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Understanding Personal Injury Laws in Georgia
You were hurt and need the responsible party to compensate you. Professionals from the Do Law Office outline the Personal Injury Laws in Georgia. Contact us!
What Does Georgia Personal Injury Law Cover?
Personal injury law or tort law permits an injured individual to initiate a civil action and receive damages for all losses resulting from an accident or other occurrence that was due to someone else’s negligence.
Personal injury cases constitute a large proportion of all civil claims. Personal injury lawsuits include automobile accidents, workplace accidents, dog bites, slip-and-fall accidents, wrongful death, and product liability. Personal injury claims can also include cases of product liability, intentional torts (such as assault), workers’ compensation, and medical malpractice, such as medical negligence.
At-fault parties or their insurance companies may settle personal injury claims out of court, or the case may be tried in court. Injured parties have the right to claim medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and future earnings, and other costs.
The goal of the personal injury system is to allow injured victims to receive financial compensation after suffering harm due to someone’s negligence.
This Georgia personal injury guide will give you a basic understanding of personal injury law.
Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury Cases in Georgia
All civil lawsuits filed in Georgia’s courts must comply with a statute of limitations. Under Georgia Code section 9-3-33, actions for personal injury cases must be filed within two years after the accident occurred. Typically, the clock begins to tick on the date of the accident.
The court will most likely refuse to hear your complaint after the two-year deadline has passed, and you will forfeit your right to compensation. However, the submission deadline could be extended or reduced under specific conditions.
For instance, the deadlines for submitting claims against government agencies, such as city, county, state, and federal agencies, are shorter than the typical deadlines. A claim against a Georgia county must be filed within 12 months, and a claim against a city must be filed within 6 months. Suits against the state must also be filed within two years and preceded by a special form indicating an intention to sue.
The Georgia statutes of limitations are strict, so it’s critical that you seek the advice of an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney before taking legal action.
Comparative Fault Under Georgia Law
Sometimes, when you attempt to file a lawsuit or insurance claim after sustaining an injury, the other person’s insurance company may assert that you were responsible for the accident. This law is particularly commonly used during car accident settlements in Georgia.
The modified comparative fault rule in Georgia lessens or eliminates damages if you are determined to be partially or primarily responsible for an accident. Here’s an example to help you understand:
- You were involved in a car accident with a motorist that disregarded a red light. You were driving above the speed limit by 10 miles per hour at the time. It has been found that the other driver was 90% at fault for the collision, while you were 10% at fault.
- The modified comparative fault rule in Georgia reduces your damages by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. If your damages total $10,000, you will receive $9,000, or $10,000 minus $1,000, to account for your 10 percent share of fault.
Note that you will not be able to collect any compensation if you are 50% or more at fault for the accident.
Courts in Georgia must apply the comparative fault rule to cases involving injuries in which both parties share responsibility. Nevertheless, you should not be surprised if this issue arises during injury settlement negotiations with an insurance adjuster or the party.
Damage Caps in Personal Injury Cases in Georgia
In some states, damages for personal injuries are limited. These statutes limit the compensation a victim can obtain for specific types of losses or in particular circumstances.
In 2010, The Georgia Supreme Court determined that damage limitation laws violate Georgia’s constitutional right to a free and fair jury trial. As a result, there are no limits on the compensation a personal injury plaintiff can collect in Georgia’s courts.
However, judges have the discretion to reduce excessive awards in some instances.
Do You Need A Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer?
The moments following an accident can be traumatic for the victim and their loved ones. You may ask yourself, “what do you do after a car accident in Georgia?” The first thing to do after a car accident, or any other accident, is to see a doctor.
By retaining the services of a Georgia injury attorney, you can focus on getting better while your personal injury matter is handled correctly.
Georgia personal injury attorneys can assist you with a variety of essential responsibilities, including but not limited to the following:
For any personal injury claim, evidence is vital. Therefore, your personal injury attorneys will assist you in gathering the necessary evidence to build your case.
Evidence for your case can include photos of the accident scene and your injuries, Atlanta car accident reports, medical records, doctor’s bills, and witness statements.
All these are vital for your case as they may show who caused the accident and the extent of your damages. With this evidence, you can prove your damage claim and get a positive outcome.
Negotiating with Insurance Providers
Georgia personal injury attorneys have extensive experience in negotiating with insurance providers. The lawyers can analyze detailed insurance policy information on behalf of the accident victims, along with the facts and circumstances of the injury claims.
With this information, the experienced attorney can estimate the maximum possible compensation available to you.
The personal injury law firm representing you will also handle all communications between you and the insurance company. They may not allow the company to get a recorded statement from you or anything else that might jeopardize your personal injury claims.
Preparing Your Case for Trial
If a fair and complete settlement cannot be reached, you may be required to take your personal injury case to court. Your attorney reviews every aspect of your case and will prepare you for court.
In a personal injury claim in Georgia, you may be entitled to seek the following damages:
- Medical bills (past, present, and future)
- Payments for special medical treatment like physical therapy
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and deformation
- Property damage
- Emotional discomfort
- Distress and suffering
- Loss of life’s pleasure
If you have any questions or need an attorney’s service, we may be able to help. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.
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