952. He graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1974 and continued to receive his J.D. from Emory University in 1977. Mr. Melnick was admitted to both Georgia and Pennsylvania bar associations in 1977. Mr. Melnick is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, Board of Governors, Clayton County Bar Association (President 1983-1984), Emory Moot Court Society, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Grant Park Neighborhood Association (President 1983-1984) and Fellow Georgia Bar Foundation.
Mr. Melnick is the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Corporations, Clayton County Lifetime Achievements and Tradition in Excellence Award. His areas of practice include criminal defense, contract, business law, family law, probate and estate planning. Larry is married to Beverly and they have one daughter, Gabrielle.
Mr. Stephen D. Ott is Judge in Peachtree City Municipal Court. He practices mainly Juvenile Law and is in the main office of PLG in Fayetteville, GA.
Kenneth H. Green was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1950. He graduated Brown High School in 1968 and his undergraduate work was done at Clayton State College and Georgia State University. Mr. Green is retired from the Atlanta Police Department, where he rose to the rank of Major. He was the recipient of the Atlanta Bar Association’s Liberty Bell award in 1998.
Mr. Green graduated from Atlanta Law School in 1980. He has practiced law in the Atlanta area since that time. His areas of practice include personal injury and general litigation. He serves on the Board of Directors of Peachtree Law Group. Currently, Mr. Green is a staff attorney for Clayton County, Georgia.
Jon Michael Brennan was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1975. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Florida in 1996 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from Western New England College School of Law in 2000. Michael served as a past President, 2007-2008 of the South Fulton Bar Association and is a member of the Real Estate Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia.
His practice areas include Family Law, Wills, Trusts and Estate administration, Debt defense and collections, Real Estate, Landlord-Tenant Matters, Zoning and Land use. Michael is married to Brandy, who is an attorney, and they live in Atlanta, GA.
Michael S. Burnett was born in Charleston, SC and grew up in Juneau, AK. He obtained his J.D. from Barry University School of Law where he was involved in class government and received substantial merit based scholarships. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. from Covenant Life College. Mr. Burnett focuses his practice in Estate Planning and Business Planning with additional areas of practice that include Land Use, Contracts and Family Law.
He is also Admitted to the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and is an accredited attorney for the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for Veterans benefits before the Department of Veterans affairs. Admitted to Practice in Georgia and Florida. www.msb-law.com
Daniel L. Gibbs
Daniel L. Gibbs Of Counsel with Peachtree Law Group in Fayetteville, Georgia, Dan has advised Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustees and related bankruptcy parties since 1991. His services currently focus on compliance, technology, automation, staff training and practice management for Trustees. Dan previously served as attorney and Information Systems Manager in the Chapter 13 Trustee’s Office, as well as representing chapter 7 trustees and various individual parties. Dan is the Past President of the Fayette County Bar Association, author of various technology related articles, served as Technology Chairman for the Atlanta Bar Association and as adjunct faculty for the university. He also serves as the liaison for the Fayette Advocacy Council, on the Atlanta Regional Commission Advisory Committee on Aging Services, and chaired the board of BlueSky Global Ministries, a 501(c)(3) with primary operations in Kenya, Africa. He moved his legal practice from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Peachtree City, Georgia in 1991 and continues to reside there with his wife of twenty years and two teenage children.
Peter Bricks is “Of Counsel” to Peachtree Law Group. Peter Bricks is also the principal member of Peter Bricks, PC. He has been a member of the State Bar of Georgia since 2006 and is also a member of the DC Bar. His primary practice areas are bankruptcy, real estate, and probate. He is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), the Georgia Bar Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law Sections, and the Dekalb and Atlanta Bar Associations. He is admitted to practice in the Northern District of Georgia and Middle District of Georgia. He received a bachelor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree at Georgia State University. www.brickslaw.com
James C. Brown was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1938. He graduated from Murphy High School in 1956 and then enlisted in the U.S. Army for three years. Mr. Brown graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban Life in 1973. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Atlanta Law School in 1978 and has practiced law since. His areas of practice include personal injury and general litigation.
Currently Mr. Brown is enjoying being semi-retired and working from his satellite office in Lavonia. Mr. Brown is an elder of Lavonia Presbyterian Church and serves on the Lake Patrol at Lake Hartwell, Georgia. Jim is married to Karen and they have three children.
Clifford W. Milam was born in Red Oak, Georgia in 1922. He graduated Campbell High School in 1940 and his undergraduate work was done at Georgia State University. He then enlisted in the United States Air Force for 5 years. Mr. Milam worked for Delta Airlines and Prudential Insurance before attending law school. Mr. Milam graduated from Atlanta Law School and began the practice of law in 1950 and has practiced law in the Atlanta area for over 50 years. His areas of practice include general practice and litigation, focusing on real estate. Currently, Mr. Milam is enjoying being retired and traveling with his wife. He is a deacon of the Forest Park First Baptist Church in the South Atlanta area.
Number 15 – What can give you better protection on the road?
Number 15 – What can give you better protection on the road?
U.M. (Uninsured Motorist) insurance coverage can do that. The writer is not affiliated with or in any way connected with any insurance company. No one should drive or even occupy a vehicle where U.M. coverage is not available, unless there is other adequate insurance (or assets) to afford protection. U.M. and U.I.M. (Underinsured Motorist) coverages are synonymous for exposure purposes in that each is offered when you buy U.M. coverage in your auto policy.
There are numerous ways you need U.M. coverage if you are involved in a vehicular collision (auto accident). Obviously, should the other person causing the wreck not have insurance, you will probably need to use your U.M. coverage. U.I.M. coverage will be triggered when the other driver has insurance, but it is insufficient (and your U.M. limits are higher). There are many ways however, where the at-fault driver may have full insurance coverage, but those insurance benefits will be denied to you. One main example of this is the clause, which is often referred to as the Cooperativeness Clause, which is in most, if not all, insurance policies today in Georgia. There is also “added on” U.M. coverage, which we can explain to you.
This clause allows the at-fault driver’s insurance company to deny benefits when their insured (at-fault driver) is not cooperating with them in their investigation (and evaluation) of your claims (and any possible defenses which they need to posture). This happens occasionally when the at-fault driver moves, leaves no forwarding address (no trail) and does not renew his auto insurance. This can be construed as the at-fault driver being uncooperative. Another common denial by the at-fault insurance carrier is when the at-fault driver does not have permission to drive the particular vehicle (involved in the wreck). The list goes on, but the important thing to remember is that every driver should seriously consider U.M. coverage.
U.M. minimal limits are 25/50 ($25,000 per person / $50,000 per incident). One quick way to check your coverage is to read the declaration page in your policy and compare your liability coverage to your U.M. coverage. The U.M. coverage (which protects you) should usually be an amount at least equal to the liability coverage (which protects the other driver). The additional expense is minimal, and the protection gained may be invaluable.
David R. Moore
Number 16 – Does it matter if the attorney you hire has malpractice insurance?
Number 16 – Does it matter if the attorney you hire has malpractice insurance?
Perhaps it is because we pursue cases against other attorneys, that this question is very important. Customarily, the attorneys who would need this coverage the most, don’t have it. There are some good attorneys who do not have this coverage, and are willing to pay for their mistakes, but our experience has shown that the attorneys making the mistakes that lose a meritorious claim, are the same who were not concerned enough to protect their clients in case of oversight or error.
The practice of law should always include integrity. It’s time to hold lawyers accountable who do not exercise integrity in the practice of Law. Attorneys should be held to a higher standard. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Unfortunately, the corrupt actions of a few have tarnished the reputation of the legal profession and attorneys in general.
It saddens me to see the number of clients whose cases have been neglected or mishandled by less than reputable attorneys who show no remorse for their actions and often no regard for those who put their trust in them.
I am fully persuaded that every practicing attorney should be required to maintain malpractice (professional liability) insurance and provide disclosure upon request. At a minimum, attorneys should be required to make financial restitution to their clients whose cases have been mishandled and suffered losses. One person eloquently stated, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Jesus said, “He who is to be first among you must become the servant.” Attorneys are exactly that, servants to our clients who place their faith, hope and often their lives in our hands. The attorney is your advocate, but works for you. You can hire, and terminate the contract with your attorney, at any time. Integrity, honesty and reliability, are absolute requirements in the legal field. I believe an attorney seriously concerned about the clients will be honest and therefore, have some system in place to protect the client in the event the client should need to be protected. A good way to do this is by purchasing insurance.
Anyone anticipating hiring an attorney should ask, no later than the initial interview, if he or she has malpractice insurance. If the attorney does not, consider not hiring that attorney.
David R. Moore
About the Firm
Peachtree Law Group has offices in Dunwoody, Marietta, Fayetteville, and Jonesboro, GA and focuses in many areas of law.
We will fight for people who are injured. We provide other legal services for businesses and families. We will represent you with integrity and courage.
Our attorneys’ expertise and experienced staff make us uniquely qualified to handle even the most complex cases. If you suspect you have a case and need to talk to a professional, please contact us today.
To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.
To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Peachtree Law Group.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why would I need an attorney?
- Is it important for the attorney hired to have professional liability insurance?
- When should I call an attorney?
- If I hire an attorney, must I go to court?
- What if I have a small case and want to seek recovery in Magistrate Court?
This is the website of the law firm of Peachtree Law Group, P.A. (PLG). PLG exercises control over the following domain names, collectively referred to as the Peachtree Law Group web site: Peachtree Law Group, Peachtree Law Firm, Peachtree Law Office and A Peachtree Law Group.
Peachtree Law Group, P.A. (PLG) maintains it’s principal office at 125 Flat Creek Trail, Fayetteville, GA 30214, USA. The PLG web site administrators may be reached by phone at (770) 487-0202, by fax at (770) 487-0099 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
The materials included in this site do not represent legal advice, and should not be taken as advise or suggested course of action applying toward any situation. Legal advice may only be given based upon the particular facts and circumstances of the client, and only in connection with a lawyer/client relationship, which does not arise by the viewing or other use of this site, or by contacting us for more information. Since an attorney/client relationship is accorded special recognition under law, such a relationship should be entered into only after due consideration of the circumstances faced by the potential client and the skills and capacity of the law firm. Therefore, an attorney/client relationship will only arise by the formal, written acceptance of the engagement by the firm.
At PLG, we value the people who work with us and realize they are the basis of our success. While our lawyers work very hard, we are committed to quality of life issues and believe that a self-fulfilled lawyer is a better lawyer. Our diverse backgrounds add perspective and creativity to our lawyering. Every lawyer at PLG knows that it is important to be a problem solver.
Our success requires professional work and many kinds of skills beyond those of our lawyers. We look to hire secretaries, legal assistants and other professionals with the same commitment to hard work and excellence that our lawyers bring to the job.
Newsletter 17 – Why do I even need an attorney?
Number 17 – Why do I even need an attorney?
One potential client came to my office to inquire about a case where the responsible (at-fault) insurance company had offered $100,000.00, but subsequently withdrew the offer and said the case was closed. Unfortunately, this was true. The potential client (claimant) had a viable claim and negotiated with the insurance company (without legal representation), and failed to appreciate a statute that was eminent, which precluded the claim after a certain time. There are many statutes, some as short as six (6) months, and even some provisions listing deadlines of 10 or 30 days.
My evaluation of the case was approximately $300,000.00 with a conservative approach. Had the claimant hired a reputable qualified attorney, the result was expected to be about $200,000.00 to the claimant after attorney’s fees (which are usually 1/3). The claimant in this case lost all the money because the statute had expired.
Most people ask about subrogation (repayment) of the medical bills or health insurance payments. The vast majority of our cases have been those which have little or no legal requirement for reimbursing those expenses. Therefore, the figure quoted above is actually the amount the claimant would have received (based on my training, education and experience).
A good attorney is worth his or her weight in gold. In this case, the client would have doubled his net recovery, without the jeopardy of owing subrogation claims, and perhaps more importantly having someone handle the entire case. The worry and time to pursue an injury or death claim, without knowing all the laws, are not worth it.
Other answers to frequently asked questions about whether you need an attorney are that a) you may be entitled to benefits to which you are unaware, b) if certain safeguards are not utilized, witnesses, evidence and your entire claim could be reduced or lost, and c) to ensure a fair and adequate recovery for your injury or loss, you should consult a reputable attorney.
David R. Moore
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