Attorney Profile

Hubert E. Hamilton

Hubert Hamilton

The Hamilton Firm LLC
2401 Broad Street, Suite 102
Chattanooga, TN 37408
The Hamilton Firm LLC

Chattanooga

Tennessee (TN)

423-634-0871
423-634-0874
Industry Groups: Accidents, Construction, Industrial, Injuries, Trucking

Selections

Selected To Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2013

Selected to Super Lawyers for 3 years

Practice Areas

Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff

Workers' Compensation

Profile

An accomplished and widely respected trial lawyer, Hubert E. Hamilton represents clients in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama and nationally in a wide variety of personal injury cases from his firm based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He puts nearly four decades of legal experience to work vigorously representing victims and their families in cases of car and truck accidents, defective products, poorly maintained roads, industrial accidents and construction site injuries and other workplace injuries. His focus on personal attention and ethical but aggressive representation has won millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for his clients. In 1991, he was instrumental in winning the case that overturned portions of the tort reform laws passed in Georgia.

Mr. Hamilton obtained his law degree from Mercer University Law School in 1976 and started out in the trenches trying difficult criminal and civil jury cases. After several years of general trial practice, he focused on serious personal injury and death cases, as a partner in a Rossville, Georgia law firm.  He opened his own firm in Chattanooga in 1998 to concentrate on catastrophic injury case. As a licensed attorney in Tennessee and Georgia, he is also a board-certified civil trial specialist and is licensed to practice in the United States District Courts for the Middle District of Georgia, the Northern District of Georgia, the Eastern District of Tennessee and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Hamilton is also actively involved in state and national trial lawyers associations, such as the American Association for Justice, the Tennessee Association for Justice and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. He has been honored with the distinguished rating of AV-Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell, which indicates his exceptionally high level of professionalism, integrity and stalwart adherence to industry standards.

As a sought-after presenter, he has spoken at seminars and conferences on a wide range of topics pertaining to trucking, work place injuries, technology and law, no-fault insurance, strategies for winning cases, tort reform, slip-and-fall verdicts and third-party liability in DUIs. In addition, he has had three articles published in The Verdict, the official journal of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.

*AV-Preeminent and BV-Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

About Hubert Hamilton

Law School: Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law

Admitted: 1987, Tennessee

Professional Webpage: www.thehamiltonfirm.com/attorneys/hubert-hamilton/

Honors and Awards:

  • "AV Preeminent Peer Review 5.0 out of 5" rated by Martindale-Hubble

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist by Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization and the National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1997
  • Georgia Registered Neutral (Mediator)
  • Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator (by the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission)

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Former Legislative Committee Co-Chair, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Former Budget Committee Chair, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Collateral Source Disclosure – Trial Practice Ideas and Suggestions, The Verdict, December, 1988
  • Challenges to Collateral Source Disclosure Pending Before Supreme Court, The Verdict, June/July/August, 1990
  • Collateral Source Battle Still Not Over, The Verdict (Journal of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association), July/August, 1992
  • Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Challenge Committee, 2005-2006(1987-1989, to support legal and constitutional challenges to tort reform legislation)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Georgia
  • Member, The Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America
  • President, Lookout Mountain Bar Association, 1989-1990
  • Member, Lookout Mountain Bar Association
  • Member, Chattanooga Bar Association
  • Member, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group
  • Sustaining Member, American Association for Justice
  • Champion Member, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Sustaining Member, Tennessee Association for Justice

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Apportionment of Damages - The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (A Conversation with an Empty Chair), Annual Convention & Seminar, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, 2013
  • Taking Advantage of Apportionment of Fault and Avoiding the Pitfalls of Non-Party Fault in Trucking Cases, Catastrophic Commercial Vehicle Cases Seminar, Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia, 2013
  • Comparing Tennesse Workers Compensation and Georgia Workers Compensation, Advanced Workers Compensation Seminar, Sterling Education Services, 2012
  • Start at the Very Beginning – Don’t wreck your case by forgetting the fundamentals, case intake, investigation and discovery., Identifying Issues and Building a Winning Case Seminar, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, 1994
  • What comes next after Denton v. Conway Southern Express, 261 Ga. 41 (1991) which declared portions of the Tort Reform Act of 1987 to be unconstitutional? , Collateral Source Battle Still Not Over, The Verdict (Journal of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association), 1992
  • Victories have been achieved at the trial court level, and cases are pending before the Georgia Supreme Court challenging the admission of collateral source evidence at trial., Challenges to Collateral Source Disclosure Pending Before Supreme Court, The Verdict, 1990
  • How can trial lawyers deal adjust to and live with collateral source disclosure while at the same time attacking the new law whenever possible?, Collateral Source Disclosure–Trial Practice Ideas and Suggestions, The Verdict, 1988
  • Annual Seminar and Convention, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, April:  Drunk Driving: Third Party Liability, 1986
  • Fall Workshop, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, November:  Practical Approaches to Tort Reform, 1987
  • Proof of Liability and Damages, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, December:  Slip and Fall – Getting the Six Figure Verdict, 1988
  • Life After No-Fault, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, October:  The Unholy Triumvirate: Collateral Source, Set-Off and Subrogation, 1991
  • Co-Chair, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association “Nuts and Bolts Workers Compensation” Seminar, March 2002
  • Practicing Law After SB3, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association:  It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again, March 2005
  • Technology Workshop, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association:  CaseMap and TextMap in Plaintiff’s Practice, March 2008

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • Thomas L. Cates & Erika R. Cates v. Babb Lumber Company, Inc. et al, Superior Court of Catoosa County, Civil Action No. 2012-SU-CV-1692.  Settled at mediation for $500,000.  On October 12, 2010  the Plaintiff, Tommy Cates, a fuel truck driver for Parman Energy made a routine delivery to Babb Lumber in Ringgold.  After making his deliveries to their storage tanks, some gas was left over and Babb Lumber wanted the remaining gas pumped into an old 1972 Ford F600 truck they used around the yard to haul shavings from one location to another.  The truck was not operated outside the yard, and had no license tag.  Plaintiff was outside his truck tending to some levers and valves on the side of the fuel truck, when he was suddenly struck in the back and pushed into the side of the fuel truck. He had been hit by the old Ford truck Babb’s driver was bringing down to be topped off.  Fortunately, due to the angle of impact, Cates was not crushed, but he was knocked up against his own truck and then thrown to the side. Babb’s driver claimed that as he approached the fuel truck and tried to bring it to a stop, “the brake went to the floor,” and afterwards, they claimed that the master cylinder was “very low” on brake fluid.  They could not say, however, when the brakes had last been serviced, and he did not keep any service records on that truck.  It was admitted that they did not run the truck “out on the street because it was dangerous.”  The impact injured Plaintiff’s low back and eventually he underwent surgery after months of consevative treatment.  He was not able to return to work as a fuel truck driver.    , 2013
  • Sarah Pierce vs. Lookout Property Management, Inc. and Battlewood Apartments, Ltd. Superior Court of Catoosa County; Civil Action No. 2012-SU-CV-1044.  Settled under a confidentiality agreement prohibiting disclosure of the amount paid. On Sunday morning, April 10, 2011, plaintiff visited apartment complex in Ft. Oglethorpe, GA to deliver some yard sale items to one the residents. After dropping off the items, she elected to use a long metal and concrete ramp to return to the parking lot, instead of descending the stairs.  She fell near the end of the metal portion of the ramp, where the handrail ran out, as something caught her foot, causing her right ankle to turn under her.  She fell off the concrete portion of the ramp and onto a nearby sidewalk, breaking the distal portion of her right fibula, sustaining a right malleolar fracture in the ankle joint, along with a fracture at base of her fifth metatarsal and a lateral cuboid fracture.  The severe fracture required open reduction internal fixation, using a metal plate and seven screws to reattach and stabilize the fractured fibula.  Months of rehab, with limited weight bearing followed. Investigation revealed a steep slope on the right side of the concrete portion of the ramp which caused the plaintiff’s right ankle to turn under her and shatter.  Her surgeon testified that the ankle supinated or was rolled under, placing stress on the ligaments and bones on the lateral side (outside) of the ankle.  The force pulled the distal end of the fibula off as the ankle rolled underneath.  The injury was exactly the type of injury the doctor would have expected if the ankle was turned under as the foot went off onto a steep slope to the right.  Plaintiff’s architectural expert testified that ramp violated numerous provisions of both the International Building Code (IBC) and the Georgia Accessibility Code. Plaintiff contended that what happened to her was exactly what the various Code requirements and standards were designed to prevent – a fall.  The case was settled at mediation after being placed on the pre-trial calendar for the September term of court in Catoosa County., 2013
  • Marc Beck v. FM Global, et al, Case No. 11VS184780C, Fulton State Court, Atlanta, Georgia, was settled in December 2011 for a confidential amount.  A boiler service technician sustained severe head, brain and facial injuries in a boiler explosion at a poultry plant in Gainesville, Georgia on January 14, 2008,   The plaintiff was an employee of a boiler service company who was sent to switch fuel supply for the boiler from gas over to fuel oil.  The boiler supplied steam for the plant, and they wanted to maintain pressure while the change over to oil took place.  Investigation of the explosion by the Georgia Department of Labor determined that the oil supply and return lines had been reversed, causing an excessive accumulation of fuel in the hot boiler as Mr. Beck attempted to fire the burner on oil.  The burner had not been fired on oil since a new boiler was installed two years before.  Plaintiff contended that the lines had been reversed when the new boiler was installed by another boiler service company, and that the manufacturer of the burner had supplied a defective manifold making it possible to inadvertently reverse the lines at the point of attachment to the burner.  The boiler inspection company which had last inspected the boiler prior to the explosion was also named as a defendant. , 2011
  • Jury Verdict of $784,676.65 in Fire Loss case against Nationwide Insurance Company in the Circuit Court of Hamilton County, Tennessee in a six day trial that was successfully concluded on November 9, 2011, O'Neal v. Nationwide. The fire originated in a Christmas tree that Mrs. O'Neal had just put up the night before the fire in December 2009. Nationwide refused to pay, contending that a family member had intentionally set the house on fire. The jury concluded otherwise as Plaintiff's expert had found a melted plug blade in an electrical receptacle adjacent to the tree that Nationwide's expert had missed.  The evidence suggested an electrical origin due to a short or arcing at the receptacle.  The verdict included a bad faith penalty of 18%., 2011
  • Currie v. Farmer, Case 08 CV 7097, Walker State Court, LaFayette, Georgia:  Jury verdict totaling $792,500, on March 11, 2010, for a 39 year-old self-employed roofer/sheet metal fabricator injured in a bad wreck two years previously. On a Sunday afternoon the plaintiff had taken his Harley motorcycle out for a ride over to his mother’s house. As he cruised along a rural roadway near Chickamauga, Georgia at a safe speed, a Buick Skylark, driven by an 88 year-old man, suddenly turned left directly in front of him. The impact shattered the plaintiff’s left ankle. The orthopedic trauma surgeon was able to use steel plates and screws to put the bimalleolar ankle fracture dislocation back together, but the plaintiff was left with a painful arthritic ankle with limited mobility.  The jury awarded $50,000 for medical expenses, $37,500 for lost earnings to date, $379,000 for future lost earnings, $20,000 for pain and suffering to date, plus $306,000 for future pain and suffering.  The biggest challenge we faced was overcoming sympathy for the defendant, who appeared in court in a wheelchair, after defense counsel made a big show of the fact that the defendant was ill.  The trial judge prohibited further appeals to sympathy and the jury took seriously our admonitions not to let “outside reasons” influence their determination of the proper amounts of money required to balance out the harms and losses the plaintiff suffered.  Justice was served., 2010
  • Mr. Hamilton has obtained numerous seven figure settlements for severely injured clients and their families

Representative Clients:

  • Allstate Insurance Co. v. Baugh, 173 Ga. App. 615, 1985
  • Cumbie v. Cumbie, 146 Ga. App. 704, 1978
  • Tucker v. Mappin, 149 Ga. App. 847, 1979
  • Cooper v. Mason, 155 Ga. App. 793, 1979
  • Middlebrooks v. Lonas, 246 Ga. 720, 1980
  • Wallace v. Yarbrough, 155 Ga. App. 184, 1980
  • Walkley v. Dukes, 175 Ga. App. 820, 1985
  • Goforth v. Wigley, 178 Ga. App. 558, 1986
  • Mathis v. Bowater, Inc. 985 F.2d 277, 6th Cir. 1993
  • City of Dalton v. Gene Rogers Construction, 223 Ga. App. 819, 1996
  • North Georgia Electric Membership Corp. v. Webb, 246 Ga. App. 316, 2000
  • The Hospital Authority of Gwinnett County v. Rapson, 283 Ga. App. 297, 2007
  • Denton v. Con-way Southern Express, 261 Ga. 41, 1991

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Served as lead counsel in Denton v. Conway Southern Express, 261 Ga. 41 (1991), in which the Georgia Supreme Court declared key portions of the Tort Reform Act of 1987 to be unconstitutional.  As a result, the traditional collateral source rule in personal injury cases was reinstated in Georgia, so that evidence of "collateral sources" of payment or benefit are not to be considered by the jury in reaching its verdict.  Collateral sources include such things as major medical insurance, disability insurance, Social Security benefits, workers compensation benefits, and so forth., 1991

Educational Background:

  • Vanderbilt University, B.A., 1973
Call me at 423-634-0871

To: Hubert E. Hamilton

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