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Edward M. Wynn

Edward Wynn’s Answers

35 total

  • Do I need to hire an attorney or can I handle this on my own?

    My personal property was damaged a few weeks ago. I have submitted my claim, police report, and other supporting documents to the responsible parties insurance company. The other party was CLEARLY at fault so I assumed I could handle this on my ...

    Edward’s Answer

    It is almost always a good idea to hire an attorney to represent you, whether on a personal injury case or other legal matter. As the old saying goes, "he who represents himself has a fool for a client."

    Studies have shown that most insurance companies place far more value on claims that are being handled by an attorney. The reasons are obvious. Insurance companies are huge corporations with teams of experienced adjusters, investigators, and lawyers of their own. They handle thousands of claims like yours every day and know what they are doing. Even if their insured was clearly at fault, they still are going to want to pay as little as they can get away with, and they know they can get away with a lot more if they are dealing with an inexperienced non-lawyer on the other side.

    You certainly have the right to represent yourself if you wish, but I assure you the insurance company is hoping that you decide to do just that. They know most folks don't have experience pursuing claims like this, nor the ability to litigate those claims if they can't be settled. Don't be surprised if the insurance company doesn't return your calls, makes small "take it or leave it" offers, or even denies or disputes all or part of your claim.

    Having an attorney can help you develop your case the right way, put you on a more equal footing with the insurance company, and ultimately give you the best shot at a favorable outcome. I suggest you contact several personal injury lawyers in your area to discuss your case, and then if you decide you do want to be represented, go with the attorney or firm you feel most comfortable with. It is a big decision.
    Good luck.

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  • Can I sue the owner of a dog for getting attacked by there pitbull?

    i was walking back home from a gas station when the pitbull came up behind me and grabbed my leg and pulled me to the ground. after on the ground the dog then grabbed my hand and started to bite and pull. i kicked myself up from the ground and ran...

    Edward’s Answer

    Yes, you can sue the owner, and it sounds like your case has merit.

    The key is whether the owner has insurance coverage, such as a homeowner's or personal liability policy, that will cover your damages if you do sue him. It is difficult (and sometimes impossible) to obtain a settlement or recover a judgment from someone without significant assets. Therefore, finding adequate liability insurance coverage is of the upmost importance.

    My suggestion is that you meet with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

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  • Do i need an attorney for a small slip and fall case

    I was at a local retail store and picked up an item and it started to pour out of the bottom of the bottle onto the ground and myself. It appeared it may have been slashed with a box cutter (this is my guess) I sat the bottle down and cleaned myse...

    Edward’s Answer

    If you want the best chance to recover, then the answer is almost always yes. It is usually a good idea to have an attorney handle any type of personal injury claim, but that is even more true in a premises liability case like a slip and fall.

    Slip and falls are often difficult to settle for a reasonable value without a lawsuit because of the type and nature of defenses that the other party usually has in such cases. The insurance company might prefer to take its chances on getting the case dismissed on summary judgment rather than offer a claimant fair compensation to settle. In other words, its not unusual for an insurance company to offer "nuisance value," or even nothing at all, and instead choose to make the claimant sue them. This occurs even more frequently when the claimant is unrepresented, because the insurer will often feel very confident that its lawyers will run circles around a person representing him/herself - and thats usually exactly what happens in the courtroom (assuming the person can get their case past summary judgment and to a trial in the first place).

    A lawyer can also help ensure certain crucial evidence in the sole custody of the defendant, like surveillance video of the incident, is preserved. A lot of times the most important witnesses are a defendants' employees, who you will not be allowed to talk with unless there is a lawsuit to give you a right to depose them. A plaintiff has the burden of proof in any civil case, and an attorney is more knowledgeable and prepared to find and put together the evidence needed to meet that burden in your case.

    The bottom line is if you have a case you want to pursue and you want the best possible result, then you will have a much better chance of success if you have counsel.

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  • Law suit pending against me from other Insurance Company, because I did not sign agreement.

    I had a car accident in January 2012. I had to have major surgery on my back. I felt the settlement was not enough, so I didn't sign the agreement,now I am being told that the other Insurance Company is now hiring an attorney to sue me,because I...

    Edward’s Answer

    There are potentially many important facts that could make a difference in your situation. Neither myself nor anyone else on this website can know exactly happened based solely on the information you have provided. You and your attorney are in the best position to know the most important and relevant facts.

    It does seem that you were obviously reluctant to settle your case. However, you do not say that you never actually agreed to settle it. It seems that you may have authorized your attorney to accept the settlement, but then you had a change of heart and did not want to sign the release agreement.

    Generally, a party's refusal to sign the release does not mean that an enforceable settlement agreement has not been reached. The general rule is that if someone agrees to settle their case (even if they do so reluctantly), and they or their attorney communicates the acceptance of that settlement to the other party, then the matter is *usually* settled unless both sides agree to back out or there is some other significant material circumstance that defeats.

    If one side changes their mind and tries to back out after an enforceable settlement agreement is reached, the adverse party can go to court to compel enforcement. This is especially true if there is documentation that a settlement agreement was reached, and/or if money has actually changed hands. As you can imagine, a court is unlikely to find there was no settlement agreement if one party has paid money and the other person has accepted and kept that money.

    I am very sorry to hear the settlement amount is not what you had in mind or that it may not take care of all your financial obligations, but the bottom line is that if you authorized your attorney to settle your case for the amount the insurance company is paying/has paid, your case is probably settled and your unwillingness to sign the release agreement is not going to change that fact. It sounds like you have already spoken with your attorney and she has advised you of the possible consequences of not complying with the terms of the settlement. You should ask more questions and seek a more detailed explanation if you do not understand her advice. Good luck.

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  • Do I have a case?

    I slipped and fell on a wet floor in a store. There were no "Wet" signs anywhere near the paddle of water that caused me to slipped and fell.

    Edward’s Answer

    You have a case, but the question is: can you win it? Many things would need to be investigated before an attorney can confidently advise you that your case has a good chance of success. While the lack of a wet floor sign tells us that the store did not do anything warn someone like yourself of the puddle, this would not matter if the puddle was so fresh and new that they did not know there was anything there to warn about.

    Some of the questions that would need to be answered to give an educated opinion about the value of your case include:

    - Did the store actually know about the puddle of water or the condition that caused it to be there before you fell? If they didn't actually know about it, was it there long enough to where they should have discovered it?

    - Did you see the puddle before you slipped? Was it big enough to where you should have seen it? Did others see it and inform the store about it? If so, what did the store do to respond?

    - How significant are your injuries? The extent of a claimant's injuries can mean the difference between a case that is worth an attorney's involvement vs. a case that is likely to only warrant a small "nuisance value" offer from the insurance company.

    I suggest that you begin contacting personal injury lawyers to help you answer these questions. Good luck.

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  • Why can't I sue the DFACS office?

    If the DFACS has falsely accused, and 'caused pain and suffering, a person should have the right to sue that office in their city. Stating that you can't sue DFACS because it's the government is basically saying they can say and do whatever they w...

    Edward’s Answer

    Technically you can *sue* anyone, including DFACS and any other government entity; the question is will you win.

    I have no opinion based on the info you provided whether or not you have a valid claim factually. But as you have apparently found out, it is very difficult to win against a government entity because they usually have a strong immunity defense. I certainly understand your frustration. Hundreds if not thousands of citizens, many of them with meritorious cases involving horrific injuries, are denied their day in court each year because the entity responsible is a government entity, be it state, county, or city. I get calls from folks seeking a lawyer in those situations almost every week. This is because most government entities enjoy "sovereign immunity," while their officers and employees are similarly protected by "official immunity."

    While there are exceptions whereby government entities and employees can be held liable, those exceptions are usually very narrow and courts are often reluctant to apply them. The result is that folks are routinely left with no recourse when the government and its officers have harmed them.

    There are many policies behind governmental immunity, including the protection of taxpayer funds, the desire to protect government officials from being "second-guessed" when they make bad decisions, and the goal of encouraging public service (which, it is argued, would be hindered if it was easier to sue government employees).

    The merits of these policies are up for debate, but the only way to change these laws is to direct your complaints to your state and local representatives. They are the only ones who can make it so that the government will "consent" to being sued. Until that day, more and more folks like yourself will have to find out they have few options when it comes to recovering from the government.

    As I mentioned, there can be exceptions to governmental immunity. I do not know if your case fits into one of them, and it sounds like other attorneys may have advised you that it does not. However, if you decide you want to keep trying to find an attorney to pursue your claim, do not waste time. There are special laws that require you to give advance notice to a government entity/agency before you can sue them. These laws are even stricter than the normal statute of limitations that apply to all cases. If you do not give that notice in time, your claim can be barred forever. If you have not decided to give up, I suggest you continue to seek an attorney who will take your case, and do so immediately.

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  • Can I recoup unpaid utility costs from former roommate?

    My roommate and I are parting ways this month, however he has not paid his share of the utilities for the past 14 months which totals to over $1000. These utilities are in my name. I have nothing in writing stating that we would split the costs, h...

    Edward’s Answer

    Not having something in writing makes proving your case tougher, but it is not necessarily fatal. The judge will look at whatever evidence you do have and try to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to show that you and your roommate had an agreement. That evidence does not always have to be a formal signed contract; it could consist of other writings that show there was an agreement.

    Are there any writings or emails that at least show you requesting payment during the 14 months - or even better - ones with him responding that he will pay when able? Do you have any witnesses to conversations the two of you had about splitting costs? If you go to court, do you think the roommate will dispute that he owes you anything and instead claim that you allowed him to live with you free of charge? Have you made a formal written demand to him and requested a response in writing?

    Without that sort of evidence, one big question/concern a judge may have is, if there was at least a verbal agreement from the beginning, how do you explain allowing someone to live with you rent and utility free for 14 months with no written assurance that you would ever be paid? The judge will be curious to know if there was some type of family or romantic relationship that could indicate that you never expected to be paid, but were fine letting him live there free. There are many other questions that can't readily be answered from your post, and there may be lots of additional information that may make a difference.

    You certainly have the right to bring the case in small claims yourself. However, be forewarned: as the plaintiff bringing the lawsuit, you have the burden of proof. If it is simply your word against his, you will probably lose.

    Normally, without an attorney to advise and/or represent them, folks without representation risk losing just because they don't know what evidence they need to prove their case, how to make sure that evidence will be properly admissible in court, etc. Therefore, I would suggest consulting with an attorney in your area that practices landlord-tenant law. He or she can advise you on your options and the the strength of your case in a much more in-depth manner than any website message board. While an attorney may charge you upfront, there is a chance you can get that money back if you win and your attorney successfully convinces the judge to order your roommate to pay your attorney fees and court costs.

    Bottom line: if you are serious about getting your money back, your best option is to hire an attorney rather than handle it on your own.

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  • I am being sued for professional Slander.

    I am the only defendant listed on the suit. The plaintiff's exact claim on the notice of summons is as follows: Ms. xxxxxxxxx borrowed the amount of $800.00 from me to pay rent, she agreed to pay me back when she recieved her 2013 income tax. She ...

    Edward’s Answer

    I agree with the other two attorneys. It sounds like you have several defenses to this suit. Judging by the way the plaintiff states their claim, it sounds like he/she is representing him or herself. If you are willing to invest in an attorney, the chance that a judge will "throw out" the suit is much greater.

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  • My ex husband refuses to do mediation. Can i get a court order to make him attend and if so how can I go about doing that?

    I am military and will be stationed overseas but he is refusing to sign the consent form allowing me to get a passport.

    Edward’s Answer

    Some courts require parties to attempt alternative dispute resolution ("ADR"), or mediation, before the judge will allow the case to proceed to trial.

    It sounds like the court where your case is, which sounds like it may or may not be a divorce or some kind of domestic relations law matter, does not require mandatory ADR/mediation.

    To answer your question: can you get a court order to "make him attend" a mediation? Maybe, but probably not if the court doesn't already require it.

    But there is a more practical matter here to consider: if a mediation of a case - any kind of case - is going to be successful, the parties have to choose to come into the mediation in good faith, with a willingness to at least try to work out their differences and come to a voluntary agreement.

    If your ex-husband is already refusing to attend a mediation voluntarily, it is unlikely that his being forced to attend will be productive for anyone or otherwise result in an agreement.

    I suggest you get an attorney or, if you already have one, discuss with him/her the best way to proceed.

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  • Can i sue a bar . For serving me when i could barely walk ?

    I live in Ga . I was at a local bar . Bar is a house turned bar . So it is very small . I had 3 beers and 2 shots that i remember . Next day i woke up in jail . . close to 12 hrs . later . My BAC was 0 . 228 . I do not remember paying t...

    Edward’s Answer

    Can you sue the bar? Yes, you can sue anyone.

    The question is, will you win? In Georgia (iand almost certainly everywhere else), the answer no.

    If you had hurt or killed a third person motorist while driving under the influence, that person could bring a claim against the bar for serving you with knowledge that you were already intoxicated and soon to be driving.

    However, the bar is not required to protect you from yourself. Under Georgia law, you will considered responsible for your own voluntary intoxication. If you sued the bar, the judge is very, very likely to find that your own negligence was far greater than that of the bar's, and dismiss your case.

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