Rafi Law Firm secured a $1,000,000 settlement for a client who was shot at an apartment complex on Buford Highway, in Brookhaven, Georgia.
On July 6, 2016, our client “JM” was shot while in the parking lot at Brookstone Terrace apartments (3547 Buford Highway NE, Atlanta, GA). JM had just parked and was getting out of his car when three people ran towards him. One of the men pointed a gun at JM and told him not to move. JM offered the men his wallet, phone, and whatever else was in his car, but begged them not to hurt him. One of the men held JM at gunpoint while the others rifled through his car. The man with the gun took his focus off of JM for a moment, and JM made a break for the street. The man fired at JM, hitting him from behind. Even after being shot, JM continued to run away and made it to the main street – Buford Highway. JM ran along Buford Highway and tried to flag down cars to help him with no success. JM was bleeding and having trouble breathing, so he managed to walk back to the apartment complex. The men who shot him were gone, so JM tried to make it up a set of stairs to his girlfriend’s apartment. JM could not make it though – he collapsed on the stairs. Thankfully, someone saw JM and called 911. Police and paramedics arrived, tended to JM, and brought him to the hospital.
JM spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital but was eventually released. JM was out of work for a few months, and his mother and girlfriend helped to take care of him. JM is very proud that he worked hard during his recovery and is now back to working. All things considered, JM has made an incredible recovery.
JM hired two excellent Atlanta lawyers to determine if he could file a lawsuit against the apartment complex where he was shot. JM’s lawyers asked Rafi Law Firm to help them win the case against the apartment complex, and we were more than happy to help. There were a few major issues with JM’s case at the start. First, no one was sure who owned and managed the apartment complex when JM was shot. We learned the complex had changed hands right around when JM was shot, but we were able to identify the owner of the property and the management company. This was extremely important, because we needed the correct companies named as defendants in our lawsuit.
Once we got the correct defendants involved in the lawsuit, we then conducted a thorough investigation of JM’s shooting. We started with the witnesses who were identified in the police report, 911 call logs, and EMS records. Next we canvassed the apartment complex for other witnesses – to do this, we spent days at the complex speaking with tenants and others. We found a few witnesses: none of them had actually seen JM get shot, but a few saw him running towards Buford Highway while the people who attacked him quickly got into a car and hightailed it out of the complex. We also spoke with JM’s family and friends to learn about him and what he was doing the night he was shot.
Next, we had to investigate the complex. In apartment shooting cases like this one, the most important and also most difficult thing is to prove that there were prior crimes and dangerous activity before the shooting. Without prior crimes, then the complex can argue it did not know it needed security and safety measures, since it did not know of any dangers. So, we started looking for people who knew about crimes that had happened at the complex before JM was shot. We spoke with a number of officers from the Brookhaven Police Department who pointed us in the direction of people who had been victims of crime at the complex. We then went to speak with those victims, and as you could imagine, they told us their stories and directed us to others in the community who had also been victims. We also identified and located former employees who worked at the apartment complex and spoke with them about crime and dangerous activity at the complex before JM was shot.
When we had all of our ducks in a row, we made a $1 million demand to the apartment complex, and they accepted our offer and settled the case. We are proud of our work on this case and happy JM made a fair recovery in light of what happened to him.
Our clients come to us from diverse backgrounds, and our team is prepared to help all kinds of people. JM was a Spanish-speaker who had no background knowledge of the civil justice system in America. Our extraordinary Spanish-speaking problem-solver Ariana constantly talked to JM about the process and what was happening with his case – this allowed JM to be at ease, so he could focus on his physical recovery while we focused on his case. We also had every document that JM needed translated to Spanish so he could follow along with the case.
This recovery would not have been possible without JM’s first lawyers trusting us to help on the case. Almost all of our cases are referred to us from other lawyers, and when lawyers send us a case, we view that as the largest compliment we can get. We worked closely with JM’s initial lawyers so they could see what we were doing, why we were doing it, and how it helped increase the value of the case. We have a page dedicated to lawyer referrals: here.