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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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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

Georgia Car Insurance Laws

| Read Time: 2 minutes

Have you wondered what type of insurance Georgia drivers need? Drivers in Georgia must have car insurance to drive on the state’s highways legally. Georgia car insurance laws protect drivers from sustaining uninsured injuries and property damage. Unfortunately, Georgia drivers put themselves at risk each time they head out on a Georgia road. Thousands of car accidents take place in Georgia each year. Sadly, over 1,500 people were killed in Georgia car accidents in 2018. Driving without car insurance can come with stiff penalties under Georgia car insurance laws. Here, we’ll look at 3 aspects of Georgia auto insurance laws. What are Georgia car insurance requirements? How does Georgia assign fault for a car accident? What are the penalties for not carrying insurance? What Are Georgia Car Insurance Requirements? Georgia car insurance laws require drivers to carry liability insurance. Georgia drivers must carry auto insurance that covers bodily injuries and property damage, in these amounts. For bodily injuries liability, Georgia drivers must have insurance that covers: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. For property damage liability, Georgia drivers must have insurance that covers $25,000 per accident. Liability insurance covers medical expenses, accident injuries, and repairs to another driver’s vehicle. These required amounts of insurance under Georgia insurance laws serve as minimum thresholds. Drivers may choose to purchase additional insurance for additional coverage. In case another driver is uninsured, purchasing “uninsured motorist” insurance covers injuries and car repairs. How Does Georgia Assign Fault for a Car Accident? Georgia is a fault state for car accidents. This means that the driver who caused an accident is responsible for paying for the accident expenses. A fault state contrasts with a no-fault state, where each driver is responsible for a portion of their accident expenses. In evaluating fault for a Georgia accident, Georgia uses a modified comparative fault basis. This means that the amount of expenses the “more at-fault” driver pays depends on the degree of fault. For instance, a driver that was 60% at fault for an accident would pay up to 60% of your damages. A driver who was 90% at fault would pay 90% of your damages. You are responsible for the percentage of damages corresponding to your fault. What Are the Penalties for Not Carrying Insurance? Georgia auto insurance laws require all drivers to carry liability insurance. Choosing to disobey this requirement can bring penalties. If you are involved in an accident without insurance, the other driver may be responsible for medical expenses and property damages. Without insurance, this means that the other driver may be sued and have to provide you with money to cover expenses from your accident. Ignoring insurance requirements also brings criminal penalties. Georgia car insurance laws offenders face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year jail. You could also lose your license for up to 90 days. Get Legal Assistance with Your Car Accident If you’ve experienced a car accident, you may need legal assistance. At the Pritchard Injury Firm, we help car accident victims get compensation for their injuries and auto repairs.  We can answer your questions on auto insurance laws and how they apply to your case. Our caring attorneys protect our clients from insurance companies that try to shortchange victims.  While you focus on recovering, we fight to get you all the money you deserve. Give us a call for a free consultation, and talk with one of our expert Georgia car accident attorneys.

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How Is a Wrongful Death Settlement Distributed in Georgia?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

When you suffer the wrongful death of someone you love, the person responsible should pay for their negligence. If that negligence contributed to the death of your loved one, you can file a wrongful death suit. When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, the defendant does not face prison time. Instead, the defendant faces financial penalties if the judge or jury finds the defendant responsible for the wrongful death. Often, the plaintiff and defendant reach a wrongful death settlement distribution before the case goes to trial.  If you have questions about wrongful death settlement distribution, read on. We explain the following wrongful death settlement issues: What types of wrongful death lawsuits are there? Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit? How are wrongful death settlements paid out? A victim’s grieving family may feel hesitant about pursuing a wrongful death suit. After all, no amount of money can replace their loved ones.  However, a wrongful death settlement distribution can alleviate the financial strain that often accompanies an unexpected death. A wrongful death settlement holds the negligent party financially responsible for allowing the tragedy to occur. What Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits Are There? Under Georgia law, you can bring two types of wrongful death lawsuits. Estate Claim. This wrongful death lawsuit recovers medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and the victim’s pain and suffering. Full Value of Life Claim. The wrongful death claim considers the companionship and support that a victim would have brought his or her family. Damages attempt to compensate the family for the absence of this companionship and support. A full value of life claims includes economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages. These damages include the financial assistance the victim would have provided. Salary, health insurance, and other financial contributions belong in this category. Non-economic damages. These damages include loss of consortium or companionship. This category attempts to reimburse emotional loss, which is difficult to calculate.  Depending on your relationship to the victim, you may have both types of claims in your wrongful death lawsuit. Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? Georgia law requires that family members closest to the victim have the opportunity to pursue a wrongful death settlement. People who may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim rank in this order. The victim’s spouse. If the person who suffered a wrongful death was married, the spouse may bring suit against the negligent party. Surviving children. The surviving children of the victim benefit from a wrongful death settlement.  If the victim was unmarried, the surviving children may bring a wrongful death action. If the victim was married, the surviving spouse must represent surviving children and share compensation with surviving children. However, a surviving spouse receives at least one-third of wrongful death damages.  Surviving parents. If the victim has no surviving spouse or children, the victim’s parents may bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages are split equally between surviving parents. The administrator of the estate. If the victim has no surviving spouse, children, or parents, the administrator of the victim’s estate can file a lawsuit. This ranking of plaintiffs protects family members closest to the victim, allowing survivors time to consider a wrongful death lawsuit. How are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out? In most of the scenarios above, the distribution of the wrongful death settlement seems fairly straightforward.  If a surviving spouse with no children files, the spouse takes the entire settlement. For a surviving spouse with surviving children, the spouse takes ⅓ of the settlement, and the children split the rest. If a surviving parent files in the absence of any spouse or children, the surviving parents split the settlement equally. However, if the victim of the wrongful death has a deceased child and surviving grandchildren, things become complicated. The grandchildren cannot claim through their dead parent, which may seem unfair. Wrongful Death Settlement Distribution Scenarios For instance, Bob is married to Sue, and the couple has three grown children: Sam, Kate, and Mandy. Sam dies, leaving two surviving children of his own. Then, Bob dies in a truck accident. When Sue brings a wrongful death suit against the truck company, she must share ⅔ of the settlement with Kate and Mandy. However, Sam’s surviving children receive nothing. However, if one of the surviving children is an original party to the lawsuit, it changes the grandchildren’s rights. Let’s change the scenario above and keep Sam alive a little while longer. When Bob dies in the truck accident, Sam is still alive. Sue files her lawsuit, and then Sam dies. Now, Sam’s children may claim Sam’s share of the settlement because Sam was an original party to the lawsuit. Seek Expert Advice for Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit If you’ve suffered a painful loss, it may be difficult for you to discuss the details of your loved one’s wrongful death. We’re here to listen to your case with sensitivity and respond with legal insight. If you think you might have a wrongful death claim, contact us here today or call us. We’ll let you know if you’re eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit and answer your questions about wrongful death settlement distribution.

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How is Fault Determined in a T-Bone Accident?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Screeching tires and crunching metal are familiar sounds to drivers who have been in t-bone accidents. You may not be able to stop thinking about your car accidents, dwelling on the sights and sounds of the crash. In fact, the accident is something you won’t soon forget. You may replay the details over and over in your mind. You wonder how you could have avoided the collision and ask, “in a t-bone accident, who’s at fault?” How is fault determined in a t-bone accident, anyway? When an accident happens so fast, it can be hard to know who caused it. Sometimes, more than one driver shares blame, which makes determining fault confusing.  Calculating fault in your t-bone accident is crucial since fault determines who pays for the accident. Georgia law clarifies the question, “In a t-bone accident, who’s at fault?” We will help you consider fault in a t-bone accident by discussing the following: What is a T-Bone Accident? What Accident Evidence Should You Gather? Which Driver Violated Traffic Law? What is a T-Bone Accident? A t-bone accident occurs when cars collide in a perpendicular or “T” angle. For instance, one car often runs into another car’s driver-side door. Because of the direct impact of t-bone accidents, they can cause serious injuries. T-bone accidents usually occur in intersections. They often result from a driver running a stop sign or traffic light or failing to yield. What Accident Evidence Do You Need? To determine the t-bone accident fault, you need accident evidence. Police typically gather this evidence for their police report. Your personal injury attorney also helps you gather additional evidence to support your case. Multiple sources of evidence are useful for a t-bone accident claim: Statements from both drivers Statements from all passengers Statements from witnesses Police reports Traffic camera video Photos and videos from witness phones Physical evidence from the crash scene Photos of vehicle damage Expert witnesses Obtaining this information soon after the crash increases the reliability and persuasiveness of the evidence. After a crash, take photos and jot down the contact information of witnesses if possible. If you are startled or need medical attention after the accident, appoint someone to gather evidence. Which Driver Violated Traffic Law? The driver who runs into another car is not always at-fault for the t-bone accident. T-bone accident fault looks at which the driver violated a traffic law. For instance, if Driver A proceeds through a green light just as Driver B runs a red light, an accident may occur. In this scene, Driver A t-bones Driver B. However, Driver A is not at-fault for the accident. Driver B ran a red light and caused the accident. So, Driver B has some degree of fault in the t-bone accident. Sometimes, multiple drivers share a t-bone accident fault. In the above scenario, if Driver A was texting while driving through the green light, both drivers would be at-fault. Driver B would be at fault for running the red light, and Driver A would hold fault for distracted driving. When multiple parties are at fault, Georgia applies comparative negligence rules. This means that a driver may hold some t-bone accident fault, yet still recover damages. In order to recover damages under Georgia’s comparative negligence law, you can’t be 50% or more responsible for the accident. If you are less than half responsible for the accident, you can recover damages according to your percentage of fault. For instance, in the example above, the court might determine that the driver who was texting while driving was 20% responsible for the accident. In that instance, the texting driver could recover up to 80% of accident damages from the other driver.  Get Legal Advice for Your T-Bone Accident Injury If you’re wondering who was at fault for your t-bone accident, you should consult a Georgia accident injury attorney. The Pritchard Injury Firm has years of experience investigating the t-bone accident fault and helping clients recover damages for their injuries.  Our experienced legal professionals can help you find evidence and hire expert witnesses who will support your accident injury claim. We’ll work to get you maximum compensation for your injuries so that you can focus on recovering. Call us today for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your case determine if our legal experts can help prove the t-bone accident fault in your case.

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