Hit and Run Insurance Coverage?

Nobody dreams of being in a car accident, but being hit by a driver who deliberately doesn’t stop after the accident is even worse.  Did you know that under Georgia law you still might be entitled to recover after a hit and run accident, even if you do not know the identity of the other driver or his or her insurance company?

The answer lies in Georgia insurance law and uninsured motorist coverage.  Many of our insurance policies carry uninsured motorist coverage (also called UM coverage or underinsured motorist coverage).  Uninsured Motorist coverage works like a protective shield against drivers who (a) have no insurance, (b) do not have enough insurance, or (c) flee the scene of the accident.  The UM coverage “steps in” the place of the other driver’s insurance and protects you from injuries and property damage caused by hit and run drivers. 

Insurance law is extremely complicated, particularly when uninsured motorist coverage is involved.  If you are ever hit by a vehicle in a hit and run situation, you should make sure that you contact a personal injury attorney immediately after the accident to preserve your right to collect this additional insurance coverage.

Our firm sees UM coverage cases regularly, and most times we find additional insurance coverage for clients that they never knew existed.  For example, many people (and even some attorneys) are unaware that you might have additional UM coverage on another vehicle's policy, a boat policy, a motorcycle policy, or an RV policy which could also provide you with additional coverage -- even if you were not operating that vehicle at the time of the accident.  Failure to talk with an attorney experienced in this area who knows where to find this additional coverage could leave you unable to collect all the insurance payments that you deserve.

Here at the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker, LLC, we will examine all the circumstances surrounding the incident. It will be our job to find you all the uninsured motorist coverage available based on all insurance policies in your household and collect as much of it as possible – even if we never identify the hit-and-run driver. 

It might seem amazing to most ordinary citizens that anybody could hit another human being and not stop, but the sad reality is that these accidents happen daily in Georgia. The driver might be drunk and does not wish to receive a DUI. They may have no insurance. They may have stolen the vehicle, or be underage and have no license. Having UM coverage is essential to protect from one of these criminal actions.

If you were involved in a car accident where the other driver fled the scene of the accident and you don’t know his or her identity, call our office for a free consultation.  We want to make sure that you get all of the coverage available to you.  You paid for the coverage, and if you need it, you have the right to collect it.


R. Michael Coker is an attorney with the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker, LLC and is admitted to practice law in all State and Superior Courts in the State of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  He can be reached by phone at (678) 935-6000 or by email at coker@coker-law.com.

DISCLAIMER: The articles and entries in this blog/website are provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be considered, legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction following an individualized consultation. By reading this blog/website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the blog/website publisher. You should not rely on any information contained in this blog/website as the publisher makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the information contained within this blog/website. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact an attorney in your area.

Prescription Errors - When to File a Claim or Lawsuit

The number of prescriptions taken by the average U.S. citizen rises every year. It is no wonder that the amount of injuries caused by prescription errors is also rising.  Most people trust their own doctors and those in the healthcare field. No one expects to be harmed by medical treatment.  In most cases, our health services in Georgia are excellent and the number of mistakes that are made by nurses, doctors, surgeons and pharmacists are quite limited.  However, mistakes unfortunately do happen and it is hard to know when a pharmacy error justifies bringing a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit. 

Black and White Crime 2It is very hard for the average patient to determine that they have been given the wrong medication. We trust the medical doctor to get the dosage right and prescribe exactly what is intended to make us better.  Similarly, we trust the pharmacist to fill the prescription with the proper medication.  Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that 2.87 out of every 1,000 prescriptions are filled incorrectly in the United States and 20% of those incorrectly filled prescriptions cause serious health consequences.  These numbers might seem very small, but the effects can be devastating.  Prescription errors can lead to strokes, heart attacks, elevated blood pressure, amputations and death.

You could have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia for one of the following:

           Pharmacy Errors – poorly filled prescriptions, wrong pills being filled, badly worded or wrong instructions, incorrect dosage;

           Drug Defects – use of a drug that has not been tested adequately and that is too dangerous to bring to market;

           Inadequate Warnings - using of a drug that conflicts with other prescription medicines taken by the patient, taking a drug while performing another activity or consuming another food or beverage that creates a deadly combination;

           Negligent Prescription - a failure to adjust the quantity of a drug according to a patient’s health status or to take into account other preexisting health conditions which can make a prescription dangerous;

           Other Medical/Pharmaceutical Negligent Acts - failing to provide medical services or prescription services at the standard of care for medical practitioners.

Don’t just ignore a prescription error if it happens to you -- the financial costs can be devastating.  Make an appointment with R. Michael Coker, who will provide a free consultation to discuss your case thoroughly.  Michael Coker has the expertise to analyze the facts behind the error and pursue the case on your behalf in a dedicated and professional manner.  All our prescription error cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to worry about paying attorneys' fees from your pocket.  Whatever your situation, we assure you that your pharmacy error case will be pursued aggressively. 


R. Michael Coker is an attorney with the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker, LLC and is admitted to practice law in all State and Superior Courts in the State of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  He can be reached by phone at (678) 935-6000 or by email at coker@coker-law.com.

DISCLAIMER: The articles and entries in this blog/website are provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be considered, legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction following an individualized consultation. By reading this blog/website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the blog/website publisher. You should not rely on any information contained in this blog/website as the publisher makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the information contained within this blog/website. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact an attorney in your area.



Drunk Truck Drivers - A Deadly Problem

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over 3,400 people died in a truck related automobile accident in the year 2010.  Five percent of those truck drivers had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit at the time of the fatal accident.  Even more troubling, however, is that three percent of all truck drivers tested positive for illegal drugs in 1999 (the last date data is available).  Id.

Tractor-trailer trucks are already dangerous with a fully rested and  responsible driver.  Add illegal drugs or alcohol into the mix, and an 18 wheeler becomes a dangerous and deadly weapon.  Sometimes, trucking companies do not do everything that they are required to do to ensure that their drivers are operating their trucks safely and legally.  The sad reality is that some trucking companies are even willing to turn a blind eye to DUIs for drivers who deliver shipments quickly and ahead of schedule.

Sometimes, the criminal justice system cannot do everything necessary to send a message to these trucking companies that such horrible behavior will not be tolerated in the State of Georgia.  Therefore, Georgia has created laws authorizing courts to grant punitive damages -- damages to punish individual drivers or trucking companies who have a complete disregard for the safety of others on the road.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident with a truck driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, call a lawyer immediately.  Even if you are not injured, you have a duty to send a message to the trucking company that such behavior will not be tolerated in our state.  You need an attorney who will fight to keep that drunk driver off the road and save a future life from another tragic truck collision.

Call to speak with Michael Coker if you or someone you know has been involved in a collision with a truck driven under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Georgia.  With his experience handling trucking and drunk driver cases, Michael Coker is dedicated to keeping Georgia safe for all drivers and free from tractor-trailers driven under the influence.  Even if you plan on ultimately hiring another attorney, call us first for a free consultation.  We want to tell you everything that you need to do to keep that drunk driver or reckless trucking company off our streets to keep all Georgians safe. 

R. Michael Coker is an attorney with the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker, LLC and is admitted to practice law in all State and Superior Courts in the State of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  He can be reached by phone at (678) 935-6000 or by email at coker@coker-law.com.

DISCLAIMER: The articles and entries in this blog/website are provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be considered, legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction following an individualized consultation. By reading this blog/website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the blog/website publisher. You should not rely on any information contained in this blog/website as the publisher makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the information contained within this blog/website. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact an attorney in your area.

Fulton County Court Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are horrible, particularly when the driver or a passenger of the vehicle suffers a serious injury.  When you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fulton County car accident, you need an attorney who has a reputation with the insurance company of not being afraid to file a Fulton County lawsuit and fight for the compensation that you deserve.

Car accidents lawsuits are different in each county.  Fulton County's unique local rules and jury demographics present challenges to an attorney without experience handling cases in Fulton County Court.  An attorney with experience handling cases in Fulton County Court will make sure that you get all the compensation that you deserve.  In Fulton County, it is important that you contact a lawyer immediately so that all evidence from the car accident can be preserved.

The Law Offices of R. Michael Coker, LLC has experience handling car accident cases in Fulton County Court.  With a reputation as an attorney willing to fight for you in Fulton County, R. Michael Coker is respected by the insurance company from the first phone call.  If you are not receiving every penny you deserve, R. Michael Coker will discuss your options for filing suit in Fulton County Court.  Your case may benefit most from being filed in Fulton County Magistrate Court, Fulton County State Court, or Fulton County Superior Court, buy only an experienced litigator with knowledge of Fulton County can explain the best option for your case to you.

If you have a personal injury case in Fulton County Court, don't trust your case to an attorney who lacks the required experience handling lawsuits in Fulton County.  Contact the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker at 678-537-1209 today for your free consultation.  R. Michael Coker will be able to provide you with a free case evaluation and will explore which opportunities are best for you and your unique Fulton County Court car accident case.

R. Michael Coker is an attorney with the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker, LLC and is admitted to practice law in all State and Superior Courts in the State of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  He can be reached by phone at (678) 935-6000 or by email at coker@coker-law.com.
DISCLAIMER: The articles and entries in this blog/website are provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be considered, legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction following an individualized consultation. By reading this blog/website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the blog/website publisher. You should not rely on any information contained in this blog/website as the publisher makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the information contained within this blog/website. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact an attorney in your area.

Herniated Disc Injury after a Car Accident in Georgia

A herniated disc is one of the most painful injuries a person can suffer after a car accident.  Even a low impact collision can cause a herniated disc.  You might not consider hiring an attorney to handle your insurance claim, but if you suffer from a herniated disc, failing to do so could leave you responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of future medical care. 

Herniated disc cases and claims are not like regular car accident claims.  Calling a generic “personal injury attorney” or “car accident attorney” will not give you the proper legal representation you need.  Only an experienced, herniated disc attorney can properly handle your claim.

The vertebrae that form the human spine are separated by flexible discs which act as mini shock-absorbers between the bones.  When something causes one of these discs to break or budge, the disc becomes herniated and will not stay entirely in its correct position.  A herniated disc is extremely painful, often due to the stress that the misplaced disc puts onto the spinal cord. 

A disc herniation can occur anywhere in the spinal column: the cervical spine (the neck) the thoracic spine (the upper back) or in the lumbar spine (the lower back).  A disc herniation often causes a painful sensation that shoots down the arms or legs.  This pain is called radiculopathy and is a strong indicator of a spinal cord problem.  An MRI or some other diagnostic test will confirm the existence of a herniated disc.  Herniated disc medical treatment can take months or even years to complete.  Even then, the pain may never fully resolve and could last a lifetime. 

One of the most common causes of a herniated disc is a car accident.  Many attorneys think that you can treat a spinal cord injury case like any other car accident, but the reality is that the calculation of damages is entirely different.  Treatment progresses up a ladder of potential treatment options and gets more expensive as treatment continues.  Physicians often begin with therapy or medication.  The physician may then try a combination of epidural or steroid injections in the spine.  Ultimately, surgeries might be necessary.

An attorney must understand the progression of treatment for a herniated disc and the medical treatment costs before he or she can properly represent you.  Never attempt to settle your herniated disc case without first consulting with an attorney with knowledge and experience handling these types of cases.

We at the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker, LLC have extensive experience handling herniated and bulging disc cases.  We know that a spinal injury is one of the worst things a person can experience in their lives.  We are dedicated to fighting for justice for each and every one of our clients who suffer a herniated disc injury anywhere in Georgia.  Call us today at (678) 537-1209 for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.



R. Michael Coker is an attorney with the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker, LLC and is admitted to practice law in all State and Superior Courts in the State of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  He can be reached by phone at (678) 935-6000 or by email at coker@coker-law.com.

DISCLAIMER: The articles and entries in this blog/website are provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be considered, legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction following an individualized consultation. By reading this blog/website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the blog/website publisher. You should not rely on any information contained in this blog/website as the publisher makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the information contained within this blog/website. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact an attorney in your area.


Bringing a Claim or Lawsuit Against a Georgia Teacher, Administrator or Public School

WARNING: Bringing a claim or lawsuit against any government entity is one of the most complex areas of Georgia law.  Trust me.  Never attempt to navigate your case without an attorney.  Suits against government entities have detailed and complex notice requirements with short deadlines after the incident.  If you miss one of these deadlines, your case is forever barred.  Call me immediately for free at (678) 537-1209 so I can help you preserve your case.

You have a child that was seriously injured at a public school, your vehicle was hit by a school bus, or your child was physically abused by a member of the school staff.  How do you know when you can sue a teacher, administrator or public school system in Georgia?

The answer lies in one of the most complex areas of Georgia law.  Twenty years ago, you couldn't bring any suit against a Georgia governmental entity - period - no matter how serious the situation.  Thankfully, Georgia now allows suits against teachers, administrators and school districts under certain circumstances and only if the proper procedures are taken.  How do you know if your suit is valid and can be brought?  Let's take a look at this complex area of the law to help clarify the issue.

In Georgia, county and city entities and their employees are protected by the doctrine of immunity - which means that the county, city, school board and district cannot be sued.  There are however some limited exceptions.  The most common exception is for automobile accidents caused by county or city employees - most often drivers of school buses.  In Georgia, governmental entities may still be liable up to the amount of insurance the county carries for any school bus accident which injures you or your child.  Other exceptions exist, but each is very fact specific.

So what does this mean if your situation does not fall under one of these legislature exceptions?  Is your suit sunk?  Not exactly.  Georgia law also allows suits against teachers, principals or staff members in their "personal capacity" in certain situations.  Intentional acts are a good example.  You can almost always bring suit against a government employee for physical and sexual abuse, battery, assault and false imprisonment.  Blatant violations of your child's constitutional rights is another common example of when suit is allowed against a government employee.

What about when the school employee is merely negligent and does not act intentionally?  Does the government employee still have immunity from suit?  Not for ministerial actsMinisterial acts are acts or omissions by a teacher or other government employee that violates some well-known law or rule.  Discretionary acts on the other hand are not governed by some rule and thus require the teacher or administrator to use their discretion in making a decision.  In most cases, you cannot sue a government employee for a discretionary act. 

An example may help clarify the distinction: if there is a well known school rule that elementary school students are not permitted to walk to the bathroom alone, yet a teacher sends a child to the bathroom by himself and a serious injury occurs, that is a ministerial act.  On the other hand, if there is no rule against sending the child to the bathroom alone and something happens, that will likely be a discretionary decision.  In the second scenario, the teacher was using her discretion in letting the child go to the bathroom alone and not leaving the rest of the class unattended - a lawsuit will not be allowed.

As if this complicated legal analysis was not enough, the government has additional added protections including a strict ante litem notice requirement which forever bars your case against any government entity or employee if you do not comply exactly with the statutory requirements immediately after an incident.  Thousands of people lose their chance of recovering from a government entity each year because they fail to properly preserve their claim.  If you believe that you or someone you know has a claim against a government entity or a county employee, call me immediately at (678) 537-1209 so that I can help you preserve your legal claim against a Georgia teacher, administrator or public school.

R. Michael Coker is an attorney with the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker, LLC and is admitted to practice law in all State and Superior Courts in the State of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  He can be reached by phone at (678) 935-6000 or by email at coker@coker-law.com.
DISCLAIMER: The articles and entries in this blog/website are provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be considered, legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction following an individualized consultation. By reading this blog/website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the blog/website publisher. You should not rely on any information contained in this blog/website as the publisher makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the information contained within this blog/website. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact an attorney in your area.

How to Find a Good Personal Injury Attorney in Georgia

Nobody wants to bring a personal injury claim or lawsuit -- despite what any one tells you.  Getting injured in an accident is a terrible thing.  My clients would gladly give back every penny of the settlement to have their health back.

Unfortunately, the reality is that people do get seriously injured in accidents and need personal injury attorneys.  Injuries can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills -- too much for the injured person to bear.  Most people don't have an attorney in the family they can ask for help.  So where do you start?  Hopefully, this article will assist you in your search.

Personal injury attorneys seem like they are a dime a dozen.  Turn on the television, drive down the interstate or open the yellow pages and you will be bombarded with lawyer advertisements.  No wonder people think so little of us.  So how do you find one that will give you the individual attention your case requires?  Here are my opinions on finding the best personal injury lawyer:  

[Remember -- These are just my opinions.  My opinions are not true of every lawyer, there are always exceptions to every rule and others are bound to disagree with me.  In addition, nothing I say in this article is legal advice.]

1.  Avoid attorneys who do excessive advertising.  Some attorneys spend millions of dollars a year in advertising.  Think about it rationally, if those millions of dollars in advertising draws hundreds of thousands of clients, how much individualized time and attention is that attorney going to be able to commit to your case?  Probably not very much.  I have been hired a dozen times by clients who came to me after they fired their TV lawyer for ignoring their phone calls and doing nothing on their case.  Even though a TV attorney may claim to "turn your crash into cash," in my experience, the best personal injury attorneys generally do not need to advertise because all of their business comes from referrals from other lawyers and former clients.

2.   Check your potential attorney's Avvo Rating.  Avvo is one of the best things to hit the legal world in years.  Finally, clients have a way to look up a potential attorney's unbiased "Avvo rating".  Avvo uses the same mathematical formula to give every attorney a ranking on a 1 to 10 scale that is very easy to compare.  Avvo ranks any attorney with a 4.9 or under score as a "Concern".  From there, the rankings then go to "Average" to "Good" to "Very Good" to "Excellent" and finally "Superb."  Generally, a "Superb" ranking only goes to those attorneys who have been practicing law for a significant amount of time.  Anything over "Average" is a strong score in my opinion.  Here is a link to my Avvo rating as an example.

3.   Check your attorney's website to see if he or she holds any leadership positions in the legal community.  Attorneys recognize the skills of other attorneys, and many recommend the best attorneys for chair positions in legal organizations.  If the lawyers in your county or community trust an attorney as the head of their organization, doesn't that indicate that he or she can be trusted with you case?  In addition, leadership positions grant attorneys unprecedented access to local judges.  This can prove to be a huge advantage in your case.

4.   Ask your attorney if he or she is willing to associate other counsel if necessary.  No attorney can be an expert at everything, period.  I don't care what he or she tells you.  That is why the best attorneys can and will bring another attorney with a particular expertise into the case.  Two minds are always better than one.  In fact, most big cases today have multiple law firms involved, and typically both attorneys agree to split the fee so there is no additional cost to the client.  I, for example, have dozens of attorneys in my network that I associate based on the type and size of the case as it develops.

5.   Inquire about your attorney's personal injury experience, not his or her overall legal experience.  Many people make the mistake of asking an attorney about his or her experience generally, but not about his or her specific personal injury experience.  I would recommend an attorney who has two years of intensive personal injury training over an attorney with twenty years of experience in another area of the law any day.  The harsh reality is that personal injury cases are very unique and often complex cases because this area of the law changes so rapidly.  Ask your attorney how many personal injury cases he or she has handled over his or her career and where he or she received the personal injury training.

6.   Finally, pick up the phone and ask someone.  I personally am available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 678.537.1209 to answer your questions.  Even if I cannot help you, I can definitely point you in the direction of the best personal injury lawyer I know for your specific case.  I wrote this article to give the general public a better understanding of how to find a successful personal injury attorney they can trust, and I am happy to be a resource.  Please do not hesitate to call if you ever have a question.

There you have it.  My opinions for finding a good personal injury attorney you can trust.  I wish you the best of luck in finding your personal injury lawyer and would be happy to help in any way I can.

R. Michael Coker is an attorney with the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker, LLC and is admitted to practice law in all State and Superior Courts in the State of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  He can be reached by phone at (678) 935-6000 or by email at coker@coker-law.com.
DISCLAIMER: The articles and entries in this blog/website are provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be considered, legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction following an individualized consultation. By reading this blog/website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the blog/website publisher. You should not rely on any information contained in this blog/website as the publisher makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the information contained within this blog/website. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact an attorney in your area.