Anybody, anywhere, can experience an accidental injury that disrupts their life and causes significant damages and losses. If you're suffering from accidental injuries, you are likely facing an uphill battle with medical care and expenses, a difficult recovery, and a hard blow to your former lifestyle. Many accidental injuries prevent the victim from working, engaging in their favorite activities, and enjoying life as a whole. If your life has been disrupted by an accidental injury in Atlanta, GA, Rome, GA, or Savannah, GA, you need legal representation from a firm that will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve and need to move on with your life.
Read on to learn more about Personal Injury in the State of Georgia and gain valuable insight through the information presented on this page. Unsure about where you stand with your Personal Injury case? Contact The Bader Law Firm at one of our conveniently located offices in Atlanta, GA, Rome, GA, or Savannah, GA, today.
Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims
Thousands of accidental injuries occur every day, and the victims are left with crippling medical debt, difficult recoveries, and lost wages from time off of work. If your injury was caused by the negligence or reckless behavior of someone else, then you deserve full compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses.
When you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, there a couple of options open to you to receive compensation. You can file a personal injury claim through the insurance company of the responsible party, or you can file a personal injury lawsuit.
However, there are rules and guidelines for seeking compensation for a personal injury in Georgia. It is important to recognized and adhere to these guidelines and to research your options while you still have time. The best thing that you can do is to contact the Bader Law Firm to discuss your case and the steps that you need to take to file your claim and receive compensation.
The most important thing to understand from the very beginning is the statute of limitations that applies to your claim. Statutes of limitations are the timelines that you have to work with. You have a certain amount of time to file your lawsuit before you forfeit the right to do so. Georgia Code of Law, Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-33 addresses the statutes of limitations in personal injury cases that involve negligence, giving you two years from the date of your injury to file your claim.
The reason that the statute of limitations is set at two years is to allow you time to recover and get a better idea of what your medical expenses are and will be in the future. It gives you time to ascertain whether or not you're going to be facing permanent disabilities or other long term damage. It also gives you time to speak to an attorney about your injuries and to investigate the circumstances of your claim. Finally, it gives you and your attorney plenty of time to negotiate with insurance companies, reach a settlement, and/or file a personal injury lawsuit, as appropriate.
Having said that, there are situations where the statute of limitations can provide for additional time, when necessary. For example, if you lost a spouse or other family member to accidental injuries, you have up to four years to file a claim for the associated damages.
Determining the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim
If you've suffered from an accidental injury and are wondering what your personal injury claim may be worth, it is important to recognize that there are many more factors than just what you've suffered in property damages and medical debt. Your injury is likely to cause problems for you in the future that are physical, emotional, and financial. You need to consider the likelihood of suffering from chronic conditions and the cost of future medical care. You should also think about how your medical condition will impact your quality of life and ability to enjoy activities. In some cases, there may be scarring or disfigurement that impact your life forever. Some injuries and disabilities can even damage your ability to continue to pursue your career, meaning that you lose your potential to earn the wages that you once looked forward to.
If you trust the insurance company to calculate a fair amount for compensation, you may later discover that they didn't take any of these factors into account. This is why it's so important to communicate with an experienced personal injury attorney about the true value of your claim. Contact the Bader Law Firm for a free consultation.
Georgia State Law and Negligence
Section 51-1-2 of the Georgia Code of Laws defines negligence as failing to act prudently under the given circumstances. Some examples include failing to post warnings of wet floors, failing to safely handle food, failing to keep dogs on a leash, or failing to adhere to traffic laws. Any of these behaviors can lead to serious accidental injuries in which there is a responsible party who is then accountable for your damages.
Section 51-1-4 of the Georgia Code addresses the concept of gross negligence. Gross negligence is defined as acting in a manner that is contrary to common sense and failing to show the least amount of responsibility for behaviors. For example, driving drunk, failing to post warnings of construction hazards, or intentionally selling a defective product are all grossly negligent acts that will warrant additional damages in the value of your claim.
Wrongful Death Claims
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 130,000 people die from accidental injuries every year. In fact, accidental injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the US. Examples include falling, drowning, poisoning, auto accidents, and getting struck by an object. Beyond this, more than 200,000 people die from medical mistakes every year, according to the National Institutes of Health.
If someone you love has passed away due to the accidental or reckless behavior of another party, then you may be entitled to compensation for a wrongful death claim. You can receive compensation for the cost of medical expenses, funeral expenses, and the lost financial support of the deceased family member. None of this will replace your family member or alleviate your grief, but it can ensure that you are financially prepared for the challenges that you must face.
Dog Attacks and Bites
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that about 4.5 million Americans suffer from dog bites and attacks every year. Even the most friendly and familiar of dogs can suddenly attack for various reasons. In some cases, dogs are injured, ill, scared, or confused by the circumstances. Whatever the reason, a dog bite or attack can leave you with severe puncture wounds, infections, torn muscles, and much more in addition to the psychological trauma that you are likely to encounter during and after the attack.
There are laws designed to prevent such encounters with dogs, and any dog owner who fails to adhere to leash and containment laws with their dog is responsible for the injuries that occur. If you are a dog bite victim, you can seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and psychological trauma, or mental anguish.
Personal Injury Claim Damages
There are different types of damages that can be awarded in a personal injury claim, as defined by the Georgia Code of Laws, Title 51, Chapter 12. These include special damages, general damages, and punitive damages. Special damages include actual expenses, like medical debt, property damage, and lost wages. General damages include future expenses, like future medical care, and lost earning potential. Punitive damages include any compensation that is awarded with the intention of punishing reckless or negligent conduct. Your pain and suffering will be taken into consideration, as will the potential loss of enjoyment and quality of life that you may face.
The Bader Law Firm can help you to ascertain the actual value of your personal injury claim by investigating your case, the circumstances of the injury, and the legally responsible party. We will gather medical evidence, police reports, and expert witness opinions to prove your case. Contact the Bader Law Firm today for a free consultation of your case and to get started on the path to financial recovery.
Who is Responsible for Your Injury?
It is not uncommon for victims of personal injuries to blame themselves. You may feel that you were clumsy or careless or that you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, in most personal injury cases, there is another responsible party whose negligence or recklessness directly resulted in the accident. Even if you think that you were at least partially at fault for the accident, you would be wise to seek a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.
When it comes to ascertaining legal liability for a personal injury, there are many factors that need to be investigated. If someone else failed to exhibit due care, then he or she can be held responsible for the injuries that occurred, as detailed under Title 51 of the Georgia Code of Laws. This does not just mean that the person must have done something to cause the accident; it can mean that the person failed to do something, ultimately causing the accident. For example, in a drunk driving auto accident, the driver may be held responsible, but the person who served a clearly intoxicated person more alcohol could also be responsible.
In a premises liability case, the responsible parties may include property developers, store managers and supervisors, owners, and even general employees. In defective product claims, you may have a case against the designer, the distributor, the seller, and/or the manufacturer. If you have a medical malpractice claim, it may be against the doctor, the hospital, the surgeon, or any other provider of medical care who may have been responsible for your injury. In some cases, more than one person will be held accountable for the accident. If this all seems confusing, you are not alone. Contact the Bader Law Firm to discuss who may be responsible for your injury.
Deciding Whether to Sign an Insurance Release
Another common mistake that victims of accidental injuries make is assuming that the insurance company is on their side. It is understandable, because you are facing many hardships at the time, and the insurance company claims adjuster will likely be friendly and seemingly helpful. You may be tempted to think that they are working for you to ensure that you get fair compensation. Before signing an insurance release, remember that the insurance company has just one goal, and that is to get you to settle for the least amount of money.
To avoid settling for a sum that is less than what it should be, investigate the costs and expenses that you are currently facing and may face in the future. Talk to your doctor about the potential need for future medical care. Pay attention to your bills, expenses, and property damage. Above all, speak to an attorney before you sign anything or agree to anything. If you contact the Bader Law Firm, our experienced attorneys will be happy to go over the details with you and help you to determine what your claim might actually be worth in comparison to what the insurance company may have offered you. It is better to be safe than sorry, so contact us today for a free consultation.
Addressing Medical Debt from Your Injury
When you've suffered from an accidental injury, you will quickly start to see bills for your medical care, and you may feel overwhelmed by the financial strain. Naturally, you'll be seeking compensation for these expenses, but while you wait for your case to settle or go to court, you may not know what to do with them. One option is to pay your bills through private insurance. You will still be able to seek compensation for these expenses. Another option is to get a letter of protection filed by your attorney. This will inform the medical providers of your lawsuit with an assurance of payment from the proceeds of the personal injury claim.
Can You Settle Out of Court?
It is more than possible, likely in fact, that you will be able to settle your claim outside of the courtroom. Statistics show that 95% of personal injury claims are settled without ever going to court. Going to court is expensive and time consuming for both sides of the claim, so everyone is motivated to reach an agreement. Aside from saving money in court costs, the insurance companies know that the judge may award a higher amount than you are willing to settle the claim for. Thus, it is in everyone's best interests to avoid taking the case to court.
Negotiating a Personal Injury Claim on Your Own
A common question, when it comes to personal injury claims, is whether or not the victim can negotiate on their own, without legal representation. The answer to this question is, 'yes, but it may be unwise.' You do have the right to negotiate on your own behalf, but you are less likely to get the full amount of compensation that you deserve. Once you agree to a settlement, there is no going back, and insurance companies count on your lack of expertise in personal injury claims. Meanwhile, having a qualified attorney on your side ensures that the insurance companies don't get away with pressuring or confusing you about the settlement process and valuation. The attorneys at the Bader Law Firm have the experience and expertise to effectively negotiate for a fair settlement amount, so that you don't get tricked or taken advantage of.