Areas of Practice
Personal Injury/Civil Law
When someone is hurt or killed due to the carelessness of someone else, the law provides a remedy in the form of monetary damages. Gerald Ratliff has many years of experience helping those whose lives have been impacted by injuries caused by the negligence of another person. That can mean helping them recover damages for their medical expenses and loss of income resulting from their injuries. It can also mean helping them recover damages for their pain and suffering, as well as any physical impairment that results from their injuries.
Civil cases usually involve private disputes between persons or organizations and can be brought in both state and federal courts. An example of a civil case in a state court would be if a citizen (including a corporation) sued another citizen for not living up to a contract. Gerald Ratliff handles all types of civil cases.
When you are accused of a crime, you need help navigating the judicial system. You need a lawyer who will apply his experience and skills toward the best possible result in your case. You need Gerald Ratliff.
Some crimes carry special consequences that can have long-lasting effects on the person convicted of the offense. Gerald Ratliff works to see that the law is followed and applied fairly when a client is charged with a crime.
DWI is a serious offense with penalties that can range from 3 days to 2 years in jail, heavy fines and penalties, license suspension, and mandatory installation of an interlock ignition device. If you face a DWI charge, Gerald Ratliff has more than 45 years of experience helping people work through the justice system. Affordable, knowledgeable, understanding - Gerald Ratliff is the lawyer to call when you face a DWI charge.
Family law is the general term for legal matters involving marriage, divorce, child custody, child support and related issues. If the parties reach agreement as to custody, child support, and division of jointly owned property and debts, the case can be concluded faster and with less expense. In a situation where any of those issues are not agreed upon and must be decided by a judge, it becomes necessary to prepare the case for a contested hearing.
Many cases can be settled through the process of mediation, a settlement conference where the parties jointly employ the services of an independent, neutral mediator who works with the parties and their lawyers to try to come to an agreement and avoid the expense and delay that can result from a contested case. Gerald Ratliff assists clients in reaching agreements that are fair and in the best interests of the children involved.
Wills & Probate
Each of us should make a Last Will and Testament. This is a legal document that tells how we want our property to be handled when we die. Some people think that only the wealthy, or those with a great deal of property, need to make a will. In fact, the failure to make a simple and inexpensive will can cause much more trouble and expense for people with little money or property.
Probate is the procedure of filing the will with the Probate Court after the death of the person making the will. It is most often an uncomplicated process and not nearly as expensive as many people believe. Gerald Ratliff helps clients with the process of dealing with the estate of a loved one and considers it a privilege to do so.