We Defend Individuals and Businesses Against Auto Accident, Premises Liability, and Other Personal Injury Claims in Georgia
Personal injury claims can present substantial risks for individuals, businesses, property owners, and their insurers. Allegations of negligence can expose businesses and individuals to liability for substantial damages, and a successful defense requires a swift and strategic response scrutinizing whether the plaintiff can prove the four basic elements of a personal injury claim ― legal duty, negligence, causation, and damages.
At Downey & Cleveland, LLP, we have been defending individuals and businesses in Georgia against personal injury claims for 50 years. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities these claims present and rely on our experience to protect our clients, utilizing all of the legal tools available under Georgia law. We have had significant success defending clients both in and out of court and help protect our clients against potential liability for personal injury claims, ranging from disputes amounting to less than $15,000 in small-claims court to significant value claims involving allegations of catastrophic injury and wrongful death. While we primarily defend individuals and businesses, we also have represented plaintiffs or defendants prosecuting a counterclaim, crossclaim, or third-party claim when warranted.
Our Approach to Personal Injury Claim Defense
We serve as defense counsel for businesses and individuals facing all types of personal injury claims in Georgia. When engaged as defense counsel in a personal injury case, we take a comprehensive approach to protecting our clients’ legal interests, starting with investigating the available facts at hand. It is not uncommon for allegations by personal injury plaintiffs to be unsubstantiated and exaggerated, and, in many cases, we have been successful in favorably resolving our clients’ cases at the investigative stage or early in the discovery process.
But when warranted, we have significant trial and appellate experience as well. We have secured favorable jury verdicts and appellate decisions for our clients in both state and federal courts throughout Georgia. When litigation in a personal injury case is necessary, our lawyers scrutinize medical records obtained directly from the plaintiff’s treatment providers, interview key witnesses, secure necessary depositions, and often work with experts such as medical doctors and accident reconstructionist to present strong defenses that address both liability and damages. Each step of the process, whether pre-suit or in litigation, is taken to present the strongest defenses available should the case ultimately need to be presented to a jury.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
We take the same comprehensive approach to every personal injury case we handle. This includes cases involving:
A significant portion of our personal injury defense practice is devoted to defending drivers, vehicle owners, and employers in auto accident litigation. Our experience includes successfully representing clients in cases involving multi-vehicle collisions on the highway, rear-end accidents in stop-and-go traffic, rollovers, hit-and-run and DUI collisions, traffic signal disputes, commercial truck accidents, collisions involving motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians, road rage incidents, construction and school zone accidents, and other types of auto accidents resulting in physical injury. Some representative examples of our experience include:
- Securing a defense verdict in favor of a driver accused of intentionally attempting to run over the plaintiff on race day at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
- Securing a defense verdict in a rollover accident case occurring on a major highway in which the investigating police officer testified against the defense and the plaintiff presented evidence of more than $20,000 in medical expenses.
- Limiting a jury award to only $5,000 in an admitted liability case in which the plaintiff’s SUV was knocked on its side in a rear-end collision, the plaintiff presented evidence of $170,000 in medical expenses, and the lowest pretrial demand by the plaintiff was $360,000.
- Limiting punitive damages to $2,500 in a case in which a DUI defendant struck a teenage driver head-on, attempted to flee the scene on foot, and failed to show up at trial.
As ridesharing, such as Uber and Lyft, continues to grow in popularity in Georgia, rideshare accidents are becoming increasingly common. These accidents present additional layers of complexity, and appropriately assigning liability among the various parties involved requires an in-depth understanding of Georgia’s negligence and rideshare laws. Exposure in these cases often can turn on whether a rideshare driver has already accepted a fare, is parked while waiting for an assignment, or has completed the rideshare assignment. In addition to investigating all the issues arising from an auto accident case, we are familiar with the common contractual obligations entered into between rideshare companies and their drivers, along with their statutory requirements. We represent individuals, drivers, and companies in ride-sharing accident cases. This includes not only defending rideshare drivers and companies but also defending other parties involved in multi-vehicle accidents when rideshare drivers and their passengers are involved.
Uninsured Motorist Claims
We also have particular experience defending against uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) claims. While UM insurance isn’t required in Georgia, insurers are required to ask policyholders to either select or reject this coverage when issuing a new auto policy. Many drivers choose to purchase this optional coverage to protect against uninsured or underinsured drivers, or against John Doe if the other driver is unknown. Georgia offers two different types of UM coverage: difference-in-limits UM coverage provides additional insurance if the selected UM limits are greater than the liability coverage of the defendant driver, while add-on UM coverage stacks on top of the liability coverage regardless of the amount of liability coverage possessed by the defendant driver. Since many drivers opt for UM coverage, sometimes with significant policy limits, these claims can present substantial liability risk for insurers. When a UM claim is filed, we provide full-service defense representation — conducting thorough investigations into whether UM coverage applies and whether the policyholder has fulfilled all of the contractual requirements in the UM policy, ultimately pursuing settlement negotiations when warranted and litigating through to a jury verdict when necessary.
Speak with a Personal Injury Defense Lawyer at Downey & Cleveland, LLP in Marietta, GA
If you would like to know more about our personal injury practice, we invite you to get in touch with our experienced attorneys. With offices in Marietta, we represent individuals and businesses throughout Georgia. To speak with a personal injury defense lawyer at Downey & Cleveland, LLP in confidence, please call 770-422-3233 or tell us how we can reach you online today.