What Is Considered a Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a legal term for when someone is harmed due to something another person, company, or government entity did or failed to do. You might be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. However, you can only recover the money you deserve if you can prove your case.
To win a personal injury claim, you must demonstrate liability and damages.
Liability: Whether a reckless driver or a careless product manufacturer caused your injuries, you will have to show that some other party was liable for providing a safe environment but failed to do so. For example, in the case of a car wreck, you’ll need to show that the other driver violated his or her duty to others on the road by doing something negligent that caused you harm, like driving drunk or being distracted.
In some cases, multiple parties could be held liable. For instance, in a truck accident case, the truck’s driver, the trucking company, mechanics, truck part manufacturers, cargo companies, and others might be held responsible. Determining all the parties that might be liable, and gathering evidence to prove they were negligent, is crucial in establishing a personal injury case.
Damages: You must also prove that someone else’s negligence directly caused your injuries. Evidence might include pictures of the accident scene and your injuries, eyewitness accounts, medical records, and expert testimony. Your lawyer will know exactly what evidence is needed to support your case.
Types of Damages You Could Recover in a Georgia Personal Injury Claim
After a serious accident, all you want to do is get on with your life. But your injuries and the resulting financial hardships can make that difficult to do. If your accident was caused by someone else, you may be able to recover compensation from the at-fault party to help cover the damages.
The amount you might recover in a Georgia personal injury settlement or court award will depend on the details of your case. However, compensation typically includes things like:
- Outstanding medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Disability accommodations
- Physical, occupational, and emotional therapy
- Property damages
- Lost wages
- Reduced ability to earn future income
- Pain and suffering
It’s even more challenging to move on if a loved one was killed due to someone else’s negligence. While no amount of money can ever truly compensate you for the loss of your loved one, a wrongful death claim can help you pursue payment for damages resulting from the accident.
A wrongful death personal injury claim may include compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost companionship
- Loss of your loved one’s income
- Loss of services provided by your loved one
Insurance companies may be quick to offer you an easy settlement that looks like it will cover your immediate needs. However, you should never accept payment without talking to an attorney who has your best interests at heart. Personal injury lawyers work based on a contingency fee basis, so we never charge you a fee, unless your case is won.
How a Canton Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
After a devastating accident, it’s difficult to know what you need to do and where to start. Our lawyers can help you decide on a plan of action and support you through the process.
Some of the specific ways our experienced personal injury attorneys can help include:
- Make sure you understand your rights. Our skilled injury lawyer can evaluate your case and help you understand your legal options. We can collect all the details from your case to determine how much money you deserve for your injuries. Our attorney can answer any of your questions to help you understand the process, relevant laws, legal requirements, ways that you can help your case, and what to expect every step of the way.
- Proving your case. An experienced personal injury attorney from the Geiger Legal Group, LLC will perform an in-depth investigation to gather the details of your accident. We will determine all the parties that can be held liable, collecting evidence as to who caused the accident and the extent of the injuries you have suffered. This might include gathering documentation – such as medical records, witness statements, and photos of the accident scene – or evidence that’s more difficult to obtain, such as surveillance videos or maintenance records. If necessary, our lawyer will bring in experts, including medical professionals and accident reconstruction specialists, who can testify in support of your case.
- Fighting on your behalf. An experienced personal injury lawyer from Geiger Legal Group can negotiate on your behalf with the other party’s insurance company. Unfortunately, the insurance company typically does all it can to avoid paying large settlements. Our knowledgeable attorney understands the tactics insurance companies use and can help fight against them. If the insurance company fails to agree to a fair settlement, our seasoned trial lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and fight for your rights in court.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Georgia
According to the legal time limits (known as the statute of limitations) in Georgia, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident or event that caused your injury. Two years may seem like a long time, but there is a lot of work that must be done to properly prepare your claim. The sooner you contact our Georgia personal injury attorneys, the sooner we can begin piecing together a strong claim for the full compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take to Protect Your Rights After a Georgia Accident
Accidents can leave you feeling helpless, but there are steps you can take to stand up for yourself and protect your rights. The following are important pieces to your personal injury claim:
- Report the accident. Make sure you report your injury through the proper channels. If a motor vehicle accident caused serious injuries or property damage, call 911 for help so law enforcement can investigate and file a report. If you were injured on someone else’s property, report your injury to the property owner.
- Get medical attention. If you can, get medical attention at the accident scene, or have your injuries evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. A physician can treat your injuries and help you avoid long-term medical complications. Furthermore, your medical report is a vital piece of evidence if you decide to file a claim.
- Document the accident. Take pictures of your injuries, damage to your property, and anything around the accident scene that could be relevant, such as road conditions, weather conditions, skid marks, uneven stairs, sidewalk damage, road signs, warning labels, or lack of warning signs. Save all receipts and bills related to your treatment.
- Speak to witnesses. Write down the accounts of people who saw the accident. Be sure to get their names and contact information. Get information from the other people involved in the accident as well, such as their names, contact information, employer’s information (if the crash happened on company time or at a business location), the names of any applicable property owners or managers, insurance information, and license plate numbers.
- Keep detailed records. Make note of anyone you speak with regarding either the accident itself or any relevant appointments. At medical visits, write down the date of your appointment, the name of the medical professional, the symptoms you’re experiencing, the physician’s advice for treatment, and the next steps you’ve been recommended to take.
- Be careful what you say. Don’t apologize or admit fault for the accident to the other party, the police, or an insurance agent. Don’t sign anything unless the police require it.
- Do not speak to the other party’s insurance company. Until you’ve consulted an attorney, do not provide a statement to an insurance adjuster. The insurance company can use your words against you. Something as small as saying you’re sorry can be used by the insurance company to deny or reduce your claim. Insurance adjusters might rush to the accident scene or contact you soon after the accident when you’re still in shock. They may try to talk you into a settlement that’s much lower than what you truly deserve.
- Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You should never try to handle a personal injury claim by yourself. Having an injury attorney from Geiger Legal Group, LLC on your side can help reduce your stress and ensure you are demanding the maximum compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Accidents can cause a range of injuries, from scrapes and bruises to fatal wounds. Catastrophic injuries can completely change your life. These injuries might make it impossible for you to work, or even force you into round-the-clock care. Some common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Loss of hearing or sight
No matter what type of injuries you have suffered, you should not face additional financial burdens due to someone else’s negligence. Please contact our respected personal injury law firm to learn how we can help.
Talk to a Canton Personal Injury Lawyer Now
If you were injured by someone else’s negligence, or if your loved one was killed because of someone else’s reckless actions, you have a right to demand justice. The experienced legal team at Geiger Legal Group, LLC is here to help you pursue the full and fair compensation you need to get your life back on track.
Contact the compassionate Georgia personal injury lawyers at Geiger Legal Group, LLC today to set up a free consultation. For years, we have been making a difference in the lives of accident victims in Canton, Cherokee County, and throughout North Georgia. Now, we stand ready to serve you.