After an accident in which you suffered injuries, you may find it difficult to pay medical bills, and you may need to take time off from work to heal. If the accident was the fault of another person or entity in Georgia, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. You should consult a seasoned trial lawyer about your case. The Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Van Sant Law may be able to help. Our attorneys provide clients with attentive legal services and pursue the greatest recovery possible. We can sign up your case electronically or following a visit to your home or another location convenient to you, whichever alternative you prefer.Personal Injury Overview
Personal injury lawsuits may arise from situations such as car crashes, motorcycle collisions, bicycle collisions, truck accidents, nursing home negligence, animal attacks, trip and falls, or defective products. What you will need to prove after an accident depends on the circumstances under which you were injured. However, many personal injury lawsuits are pursued under a theory of negligence. You will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant failed to use reasonable care under the circumstances, and this failure caused your injuries and resulting losses. For example, you may be able to recover damages if you can establish that you sustained traumatic brain injuries in a motorcycle accident caused by a drunk driver who failed to yield when making a left turn. For another example, a personal injury attorney in Atlanta may be able to help you recover damages if you sustained spinal cord damage and crush injuries due to a trucking company’s negligent training of a truck driver who plowed into your vehicle.
Slip and fall accidents are a little different. You will need to show that you were injured on someone else's property, that the property owner owed you a duty to keep the property safe for visitors, that the property owner's failure to abide by that duty caused your injuries, and that you sustained damages as a result. In addition, you will need to show that the property owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused your injuries.Comparative Negligence
In a personal injury lawsuit, it is not uncommon for a defendant to blame the plaintiff for the accident. Georgia follows the rule of modified comparative negligence. Under this rule, you can be barred from recovery if you were 50% or more responsible for an accident. Otherwise, your damages will be reduced by an amount proportionate to your fault. For example, if the damages are $500,000, and you are found to have been 10% at fault for the accident, you can recover $450,000 from the other party.Damages
If your Atlanta personal injury claim lawyer can establish liability, you will be entitled to compensatory damages. These are damages meant to make you whole. When injuries are catastrophic or fatal, it can be difficult to quantify them. An experienced attorney can make a difference in getting the full damages to which you are entitled.
Economic losses that may be recovered include loss of wages, medical bills, household expenses, out-of-pocket costs, alterations to your home, and rehabilitation. Non-economic losses that may be recovered include loss of consortium, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. Economic losses are typically documented. However, a skilled personal injury lawyer or attorney will also work to show all the ways in which you were intangibly harmed by the defendant or the defendant's actions; non-economic losses can vary dramatically depending on who is representing you and how well they tell your story.
When a defendant’s misconduct has been egregious, it may be appropriate to pursue punitive damages. These are damages meant to deter future wrongdoing. They may not be available in an ordinary car accident lawsuit, but they may be awarded when an accident was caused by the defendant’s drunk driving.Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer in Atlanta or the Surrounding Areas
If you sustained injuries because of another party’s negligence or misconduct, you should consult the seasoned law firm personal injury attorneys at Van Sant Law. Our firm is dedicated to pursuing justice for accident victims. We also represent workers in their workers’ compensation claims. We assist people throughout Georgia from offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Athens, Cumming, Duluth, Lawrenceville, and Gainesville. Call us at 855-GA-INJURY or complete our online form.FAQ
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A Georgia personal injury claim is a lawsuit filed by or on behalf of someone who was injured because of someone else’s negligence. Claims may also be filed because another party breached their duty of care and was responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. In a personal injury claim, the victim demands payment of the compensation that she or he is entitled to under the law. Sometimes personal injury claims are litigated in court, but they are often settled by the parties outside the courtroom.
How Much Is the Average Personal Injury Settlement?
Every personal injury claim is different, and there are several factors that go into determining how much a claim is worth. Settlements can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. The determination of fault, the amount of available insurance coverage, and the type, extent and duration of your injuries can all influence the ultimate settlement amount. The potential settlement amount may also be higher if you missed work because of your injuries or needed specialized medical treatments and care. Your personal injury litigation attorney can help you obtain the best possible settlement and outcome for your claim.
What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?
Most personal injury lawsuits are settled outside of court. In fact, statistics suggest that only about 5% of cases are settled by jury verdicts. In those cases that do go to court, the plaintiff is victorious and is awarded damages more than 90%[BV1] of the time.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
An injury attorney advocates on behalf of his or her clients, going head-to-head with the responsible party and their insurance company to help the victim recover the damages the state of Georgia says she or he is entitled to receive.
When you hire an attorney to handle your personal injury claim, your lawyer will gather evidence to support your case, including police reports/records (if applicable), medical records, witness testimony and all other relevant documentation. Your attorney will also handle all communications, negotiate with the other party’s attorneys, take deposition testimony from the parties and prepare to take your case to trial.
What Happens After Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?
A deposition is essentially a recorded interview with one of the parties or a witness, during which questions about the facts are asked and answered. After depositions are completed, both parties’ attorneys review the transcripts carefully, with an eye toward identifying inconsistencies, inaccuracies, the need for other witnesses or admissions of fault.
Your injury attorney will work with opposing counsel to determine whether the parties can come to a settlement agreement. Often, there are multiple rounds of negotiations before a settlement is agreed upon. Sometimes, the parties cannot agree on terms. If that happens in your case, your attorney will proceed with preparing your case for trial.