Lawyers do a lot of talking for a living, so we usually don’t mind answering questions. People tend to want legal advice about areas of law that are often misunderstood. Here are some questions you’ve always wanted to ask a lawyer:
In a rear-end collision, is the driver in back always at fault?
Many people assume that the following driver is always at fault for a crash. This isn’t necessarily the case, especially when it comes to personal injury law. Georgia uses a system called modified comparative negligence. Even if a crash is partially your fault, you still might be able to recover something if another driver is also at fault.
Is a police officer’s word final?
In car crash cases, many people assume that the police report is the gospel truth and final word about who’s at fault in the case. This isn’t necessarily true. A police officer wants to determine who deserves a traffic ticket. They also want to collect traffic statistics for public safety purposes.
The police aren’t in the business of dispensing legal advice. What’s a responsibility for a police officer might not be a responsibility for a personal injury attorney. It’s important to get legal advice from an attorney who specializes in the field.
Yes. The answer is always yes. Georgia has implied consent laws. That means by driving a vehicle in Georgia, you’ve already consented to take the chemical test. If you don’t take the test, your driver’s license can be suspended for a long time. In most cases, the license suspension that you get for refusing the test is significantly longer than a license suspension that you might get because of a first drunk driving conviction.
If you refuse to take the chemical test, law enforcement can even seek a warrant to collect your blood. Your best bet is to take the chemical test. Although Williams v. State now requires the Georgia courts to look at both implied and actual consent, the best bet for a person accused of drunk driving is to submit to the chemical test.
Should I talk to the police?
People often wonder if they should talk to the police when they’re accused of a crime. After all, they can explain their side of the story to the police and clear everything up. In practice, that’s seldom how it works.
The police want to find someone to charge with a crime. They’re not on your side, at best, they are a neutral party trying to determine what happened and what laws were broken. At worst, they want to prosecute quickly and overlook your basic rights. You’re much better off telling them that you’ve retained an attorney. Contact your attorney for legal advice, and make a plan for your defense before you say anything to the police.
Can I sue my doctor?
The standard for when you can bring a lawsuit against a medical professional is when the doctor’s care falls below a reasonable standard of care. What that means depends on the answer to the question whether or not your doctor failed to do what a reasonable doctor should have done in that circumstance. If the answer is a provable “yes,” you can sue your doctor. While mistakes happen, a doctor should always provide reasonable care for patients.
When can the police stop my vehicle?
The police must have reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle. That means that a reasonable person in their position must believe that a violation of law might have occurred or be in process. They can stop you and detain you briefly to investigate, but they can’t search your car unless they have a warrant or can prove they had obvious probable cause to do so, like guns, drugs or a dead body in the back seat.
They can pat you down to see if you have weapons, but they can only keep you long enough to investigate the offense. They can’t keep you for hours or even minutes after they’re done investigating a traffic violation. In most cases, law enforcement needs a warrant or your consent before they search your home or personal property.
Legal advice is often the crucial difference between a forgettable nuisance and a criminal record or jail time. Tate law group is here to provide our clients with the expert legal advice that can make a real difference.