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“Sometimes the simple approach is best,” Graylin says when talking about a recent $92,918.00 jury verdict in Henry County for one of his client’s and her minor son. The hard fought verdict was significant not just for the amount, but because Graylin worked on the case for years sticking with it through a lengthy appeal process and retrial.
“You have to believe,” Graylin says with a wry smile. “At trial, humanizing your client is critical. Insurance company’s try to humanize things. They will say, ‘this car wasn’t hurt.’ But cars get damaged, people get hurt.”
Graylin was able to procure that judgment while the jury only considered something around $10,000.00 in actual damages. But the rest of the award was for pain and suffering.
Settling personal injury cases is always a goal, but Graylin has had great success trying cases before juries when other attorneys do not think the case is worth pursuing. For example, Graylin was able to procure a $60,000.00 judgment from a jury verdict for one slip and fall where the Plaintiff was injured while break dancing in a nightclub.
“In closing argument, I took off my shoes and demonstrated what is common for people to do on dance floors,” Graylin laughs while reaching down and pointing at his foot. “My client had cut his hand on some broken glass. The jury understood me because I was able to speak to them about the facts and relate the law accordingly.”
Sometimes the defendant is a municipality.
“I once sued the City of Greenville for failing to properly maintain the city streets and make them safe for bicyclists,” says Graylin. “We hired an expert to show that the City had failed to maintain the street for years. The expert called it tree intrusion onto the street.”
In that case, a young boy around the age of 12 or 13, had hit the place in the street that was not properly maintained and broke his jaw. In that personal injury case, the jury awarded the boy more than $40 thousand dollars.
“If the insurance company thinks that you won’t try the case, they may never offer to settle or pay,” Graylin suggests. “But there is a principle involved, and staying with the case that other attorneys might not even take has marked my career to date.”
Sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner the investigation starts.
The Georgia Statute relating to time for bringing personal injury actions in court is OCGA §9-3-33. It provides that:
Actions for injuries to the person shall be brought within two years after the right of action accrues, except for injuries to the reputation, which shall be brought within one year after the right of action accrues, and except for actions for injuries to the person involving loss of consortium, which shall be brought within four years after the right of action accrues.
This means that delay in hiring an attorney and pursuing your claim can cost you. In most personal injury matters, failure to file a lawsuit within two (2) years from the date of the injury, will mean that the action cannot be brought period, and you are prohibited from seeking the compensation your deserve.
“Obviously, my clients need to know about the applicable statute of limitations, but one thing I see is that waiting causes the evidence to go stale.” Graylin says. “Memories fade, photos get lost of deleted. Critical parts of my client’s case can disappear. This makes everything more difficult.”
And since getting your side of things properly presented is Graylin’s job, waiting until the last minute to hire him is not the best thing to do.
“An attorney’s business is an art of persuasion,” Graylin says about how to present a client’s position and make them understand. “Telling my client’s story is a way that makes sense while respecting the law is very rewarding to me.”
Let Graylin tell your story. Hire his firm to assist you with your personal injury needs.
Please note that an attorney’s past performance does not guarantee future success. No attorney can assure you of a particular result, but hiring an attorney to advise you of your rights and explore your options is the highly recommended procedure to follow.
“Sometimes at trial things come out that you don’t expect,” Graylin says about a criminal jury trial he had involving a fight between two baseball umpires. “In that case, my client swore that he was defending himself. It was hard to believe, because just looking at him, my client was noticeably bigger than the alleged victim.”
And the alleged victim got the worst of it, receiving many injuries in a ball field scuffle.
“People thought my client crazy to go to trial when he had been one delivering crushing blows,” Graylin points out. “But when the witnesses, some of them minor children, testified, my client’s story made sense.”
And the jury found Graylin’s umpire client NOT GUILTY.
Criminal matters involve carefully turning over the evidence and looking at unreasonable circumstances rationally and from a particular perspective.
“You have to relate to your client,” says Graylin, “and get their side and then consult the law.”
The law firm of Graylin C. Ward has helped clients with criminal matters in all courts for 27 years. Whether you are accused of a misdemeanor or a felony, Graylin is there to help you. He will listen to your side of things.
Delay in hiring an attorney or otherwise taking action can cost you. As an example, Graylin points to the need to immediately retain an attorney in driving under the influence matters.
“If you are arrested for DUI, you need to be aware that your right to drive on the roads of this State may be in jeopardy.” Graylin warns.
In certain circumstances, the only way to continue driving beyond 30 days after arrest is to request an administrative hearing within 10 days following your arrest. Failure to request this hearing could result in loss of license for 1 year. This 1 year period is a hard suspension, which means that no limited permits are available during this suspension. At that point, even resolving the DUI case with a plea of guilty will likely not result in your ability to procure a limited driving permit during the administrative license suspension period. One way of resolving the suspension is to go to trial in hopes of being found NOT GUILTY, which would lift such administrative suspension of your license.
Let Graylin C. Ward help you request an administrative hearing in a DUI matter and help you navigate through the process of resolving a charge of driving under the influence.
“Some folks in a domestic case may want things that might be unreasonable to you, but it has special meaning to them.” Graylin says about practicing divorce law.
Graylin once tried a divorce case that came down to ownership of a cooking pot. Most folks in the courtroom thought it was ridiculous, but as the facts came out, Graylin and his client made the point that for years his client’s husband refused to help with the cooking and even dogged her cooking. The pot mattered. The parties were deadlocked over who was to get a certain pot and ultimately, only a Judge could decide. And in the end, Graylin’s client took home the pot with her self-respect restored.
“The small things add up,” Graylin says thinking about that pot and the smile on his client’s face. “The small things matter, especially in a domestic case.”
“Most people who go through a divorce, they don’t think about themselves, they don’t think about what is best for them and their children.” Graylin says. “But sometimes use of a cooking pot makes a bigger point, and it becomes the theme of a case about a broken relationship. If I hadn’t listened to my client in that case, I wouldn’t have been doing my job.”
The law firm of Graylin C. Ward can assist you in all family law and domestic law matters including, but not limited to, divorce, contempt, modification, and child custody cases.