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We understand the immense responsibility of taking your case on, and we will fight tooth and nail to get you everything that you deserve—and we mean everything.

We promise to serve, protect, and fight for you. You’re not just a case. You are our cause until our work together is done.

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Meet Zach Pritchard

Managing Attorney

Zach Pritchard earned his undergraduate degree in Management from Kennesaw State University prior to completing his law degree at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, Georgia. Zach chose to practice law in Bartow County and Northwest Georgia because of his deep ties to the area and his many relationships with its residents. Zach fights for his clients throughout the difficult processes associated with a personal injury case.

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Meet Jennifer Ruelle

Lead Paralegal

Jenn is the Lead Paralegal at Pritchard Injury Firm and oversees office management. Jenn is married and has a daughter in high school. She has worked with Mr. Pritchard her entire legal career. When she is not working, she enjoys fitness activities and sports. Her favorite sports are basketball and football.

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Zach Pritchard was born and raised in Cartersville, so taking care of the Northwest Georgia community and surrounding areas is a priority for the firm.

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From The Blog

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Georgia

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in Georgia and throughout the United States, and truck accidents can be particularly devastating. When a truck accident occurs, it is rare for the occupants of the smaller vehicle involved to walk away from the crash without serious injuries. At the offices of the Prichard Injury Firm, our Georgia lawyers care about reducing the number of truck accidents. We believe that this goal starts with identifying some of the most common causes of truck accidents, listed below— Driver Performance and Error According to data collected and published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)  driver performance and error is a leading cause of truck accidents throughout the nation. Examples of truck drivers’ errors that can lead to a crash include: Driver distraction; Driving too fast for conditions; Driving aggressively; Failing to yield; Performing an illegal maneuver; Driving while fatigued; and Driving while impaired. Of the above, things like driving while impaired and driving while fatigued tend to disproportionately affect truck drivers. The FMCSA also reports that in some events, a truck accident was caused by a truck driver having a heart attack or seizure, or being physically impaired for another reason. Note that even when a truck driver’s actions lead to a crash, it is often the trucking company that is held liable under the theory of vicarious liability. Of course, truck drivers aren’t the only ones who are guilty of unsafe behaviors; other drivers on the road are often guilty of the same errors listed above, which can and do cause truck accidents. Driving in a truck driver’s blind spot, attempting to pass on the right, following too closely, or cutting off a large truck are behaviors that are especially dangerous. Vehicle Problems While truck drivers’ actions are sometimes to blame for large truck crashes, this isn’t always the case. Another top cause of truck accidents is vehicle problems. In fact, brake problems are listed by the FMCSA as one of the top 10 causes of large truck crashes. In addition to brake problems, tire defects, such as tire tread separation, engine problems, and other vehicle defects can also cause a crash. Vehicle defects aren’t the only vehicle-related issues that may lead to a crash; another problem is cargo shifts. If cargo is improperly loaded or secured, it can shift in transit, which can cause a significant weight shift within the trailer, forcing the trailer to move or even to tip in serious cases. Another type of vehicle problem that can lead to a truck accident is that of improper truck maintenance. If vehicles aren’t routinely serviced and tested for safety–which is the duty of the trucking company–they may be unfit for the road. Depending upon the specific vehicle problem, a manufacturer or distributor of a defective vehicle part, the shipper or loader of cargo, or the trucking company may be held liable. Road Conditions Truck drivers have no control over road conditions, but they do have a duty to exercise the appropriate duty of care should a dangerous road condition present itself, such as a wet roadway (which would, logically, mean that the truck driver should slow down). The FMCSA lists “roadways problems” and “unfamiliarity with roadway” as two of the top 10 most-cited factors leading to truck accidents. Roadway issues might include potholes, construction zones, deceased animals, animals running out into the road, debris, and wet or icy road conditions. Heavily-trafficked areas where congestion is high also increase the risk of a truck accident. Who’s liable for an accident caused by poor road conditions depends on the specifics of the accident. If a pothole which should have been repaired and wasn’t was the cause, the entity responsible for road maintenance may be held liable. If a driver should have exercised a greater amount of care when navigating a risky road condition, the driver (or the trucking company) may be to blame. Our Georgia Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help The causes of truck accidents are many. This is one of the reasons that the claims process can be so complicated – you may have a difficult time identifying how your accident occurred or who’s to blame. At the offices of Pritchard Injury Firm, our Georgia truck accident lawyers will open an investigation into your case, help you to identify the liable party, and will work hard to prove fault, causation, and damages. To learn more about how we can serve you, please call us today or send us a message requesting more information and a free case consultation.

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Is Georgia a No-Fault State?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Car accidents happen every day of the week on roads across the country. To protect the public, states require that drivers buy insurance, which can pay for medical care and replace lost wages in the event of bodily injury. Each state is free to design its own laws regarding car accidents. Some states are “no-fault” states, meaning that after an accident an injured motorist contacts their own insurer, who pays out compensation regardless of who is to blame for the crash. Other states are “fault” states. In a fault state, an injured motorist makes a claim on the insurance policy of the driver who was at fault for the accident. If a driver wasn’t at fault, his or her insurer does not need to pay out compensation. As a leading car accident law firm, we regularly receive questions from the public, and many people call to ask, “Is Georgia a no-fault state?” Below, we deal with the intricacies of the law. Georgia Is a Fault State Georgia has followed the lead of most other states and operates under a “fault” system. This means that if you were injured in an accident, it matters whether you are to blame. If you are, then you can’t make a claim with your own bodily injury insurance policy. You also can’t make a claim with another driver’s insurance policy. However, if you weren’t to blame for the accident, you need to identify who was. You can then make a claim on that driver’s policy. Consider the following example: Megan is driving through the intersection on a green light when she is struck by Paul, who ran a red. Both Megan and Paul suffer injuries. Because Paul is at fault, Megan can get compensation from Paul’s insurance company. However, because Paul is at fault, he has to suffer the consequences of his negligent conduct. He can’t get Megan’s insurer to pay his medical bills, and he also can’t make a claim on his own liability insurance policy. Interesting, our neighbors to the south, Florida, is a no-fault state. In Florida, Megan would use her own no-fault personal injury protection benefits and Paul could make a claim on his own PIP policy as well. Georgia Recognizes Proportional Fault The law regarding liability in Georgia can sometimes be a little more complicated than described above, especially when both drivers commit mistakes that lead to a collision. Georgia recognizes “proportional comparative fault.” This means both drivers can be to blame, so we need to identify each side’s percentage of fault. Consider the following: Paul approaches an intersection and is prepared to make a left-hand turn. He does not use his turn signal so Megan, who is tailgating, is caught off guard when he suddenly slows down even though the light is green. Megan ends up rear-ending Paul’s car, and Paul suffers a concussion. In this example, Megan shares some of the fault because she was driving too closely to Paul. But Paul also bears some of the blame, because he did not use a turn signal when he was supposed to. In this example, both are to blame for the accident, so insurance adjusters will need to assign a percentage of fault. As an example, Paul could be 30% at fault for the collision and Megan 70%. Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, your compensation will be shrunk by your proportion of fault. But if you are 50% or more to blame for the crash, you cannot receive anything at all. How an Attorney Can Help Some car accidents are straightforward, and it is easy to determine who is at fault. Other cases are less clear. To receive the most compensation possible under Georgia’s “fault” rules, you need evidence. At our firm, we can help injured motorists by: Visiting the scene of the accident to find evidence. Searching for dashboard or security camera footage which might have captured the accident. Identify and talk to witnesses who can identify who is to blame for the collision. Help you record your own memories of the crash. The evidence available will depend on the case, but our firm never uses “one size fits all” approaches to car accident cases. Instead, we will look at the unique facts of your case and use them to argue aggressively for compensation. Speak to a Georgia Car Accident Attorney Today After a collision, you might not know who to reach out to or what steps to take. Georgia’s fault laws often confuse people, so reach out to a law firm for help. Contact Pritchard Injury Firm today. We offer a free consultation to those who contact us.

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Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

| Read Time: 3 minutes

According to World Atlas, Georgia has more than 200,000 motorcycles registered in the state, putting us at #13 in ranking of the states. It’s easy to see why so many people like to ride a motorcycle. Georgia’s beautiful weather, coupled with our dramatic scenery, makes motorcycling a popular hobby, and thousands of people ride into the Peach state on their own motorcycles. However, motorcyclists remain highly vulnerable on Georgia’s roads. Each year, thousands of bikers are injured in accidents that were not their fault, and they often incur hospital bills they cannot afford. If you have been injured in motorcycle collision, reach out to a knowledgeable attorney right away. Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries Motorcyclists can suffer devastating physical injuries when they collide with other motor vehicles or hit stationary objects, like telephone poles. At our firm, we have seen clients suffer from: Fractures, particularly to the arms, hands, legs, and feet. A simple fracture might only need to be put in a cast, but many fractures require the insertion of a pin, screw, or plate to hold the bones together. Broken bones can also damage surrounding tissue, such as arteries. Road rash. This is a type of friction burn that occurs when exposed skin scrapes along asphalt. Road rash can require skin grafts to prevent infection. Back injuries. A motorcyclist can pull a muscle, ligament, or tendon in the back. Also, an accident can lead to a herniated disc or cracked vertebrae. Biker’s arm. This injury occurs when a motorcyclist braces for impact with a motor vehicle or the road. Instinctively, the biker wraps an arm around her chest and then lands on it. This traumatic injury can lead to nerve damage and weakness in the affected limb. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A concussion or other TBI can lead to problems with mobility, balance, speech, memory, and cognition. A helmet will dramatically reduce the likelihood of a TBI but cannot eliminate the risk entirely. Spinal cord injuries. Any damage to the spinal cord can cause paralysis below the point of injury. In addition to these common motorcycle accident injuries, unfortunately some bikers will end up losing their life after a collision. Common Motorcycle Accidents There are several common types of motorcycle accidents, many of which are caused by the carelessness or reckless behavior of a motor vehicle driver. For example, we have seen clients injured in the following types of accidents: Head-on crashes. The driver of a vehicle might pass someone illegally and collide head on with a motorcyclist coming in the opposite direction, or a motorist could drift into oncoming traffic where the car collides with a biker. Left-hand turn accidents. Many motorists cannot see motorcycles, or they misjudge the speed that you are going. As a result, they turn and directly strike our client or they pull directly in front of the biker, causing an unavoidable crash. Rear-end collisions. A motorist might crash into the back of a motorcycle if it is following too closely or fails to see the motorcyclist stopped at a red light or stop sign. Lane splitting accidents. Lane splitting refers to the practice of riding in between lanes. Motorcyclists can suffer injury when a driver makes an unexpected movement or a passenger opens a door. There are many causes of these accidents, including; Drug and alcohol use Distracted driving; including texting while driving Carelessness Driving too fast for conditions Tailgating Illegally passing When a motorist has been negligent, Georgia law allows an injured biker to receive compensation for his or her injuries. Money damages can cover medical care, lost wages, property damage, and also compensate for pain and suffering and emotional distress. The amount of money available generally depends on the severity of your injuries and the insurance policy the at-fault driver has. Speak with Pritchard Injury Firm Today Motorcycle accidents leave victims in considerable pain. You could be looking at a long recovery time, which causes incredible financial stress, especially if you can’t work. To start the process of bringing a claim for financial compensation, contact us today. One of the motorcycle accident lawyers at Pritchard Injury Firm can meet with you to review your case and discuss its value. We offer members of the public a free, no-risk initial consultation, so contact us without delay.

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