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James Edward Butler III

James Butler’s Answers

17 total


  • Can I file a personnel injury claim after an auto accident while driving a company vehicle

    i was recently rear ended in a company vehicle and sustained personnel injury, my boss is wanting to file the vehicle damage, lost wages and my personnel injury as 1 claim, and I want to know what my rights are and if i can file my own claim

    James’s Answer

    The answer is "yes." Any injury to your body caused damage to YOU, so you are entitled to pursue that claim. Any damage to the car caused damage to your company's property, so the property damage claim likely belongs to the company. But the two claims are distinct: you can bring the former, and your company can bring the latter.

    If you were hurt in the wreck, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Next, if you want to seek a recovery, contact a qualified personal injury lawyer to analyze and pursue your claim.

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  • Can I apply the "Make Whole Doctrine" to a health insurance company for reimbursement of their lien?

    This is a third party case.

    James’s Answer

    This is question without a simple answer. It depends on lots of factors--including whether state or federal law applies, and what language your Plan includes. Many private health insurance plans are covered by a federal statute called ERISA, and if the plan language provides for it, ERISA-governed plans are often not subject to the made-whole doctrine. However, if the Plan does not expressly disclaim the made-whole doctrine, then it may apply as a matter of federal common law. Moreover, if the plan is not subject to ERISA--if, for instance, the Plan is not private but is "governmental"--then state rather than federal law may apply. Some states have made the made-whole doctrine part of the state's official code, which can strengthen your bargaining position.

    The summary is this: it's really complicated and depends on a variety of factors. The wise course is to consult with a good lawyer in your state.

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  • Injured in a hit and run, has drivers address only info was able to get

    Not my fault

    James’s Answer

    First, notify the police and seek treatment to address your injuries. Second, retain a good lawyer if you believe you are entitled to compensation for those injuries. You will most likely have two avenues of recovery: first, the at-fault driver and any liability insurance he or she may have. Because this is a hit and run, this first avenue of recovery may also include punitive damages. Second, your own uninsured motorist policy if the at-fault driver's liability insurance is insufficient to compensate you. A good lawyer will know how to pursue both.

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  • What are my odds of winning a car accident law suit against a Long Island fire chief?

    I was t-boned by a Long Island fire chief at an intersection. He was flying through a stop sign when he hit me at a four way stop intersection. i stopped at my stop sign completely but did not see him. My car did a 180 and flew into a house fence...

    James’s Answer

    If it's clear that the fire chief is at fault--and from your description, it sounds clear--your chances of winning are very good. If the fire chief was acting in the scope of his employment--and if he's claiming that his sirens were on, it sounds like he was in the scope of his employment--then you should discuss with a local lawyer the possibility of filing suit against whatever governmental entity he worked for. But MOVE QUICKLY because in most jurisdictions, you must file an "ante litem" notice within a specified time of the wreck.

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  • Rear -ended in a car accident; hit at 50 MPH on the interstate as I was parked in a construction line.

    I am a full time critical care nurse. I am not a litigious person, but I'm having irretractable back pain now, which is very scary, since my back is so important for me to accomplish my job tasks. So, I am wondering if I should hire an attorney; I...

    James’s Answer

    When someone else's negligent act impairs your ability to work and causes consistent pain--as has happened to you--there's nothing wrong with seeking a monetary recovery that will compensate you for what you've lost. You're not trying to get something for nothing; instead, you're being set back in the position that you would have occupied if the other person had never hit you. In other words, it isn't just "litigious" people who file lawsuits--it's innocent people who have been hurt through no fault of their own.

    I'd absolutely recommend that you hire a lawyer. Most lawyers charge, as their fee, 33-40% of any eventual recovery (whether it's through settlement, or through a verdict and judgment). For your case, 33% is probably reasonable. Assuming you hire a good lawyer, the amount you personally recover with a lawyer's assistance will exceed the amount you'd recover if you went after the insurance company alone, even after you deduct the fee. Plus, you don't have to worry about your claim on a day-to-day basis, and hiring a lawyer should expedite--rather than delay--your recovery.

    Good luck!

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  • Am being treated for concussion from car accident.Will ins company try to destroy my character in court, since inj is invisible?

    I was rear-ended and suffered a concussion w ongoing symptoms (confirmed by 3 good/reputable dr.s). Now insurance company is stalling, and we may end up in court. I'm okay with that since I am telling the truth but I'm worried... When I was a t...

    James’s Answer

    I recently resolved a case on behalf of a client with postconcussive syndrome following a car wreck, and you're right to suspect that the insurer will try to suggest that your injury is exaggerated. However, if multiple reputable doctors can (and WILL) back you up, and if you have friends and family that will confirm your symptoms, you should be able to weather that storm. In my opinion, the testimony from friends and family can be more persuasive to a jury than anything doctors or other "experts" can say. If your injuries are real (and you end up with a good trial lawyer), the insurer will end up looking bad in front of the jury if it falsely accuses you of exaggerating symptoms. "Blame the victim" is not always a good trial strategy.

    As to your ten-year-old arrest, rest easy. That should be inadmissible in Georgia, especially given Georgia's recent adoption of most of the federal rules of evidence (assuming it was not an aggravated crime and was charged as a misdemeanor). Most courts have been clear that shoplifting has nothing to do with "truthfulness," and the arrest will likely be inadmissible for that reason, particularly because it was not a conviction.

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  • Please recommend a criminal lawyer in the newnan,ga area

    I live in Alabama but charge is from newnan,ga

    James’s Answer

    I heartily recommend Steve Frey. When I was a prosecutor, I tried cases against him and he was very good. Email him at stevenfrey44@gmail.com or call his office at 770 471 0599.

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