Accidents can lead to serious injury. In the case where you are injured and feel you deserve monetary compensation, a personal injury lawsuit is a next step. It is important to know the various rules and limitations related to a personal injury lawsuit in Savannah, GA. This prevents any issues with filing or receiving the money you are due as a result of the accident.
Know the Statute of Limitations
In general, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit from the date of the injury. This includes a lawsuit against the State of Georgia. However, it is important to know that a lawsuit against the city of Savannah, GA, or against a county in the state can only be filed within six months after the date of the injury.
It is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible after an accident where the injury occurred. That way, your lawyer can help you gather evidence, make notes of important facts in the case and developments in medical treatment. Lawyers can help you avoid mistakes on your part that will lead to a case dismissal or other negative results for the injured party.
Understand Where the Fault Lies for the Accident
When filing a personal injury lawsuit in Savannah, GA, the defendant may claim that you are at partial fault or entirely at fault for the accident that led to the injury. If the court deems you responsible at any level, the damages you might be awarded are decreased accordingly.
It may be worthwhile to discuss the potential case with legal representation and consider the results if you are found to be at fault at any level.
Does Georgia Have a Damage Cap?
Georgia is a state that does not have a damage cap in place. Therefore, there are no set amounts that are the maximum for personal injury cases. In fact, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that a damage cap would violate the state constitution in the section that provides a right to a jury trial. Therefore, this is not likely to change in the near future.
In other states, the damage cap may be set at a certain amount for injuries suffered in a car accident, in a situation where negligence can be proven on the case of the defendant or other specific scenarios.
Pet Owners Beware: There is No Legal Protection for You
In Georgia, there are no laws protecting a pet owner. Therefore, in a case where your dog bites another individual, you are liable for that situation and the bills that are accrued as a result of medical attention needed.
It is also likely that pain and suffering will increase the damages awarded to the individual who is bitten. Be prepared to be held completely liable, even when the dog has never been labeled as dangerous prior to the incident.
What Do I Do When an Injury Occurs that May Lead to Legal Proceedings?
It is very important to collect all pertinent data. This can be difficult since accidents are times of high stress. However, it is important to have as much information as possible when pursuing legal compensation.
Keep the following in mind:
- Seek medical attention immediately. This is necessary for your health and well-being. It is also important to have medical documentation begin as soon as possible following the accident.
- Document injuries, property damage and your recollection of events in as much detail as possible.
- Get contact information for any witnesses that will be valuable in a legal proceeding. It also will be important in a police investigation, if that is deemed necessary.
- Give statements to law enforcement-only. Do not speak to bystanders or media personnel.
- Do not sign any releases of liability without consulting legal counsel. This may alleviate their responsibility and leave you with no recourse.
Why Should I Contact a Georgia Lawyer About Personal Injury Cases?
In countless cases on record, people who did not seek legal counsel received less in damages than those who worked with legal counsel. The case may also be more likely to be dismissed, as an important element of the case may not be handled if you do not have legal representation to make sure all documents and processing steps are handled appropriately.
What Do I Do If I Am Offered a Settlement for my case in Georgia?
In personal injury cases in Savannah, GA, or throughout the world, a typical step in the legal process is for the defendant to offer a settlement through their legal representation. Accepting that settlement is a decision that has to be made by the plaintiff. There is typically a set amount of time for them to decide to accept or reject the settlement amount. People who are not working with a lawyer tend to be unsure how to handle these offers.
In comparison, a person who has legal representation gets a better advantage, as the lawyer will be able to let you know if the results of the case are likely to be more in your favor or less if you reject the settlement and proceed with the case in court.
In the end, the decision must be made by the plaintiff. However, you as the person who suffered the injury can receive guidance from the legal representation you choose that will be beneficial in the decision.
Some factors that you might consider when weighing a settlement offer are whether the amount appropriately covers the injury that occurred, transportation charges for the various medical visits and the legal proceedings, pain and suffering for the person hurt and loss of companionship for anyone left behind if there was death. These are all potential factors for the damages that would be awarded if the case continues in court.
Contact the Bader Law Firm to Discuss Your Personal Injury Claim
Lawyers with The Bader Law Firm have experience in handling personal injury cases in the Savannah, GA, area. They can help you establish what steps need to be taken immediately and what can wait until the further legal process has occurred. They can direct you in the best way to approach any actions or contact with other parties in the case.
Call today for reliable legal counsel; 678-562-5595.