Personal injury law can be incredibly complex and confusing for the average individual. If you have been injured in an accident, understanding the ins and outs of personal injury law can be to your advantage. Kim Injury Law, P.C. has provided the following information based on the most common questions asked by injury victims. For further clarification and more information, don’t hesitate to call the firm.
When do I have a valid personal injury case?
If you have suffered injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent, careless, or reckless behavior, then you will likely have grounds for a personal injury case. You may also be able to successfully recover injury compensation if you have suffered an attack on your reputation, an invasion of your privacy, or any other occurrence in which you experienced mental or emotional distress.
What form of compensation will be available in my case?
The type, and amount, of compensation that you will be eligible for depends on a variety of factors, including the type of accident you were involved in, the number of negligent parties involved, the type of injury you sustained, and the extent of the damages that those injuries caused. Generally, the more severe your injuries, the more compensation can be pursued.
Compensation may be awarded to cover your expenses related to:
- Medical treatment (current and future)
- Physical therapy (current and future)
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning potential
- Reduced standard of living
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
An Atlanta personal injury lawyer can build a case on your behalf based on investigation, evidence, and testimony that will increase your chances of securing the full compensation possible under state law for your injuries.
How long will it take to recover compensation after filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit?
The length of your personal injury case depends on specific factors. If you have been severely injured, you will not want to settle your claim until your injuries are evaluated by a professional, so that your predicted expenses can be adequately determined before seeking a settlement. The period of time necessary to obtain compensation will also vary depending on whether you settle with the insurance company or go to trial.
Where will the compensation come from?
Since Georgia is not a no-fault state, those who have been injured in accidents have the right to collect damages from the at-fault driver. If the at-fault party does not have enough insurance to cover your accident costs, your own insurance policy may contain coverage that will compensate you for your injuries.
Will I be required to go to court?
It may not be necessary for you to go to court. A large percentage of personal injury cases settle before trial. If the responsible party’s insurance company offers a settlement that is commensurate with the severity of your injuries, you will be able to avoid spending time and money litigating your case in court.
How long do I have to file a claim?
Every state has created specific time limits known as the “statute of limitations” to restrict the amount of time that injury victims have to file a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you will no longer be able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries. Georgia Civil Laws allows 2 years from the time that the injury occurred for victims to file a lawsuit. There are certain exceptions to this law for minors and those who are mentally incompetent.
What is “negligence”?
One of the key factors that will be addressed in a personal injury case is how a “reasonable person” would have acted in the particular situation that caused the injury. A person will be found “negligent” if they fail to act like an “ordinary reasonable person” would have acted.
What should I bring to my meeting with an attorney?
When you meet with a lawyer to discuss your accident, you should bring any documents that may be relevant to your case. This can include medical reports, bills from doctors and hospitals, information about the other party involved, photographs you have taken of the accident and more. The more information that you can provide, the better and stronger your case will be. If you have not collected any information by the time of your first meeting, your lawyer can help you obtain what you need in a separate investigation of your claim.
Will the person responsible for my injury be punished?
It is important to recognize that there are many differences between criminal and civil cases. In criminal cases, it will be focused on the guilt of the defendant; if they are found guilty, they will be punished. This, however, is not what happens in civil cases. Instead, the case will focus on the plaintiff and awarding them damages which can be used to help recover from the accident or rebuild their life. So, for example, if someone was injured in a car crash caused by a drunk driver, they would be awarded compensation for things such as property damage, medical bills, lost wages and more. There is, however, one exception known as “punitive damages.” These are awarded on top of other damages and are done as a punishment for the defendant should it be determined that they clearly acted negligently, recklessly or even intentionally.