Any time you suffer from any kind of injury that was caused through the negligence or intentional malice of another party, you can file a personal injury claim against that party. How the injury occurred will determine which kind of personal injury claim you can pursue. If your injury was caused by an auto accident, you will have an auto accident claim. If your injury was caused by a hazard on someone’s property, you will have a premises liability claim. If your injury was caused by a medical accident, then you will have a medical malpractice claim. If your injury was caused by a malfunctioning product, then you will have a product liability claim. These are just a few examples of personal injury claims that you may be able to pursue in Atlanta, Georgia. Whatever caused your injury, you can learn more and get skilled legal representation by contacting the Bader Law Firm.
What Kinds of Compensation Can You Recover in an Atlanta, Georgia, Personal Injury Claim?
There are three primary types of compensation that you can recover in an Atlanta, Georgia, personal injury claim, regardless of what kind of claim it is. These are economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. The economic damages encompass all of your actual financial expenses and losses. For example, your medical expenses, your lost wages, and your property damage are all economic damages. These expenses and losses can be proven with documents, bills, and estimates.
The non-economic damages encompass all of the damages that are not financial, but are nonetheless real and may affect your life for a long time. These include the pain and suffering that you experienced at the time of the injury and after the injury, as well as any trauma or emotional suffering that was brought about by the incident. Then, there are your punitive damages, which will not apply to most cases. Punitive damages are awarded in certain cases as a punishment to the negligent party. Thus, to be entitled to punitive damages, it will have to be established that the behavior of the negligent party was exceptionally reckless or was done intentionally to cause harm.
Do You Have to Hire an Atlanta, Georgia, Personal Injury Attorney to File a Claim?
Legally, there is no requirement to hire an Atlanta, Georgia, personal injury attorney to file a claim. In some cases, it won’t even be necessary. If you have very little damage with very little medical treatment, then you may be able to file an insurance claim and resolve the matter on your own. However, in the majority of personal injury claims, you will benefit from the guidance and representation of an attorney. This is especially true when there was a significant amount of damage, when the injury was intentionally caused by the negligent party, or when there is no insurance policy to turn to. By hiring an attorney, you can take the stress off of your shoulders as you recover from your injuries and also ensure that you are not taken advantage of by any insurance claims adjusters who wish to minimize or deny your claim.
What Kinds of Evidence Do You Need to Gather for a Personal Injury Claim in Atlanta, Georgia?
Many people make the mistake of not gathering evidence after a personal injury happens. This is a natural mistake when you are focused on getting treatment for your injuries and dealing with the pain and the stress that may be associated with your injury. Yet, if you fail to collect evidence, you will have a hard time proving how your injury occurred and whether you are entitled to compensation. You may think you can come back later to collect evidence. Unfortunately, as time passes, you can expect that evidence to go missing, become damaged, or be altered in some way.
Witnesses may be difficult to reach, and the scene of the incident could be changed. For instance, if you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, due to a hazard, then you may find that the hazard has been removed when you return later. To avoid this, get the contact information of any witnesses, and take photos of the scene. You should take pictures of the injuries, any hazards, and any property damage. You can then bring all of this evidence with you when you get a free consultation with an Atlanta, Georgia, personal injury attorney. It is best if you avoid speaking too much about the incident with the at fault party or their insurance company until you have legal representation.
You Must Act Quickly When Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim in Atlanta, Georgia
Most personal injury claims are subject to a two year statute of limitations in Atlanta, Georgia. This means that if you are going to file a personal injury lawsuit of any kind, you must do so within two years. Medical malpractice claims are the exception, in which you have one year from the date of discovery of injury or three years from the date that the injury occurred to file your claim. If a foreign object was left inside of your body, then the three year statute doesn’t apply, but the one year statute still does.
Overall, it is important to act quickly and file an insurance claim as soon as possible to avoid running out the statute. If you fail to pursue a personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you will not be able to file a lawsuit at all. If you start an insurance claim with plenty of time to file a lawsuit, then you have some leverage with the insurance company. They will want to avoid going to court as much as you do, to save everyone the time and cost, and they are more likely to offer a fair settlement. Having said that, even if you file a lawsuit to avoid running out the statute, you can still resolve the claim before it actually goes to court by negotiating for a fair settlement.
Contact the Bader Law Firm to Discuss Your Atlanta, Georgia, Personal Injury Claim
Having a skilled Atlanta, Georgia, personal injury attorney on your side can go a long way towards being taken seriously by the insurance company and succeeding in your claim. Hiring an attorney does not mean that your case is going to be resolved in court. Rather, it means that you have legal representation to negotiate for a fair settlement and represent you if the case does end up in court. Contact the Bader Law Firm to schedule your free consultation today.