Accidents can happen. Some people come out of them scratch-free, while others might get seriously injured. When it's your own fault, then it's your own fault—end of the story. But, if you got hurt due to someone else's carelessness, you have a legal right to compensation for your physical, mental, and monetary losses.
So, if you've suffered harm that way, you can file a personal injury claim. Examples of such can be slip and fall incidents or car accidents caused by someone else's carelessness.
The laws governing such cases in Georgia are primarily similar to the ones in other states. There are a few differences, however, which you may notice throughout the blog. So, without further ado, let's delve into personal injury law and how you can benefit from it.
What Qualifies As A Personal Injury Case?
When you're seeking legal action against harm, both personal injury and tort law come into practice. Although, you should note that they're not necessarily the same thing. Personal injury simply talks about the cases where someone may be a victim of unintentional physical harm due to another person's recklessness. On the other hand, tort includes all types of physical damage that can be tried in a court (even something which is not considered physical injury). So, if someone has caused you bodily harm due to their carelessness, that falls under both. However, intentionally caused injuries would only fall under tort.
Now that that's out of the way, we should discuss what you can do if you're a victim of physical injury in Georgia. So, let's go through the dos and don'ts of personal injury claims you should consider if the need arises.
The Different Types Of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury law covers many legal proceedings that protect your right to compensation for injuries caused due to negligence. Several kinds of personal injury cases take place throughout the state of Georgia. However, most of the personal injury claim examples in Georgia can be categorized as one of the following:
You are eligible to take action against irresponsible drivers who may have caused you harm due to their recklessness.
If you get bitten due to the carefree demeanor of a dog owner, you can take legal action against them for compensation.
Slip and Fall
Issues at someone's private property or business might also cause you physical injuries, for which you can get reimbursed.
Your employer should offer you a safe working space. You can get workman's compensation upon facing harm due to their negligence.
The 8-Step Process Of Personal Injury Claim Settlement
A personal injury claim doesn't have to be complicated. So, we're going to take a look at a simple 8-step method that's bound to help you avail the most reasonable outcome for your claim.
1. Collect Evidence & Witness Info
The first thing you should focus on at the scene of the accident is collecting evidence. It would support the foundation for your process of personal injury claim. Hence, you should take photographs and take notes about the specifics of the accident (such as number plates, the absence of a wet sign, etc.). You don't need a physical notebook for that, either. You can note things down through your phone as well.
In addition to that, you should also look around to see if there are witnesses present. It would be beneficial if you asked them for their contact information, as they may be able to help you by testifying in your favor. All of this would help your lawyer better understand your case and help you take a solidified evidence-based approach to your claim.
2. Get Immediate Medical Attention
Secondly, you should know that the nature of the injury doesn't matter. Whether a significant injury or a minor one, personal injury, and tort law recommend that you seek medical care immediately from your nearest healthcare center or hospital. This isn't simply necessary for your legal claim but also for your own well-being. You should keep all your medical reports, bills, and invoices adequately documented. By doing so, you'd be able to show evidence of the severity of your injury caused by the defending party's negligence.
4. File A Police Report
After you've got your initial health treatment, you should file a police report. Your instinct may tell you to go another way. But, trust me. While your personal injury attorney can find other ways to strengthen your case, they need an official report to understand how much each party is at fault.
When they have a report from the police, they can now showcase how the other person was responsible for your injury. Another benefit of a police report is that you may not actually need to go to court for a settlement. The personal injury claim examples supported by a report contain all essential details about the crime scene, including written statements from you, witnesses, and the defendant. So, do ensure that you get a police report before consulting your lawyer.
5. Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer
Now you have three things in order: medical reports, evidence from the crime scene, and a police report. So, the next step would be to get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer to understand how you can get compensated for your losses.
This is where we can step in to help you out. CH Legal Solutions has experts for all types of personal injury cases. So, we can offer you the most rewarding legal guidance based on the details of your case. Whether it's a car accident, slip and fall, or dog bites, you can rely on us to avail the highest possible compensation for the pain and suffering caused to you by the other party's negligence.
6. Notify Your Insurance With A Demand Letter
Now, you should discuss your case with your insurance company. You need to get them involved to go forward with the compensation process. They should be informed of all your monetary and physical losses. So, work with your personal injury attorney to draft a compelling demand letter for your insurance claim. This should be sent to your insurance and the other party involved.
Since Georgia is a fault state. So, whichever party is found responsible for the accident would be liable for the other one's damages. However, it's not just a fault state but a "comparative fault" one. Hence, if the evidence suggests that a plaintiff is more than 50% responsible for an injury, they're not eligible for reimbursement. It would likely be proved to be more the defendant's fault or yours, as generally, neither party is found to be at 100% fault. The highest personal injury claim value comes from proof that it was way less your fault than the other party's.
7. Attempt Negotiating A Settlement
After you've notified the other party and your insurance provider, it's possible they might meet your demands and agree to pay compensation for your damages. However, neither fighting for nor defense against personal injury claims is that simple. So, it's also possible that they may send you a counteroffer. In such a case, you may experience a back and forth of counter offers for some time. This negotiation would be over once either party decides to settle for the other one's proposal. But again, you may be unable to reach an agreeable settlement for your personal injury claim. If either that happens or they refuse to cooperate, to begin with, you have the right to file a lawsuit. This is when your case goes to trial in front of a court.
8. File A Lawsuit For Personal Injury Trial
The last obstacle during the process of a personal injury claim is to file your lawsuit. Of course, this, too, comes with a few phases. It's not simply going to court as is. There are three critical phases of filing your lawsuit for a trial.
- During the discovery phase, both parties exchange and review essential information such as case evidence, documents, and witness identification.
- During this motions phase, attorneys from each side of the lawsuit would present motions (or legal documents) for the judge's ruling on particular case issues.
- During the phase, both parties may present their case, show evidence, and question witnesses. This is when the defendant may walk away free if you fail to back your claims.
As the jury comes to a conclusion and the judge gives their verdict, the trial would end, and both parties would have to oblige by the final ruling. However, if you feel that your case proceedings may have been faulty, you can still file for an appeal. You may find several personal injury claim examples where a plaintiff or defendant successfully appealed against the court's decision.
The 6 Factors Which May Harm Your Personal Injury Case
Now you know what to do to fight your case properly. But you also need to know what not to do. You may do the right things, but issues can arrive from factors you may not have considered. If you do anything of the following, complications may arise for you. Have you ever wondered how an attorney could present a reliable defense against personal injury claims? Sometimes, it's by looking at where a plaintiff lacks. So, be sure not to do any of the things below, as they might harm your case.
Filing The Case Late Too Late
One of the major concerns with the process of personal injury claims in Georgia is that you must do it within 2 years of the injury. There are exceptions to this, as mentioned in the Georgia Statutes of Limitations. Generally, however, your case may not be considered valid, and you may be refused reimbursement for your damages.
Contacting Insurance First
Another mistake some people make is contacting their insurance and providing them with recorded statements of the event before contacting their lawyer. Unfortunately, an insurer might use those recorded statements against you in an attempt to minimize your personal injury claim value. So, remember to consult your lawyer beforehand.
Neglecting Case Confidentiality
Confidentiality plays a vital role in the proceedings of a case. It's always better not to discuss your case, even with close friends or family members. They may accidentally strengthen the defense against the personal injury claim if they present erroneous statements. So, remember to remain secretive.
Paperwork Without Guidance
Many people assume that they can take care of the paperwork themselves. That can work out for some people. But there are many technicalities in legal documentation that you may mess up. So, it's always better to go with a reliable personal injury attorney or a dependable law firm like CH Legal Solutions.
Delaying Or Refusing Treatment
Medical treatment isn't simply your right. It's also your responsibility. If your injury initially seems negligible but grows in severity over time, that point could be used against you in the trial. Even if the treatment seems expensive, you must seek medical attention immediately. That's your whole case. Once you're better, you recover your losses from the negligent party through a reasonable personal injury claim value.
Leaving Without Evidence
All types of personal injury cases require solid evidence. So, when you're leaving the scene of the event, don't forget to gather evidence. It is crucial for you to collect information about the surroundings, the person (/and vehicle) involved, and the witnesses present on the scene. Without this initial information, your lawyer may face complications in strengthening your claim.
Contact CH Legal Solutions For Detailed Guidance
We hope this blog post gave you sufficient insights about personal injury claims and that you learned as much from it as you expected. If not, you can always easily reach out to us via email for detailed queries. Our representatives are also available to take your calls and help you book a consultation with one of our highly qualified personal injury attorneys.
So, contact CH Legal Solutions today for the most valuable legal guidance, and stay connected for more informational blog posts.
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