Newnan Pratlaw's Posts On Hot Legal Topics

March 26, 2010

Georgia Supreme Court blocks Social Engineering

Wisdom & Moderation

Today the Supreme Court of Georgia stood up for the citizen and against social engineering:  Link Here.  Mr. Eric Johnson, who speared-headed the social engineering in the Georgia Legislature and his cronies who have shanghaied the Georgia Republican Party that passed the stupid law is a social engineer of the worst kind and resembles a true Republican about as much as Nancy Pelosi. The opinion was signed off on by the entire court ~ it was not a split decision. read it here and you see how clear was Mr. Johnson’s total disregard for the constitution and the rights of citizens.

As Thomas Jefferson said two centuries+ ago: “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”  Trial by Jury is a greater right than the right to vote.  Please read your constitution and then re-read it.

March 7, 2010

NEWNAN| Increase your uninsured insurance today!

Plain and simple:  call your insurance agent today, right now and get as much uninsured/underinsured [it’s the same thing] coverage as you can get!
Why?:   Have you seen some of the cars on the road and the people driving them?; etcetera.  Your uninsured motorist carrier steps into the shoes of the uninsured person who caused the collision, and becomes his/her coverage for the purposes of the claim.  If the claim exceeds the coverage of the person who caused the wreck then your excess coverage will step in up to its limits.  A common concern that I hear from clients when discussing their pursuit of an uninsured motorist claim is “I don’t want to make a claim against my insurance company because they will raise my premiums!”  I have had more than one client tell me that is what their agent told them.  This assertion/belief is absolutely 100% false. A “UM” Claim will only cause your premium to increase when you are found at fault.  If the uninsured/underinsured party is found to be “at fault”, the Insurance Commissioner regulations prohibit a rate increase of the victim’s insurance rates:  And that is the way it should be.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage is that coverage which “kicks in” after the negligent party’s insurance carrier has tendered it’s policy limits which are inadequate to compensate the insured for his/her injuries. The UM Limits though must exceed those of the defendants policy limits in order for coverage to apply. Here is an example of how this works:
Hershel is insured with Mann and has UM limits of $250,000.00. He is rear ended in a terrible accident with Lindsey who is insured with Allstate. Lindsey’s liability limits are only $25,000.00. Hershel’s medical bills alone are $35,000.00. He also has thousands of dollars in lost earnings. In this case it is likely that Allstate will offer to pay Lindsey’s policy limits of $25,000.00 to settle the case on Lindsey’s behalf. If Hershel accepts that offer without waiving his right to proceed against Lindsey for the true value of his case he can then make a claim for Underinsured Motorist Benefits with Mann for up to $225,000.00 ($250,000.00 minus $15,000.00 received from Allstate).  The “rub”/problem here is that Allstate will do all it can to force a settlement agreement that restricts Hershel’s right to pursue the claim further and Hershel’s insurer can technically withhold any payment until Hershel gets a judgment in his case with Lindsey – this is not the case in the majority of jurisdictions in the US, where Hershel would not have to go through getting a judgment in order to get his insurer to deal with him in good faith.  Georgia legislators, however, appear to care less about its citizens and  there are statutes that actually help Insurers turn the screws on their own insureds by limiting damages to virtually nothing if they deal in bad faith with the insured and by requiring that an insured get a judgment before an insurer has to pay its insured a dime regardless of whether the insurer is dealing with its insured in bad faith!  So get a personal injury attorney involved in the claim from the outset in a serious injury case!
So, again, get your coverage increased today! And get an attorney involved in a serious injury collision case as soon as possible.
Call Prater & Associates today!| to discuss your case:  770-253-7778 | before evidence disappears and memory fades from the minds of important witnesses.

March 4, 2010

The Beginning of the Toyota Saga || “Christine”

Unsafe At Any Speed?

The story starts in August 2009 when a respected Highway Patrol Man, his wife, child and brother-in-law died in his 2009 Lexus which went out of contol, the accelerator stuck and the brakes not working as the poor family traveled to their doom at speeds over more than 100 mph.  In the 911 call from their vehicle the deceased can be heard describing the events as they approached their deaths, their last words before crashing and being burned alive were “everybody hold on” and “let’s pray”.  The vehicle burst into flames after hitting another vehicle, the end of the road barrier and a steel barrier; read the article here|| Toyota’s Recall Starts

The problem with Toyotas and Lexus’ is not some small incidental quick fix.   Don’t let any0ne try to downplay it.

February 26, 2010

TOYOTA LAWSUITS||Class Actions? Or Individual Consumer Suits?

THE BIG NATIONAL CLASS ACTION FIRMS HAVE FILED MULTIPLE CLASS ACTION SUITS AGAINST TOYOTA IN AN EFFORT TO BE THE FIRST TO BE CERTIFIED A CLASS ACTION.  Class action suits have their place in litigation but they often result in minimal return to the individual class member and huge attorneys fees to the lawyers.  The service they provide is that they keep corporations at least minimally honest.  Let’s face it:  if class actions did not exist or were substantially curtailed the United States business world would make the town business and politics in the HBO series “Deadwood” look like a church fellowship.  The problem with a vehicular class action is that each member has been substantially harmed in a significant financial way, the Toyota debacle is not something that a $10 coupon off your next purchase is going to fix.  It may be smarter for the individual to file suit … but then a million lawsuits will surely do the company in and it will file a chapter 11 bankruptcy in Northern Michigan and everyone will have to file for relief there or be subject to that Judge’s decision(s) to mandate that the suits proceed there.  WOW what a dilemma.  At any rate, the causes of action for an owner would include Breach of Warranty; Fraud in the Inducement to Buy; perhaps even RICO based on the floor mat excuse.  The first thing that needs to be done from this writer’s perspective is to get the guy or others out of jail that are there because nobody believed them when they said it was the car and not them that caused the wreck.

Call Prater & Associates today, serving the ATL:  770-253-7778 or email us by clicking to our WEBSITE with your legal issues before evidence goes missing and the memory of witnesses fades.

February 24, 2010

AN OLD POSTING I ALWAYS WANTED TO HAVE REFERENCED

People Made Jokes About This?

THE MCDONALDS’ SCALDING COFFEE CASE||

Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was in the passenger seat ofher grandson’s car when she was severely burned by McDonalds’ coffee inFebruary 1992.  Liebeck, 79 at the time, ordered coffee that was servedin a styrofoam cup at the drivethrough window of a local McDonalds.

After receiving the order, the grandson pulled his car forward andstopped momentarily so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to hercoffee. (Critics of civil justice, who have pounced on this case, oftencharge that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was inmotion when she spilled the coffee; neither is true.)  Liebeck placedthe cup between her knees and attempted to remove the plastic lid fromthe cup. As she removed the lid, the entire contents of the cup spilledinto her lap.

The sweatpants Liebeck was wearing absorbed the coffee and held it next to her skin. A vascular surgeon determined that Liebeck suffered full thickness burns (or third-degree burns) over 6 percent of her body, including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin areas. She was hospitalized for eight days, during which time she underwent skin grafting. Liebeck, who also underwent debridement treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonalds refused. During discovery, McDonalds produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebecks. This history documented McDonalds’ knowledge about the extent and nature of this hazard. McDonalds also said during discovery that, based on a consultants advice, it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees. Further, McDonalds’ quality assurance manager testified that the company actively enforces a requirement that coffee be held in the pot at 185 degrees, plus or minus five degrees. He also testified that a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above, and that McDonalds coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat. The quality assurance manager admitted that burns would occur, but testified that McDonalds had no intention of reducing the “holding temperature” of its coffee. Plaintiffs’ expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus, if Liebeck’s spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn. McDonalds asserted that customers buy coffee on their way to work or home, intending to consume it there. However, the companys own research showed that customers intend to consume the coffee immediately while driving. McDonalds also argued that consumers know coffee is hot and that its customers want it that way. The company admitted its customers were unaware that they could suffer thirddegree burns from the coffee and that a statement on the side of the cup was not a “warning” but a “reminder” since the location of the writing would not warn customers of the hazard. The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages. This amount was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found Liebeck 20 percent at fault in the spill. The jury also awarded Liebeck $2.7 million in punitive damages, which equals about two days of McDonalds’ coffee sales. Post-verdict investigation found that the temperature of coffee at the local Albuquerque McDonalds had dropped to 158 degrees fahrenheit. The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000 — or three times compensatory damages — even though the judge called McDonalds’ conduct reckless, callous and willful. No one will ever know the final ending to this case. The parties eventually entered into a secret settlement which has never been revealed to the public, despite the fact that this was a public case, litigated in public and subjected to extensive media reporting. Such secret settlements, after public trials, should not be condoned. —– excerpted from ATLA fact sheet. © 1995

February 22, 2010

A Familiar Ring||Toyota saved 100 million at whose expense

Is This The New Toyota?

For those of us old enough to remember, Ford internal documents said that Ford could save millions at the cost of only a few burned alive deaths.  Now Toyota documents show they saved 100 million by risking only a few deaths by sudden acceleration?  Of course  Ecclesiastes is true and tells us there really is absolutely nothing new under the sun, over and over again.  || ARTICLE ||

Call Prater & Associates today if you have a legal case you want looked into, before evidence goes missing or details are forgotten:  77o-253-7778

February 17, 2010

Newnan Pratlaw Essay: The Tradegy of the Olympic Luger and Liability Questions

The tragic death at the 2010 Olympic Games highlights and illustrates two of the primary legal issues involved when a person is hurt or killed on the property of another.  They are the legal doctrines of: (1) Superior Knowledge of a Dangerous Instrumentality versus equal knowledge of it, and; (2) Assumption of Risk.  The young Luger’s story is discussed in this recent article discussing the two issues surrounding whether anyone other than the deceased is responsible for his death.  ||ARTICLE||

Post Sponsored by ||PRATLAW|| call today for an appointment to discuss your legal matter before evidence goes missing or is forgotten.

January 30, 2010

INJURY CASES ALWAYS INVOLVE PHYSICS

||| PRATLAW ON INJURIES |||

Physics in an ancient child's game illustrates the transference of energy

In a high speed vehicle collision, defined as a collision in excess of 7 miles per hour, a common personal injury that will occur is whiplash. It is the simple physics phenomenon in the old child’s game ‘Snap The Whip’ seen in the above pastoral painting WITH ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE: THE MILES PER HOUR OF THE ENERGY TRANSFER!

Contact Me Today To Discuss Your Case By “Clicking” || PRATLAW || and Emailing Me Or Calling For An Appointment

October 2, 2009

PRATLAW’S GENERAL ESSAY ON TORT LAW

Filed under: What The Heck Is A Tort? — thebigpraetor @ 4:00 pm

A tort is a non-contractual wrong that violates a reasonable standard of conduct as defined in our society. In the context of a personal injury claim damages are given when a tort causes injury. Laws have been written to protect you from the carelessness of others. These laws cover a various range of injuries, whiplash, negligence, carelessness and falls caused by something that the owner of the property you were hurt on knows was there or should have known was there. The most routine injury case involves over a hundred statutes [actual written laws] and at least a hundred Judge written opinions [caselaw]. Any one seriously injured has to have the
help of an experienced personal injury lawyer even when their injury might seemingly be the result of a series of events that at first thought appears to be happenstance. The injury might have simply been due to carelessness, or carelessness, concerning the safety of others. An easier way to think about it is a failure to use care when reason dictates that it is needed. Some of the most typical reasons to communicate with a injury attorney due to such a failure are: vehicle collisions and wrecks, malpractice, or accidents caused by improper design.
In order for your injury lawyer to win your negligence case, four standards must be be met: 1.) it has to be clear that there is a societal a duty to the accuser that the tortfeasor failed to meet; most collisions involve an investigation into whether the tortfeasor was driving in a safe and careful manner; 2.) The facts have to clearly show that the duty was violated, and; 3.) You were injured. Personal injury lawyers focus on the dominate cause of the accident, not necessarily the closest event in a chain of events but the dominate event. In some instances multiple causes might have participated in causing your injury and that might involve multiple parties & companies. An injury can leave a massive result on your life and of course no one can argue that you should be compensated fully for all your suffering and trouble. Get in contact with an injury attorney before precious evidence is lost or forgotten or worse, purposefully destroyed.

Peachtree City Lawyer Pratlaw Essay on A Tort

Filed under: What The Heck Is A Tort? — thebigpraetor @ 4:00 pm

A tort is a non-contractual wrong that violates a reasonable standard of conduct as defined in our society. In the context of a personal injury claim damages are given when a tort causes injury. Laws have been written to protect you from the carelessness of others. These laws cover a various range of injuries, whiplash, negligence, carelessness and falls caused by something that the owner of the property you were hurt on knows was there or should have known was there. The most routine injury case involves over a hundred statutes [actual written laws] and at least a hundred Judge written opinions [caselaw]. Any one seriously injured has to have the
help of an experienced personal injury lawyer even when their injury might seemingly be the result of a series of events that at first thought appears to be happenstance. The injury might have simply been due to carelessness, or carelessness, concerning the safety of others. An easier way to think about it is a failure to use care when reason dictates that it is needed. Some of the most typical reasons to communicate with a injury attorney due to such a failure are: vehicle collisions and wrecks, malpractice, or accidents caused by improper design.
In order for your injury lawyer to win your negligence case, four standards must be be met: 1.) it has to be clear that there is a societal a duty to the accuser that the tortfeasor failed to meet; most collisions involve an investigation into whether the tortfeasor was driving in a safe and careful manner; 2.) The facts have to clearly show that the duty was violated, and; 3.) You were injured. Personal injury lawyers focus on the dominate cause of the accident, not necessarily the closest event in a chain of events but the dominate event. In some instances multiple causes might have participated in causing your injury and that might involve multiple parties & companies. An injury can leave a massive result on your life and of course no one can argue that you should be compensated fully for all your suffering and trouble. Get in contact with an injury attorney before precious evidence is lost or forgotten or worse, purposefully destroyed.

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