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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

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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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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