Frequently Asked Questions

Can I afford an attorney?

Yes. Our firm handles injury cases under a contingency fee - contingent upon us recovering monetary damages for you. We receive a percentage of the recovery as our fee through either case settlement or jury trial. In this way we share your risk. We offer a free consultation. There will be costs and expenses which are usually paid by the client and are separate from the contingency fee. We make every effort to settle your claim quickly, to lower your stress and put money into your pocket sooner.

"No fee unless you win or collect" refers only to fees charged by the attorney. Such contingent fees are not permitted in all types of cases. Court costs and other additional expenses of legal action usually must be paid by the client.

"Contingent attorney's fees refers only to those fees charged by attorney for their legal services. Such fees are not permitted in all types of cases. Court costs and other additional expenses of legal action usually must be paid by the client."

Why do I need an attorney?

Without an attorney you are at the mercy of an insurance company. Insurance companies know that you cannot sue them, and therefore you are not a threat to them, unless you have an attorney. Insurance companies have attorneys working for them - so should you.

What will you do for me as my attorney?

Our office handles only injury claims. We accept only as many cases as we can give our full attention to. We take the time to gather information - witness statements, investigative reports, police reports, aerial photographs, video tapes, medical bills, reports, jury evaluations from similar cases, weather reports, as well as photographs of your injury, your damaged property and the scene. We place all of this information in a bound book and present it to the insurance company with a demand for settlement. Should they be unwilling to adequately compensate you, this becomes our Trial Notebook.

How long do I have to make a claim?

In Georgia generally the Statute of Limitations on a personal injury claim runs one day before the 2 year anniversary of the injury, occurrence or known negligence. However, it is important to remember that certain claims, such as medical malpractice or worker's compensation may have different statutes. In a case where a minor child is injured, the statute of limitations normally starts on the child's 18th birthday and runs to the day before 2 years from that date. In medical malpractice claims involving minors the statute may be much shorter. If a governmental entity, such as a city, county or school board is involved, the statute may be as little as 6 months. Appropriate action needs to take place well in advance of the statute running out. Act Now!

Nervous about court: I have been seriously injured will I have to go to court?

Not necessarily. Nearly all cases are settled. Sometimes they are settled during trial or often well before the trial begins and many times at mediation.

Why does Spiva Law Group frequently obtain favorable settlements?

Because we always deal from strength, never from weakness. We always fully prepare the case to go to trial, we hire the proper experts, do the proper investigation, research every point of the case, and take video depositions of all persons with information. The defendant and the defendant's insurance company know of our 20 years of experience and successful track record and sooner or later understand how well-prepared we are. Of course, there is no guarantee, but most well-prepared, solid cases do end in settlement before teaching trial.

Why does Spiva Law Group only handle serious injury cases?

In today's world of specialization, it is difficult, if not impossible, for lawyers to keep up on all areas of the law. Personal injury and wrongful death are very specialized practice areas within the law. We do this work day-in and day-out and have gained our reputation as being "willing and able" to go the distance.

We will help you to maximize your benefits while protecting you and your family. If you have questions about your responsibilities, your legal remedies or just what the best thing is for you to do, I invite you to call me at 920-2000 for a free review of your case. Our initial conversation costs you nothing, even if you choose not to have me represent you.

My promise to my clients is that I will zealously and diligently pursue your case to the best of my ability and competence. I will strive to represent you as I would want to be represented myself. I will attempt to be worthy of your trust.

For urgent matters after hours, current clients may call Howard at home (912) 920-3663

What do I do if I'm in a car wreck?

STOP - Failure to stop is against the law. If possible, leave the vehicles in the position they were when they stopped.
MEDICAL ATTENTION - Call 911 for an ambulance so anyone injured can get appropriate medical treatment.
SAFETY - Take precautions to avoid further collisions by using flares, flags, auto lights, flashers and the like.
POLICE - Call local police or highway patrol and request a report to be written. Never agree to waive a police report.
INFORMATION - Obtain the name, address, phone number, vehicle registration and tag number, driver's license number and insurance information on the other driver.
STATEMENT - Do NOT make any statements to anyone about the collision except to the police officer. DO NOT ADMIT FAULT!
WITNESSES - Obtain the name, address, phone number and comments of all witnesses. If they will not give this information, at least write down their tag number.
NOTES - Make written notes. Note any admissions of fault by the other driver or witnesses. If you have a tape recorder, use it.
STAY - Never leave the scene until police arrive and excuse you.
PICTURES - If you have a camera take pictures of the scene, all involved cars and parties.
ATTORNEY - Call an attorney as soon as possible to advise you of your rights.

What if I have a head injury?

Head injuries can be serious. The best thing to do is to seek medical attention.

Read this article on head injuries from AMFS, Inc. for detailed information about head injuries.