Hubert E. Hamilton

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in Chattanooga, TN

The Hamilton Firm LLC
 | 2401 Broad Street, Suite 102
Chattanooga, TN 37408
Phone: 866-834-0618
Fax: 423-634-0874
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1987
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (90%),
  • Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff (10%)
Attorney Profile

Advocating fiercely on behalf of victims of negligence throughout Tennessee and Georgia, Hubert E. Hamilton has a proven history of success. Through his practice at The Hamilton Firm LLC, he takes on personal injury cases involving incidents such as truck wrecks, bus wrecks, and construction and industrial accidents. Time and again, he has obtained six- and seven-figure awards through verdicts and settlements.

He has particularly focused on brain injury cases, and has also represented many women who suffered due to silicone breast implants, recovering millions of dollars for their losses. As a result of these and many other victories, Mr. Hamilton holds the highest peer review rating possible of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell, and he has an Avvo "Superb" rating.  Mr. Hamilton is also ranked as one of the top plaintiff's personal injury lawyers by Georgia Super Lawyers.

The National Board of Trial Advocacy has certified Mr. Hamilton as a civil trial specialist. He attacks every issue as though it will go to court. This level of preparedness serves clients well regardless of whether the case moves to trial or goes through a negotiated settlement.

Thanks to his decades of experience, Mr. Hamilton is often sought out for speaking engagements. He is a published author and is committed to supporting the civil justice system. He is a member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and the American Association for Justice.

In 1973, Mr. Hamilton earned a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Vanderbilt University. He went on to receive a Juris Doctor in 1976 from the Mercer University School of Law.

Today, Mr. Hamilton is admitted to practice in all state courts in Tennessee and Georgia, is admitted to practice in North Carolina, and before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Georgia, the Middle District of Georgia and the Eastern District of Tennessee, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license 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 anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Personal Injury - General (90%): Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Dram Shop Laws, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff

Personal Injury - Products (10%): Motor Vehicle Defects, Products Liability

Focus Areas

Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Dram Shop Laws, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff, Motor Vehicle Defects, Products Liability

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 9 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2019

Certificates and Credentials

  • National Board of Trial Advocacy

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About Hubert Hamilton

Admitted: 1987, Tennessee

Professional Webpage: http://www.thehamiltonfirm.com/attorney/hubert-hamilton/

Honors/Awards:

  • Recognized as one of the Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Georgia
  • Recognized for successfully representing the plaintiffs in American Civil Liberties Union v. Hamilton County, 202 F. Supp. 2d 757 (E.D. Tenn. 2002), Bill of Rights Award, ACLU Foundation of Tennessee, 2002
  • "AV Preeminent Peer Review 5.0 out of 5" rated by Martindale-Hubble
  • Recognized as one of the Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Tennessee by Georgia Super Lawyers and by Mid-South Super Lawyers

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Admitted to practice law in North Carolina, 2018
  • Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist, National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA), 1987
  • Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist by Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization and the National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1997

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Member, AAJ Trucking Litigation Group
  • President, Lookout Mountain Bar Association, 1989-1990
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • Member, Lookout Mountain Bar Association
  • Member, North Carolina Advocates for Justice
  • Member, Tennessee Association for Justice
  • Former Legislative Committee Co-Chair, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee
  • Member, Chattanooga Bar Association
  • Champion Member, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Association of Plaintiffs Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America
  • Former Budget Committee Chair, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia
  • Member, American Association for Justice
  • Life Member, Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Challenge Committee, 2005-2006

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • "It’s hard to live your life in color and tell the truth in black and white" (Gregg Allman), a practical guide for plaintiff's lawyers in preparing their personal injury clients for deposition and trial, reprinted by permission from The Verdict (Journal of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association), Fall 2014, with updates and revisions for Tennessee lawyers. The article includes extensive checklists for information and records plaintiffs' lawyers should use to prepare their clients to testify accurately and truthfully in personal injury cases. , Co-author, How to Properly Prepare Your Personal Injury Client to Testify, The Tennessee Trial Lawyer, Winter 2018/2019, Journal of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, 2019
  • 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
  • Technology Workshop, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association:  CaseMap and TextMap in Plaintiff’s Practice, March 2008
  • Practicing Law After SB3, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association:  It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again, March 2005
  • Co-Chair, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association “Nuts and Bolts Workers Compensation” Seminar, March 2002
  • Life After No-Fault, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, October:  The Unholy Triumvirate: Collateral Source, Set-Off and Subrogation, 1991
  • Proof of Liability and Damages, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, December:  Slip and Fall – Getting the Six Figure Verdict, 1988
  • Fall Workshop, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, November:  Practical Approaches to Tort Reform, 1987
  • Annual Seminar and Convention, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, April:  Drunk Driving: Third Party Liability, 1986
  • Collateral Source Disclosure – Trial Practice Ideas and Suggestions, The Verdict, December, 1988
  • Collateral Source Battle Still Not Over, The Verdict (Journal of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association), July/August, 1992
  • Challenges to Collateral Source Disclosure Pending Before Supreme Court, The Verdict, June/July/August, 1990
  • 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
  • Comparing Tennesse Workers Compensation and Georgia Workers Compensation, Advanced Workers Compensation Seminar, Sterling Education Services, 2012
  • 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
  • Apportionment of Damages - The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (A Conversation with an Empty Chair), Annual Convention & Seminar, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, 2013
  • Preparing Your Personal Injury Client to Testify, (Or, It’s hard to live your life in color and tell the truth in black and white), co-authored with Patrick A. Cruise, The Verdict (Journal of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association), Fall 2014. Thorough preparation is essential and begins at the initial client interview and continues through deposition and trial. Reprinted in 2015 in Trial Talk (Colorado Trial Lawyers Association) and in the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association Journal  , Preparing Your Personal Injury Client to Testify, The Verdict (Journal of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association), 2014
  • MSA’s and Settling Future Medical Care in Tennessee Workers Compensation Cases Using a MSA – Don’t Sell Your Client Short!  Tennessee Association for Justice Webinar, June 2014., MSA’s and Settling Future Medical Care in Tennessee Workers Compensation Cases Using a MSA – Don’t Sell Your Client Short!, Tennessee Association for Justice, 2014

Verdicts/Settlements:

  • The Hospital Authority of Gwinnett County v. Rapson, 283 Ga. App. 297, 2007
  • In Parajuli v. Choo-Choo Waffles LLC, Case No. 16-C-05989-4, Gwinnett State Court, the Plaintiffs alleged that in 2015, the Defendants served their minor child hot chocolate in a Waffle House restaurant in Cleveland, Tennessee, and that as the child attempted to sip the drink, the lid came off and extremely hot liquid spilled down her chest, causing her to suffer severe burns. Although this products liability cause of action arose in Tennessee, it was filed in Georgia, where the Defendants were incorporated. Through discovery, it was determined that a videotape of a server making hot chocolate was taken one to two months after the incident.  However, the Defendants did not produce the videotape.  After a hearing, the court concluded that the videotape had been destroyed despite the Defendants’ knowledge of potential litigation and the plaintiff’s request that such evidence be preserved. The court determined that such conduct on the part of the Defendants warranted imposition of sanctions for spoliation, citing Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC v. Campbell, 258 Ga. App. 767, 574 S.E.2d 923 (2002) and Chapman v. Auto Owners Inc. Co., 220 Ga. App. 539, 469 S.E.2d 783, (1996), and decided that the Defendants would be precluded from disputing certain facts and the jury would be instructed as to the finding of certain facts and the spoliation of evidence, including the following: That the videotape had been destroyed by the Defendants, and that the destroyed videotape would have provided material and significant evidence; That the spoliation of the videotape created a rebuttable presumption that the video would have been harmful to the Defendants; That the water used to make the hot chocolate served to the child was 195 degrees Fahrenheit, and at that temperature the chocolate was scalding hot and dangerously unfit for consumption; and That the scalding hot chocolate was the cause of third-degree burns, permanent scarring, and injuries suffered by the child. The court also ordered the Defendants to pay $5000 attorneys fees and costs. Hubert Hamilton served as co-counsel for the Plaintiffs.  , 2018
  • 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, 2013
  • Currie v. Farmer, Case 08 CV 7097, Walker State Court, 2010
  • Stevens v. Derby Industries, 14SV273JTC, Henry State Court, Georgia. The Plaintiff, a truck driver, picked up a load of parts in Tennessee and drove his tractor trailer to the manufacturing facility in Georgia where they would be unloaded.  In preparation for backing up to the loading dock, he stopped and opened the rear doors to the trailer.  As he did so, a large and heavy bundle of shrink wrapped boxes fell out on top of him.  He caught the bundle, taking the weight onto his back, and pushed it aside and partially back up into the trailer, injuring his low back in the process. Liability was hotly disputed.  The Plaintiff, represented by Hu Hamilton, contended that it was a sealed load and that the shipper had improperly loaded the cargo and failed to secure it with load locks or straps. The shipper, Derby Industries, contended that it was not a sealed load and that it was the truck driver’s responsibility, under FMCSR § 392.9(b) to assure himself, before driving the truck, that the “cargo is properly distributed and adequately secured.” Those rules do not apply, however, “to the driver of a sealed commercial motor vehicle who has been ordered not to open it to inspect its cargo or to the driver of a commercial motor vehicle that has been loaded in a manner that makes inspection of its cargo impracticable,” FMCSR § 392.9(b)(4). Because the driver had closed the doors on the trailer and had the opportunity to observe the cargo at the rear of the trailer, Derby contended that the load was not sealed and therefore the § 392.9(b)(4) exception did not apply. Suit was filed in Georgia and the case was settled for $350,000 after mediation., 2015
  • Middlebrooks v. Lonas, 246 Ga. 720, 1980
  • Cumbie v. Cumbie, 146 Ga. App. 704, 1978
  • 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, 2011
  • Mr. Hamilton has obtained numerous seven figure settlements for severely injured clients and their families
  • Sarah Pierce vs. Lookout Property Management, Inc. and Battlewood Apartments, Ltd. Superior Court of Catoosa County; Civil Action No. 2012-SU-CV-1044, 2013
  • Bright v. Sandstone Hospitality LLC, 755 S.E.2d 899; 2014 Ga. App. LEXIS 288 (2014)
  • Carter Palmer v. Starlight Logistic Services, Inc., Case No. 2:14-CV-15, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee.  Annette Palmer, age 45, died tragically in a wreck on I-81 in Sullivan County, Tennessee on January 18, 2013.  It was after midnight and she was a back seat passenger in a Ford Focus driven by her adult daughter.  It was cold and snowy and weather conditions were deteriorating as they traveled north.  Suddenly the car spun out of control due to black ice on the road and came to a stop in the middle of the northbound traffic lanes. However, a tractor trailer was bearing down on the car.  It was traveling 63 mph in a 55 mph zone on cruise control in the snowy and icy conditions.  The driver never saw the Ford Focus until it was too late.  He never slowed down, smashed into the car and killed Mrs. Palmer. Although the driver’s post-accident urine drug test showed a high level of marijuana metabolites, the driver denied smoking pot since he had left California several days before.  The trucking company, and their toxicology expert, argued that the driver was not impaired, and that the urine test could not be used to prove impairment.  They blamed the wreck on Mrs. Palmer’s daughter for losing control of her car which had bald tires that were unsafe for the road conditions. However, Mrs. Palmer knew nothing about the condition of the tires.  She was just coming along to help her daughter move. It was a challenging case with hotly disputed liability, as the truck driver and his employer tried to lay all the blame for the wreck on the daughter and her bald tires. With trial set for September 1, 2015, the parties reache a compromise resolution of the case of $595,000 for the wrongful death of Mrs. Palmer, who is survived by her husband of 13 years and the adult daughter. , 2015
  • Wallace v. Yarbrough, 155 Ga. App. 184, 1980
  • Darlene Morgan v. Candace Nanette Charping, 16-SV-055, Bryan State Court, Georgia. On January 12, 2015, Candy Charping crashed into the rear of a work truck driven by Michael Morgan, on I-16 in Chatham County, Georgia. The truck overturned and Morgan was ejected and killed. His job, which he had just started, involved pumping out septic tanks and portable toilets. Suit was filed suit in Bryan County, Georgia on behalf of Morgan’s widow and their young son. Even though Charping ran into the rear of the work truck, liability for the wreck was vigorously disputed. Her lawyers contended that Morgan was not wearing a seat belt, which is a violation of FMCSR 392.16, that the taillights on the rear of the truck were not visible, and that portable toilets being hauled on the rear of the truck were full and sloshing around, thereby causing the truck to overturn. At mediation, a compromise settlement agreement was reached for $925,000, after taking all available insurance coverage into account, with a structured settlement for the benefit of the minor child and the case was brought to a final conclusion in August 2017.  Hubert E. Hamilton served as lead counsel for the plaintiff., 2017
  • Tucker v. Mappin, 149 Ga. App. 847, 1979
  • Mathis v. Bowater, Inc. 985 F.2d 277, 6th Cir. 1993
  • Denton v. Con-way Southern Express, 261 Ga. 41, 1991
  • City of Dalton v. Gene Rogers Construction, 223 Ga. App. 819, 1996
  • North Georgia Electric Membership Corp. v. Webb, 246 Ga. App. 316, 2000
  • Sheila McCurry vs. World Information Systems, LLC, et al. Case File No.: 33-519-III.  Ricky Lee McCurry, a truck driver, from North Carolina, was killed in a tragic wreck in Cocke County, Tennessee September 16, 2014.  A local towing company had a big load of pallets from a previous wreck that needed to be transported to Knoxville.  Early in the morning, in the dark before sunrise, two Hartford Towing employees were using a tow truck to pull a low boy trailer loaded with blue pallets. They could not get the wiring harness on the trailer to connect with the socket on the tow truck, and therefore the tail lights on the trailer would not work, but they headed out in the dark anyway, in violation of FMCSR and state law.  However, they did attach a battery powered wireless Tow Mate light bar, about 22” wide, to a stack of pallets at the rear of the trailer using bungee cords. They got on I-40 westbound just west of the North Carolina state line.  They had only been on the road few minutes when something hit the rear of the trailer.  Andrew Scott, driving a Madza 3, on his way to a business meeting in Oklahoma, had run into the rear of the low boy trailer, and hit it so hard the ball on the trailer hitch was sheared off.  An unknown number of pallets were then knocked off the trailer and strewn across the traffic lanes of I-40. The tow truck dragged the trailer with its safety chains they could pull it off into the emergency lane to the right, at top of a hill.  Just about that time, Ricky McCurry, driving a tractor trailer, was coming up the hill at 67-68 mph in the right lane. He suddenly came upon those pallets and debris strewn across the roadway, and elected to steer right into the emergency lane, to avoid hitting them.  Unbeknownst to McCurry, however, the tow truck and unlit low boy trailer were parked in the same emergency lane at the top of the hill.  McCurry probably never saw the trailer loaded with blue pallets until he hit it. He was killed instantly. McCurry, age 51, was survived by his wife, Sheila, an adult son, Dillon and a granddaughter. Suit was filed by the Hamilton Firm in Cocke County Circuit Court against the tow truck company and Scott’s employer, World Information Systems. After extensive discovery and mediation, the case was settled for a confidential sum.  Hubert Hamilton served as lead counsel for the Plaintiff, Sheila McCurry., 2016
  • Walkley v. Dukes, 175 Ga. App. 820, 1985
  • Robert Dan Green, et al v. Arch Chemicals, Inc., Olin Corporation, et al, 1:12-CV-00220, U.S. District Court (E.D. Tenn.). On June 12, 2011, a fire broke out in the chlorine rework process area of the HTH building at the Arch Chemical plant in Charleston, Tennessee.  Arch Chemicals manufactures chlorine products for swimming pools, working in close association with Olin Corporation, which is located on the same property.  Very quickly heat, chlorine gas and smoke filled the building and were soon boiling out of the roof vents several floor above.  Four ironworkers employed by BIS Frucon Industrial Services, who were building a scaffold on the roof of that building, were trapped on the roof above the fire.  The men immediately donned their respirators and tried to escape, but the heat, gas and smoke was intense and visibility was very limited. Escape routes were engulfed in heat, gas and smoke.  Eventually all of the men were able to escape the roof and get to safety, but three had sustained very serious injuries, including burns, lung damage, and orthopedic injuries due to falling while trying to escape. The fire had spontaneously ignited in HTH chlorine products that were being stored by Arch Chemicals in plastic rework totes. Rapid decomposition caused spontaneous ignition and the fire broke out.  Plaintiffs alleged that Arch Chemicals had stored an excessive number of plastic totes in the area which caused the fire and that there was no fire suppression system in place or that it failed to function properly. Arch Chemical and Olin Corporation were supposed to cooperate and coordinate responses in the event of an emergency situation through their Emergency Response Teams, but neither of them sounded an evacuation alarm until it was too late for the Plaintiffs.  And to make matter worse, first responders from Bradley County were held up at the gate upon arrival at the plant. The case presented complex issues concerning the liability of the various defendants, which included both Arch and Olin and Olin’s security contractor, Securitas, as well as exclusive remedy under Tennessee law. It was settled after mediation in January 2014, under a confidentiality agreement that prohibits disclosure of the amount paid to each of the Plaintiffs.  , 2014
  • Cooper v. Mason, 155 Ga. App. 793, 1979
  • Allstate Insurance Co. v. Baugh, 173 Ga. App. 615, 1985
  • Goforth v. Wigley, 178 Ga. App. 558, 1986
  • Marc Beck v. FM Global, et al, Case No. 11VS184780C, 2011

Representative Clients:

  • A young machine operator and material handler at a North Georgia manufacturing plant suffered a below the elbow amputation to his left arm in an industrial accident involving a press in 2013.  The case, Potter v. Unique Fabricating, was accepted as catastrophic under Georgia law. After projecting future medical needs, and obtaining CMS approval for a Medicare Set-Aside, which included prosthetic maintenance and replacement, the case settled for a present cash value total of $1,428,526.00.  The settlement includes an annuity for future medical expense to fund the MSA account with a lifetime payout totaling $2,141,349.00.  Hubert Hamilton served as counsel for the injured worker., 2019

Educational Background:

  • Vanderbilt University, B.A., 1973

Industry Groups

  • Accidents
  • Construction
  • Industrial
  • Injuries
  • Trucking
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Office Location for Hubert E. Hamilton

2401 Broad Street
Suite 102
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Phone: 866-834-0618

Fax: 423-634-0874

Hubert E. Hamilton:

Last Updated: 8/14/2019

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