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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 Rear-End Car Accident Injuries

| Read Time: 3 minutes

If you’ve experienced a rear-end car accident, you know all too well the effects of such a collision. First, you feel a jarring crash as another vehicle slams into yours. You feel your body lurch forward against your seatbelt before snapping back upright.  You also know that the shock and pain of rear-ended collision injuries last long after you leave the scene of the accident.  When you first experience a rear-end car accident, you may not think of pursuing a claim against the negligent driver who ran into you. Yet, as your pain from sustained injuries persists and medical bills pile up, you should consider pursuing a claim.  If you’re thinking about pursuing a claim or lawsuit for your rear-end accident injuries, you’re not alone. Here are a few facts about this type of accident: Over 1 million drivers experience rear-end collisions each year. Rear-end collisions are the most frequent personal injury accident. Rear-end car accident injuries can result from slippery road conditions, following too closely, or texting. Our personal injury attorneys specialize in recovering damages for rear-end collision injuries. We believe accident victims deserve injury compensation when they have been negligently harmed. Rear-End Accident Injuries  Are you surprised that you suffered such extensive injuries from a rear-end collision?  These accidents lead to many troublesome injuries. Here are common injuries from being rear-ended: Head and Neck Injuries Whiplash. Upon impact in a rear-end collision, a victim’s neck snaps forcefully forward and back, causing whiplash. Most whiplash injuries heal within nine months, but 20% of whiplash victims suffer symptoms for years. Head Trauma. Like whiplash, head trauma results from the victim’s head rapidly propelling forward. If the victim’s head impacts the steering wheel, windshield, or another hard surface, serious head trauma results. Airbags help, but they do not always completely prevent head trauma. Concussions. Emerging research on traumatic brain injuries shows the potential long-term consequences of these injuries. An accident victim may not immediately realize that he or she has sustained a concussion. Concussion symptoms may take days to emerge. An accident victim should always take concussion symptoms seriously. Loss of Consciousness. An accident victim who experienced loss of consciousness probably sustained a concussion. The victim should seek medical attention to check any potential brain injury. Face and Body Injuries Swelling and Bruising. While mild compared to other common injuries from being rear-ended, swelling and bruising bring discomfort. Seatbelts save lives, but in the process, they leave bruises on the victim’s chest and shoulder.  Lacerations. When a victim collides with sharp glass or metal, rear-end collision injury may include lacerations. If severe enough, lacerations need suturing or even plastic surgery. This type of injury may permanently disfigure the victim.  Broken Bones. Injury to the bones of the face and nose brings particular discomfort. If a victim’s nose, teeth, or jaw breaks, his or her ability to smell and eat may suffer.  Arm Injuries. When a rear-end accident occurs, the victim instinctively braces for impact. This bracing usually includes a firm grip on the steering wheel with extended arms. The position places the arms in a vulnerable position, leading to wrist sprains, arm fractures, and shoulder dislocations. Do You Need an Attorney for Your Rear-End Collision Injury? You may think hiring an attorney for your rear-end collision injury seems unnecessary.  However, you deserve someone on your side who will fight for your right to injury compensation.  Hiring a personal injury attorney offers you the following advantages: Takes over paperwork. Filing injury compensation claims requires filling out legal documents. An experienced attorney knows how to file legal forms to give you the best chance at recovering damages. Becomes your investigator. You need to know what happened in your rear-end collision, and your attorney will help you find out. Your attorney contacts authorities and interview experts to build your best case. Mediates with insurance. Your attorney communicates with the defendant’s insurance company. An insurance company may try to intimidate you, but your attorney regularly talks with insurers. Your attorney will attempt to secure out-of-court payment from the insurance company.  Navigates legal channels. If the out-of-court negotiation attempt doesn’t work, your attorney files a lawsuit. Your attorney calculates damages, files court documents, and places you in the best position to receive a maximum damages award for your rear-end collision injury. Start Your Rear-End Accident Injuries Claim Today At Pritchard Injury Firm, we help car accident victims understand their legal rights following rear-end accident injuries and obtain the compensation they deserve.  Contact us here today or call 470-264-9964for help navigating your rear-end collision injuries claims process.

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Tips When Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

| Read Time: 3 minutes

If you’ve been injured, you may know that you need a personal injury attorney. However, what to look for in a personal injury attorney may be less clear. Indeed, with so many lawyers to choose from, how do you know what features and traits are the most important? As you navigate the process and start meeting with lawyers, here are some things to consider and tips for hiring the right personal injury lawyer– Focus Area of Practice Before you think about anything else, the first thing that you should consider an attorney’s profile and background in their focus area of practice. It is incredibly important that you choose a lawyer who is experienced in the area of practice that is relevant to your accident and injuries. In other words, if you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury in a sports-related accident, you probably don’t want to hire an attorney who primarily focuses on spinal cord injuries resulting from car accidents. Experience In and Out of the Courtroom You don’t just want to hire a lawyer who is experienced; you want to hire a lawyer who is experienced both in and out of the courtroom. This is important for multiple reasons. For example, while your attorney may be a great negotiator, if they don’t have litigation experience, their negotiation skills won’t be very useful should your case go to court. While settling a case out of court is usually the goal, you want a lawyer who will know how to represent you in court should your case require litigation. And remember, you can always settle your case during the litigation process once a desirable result is achieved. Reputation Some lawyers have a bad reputation, plain and simple. You don’t want to work with an attorney who’s known for rushing a case along or only putting in a minimal amount of effort, nor an attorney who doesn’t put their clients’ first and makes clients feel guilty about taking up too much time. And you certainly don’t want to work with an attorney who isn’t in good standing. Instead, you want a lawyer who is not only skilled and successful, but also who is enjoyable to work with and who cares about their clients. You can gain a lot of insight into what an attorney may be like to work with by reviewing their online reviews and talking to past clients. What is Their Case History? As enjoyable as an attorney may be to work with, and as important of a consideration that this is, what may be the most important consideration is whether or not your attorney is good at securing the desired case outcomes for their clients. As such, you should be frank about requesting information about the lawyer’s past cases and past successes. Have they won more cases than they’ve lost? What has the average settlement amount been? Have they lost any cases in trial? How many cases have they handled in their career? Personality When you’re planning to hire a lawyer, you should know that your lawyer is someone with whom you’ll be interacting frequently over the next few months, or even longer in some cases. As such, it’s wise to choose an attorney who not only is educated, experienced, and who has a great reputation, but also who has a personality that you get along with. If you don’t like your attorney, your relationship probably won’t be as effective as it could be otherwise, which could ultimately be costly to your claim. Method to Approaching Your Case Finally, speak with any potential attorneys you’re considering about their method for approaching your case. Will there be any staff members working on your case? Will they hire expert witnesses? How many cases do they work on at once? How do they handle an investigation? What will your role be throughout the process? All of these questions, and others are important. You should also be sure to ask the attorney how they charge, as you certainly do not want to work with an attorney who charges on anything other than a contingency fee basis. Call the Pritchard Injury Firm for Your Free Consultation Today To learn more about working with the Pritchard Injury Firm and what our lawyers can bring to your case, please reach out to us today. We have experience working on all personal injury case types and are happy to discuss the details of your case, and our experience, free of charge. To schedule a free case consultation, send us a message directly or call our law office at your convenience.

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Understanding Negligence in a Car Accident

| Read Time: 3 minutes

After a car accident occurs in Georgia, an injured party’s primary objectives will likely be to a) seek medical care and treatment for their injuries, and b) file a car accident claim and settle the claim as quickly as possible. However, before a claim can be settled, the fault must be determined. What’s more, negligence will also play a role in how much a party can recover, especially if the case winds up in court. Here’s an overview of what you should know regarding negligence in a car accident. Negligence: Car Accident Fault and Liability Negligence is the failure to act with the same degree of care that another person of ordinary prudence in the same situation would. When it comes to a car accident, the party whose negligence caused the accident is the party that will be found “at fault.” Because Georgia is an at-fault state, the party at fault will be responsible for paying for damages that are incurred by the not-at-fault party. Examples of Negligence in a Car Accident There are many different examples of negligent behaviors that can cause a crash. A few include: Drinking while driving; Texting while driving; Speeding or driving too fast for conditions; Tailgating; Failure to look before making a turn; Hit-and-Run Running a red light; and Driving aggressively. In order to recover the compensation award that you deserve, you will likely need to prove the negligence of the at-fault party. In fact, if your case ends up going to court, you will need to prove that your accident and injuries would not have occurred but for the negligence of the at-fault party. Comparative Negligence in a Georgia Car Accident Case Depending on the extent of your injuries and how much you’re requesting in damages, comparative negligence may not be brought up in your case. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver and only suffered minor injuries, the insurer of the at-fault driver may simply pay your claim without bringing the idea of comparative negligence into question. However, if the fault is less cut and dry, your injuries are severe, or your case ends in a lawsuit, comparative negligence will definitely be a consideration. Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you are allowed to recover compensation from an at-fault party if your degree of fault was not greater than theirs, but your recovery amount will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault if any. So, if you are 15 percent to blame for your car accident and you suffer $200,000 in damages, you will only be able to recovery $170,000 (85 percent of $200,000) from the defendant. Skilled personal injury attorneys can help you determine what level of fault, if any, you may have in a car accident. Most Car Accident Lawsuits Are Negligence-Based Keep in mind that a car accident claim and a car accident lawsuit are not necessarily synonymous. A car accident claim involves the claimant, the at-fault party, and the at-fault party’s liability insurer. If a claim is settled through negotiations or pre-litigation mediation, then no lawsuit is ever filed. A car accident lawsuit, on the other hand, involves the above parties and the court. In a car accident lawsuit, a judge or jury will decide the outcome of the case (if a settlement is not otherwise reached prior to trial). The vast majority of car accident lawsuits are negligence-based, meaning that the plaintiffs in these suits allege that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to them. Car accident lawsuits are rarely intentional tort cases, where the plaintiff claims that the defendant caused their harm with intent. Sometimes, a car accident lawsuit may involve gross negligence, which is a lack of care that demonstrates “reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others” and which is so great that it may appear to be a “conscious violation of other people’s right to safety.” If a plaintiff’s injuries are the result of gross negligence, punitive damages may be available in addition to compensatory damages. Finally, keep in mind that it’s not just another driver whose negligence could cause a crash – a vehicle manufacturer, party responsible for road maintenance, a furnisher of alcohol, and more could all be partially or entirely to blame, too. Contact Zach Pritchard at Pritchard Injury Firm to Get Help Understanding negligence in a car accident and your rights if you’ve been harmed as a result of another party’s negligence can be confusing. To help you make sense of it all, build your claim, and improve your chances of recovering your full settlement amount, please call our law firm directly today for a free consultation.

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