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I called Matt after several people recommended him. He was very kind and did a very good job on my son’s case. We are very thankful for the work he did. Most importantly, he was never hard to reach and answered every question we had while going through the process. Matt is the only attorney I will ever call in the future.
My husband is a cyclist that did not fair well against an SUV recently. Matt and his team took phenomenal care of us, allowing us not to stress out (too much) about the little things. Matt and his team handled everything with professionalism. We know we made the right call.
So glad I hired this firm after my rearend car accident. Matt embodies the skill set and values I was looking for. He treats every case like a mini war, and was a zealous advocate on my behalf. And he did so in the most competent and skillful manner. He listened, was empathetic and understood my legal and nonlegal problems.
My 85-year old mom was in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured motorist. His love, thoroughness and commitment to her case helped us through this accident and her cancer treatment. She underwent successful lobectomy and chemotherapy and is doing exceptionally well. We are immensely grateful.
It was important to me to get the maximum money I could for my broken neck and arm. After getting jerked around for months by State Farm, I interviewed several firms and chose Mr. Wetherington. I’m glad I did. He forced the insurance company to pay twenty times their last offer to me.
It is an honor to share my experience with Mr. Wetherington. He was able to get answers about what happened in my son’s wreck that other attorney’s were not able to do. I am so thankful for the work that he did and he was very thorough in his explanation of why the vehicle had a “defect.”
My case did not settle. The person that hit me only had minimal policy limits. Fortunately, I had my own insurance, which should have provided more money. My insurance company, Allstate, treated me like garbage. We had to sue them and go all the way to trial, which we won.
- Jane Doe
Matt Wetherington is the attorney who is suing the booting companies. We need to do everything we can as a community to help him succeed. God bless you, Mr. Wetherington!
The best! Great people and always friendly.
Atlanta Crime Victim Lawyers
Criminal actions are not just resolved in criminal courts. Regardless of whether a person has been charged with a crime, they may still be sued in civil court. Wetherington Law Firm represents victims of crimes in civil lawsuits to recover money from the person who committed the crime, along with all other people or entities that had a role in supporting or otherwise allowing the crime to happen.
What Types of Cases Do We Handle For Crime Victims?
We handle civil lawsuits for all crimes. However, most of our cases are for:
- Victims of murder
- Victims of rape
- Victims of gang violence
- Victims of assault
- Victims of gun crimes
- Victims of booting companies
- Victims of sexual assault
Violent Crime is Surging in Georgia
The FBI collects violent crime statistics for the entire state. And what they have found is alarming—crime has surged in recent years. In fact, the numbers show that many more people are murdered, raped, and assaulted than they were only a few short years ago. In other words, the surge is recent, but the state does not know how to respond.
The most recent year with full statistics is 2020. However, the numbers are glaring. In 2020, there were:
- 618 murders
- 2,609 rapes
- 4,108 robberies
- 20,581 aggravated assaults
- 15,855 carjackings
- 33 acts of involuntary servitude
In all, there were 27,916 incidents of violent crime in the state of Georgia for 2020.
By contrast, the numbers for 2019 were much lower:
- 497 murders
- 2,297 rapes
- 5,760 robberies
- 18,061 aggravated assaults
- 17,305 carjackings
- 6 acts of involuntary servitude
The increase is staggering. Murder increased by over 24%. Rapes increased by almost 14%. And acts of involuntary servitude increased by over 500%! Only robberies and vehicle thefts declined, year over year, from 2019 to 2020.
What accounts for this staggering increase? One explanation could be the COVID pandemic, which took hold in 2020. With people feeling stressed, they turned to violent crimes, including murder and rape.
In a way, the pandemic might also explain why some categories of violent crime declined. Fewer people were driving, so there was less of a chance for auto theft. Also, fewer people were out and about, so robberies declined. But other categories of violent crime skyrocketed.
Crime Remains Uncomfortably High
Anyone could be the victim of a violent crime. The sad reality is that, although the COVID pandemic has abated, the crime wave has not. We don’t have FBI statistics yet for 2021 or 2022, but other data points are discouraging. For example, the level of violent crime in Atlanta was roughly the same for 2021 as it was for 2020. This means more crime that citizens must contend with:
Certain violent crimes in Atlanta for 2021 were down only 1% compared to 2020. These crimes include aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft, robbery, rape and homicide.
In 2021, Atlanta saw one additional murder compared to 2020. The number of murders for 2020 and 2021 were 68% higher than the number in the two previous years (2018 and 2019).
Rapes in Atlanta surged in 2021: an increase of almost 60%, year over year. Though the number in 2021 was higher than what we experienced pre-pandemic, Georgia’s reporting requirements might account for the difference. Those victimized by violent crime must consider how they can respond. A civil lawsuit is an important weapon we have in the fight against violent crime in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia.
What Damages Can You Recover After Being a Victim of Crime?
The main public policy purpose of tort law is compensation. Compensatory damages are money damages awarded to compensate the plaintiff and make the plaintiff whole. The system is not perfect. Life, limb, and freedom from pain cannot be restored. However, compensatory damages are a means of attempting to place the plaintiff in the same relative position that he or she was in before the loss by way of monetary compensation. Compensatory damages are categorized as either general damages or special damages.
Victims of Crime Can Recover “General” Damages
General damages are “non-economic” losses, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, or mental anguish, all of which have no specific, itemized value. The monetary value of general damages is determined by the jury, and jury verdicts are not consistent. A broken ankle in one courtroom could be worth $10,000 in pain and suffering. In another courtroom, it could be worth $100,000. Matt Wetherington tried a case in Fulton County that resulted in a $2.8 million verdict for a broken ankle. You can read about that case here. However, it is important to know that jury verdicts and settlements vary widely, even for the exact same injury. The variance is due to the individual plaintiff, the jurors at the trial, and the effectiveness of the injured person’s attorney.
Victims of Crime Can Recover “Special” Damages
Special damages are “economic” losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or the cost of hiring household help, all of which do have a specific itemized value and can be more easily determined or calculated on a simple mathematical basis – once you have obtained the necessary records to prove that the expenses were incurred. It is important to note that only medical expenses “proximately caused” by the crime itself can be recovered. If you would like to learn more about how proximate cause is determined, click here. For simplicity sake, you should know that proximate cause is often highly contested.
Punitive Damages for Injuries Caused by Reckless or Intentional Conduct
In tort actions, there may be aggravating circumstances that may warrant the awarding or imposing of additional damages called punitive damages. Punitive damages, when authorized, are imposed not as compensation to a plaintiff but solely to punish, penalize, or deter a defendant. To recover punitive damages, the victim must prove that the defendant’s actions showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care that would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.
The Spouse of an Injured Persons is Entitled to Recover Also
The spouse of an injured person is entitled to recover for something called a loss of consortium. Loss of consortium damages compensate for the loss of any services one spouse provides to another. Besides those sexual in nature, such services may consist of cooking, cleaning, household chores, household repairs, general companionship, and everything else that comes with a marriage.
If the Crime Results in a Death, Special Rules Apply
When a crime results in a death, the case turns into a wrongful death claim, instead of a personal injury claim. To learn more about wrongful death claims, click here.
The Wetherington Law Firm Has Recovered Millions for Clients
Our attorneys are highly skilled in personal injury law. In many cases, settlement is not possible until a judge rules that the proper defendants have been named, the claims asserted are valid, and there is enough evidence to proceed forward to a jury trial. By that point, it is too late to fix problems in the case. It is important that you start with an attorney that has the experience and resources necessary to put your case in the best position possible. Our attorneys have literally spent months in the court room presenting personal injury cases and obtaining record breaking verdicts. We also have attorneys that have spent years working for defense firms and know the traps that are set by corporations and their insurance companies.
How to Hire the Best Crime Victim Lawyers in Atlanta
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is one of the most important financial decisions you can ever make. There are a number of attorneys who hold themselves out as “experts” who have never tried a case or even settled a case involving catastrophic injuries. It is important that you ask any prospective attorney about his or her experience with personal injury lawsuits, specifically with regard to the injuries that you sustained.
If you are ready to hire an attorney, click here to complete our personal injury intake form. This is the fastest way to get started. If we accept your case, it will be on contingency. That means that you do not pay anything up front and only pay us if we win your case. If we do not accept your case, we will help you find a lawyer who can. We generally only accept cases involving significant injuries. However, we know many good attorneys and will make sure that you do not have to search around for someone to accept your case.
You Can Make a Lasting Difference in the Lives of Others by Hiring the Wetherington Law Firm
Obtaining full and complete compensation for our clients is the most important service we provide to our clients. Protecting the general public and making sure that other people are protected is part of obtaining justice. We frequently work with law enforcement, local government officials, state legislators, and federal agencies to understand the root cause of dangerous conditions. This often leads to uncovering dangerous trends or patterns of behavior that must be changed. Many of our clients have chosen not to be defined by their injuries, and instead choose to serve as a beacon of hope to others. Whether through legislation, refusing to settle unless changes are made, or simply sharing their story, our clients’ efforts have helped save MILLIONS of people from serious injury or death. We handle civil lawsuits for all crimes. Atlanta, Riverside, Buckhead, Midtown & Bankhead crime victim lawyers. We care about you as a person and will work with you however you want to help make the world a safer and better place. Call us now to get started.