Statutes surrounding personal injury accidents differ from state to state. If you’ve sustained personal injuries in Decatur, Georgia, you want to make sure you understand which statutes apply to your situation. Georgia's personal injury claims process has many variations in its statutes, which means that hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is a brilliant idea.
If you’ve been suffered injuries in an accident in Georgia, the statute of limitations deadlines is two years, which means you have a two-year deadline to file an injury claim in Georgia. However, this time limit is shortened to one year if the personal injury claim is against a government agency. There are additional stipulations for suing counties, towns, or municipalities. If you fail to file your injury lawsuit within that time limit, your case will most likely be dismissed unless there are mitigating circumstances, such as the late diagnosis of cancer that couldn’t possibly have been discovered earlier.
How Do I File a Personal Injury Claim in Decatur, Georgia?
Every case is unique, which is why having legal counsel on your side can be a lifesaver. However, there are some general steps that most personal injury cases go through in Decatur, Georgia.
Inform insurance providers of the accident. Georgia is a fault state, just like most states across the United States. This means that in case of an injury, the at-fault party and their insurance company are responsible for the victim’s medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other financial damages. Georgia follows the modified comparative fault rule, which means each party is assigned a percentage of the liability for the incident that lead to the injuries in question. Rarely is an injured party 100% at fault or 100% innocent. However, if an injured person is over 50% responsible for their bodily injuries, then financial recovery is barred. You must put your insurance carrier on notice that an accident occurred and you’ve suffered physical injuries or property damage. An experienced car accident attorney can do this for you, which allows you to put off any written statements with your insurance company until you’ve had time to speak about your case with your personal injury lawyer.
Investigate your accident and file an injury claim. A thorough investigation of the accident is crucial to compile substantive evidence you may need to prove negligence, causation, and liability. our skilled Decatur personal injury attorneys will help you file your insurance claim with the appropriate insurance company or companies and present a solid case that proves your entitlement to financial damages.
Draft a demand letter. Your injury lawyer will most probably be the one to draft the demand letter and send it to your insurance provider. This document typically includes important facts such as where and how the accident occurred, medical expenses, lost income, medical receipts, and the demand for financial compensation. Most demand letters include a time limit within which the insurance carrier must respond--typically 30 days).
Negotiate a settlement. The insurance provider might offer a settlement offer that covers your basic and most immediate expenses and losses. However, that this offer might not cover the long-term expenses and financial losses you'll experience. Before you settle any personal injury claim, ensure you fully understand the extent of your financial damages and run any settlement offers by your lawyer first. At Marks Law Group, our legal team will help you decide whether to accept a settlement offer or continue negotiations. If we don't receive a settlement that we think is fair, we are ready to take your case to trial by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
File an injury lawsuit and go to trial. If settlement negotiation fails, your injury attorney will prepare a legal complaint, which outlines what occurred during the accident, the financial expenses you have incurred, and what you demand as monetary compensation. This usually is filed in the local court where the accident happened. You must serve a copy to the defendant, who then has time to compile a defense and hire a personal injury lawyer of their own. After this, both the injured party and the at-fault party move into the discovery phase, where when you and your lawyer request information from the other side. Witnesses and documents are identified, and both the injured party and the defendant submit what they plan to bring as evidence during a court trial. The respective lawyers also present legal motions, including a motion to dismiss or request the judge to rule over certain details of the case. Once the discovery phase is completed and motions have been decided, a date is set for the court trial. To prove negligence in court, you must prove that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, that the duty of care was breached, and this resulted in you accruing bodily injuries or financial damages. At the court trial, both parties have the opportunity to present their side of the case, question witnesses in front of a jury or judge, and introduce supporting evidence. It’s the jury’s job to establish whether the at-fault party is liable, and if so, what is appropriate to award as fair compensation.
Do You Need a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney to File an Injury Claim?
It’s crucial to remember that most personal injury cases settle before going to trial. Typically, you organize and prepare your personal injury case, and the insurance carrier of the at-fault person will offer a settlement amount.
Insurance providers have two main goals when offering a settlement offer: (1) reducing the cost of your injury claim and (2) avoiding a court trial. This is because court trials are time-consuming and expensive for everyone involved. Some court trials can stretch out for months. If you approach an insurance provider without a lawyer, you may be offered a settlement offer injury far below what your case deserves. Additionally, you may miss important facts that could make sure you get a better settlement offer.
If you sustained catastrophic injuries that require extended medical treatment and lost time at work, it's wise that you meet with and hire a skilled personal injury lawyer. If you don’t, you might miss out on the thousands of dollars that you're entitled to.
Marks Law Group: Your Experienced Decatur Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re searching for a knowledgeable, experienced personal injury law firm in Decatur, GA, Marks Law Group is here for you. Our personal injury law firm has decades of experience helping personal injury victims recover the maximum compensation they deserve. Our legal team will help you navigate your injury case with expert information and compassionate legal advice. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our law firm today at (404) 939-1485.