A Georgia Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Collect for Your Accident or Injury
Have you been injured in an accident caused by omeone or something else? You may have a personal injury claim to collect compensation for the costs and damages linked to your injuries. The sooner you connect with a Georgia personal injury attorney to discuss options, the better, as they can address any concerns and questions you have about a case. Also, quickly pursuing a claim typically supports a higher and more expeditious settlement.
To explore all of the options available to you, connect with a Decatur personal injury attorney from Michael M. Day Law, LLC, and learn how we can help.
What is Negligence? The Basics of Georgia Personal Injury Claims
Liability is the basis of most personal injury cases, with the person or entity that is liable for an accident being the negligent party. Negligence is a complex legal concept that will be applied to the facts of your case. It consists of four parts: duty, breach, causation, and damages. The injured party must be owed some duty by the party that caused the accident, that duty must have been breached, causing an accident, and damages must have resulted.
For example, drivers must follow the speed limit and drive sober. If a driver is driving drunk and speeding, they have violated their duty to other drivers, and if that breach of duty causes an accident and injuries result, the drunk driver should be liable for the damages their negligence caused. Working with a Georgia personal injury attorney is important because the drunk driver will try to blame the drunk driving victim, reducing their compensation in proportion to their fault, as we’ll discuss below.
Georgia Has Shared Fault for Injury Liability (aka Contributory Negligence)
When you bring a claim in court against an insurance company or other party involved in your injury, you are the claimant, which is also known as the plaintiff. As the party that brings the suit, you could still be held responsible for some of the damages in the accident or incident, depending upon whether the court determines that you are at all liable. This is a concept known as contributory negligence, defined and explained further below.
Under Georgia Code Sec. 51-12-33, the contributory negligence law if Georgia is outlined. It states when an action is brought against one or more persons, “and the plaintiff is to some degree responsible for the injury or damages claimed, the trier of fact… shall reduce the amount of damages otherwise awarded to the plaintiff in proportion to his or her percentage of fault.”
This means that if the trier of fact, which may be a judge or a jury, finds that you were partially responsible for the accident or incident that led to your damages, you could be assigned a percentage of liability for those damages. The opposing party and their attorney will try and argue this position in court in an attempt at winning the case against you or at least to reduce the amount they are required to pay.
How your case is presented and argued in court will influence the amount of compensation that you recover, if any. This highlights the importance of working with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney on your claim.
Common Examples of Negligence
Negligence can happen in a broad variety of circumstances when one party owes another a duty, whether on the road, in a business, or at a residence.
Common examples of negligence our Georgia personal injury attorney has addressed include:
- Drivers who are not safe and responsible cause motor vehicle accidents including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and trucking accidents
- Commercial properties like stores and movie theaters that fail to clean up hazards or spills that cause slip-and-fall injuries
- Owners of animals that are dangerous and bite other people and their pets
- Criminals that commit violent crimes, such as that shooting or otherwise attacking other people
Personal injury cases can arise from any accident or incident that was caused by another party, and identifying how the facts apply to the four elements of negligence will determine the success of a case which is why it is so important to work with a Decatur personal injury attorney.
Types of Damages Available for Your Injury
The purpose of pursuing compensation is to put you in a financial position as possible that is as close as possible to where you would be if the accident had never happened. Your damages can include economic damages like medical costs and lost wages as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Economic Damages – Medical and Occupational Costs, Present and Future
Medical costs in the short and long term should be covered in your compensation. This includes:
- Emergency room costs
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Work benefits
- Potential lost earnings
Non-Economic Damages, including Pain and Suffering
Damages that do not have a set price or number, like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life, are more difficult to measure. When an injury impacts your ability to enjoy life the same way as before the accident or incident that caused your injuries, non-economic damages may be available.
The Expiration Date for Injury Claims in Georgia (Statute of Limitations)
In Georgia, there is an expiration date of two years from the time of your injury. This is known as a “statute of limitations.” This means that if you do not file a claim for your personal injury within two years, you could lose the right forever to pursue any damages linked to that injury. There are limited circumstances in which the statute of limitations differ, but generally, two years apply to injury cases, and they pass quickly. Speaking with a skilled attorney will ensure you know the exact time available to you to pursue your claim.
Getting started on your personal injury case as soon as possible after the accident supports the best outcome in your case. Collecting evidence begins as soon as we are retained, and when it comes to accidents, evidence like witness statements, crash-scene debris, tire marks, and other types will fade with time. The sooner you have a Georgia personal injury attorney on your claim or case, the faster and higher your claim will settle or make its way into court.
Should I Settle? When Should I Take My Case to Trial?
Whether a settlement is reached out of court or a claim goes to trial depends upon whether both sides are willing to come to a mutually agreeable compromise on the amount of compensation. When you have been injured in an accident or incident that someone or something else is liable for, you are entitled to compensation. That will come in the form of your initial insurance claim or, if the insurance company denies your claim or will not offer a fair settlement through a trial.
The main factors to take into consideration when deciding between settling or going to trial are:
- Evidence: The determination of the value of your claim is complex, and when you have sufficient evidence to prove your damages, accepting anything less than what the evidence proves would be a disservice to you and your family
- Time: Settlements will generally process much faster than court action, as court schedules are often very backed up, and motions on behalf of the defense can delay a trial for quite a bit of time
- Court Position: Working with a local Decatur personal injury attorney who is familiar with the courts, judges, and common behavior of juries in your area is essential as some cases are better argued through settlement negotiations while others are better determined in court
- Stress and Uncertainty: A trial can put you through a considerable amount of stress for an uncertain outcome
The decision on whether to settle your case or to proceed to trial requires a thorough understanding of the evidence in your case, how state law and case precedent applies, and the outcome of similar cases and negotiations. Learning how to practice the law and then putting together a winning insurance claim or case can be difficult while trying to recover from your injuries. With us the Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC, on your side, you can step back and focus on recovering from your injuries while we handle the recovery of your complete damages.
How Do Serious Personal Injuries Happen?
Many different types of situations can lead to serious personal injuries with catastrophic effects. For example, a fall at work or in some other situation will generally result in more serious injuries if a substantial height is involved or if the victim lands on their head. Similarly, many serious personal injuries occur in motor vehicle accidents such as those involving:
- Trucks that can crush other vehicles on the road
- Motorcycles and bicycles where the riders lack the protection provided to those in enclosed vehicles
- Boats and jet skis
- Cars driven recklessly at excessive speed
- Pedestrians struck by motorized vehicles
The impact of these collisions can cause severe trauma to the brain, neck, and spinal cord. They often also result in injuries to internal organs and crush injuries to arms, legs, hands, and feet. When an injury impacts an individual’s ability to function on a long-term basis, it is considered serious or catastrophic. These injuries not only interfere with the ability to work but they also lead to lasting pain that can destroy the quality of life.
Our Firm Handles All Types of Personal Injury and Auto Accident Cases
When it comes time to hire a lawyer, the American Bar Association notes that you should consider one factor above all: experience. At Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC, our knowledgeable lawyers have worked on over 5,000 personal injury cases and generated over $21,000,000 in compensation for our clients. Experience matters, and with a 99% win rate, we know how to help you make the most of your injury claim.
One of the leading causes of personal injuries with recoverable damages for the injured party is auto-related accidents. Our Decatur personal injury attorney has years of experience going against automobile insurance companies to ensure that our clients collect the full compensation they deserve.
The types of automobile accidents that we help injured clients handle include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents and 18-wheeler crashes
- Motorcycle accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Drunk driving accident victims (DUI)
- Pedestrian accidents
Persons injured in a motor vehicle accident are entitled to compensation when another party caused the accident, with the most common causes of at-fault motor vehicle accidents being:
- Distracted Driving: Any activity that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, their mind off driving, or their hands off the wheel is illegal distracted driving, and they can be held liable for damages in any accidents they cause
- Drowsy or Fatigued Driving: A key component of driving safely and responsibly is being well-rested enough to respond to road conditions, and tired truck drivers, overworked employees, and anyone else who gets behind the wheel while impaired by drowsiness may be responsible for compensating parties they injure in accidents
- Driving Under the Influence: When a driver makes the decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol and causes an accident, they can be held liable for the resulting damages
- Aggressive Driving: Aggressive driving and speeding or breaking traffic laws is a violation of a driver’s duty to others, and they may be liable for damages they cause
We handle a broad variety of personal injury cases where our client was injured due to the negligence of another party.
Our firm has represented the interests of clients in many personal injury cases, including the following:
Whenever a client is owed a duty, and that duty is violated, causing an accident and damages to result, they could have a case and are encouraged to reach out to an experienced attorney.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of the following, we will help you collect any compensation to which you are entitled. Our services include representation for:
- Medical Malpractice and/or Negligence: Medical practitioners and healthcare facilities must provide services that meet the standard of care, and if they fail and injury results, their medical malpractice insurance should be liable and compensate the injured party
- Nursing Home Abuse and/or Elder Care Abuse: Our elderly population is owed a duty of care to be kept physically, emotionally, and financially safe, and when care workers engage in abuse, they can be held liable for damages
- Wrongful Death of a Loved One: Losing someone due to the negligence of another party can entitle their loved ones to a wrongful death claim which includes compensation of the financial and emotional contribution of the person that died
Personal injury cases can be complex and time-consuming and insurance companies have full-time teams of lawyers and claim analysts working to scrutinize your claim for chances to reduce or deny your benefits altogether. With your own lawyer, the success of your case will be professionally supported.