Personal Injury FAQ

Devastating accidents happen in Georgia every day. Car accidents, slips and falls, construction accidents, dog bites, and many other events caused by another’s negligence can lead to a personal injury claim.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you could be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. A Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the path toward recovery after a serious accident. Before moving forward with a claim, it is important to understand how a personal injury case works and what some frequently asked questions about personal injury claims in Georgia are.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law is based on a legal principle known as tort law. This area of law seeks to make a person “whole” again if they were injured due to the acts of another. Returning to “whole,” in the legal sense, means the victim is placed back as close as possible to their condition before the incident.

Financial compensation can address the loss they have suffered if a person cannot physically return to their previous condition due to the nature of their injuries. Personal injury law also seeks to reimburse an accident victim for financial losses such as medical bills and lost wages.

Lawyers and law firms practice in different areas of the law, with personal injury law being its own area of specialization. If you have a potential personal injury claim, a lawyer with a strong background in personal injury law is likely to get you better results than a lawyer who only dabbles in personal injury.

Who Can File a Personal Injury Claim?

If a person has been injured in an accident, and the incident was caused by the action or inaction of another, the accident victim can pursue a personal injury claim. Whether a victim can win compensation from the individual depends partly on whether they contributed to the accident themselves or were more responsible for the incident than the other person. Georgia’s comparative negligence law limits a victim’s recovery if they were 50% or more responsible for the accident. Typically, victims are entitled to pursue a claim for damages due to an accident that wasn’t their fault.

What Is the Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A personal injury claim involves presenting the facts and allegations regarding your injuries to an insurance company. The goal of a personal injury claim is to obtain a fair financial settlement from the insurer that addresses your injuries and costs due to the accident. A personal injury claim does not require filing a lawsuit – it takes place over the weeks and months following an accident.

The personal injury claim is addressed to the at-fault party’s insurance company since Georgia is not a no-fault insurance state. The personal injury claim, therefore, requires a showing of fault by the other person responsible. Because of the complexities involved, it is almost always safer to hire a Georgia personal injury lawyer to handle negotiations with an insurance company. Insurers are skilled at minimizing or denying payouts to inexperienced claimants.

A personal injury lawsuit usually arises after a claim with the insurance company is unsuccessful or the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement. Filing a personal injury lawsuit involves preparing a legal complaint and filing in the county where the accident happened. A Lawrenceville personal injury attorney will assemble evidence, identify the defendant, and proceed with litigation all the way to trial if the case is not settled beforehand. As part of the personal injury case, the lawyer will also handle pretrial issues and settlement negotiations.

How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth in Georgia?

Every case is different, and the value of your personal injury claim will depend on the facts involved.

Some key factors that influence a claim’s worth include:

  • The cause of the accident
  • The nature of your injuries and whether they are severe or permanent
  • Your role in the accident and whether you mitigated your own damages
  • Whether the accident impacted your job or ability to earn a living
  • Availability of insurance coverage
  • Whether the defendant was a business, government entity, or has high financial resources
  • Whether multiple parties were involved in the accident

What Types of Damages Are Allowed in a Personal Injury Case?

Typically, damages are divided into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages in personal injury law are those that can be quantified as a specific number. For example, medical bills, lost wages, and property damage are items that can be listed on a spreadsheet. These would all fall within economic damages. Other tangible costs such as therapy, assisted living, lost future earnings, or funeral expenses can also be included in this category.

Non-economic damages in a Georgia personal injury case will include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, mental distress, and other “intangible” costs of an accident. Arriving at a dollar figure for these damages is difficult for most people, but lawyers with experience in this area can usually project a fair value based on past cases.

Overall, there is no special formula to calculate the value of a personal injury claim. There can be many different factors involved in each case. One rule of thumb, however, is to take all economic damages (medical bills, lost income, and so forth) and multiply that number by three. In many cases, this is a starting point for negotiations because it can factor in pain and suffering or other damages from the accident.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Georgia?

The statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia is two years from the date of the accident. There may be certain exceptions, such as if an injury from medical malpractice is not discovered until after the two-year mark. The two-year statute of limitations encourages litigants to file suit closer to the date of the accident, while memories of the accident are still fresh for everyone involved and evidence can still be readily obtained.

Contact a Lawrenceville Personal Injury Lawyer for Help With a Personal Injury Case

Lawson Personal Injury Attorneys in Lawrenceville, GA, have valuable experience working with people just like you to collect fair and full compensation after an accident. Our team is here to answer any questions you might have about your personal injury claim and start you on your path to recovery today.