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What Is the Personal Injury Claims Process in Georgia?
Do Law provides this helpful guide to the Personal Injury Claims Process in Georgia. When you are hurt and want justice, you need a lawyer. Call Do Law today!
Personal Injury Lawsuit in Georgia
Personal injury lawsuits are civil cases in which accident victims seek compensation from the defendant. A plaintiff in this type of case must establish that the defendant had a duty of care to them. Unlike a property injury, a personal injury involves damage to a person’s body, emotions, or reputation.
Each case is unique, so it is essential to consult a personal injury lawyer before filing a personal injury claim.
Georgia Personal Injury Settlements
Unlike criminal prosecutions, personal injury cases do not have criminal consequences. Liability for negligence is judged rather than guilt or innocence. So personal injury lawsuits seek to determine two things: Did the defendant cause the damage or injury, and if so, what were those damages?
If a plaintiff in a Georgia personal injury lawsuit can establish negligence, they may be entitled to full compensation for present and future medical expenditures, lost income and future earning capacity, and any other accident-related losses and damages.
Usually, the type and severity of the victim’s injury or injuries will determine the precise amount of damages the victim will be awarded.
Interestingly, most personal injury cases in Georgia never proceed to court trials. A settlement is typically negotiated between the lawyers for both parties outside of court. If the insurance provider is unwilling to offer a fair settlement, a lawyer can file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim.
If you have been injured in Georgia as the result of another person’s negligence, you need a lawyer who is both an excellent negotiator and a skillful trial lawyer.
Laws That Affect the Personal Injury Claims Process
Filing a personal injury claim in Georgia can be complicated because different laws apply. This is why an experienced personal injury attorney is extremely valuable in helping with the claim process.
However, the following are three of the most common personal injury laws that apply to most cases:
Georgia’s Limitations Lawsuit
In Georgia, most personal injury lawsuits have a two-year statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Georgia represents the deadline for filing a lawsuit for damages. As a result, if you are injured in an accident, you only have two years after the incident to file a lawsuit.
The two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases is subject to a few exceptions:
- If the accident victims are below 18, the statute of limitations may be stalled.
- In cases where someone didn’t notice the injury for a long period of time, the statute of limitations may be extended.
- If an injured party departs Georgia before a lawsuit is filed and served, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the individual returns.
- Personal injury claims against a government agency must be filed within six months.
Georgia Fault Laws
Comparative fault laws can affect personal injury settlements in Georgia, which assign damages based on negligence.
Georgia’s personal injury law is the modified comparative fault law. This means the amount of fault assigned to both parties will drastically alter the amount of compensation.
Compensation might be awarded to accident victims if they were less than 50% responsible for their injury. However, compensation may not be awarded if victims were more than 50% responsible.
Georgia’s Wrongful Death Law
In Georgia, only survivors of the deceased are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit in terms of the Wrongful Death Act, which describes the process involved in such a lawsuit.
If the deceased has children, the spouse receives one-third of the remuneration, while the children receive the remaining two-thirds. Children who predecease their parents are entitled to special provisions.
How Does a Personal Injury Claim Work?
Personal injury occurs in several circumstances, including car accidents, workers’ compensation claims, property damage claims, etc. Damages are usually paid for by the insurance company of the person at fault. Insurance adjusters may attempt to settle injury cases with injury victims based on the specifics of the case.
However, a claim may be rejected by an insurer if the company believes it can prove its client’s lack of liability. A claim adjuster may offer unfair compensation and show no serious concern for the case.
An experienced attorney can therefore help you obtain maximum damages by providing proactive guidance.
Process of Personal Injury Claim
In the aftermath of an Atlanta car accident, get medical treatment, call the police, and file a report. Also, feel free to consult your attorney for a guide to Atlanta car accidents.
Each case differs, so yours might follow a different pattern. However, these steps are typically followed in personal injury cases.
At this stage, your legal team determines whether your claim is legitimate and advises you on your legal options.
For instance, if you were in a car accident, your Atlanta auto accident lawyer will review all the information and determine how the accident has affected your life to value your claim. It may involve gathering medical documents and pictures to support your injury claim.
In order to get the correct value for your claim, it is crucial to track the medical expenses you have incurred and how the injuries affect your life.
Writing and Sending a Letter of Demand
An attorney will write and deliver a letter of demand to your insurance provider or the person at fault’s insurance provider. It will include details about the accident, receipts for medical expenses and lost earnings, as well as a request for compensation. A demand letter typically has a 30-day response period.
Insurance companies have 15 days to respond to a demand letter. Your claims will most likely be settled out-of-court if they believe they have merit. If they offer you an unfair settlement or do not respond within 15 days, you can take them to court.
During the first court appearance, the plaintiff or their attorney discloses the case aspects, and the defendant contests them. In the trial, the judge will analyze the law pertaining to the plaintiff’s claim. Depending on the case, the court may agree to a specific degree of guilt or exonerate the defendant.
In some cases, the principal respondent may be more responsible than the insurance company for compensating the victims.
In this phase, your dispute is resolved, usually by negotiation but sometimes by litigation. A successful personal injury case will result in you receiving compensation for your injuries.
Your attorney will be paid out of your settlement. The amount usually equals between 25% and 35% of your damages compensation. No-win, no-fee clauses do not apply if you lose your accident injury claim.
How an Accident Lawyer Can Help You
A Vietnamese car accident lawyer in Atlanta can help you determine whether your case has merit. You may be entitled to additional funds on your insurance claim settlement if your claim has been denied.
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