Were you or someone you love injured because of someone else’s actions or lack of action? A negligence-based accident can leave you with serious and costly injuries and property damage. While you cope with your physical recovery and other aspects of the accident’s aftermath, it can be hard to simultaneously build a personal injury case and fight to recover damages from the at-fault party.
Our law firm represents injured clients and helps them pursue damages. Our personal injury FAQs can answer your questions, address your concerns, and clarify the steps involved in the financial recovery process. They can also provide information on different types of accidents, their injuries, your rights, and the at-fault party’s responsibilities.
How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Case?
You could have the foundation of a personal injury case if you or a family member were injured because of another person’s or entity’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness.
Potential personal injury cases include:
- Airport injuries
- Bicycle accidents
- Bird scooter accidents
- Burn injury
- Bus accidents
- Car accidents
- Child injury
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Moped accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Stadium and arena injuries
- Truck accidents
- Wrongful death
Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation. During your consultation, your lawyer or a member of his legal team will listen to the details of your case and explain whether it meets the required parameters.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Can I Settle My Personal Injury Case on My Own?
You are allowed to resolve your case without hiring a personal injury attorney. Doing so can be risky, though, because the negligent party’s insurance company will be more interested in their bottom line than your financial recovery. Therefore, the lawyer who handles your case will have your best interest at heart.
Your personal injury lawyer will:
- Calculate the monetary value of your case
- Compile supporting evidence and data
- Identify the financially liable party or parties
- Conduct a comprehensive private investigation
- Canvass for accident photos and video footage
- Complete and submit paperwork and claims forms
- Handle all meetings and communication
- Negotiate an appropriate financial settlement
- Provide you with ongoing case-related updates
In addition, your attorney will also represent you in court if your case cannot be resolved with a settlement. The evidence your lawyer collects for you can compel the at-fault party and their insurer to settle your case out of court and spare you the time and expense of a personal injury lawsuit.
How Long Do I Have to File My Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Every personal injury case is subjected to a filing deadline known as the statute of limitations. Complying with the statute of limitations is as important as establishing fault. With enough notice from you, your lawyer will ensure your case is filed in time to comply with the applicable filing deadline.
- The personal injury statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of your accident, according to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33
- The wrongful death statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of a loved one’s demise, according to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33
- The medical malpractice statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the incident or the date of discovery, according to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-71
On your own, the statute of limitations can be complicated to understand because it can change if the injured party is a minor. You might also have different notification deadlines if you are seeking compensation from a government or municipal agency.
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How Long Will It Take to Settle My Personal Injury Claim?
The time between your accidental injury and the resolution of your case can vary greatly. So many variables go into settling your case that an exact timeline cannot be given. Your lawyer will explain the possible timeline, which can include:
- The time it takes you to contact a personal injury lawyer
- The time it takes to investigate your case thoroughly
- Negotiating and renegotiating your potential settlement
You, not your attorney, will make the final decision to accept or reject a financial settlement. The time it takes you to make this decision will factor into the timeline of your case. In addition, if your case goes to trial, it can take even longer to resolve.
How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Your lawyer will receive a percentage of your financial settlement or verdict in lieu of traditional retainers and hourly attorney’s fees. This fee arrangement means your lawyer will:
- Review the merits and details of your accident and potential case
- Investigate its cause and collect, organize, and submit relevant evidence
- Locate, interview, and depose (if necessary) available witnesses
- Handle all verbal, written, and virtual communication and correspondence
- Negotiate with the at-fault party’s legal or insurance representatives
Your lawyer will explain the details of the contingency fee arrangement, including his percentage. They will also explain the payment process and the insurance company’s responsibility to submit compensation in a timely fashion.
What Happens During the Review of My Claim?
The initial review of your case is usually free. It can also be detailed and will involve discussing your claim and sharing the details of your accident. During your review, you can expect to be asked questions about:
- How and where your accident occurred
- What information was exchanged at the scene
- Whether there were any witnesses to the accident
A member of the law firm will also allow you to ask any questions you have about your case. In addition, they will explain the fee agreement, filing process, and negotiation process.
If I Am Partially at Fault, Can I Still Receive a Personal Injury Settlement?
In Georgia, the fault for an accidental injury is assigned in percentages. Therefore, according to O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, if you are found to bear any percentage of fault for causing the accident, any resulting financial award will be reduced by a corresponding percentage.
This is called modified comparative negligence. Accordingly, a settlement of $500,000 can be reduced to:
- $375,000 if you are found to be 25% liable
- $325,000 if you are found to be 35% liable
- $0 if you are found to be 50% liable or more
If you are found to bear more than 50% of the fault, you will not be able to recover any damages at all. A lawyer for personal injury victims in your area will ensure you are not unfairly faulted for the accident. They will also ensure your compensation is not unfairly reduced.
Should I Talk to the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company if They Contact Me?
Absolutely not. Other than the police who facilitate an exchange of information, you should not speak to anyone about your accident or injuries other than your lawyer. Other actions you should avoid include:
- Posting about the accident on social media channels
- Posing photos of your injuries on social media channels
- Providing written statements to anyone other than your lawyer
- Arguing with the at-fault party at the accident scene or thereafter
- Accepting a speedy but flawed financial settlement offer
- Discontinuing medical care without your doctor’s approval
In the rush, confusion, and stress of an accidental injury, you could inadvertently make statements that might later be misconstrued or later work against you. The best way to ensure this does not happen is to allow your personal injury lawyer to handle all case-related communication on your behalf.
How Is Fault Determined?
After an accidental injury, the state allows you to seek compensation by proving the person or entity who caused the accident acted negligently.
Fault and liability can be determined by proving the at-fault party:
- Owed you a reasonable duty of care
- Breached their responsibility to provide it
- Caused your personal injuries and property damage
- Led to your financial consequences
The financial aftermath of an accidental injury can be substantial. However, establishing negligence can lead to the compensation you need and deserve. These facts are proven with the evidence collected after your accident.
What Evidence Do I Need to Support My Case?
Because representatives for you or the negligent party were not present at the time of the accident, the evidence will tell the story of the accident for you. The evidence your lawyer collects will depend on the type of incident that caused your accident.
Relevant evidence can include:
- Ongoing medical records and bills
- Police, incident, and animal control reports
- Written prognosis for recovery
- Employment and salary history records
- Physical and occupational therapy records
- Accident scene and injury photos
- Dashcam, smartphone, and other imagery
- Witness statements and contact information
A lawyer can more easily obtain some evidence. This can include truck driver logbooks, truck maintenance records, accident reconstruction reports, Certificates of Merit, and expert testimonials.
Who Collects the Evidence I Need?
If severe enough, your injuries can prevent you from participating in your case as fully as you might like. In other cases, it can be easier for your lawyer to understand how to access certain forms of evidence.
Personal injury lawyers understand how time-consuming and difficult evidence collection can be. Therefore, the law firm will collect evidence for you in most personal injury cases.
Evidence collection can be a complicated process because evidence will come from various directions. For example, medical bills alone can come from multiple health care professionals, facilities, and departments. Rather than delve into evidence collection on your own, your attorney can handle this entire process for you.
What Types of Compensation Can I Request?
You can request three types of damages after suffering an accidental injury — economic, non-economic, and punitive. Your lawyer will help you assign the correct recoverable damages to each category and assess their individual and collective monetary value.
Recoverable economic damages can include:
- Known and ongoing medical bills
- Known and ongoing loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Treatment-related travel expenses
- Property damage or destruction
- Diminished property value
Recoverable non-economic damages can include:
- Lasting physical disabilities
- Lasting physical disfigurement
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Diminished quality of life
Depending on the intent and actions of the at-fault party, you might also be eligible for punitive damages. However, these are rare and are only awarded not to reward you but to penalize a defendant whose actions were deemed intentional or egregious.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?
The loss of a loved one affects many people. Georgia law determines who can file a lawsuit seeking compensation after such a loss. According to O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2, the surviving family members who can seek compensation include:
- The decedent’s spouse
- The decedent’s child(ren)
- The decedent’s parent(s)
Various factors might mean other relatives can seek compensation. The best way to understand your right to recovery is to review your familial relationship with the decedent with a personal injury law firm.
Your lawyer will clarify which family members are eligible to recover damages. They will also explain the wrongful death damages you can incur. These include funeral and burial expenses and compensation for specific losses, including loss of guidance, companionship, and consortium.
Does My Case Have to Go to Court?
No. Most personal injury claims do not go to court. Instead, they are resolved with an out-of-court settlement once the evidence has been compiled, submitted, and examined.
If your case does go to court, your personal injury lawyer will represent you during the trial. They will prepare evidence and exhibits that support your claim. Where applicable, your lawyer will engage:
- Accident scene reconstruction experts
- Industry-specific experts
- Financial and economic experts
- Medical experts
Your attorney will also conduct discovery sessions, depositions, and any other measures that prove the validity of your case.
Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm for a Free Case Consultation Today
Were you or a member of your family injured in an accident caused by negligence? If you were, our personal injury FAQs could answer your most pertinent questions. In addition, our personal injury law firm can review your case at no cost or obligation to you.
Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers to get your free case review today.