Roswell Personal Injury Lawyers Helping Accident Victims Get Compensation for Their Injuries
When you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else, it can be overwhelming to see a clear path forward in terms of recovering fair compensation for your injuries. Filling out paperwork and dealing with phone calls from insurance adjusters while trying to recover and heal feels overwhelming, especially when you don’t know if you are taking the correct steps to be paid fairly. Our firm has helped many clients to recover fair payment for their personal injury claims and is ready to help you with your case. Here are some key pieces of information you need to know.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Injured in an Accident?
It is important to seek medical care following an accident, even if you don’t feel hurt or don’t have any symptoms. It is not uncommon for an injury to manifest itself days or even weeks after the accident occurred. It is in your best interest to get examined by a healthcare professional and retain a copy of your medical records. If you later develop symptoms from your injury, you might be looking at a long fight with the insurance company in order to receive a settlement payment, because they may want to deny your claim based on the fact that you delayed receiving medical care and your symptoms could be related to a separate injury sustained later.
It is also in your best interest to consult a personal injury attorney to see if you have a claim and to get advice on what steps you need to take next. You may need to gather evidence, such as witness accounts, surveillance camera recordings, pictures from the accident scene, and other important information, to strengthen your case.
How Much Compensation May I Be Entitled To? Do I Have to Accept the First Insurance Settlement Offer?
At our firm, we do everything we can to secure maximum compensation for our personal injury clients. We understand that when you have medical bills piling up, your main concern is to find out how much money you will get from your claim. Unfortunately, every case is unique, and it is hard to provide a specific figure. There are personal injury “calculators” available on the internet, but those can end up grossly over or underestimating the value of your claim.
However, as a general guideline, you may expect to see larger sums issued for cases with severe injuries and long-term consequences for the victim. When you are able to prove that your injury has caused you a great deal of pain, suffering, and economic losses and may require long-term rehabilitation or treatment, you may be able to secure a higher settlement, as opposed to a fender-bender case that resulted in a few bruises.
Do I Have to Accept the First Insurance Settlement Offer?
Finally, when you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, they may be quick to offer you a settlement and may even make you feel pressured to accept it. In most cases, their initial offer is not adequate to cover all your losses, and you are not required to accept it. Their low settlement offer is simply an attempt to cut their losses and close out your claim quickly at the lowest settlement amount possible. This is a common strategy used by insurance companies. They do not make their profits by issuing large settlement payments and do not always have the victim’s best interest in mind. They know you are hurting for money and may try to talk you into accepting a low settlement, but you should never accept any settlement offer before consulting your attorney, as, oftentimes, the amount offered is not adequate to cover your losses.
How Does Negligence Work in Personal Injury Claims in Georgia?
One of the most common theories used in a personal injury case is negligence. In order to establish negligence, you as the victim will need to prove four key elements: 1) that the other party owed a duty of care to you, 2) that the at-fault party breached their duty of care, 3) that this breach resulted in your injury, and 4) that the injury resulted in losses. Let’s look at an example.
Suppose you are driving your car through a busy intersection when, suddenly, another driver blows right through a red light and crashes into you. The other driver was on their phone texting and did not see that the light had turned red. Because each driver on the road owes a duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians, the driver who distractedly crossed a red light breached their duty of care to you and caused you to be injured with a broken arm, as well as damaged your vehicle beyond repair. Hypothetically, you would be able to file a claim for negligence if this was a real case.
What Happens if I Am Partially At-Fault for My Accident?
In some situations, the victim may be partially to blame for contributing to the accident, or a defendant might fight back and make such a claim but being partially at fault for your accident does not automatically disqualify you from receiving any compensation. This is because Georgia is one of eleven other states that use the modified comparative fault system.
With the modified comparative fault system, a victim cannot be more than 50% at-fault for the accident in order to be eligible for compensation. Your percentage of fault would be used to determine the discount in your damage award. For example, let’s use our fictitious case of the distracted driver from earlier. If the other driver is able to prove that you contributed to the accident because you were speeding and also talking on the phone, the court might say you are 20% responsible for your injuries. You will still receive compensation, but they will subtract 20% of whatever amount you may be awarded.
If you believe you may be partially at fault, working with an Estate Planning Attorney in Atlanta is fundamental to help you try and reduce your at-fault percentage and get maximum compensation. Besides, it is not unusual for defendants to try and claim you were partially at fault in an attempt to reduce the amount they need to pay you. An attorney can pick up on these strategies and build a strong case to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
What Types of Damage Will I Be Able to Recover?
As the word implies, damages are a remedy issued by a court (usually in monetary payments) as a form of compensation for monetary loss or injury. Personal injury cases usually recover compensatory damages for the victim by placing a dollar amount in the victim’s injuries and determining that payment is necessary to restore the victim financially, physically, and emotionally.
Compensatory damages can be divided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to concrete losses or expenses resulting from the accident. Things like lost wages due to being unable to work, medical bills, rehabilitation or physical therapy bills, vehicle repair costs, and any other expenses are considered economic damages. These are usually easy to prove through documentation, such as W-2s, hospital bills, and financial statements.
Most personal injury attorneys will also pursue compensation for things like pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Those are considered non-economic damages, and due to their subjective nature, they are not so easy to prove or quantify. In order to seek non-economic damages, an attorney might rely on a number of different strategies, such as recruiting the help of an expert that can testify about the injury sustained by the victim and its consequences. Each case is different, but if you have an eligible claim, you might see your attorney seeking compensation on your behalf for both economic and non-economic damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Case in Georgia?
Most personal injury claims in Georgia are subject to the state’s statute of limitations of 2 years following the date of the accident. While that may seem like a fair amount of time to begin your case, you may see better chances of success by acting quickly and initiating your claim as soon as possible.
Depending on the nature of your accident, important evidence used to support your case may become harder to obtain as time goes by. Memories fade and key pieces of evidence may be at the risk of being suppressed or destroyed. By acting quickly, you will also give your attorney a better chance of putting together a strong case on your behalf and conducting a thorough investigation to maximize your chances of winning.
What Happens if More Than One Person Caused My Accident?
In some cases, our clients may find themselves dealing with more than one responsible party and facing the prospect of multiple claims. This happens in many different situations, such as accidents involving a commercial vehicle or a workplace accident. In an accident involving a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck, for example, you might discover that the truck driver was partially liable, but the truck carrier also played a role in your accident. If you were injured on the job due to faulty equipment, you may be able to receive worker’s compensation payment from your employer, but you may also want to initiate a product liability suit against the manufacturer of the faulty equipment.
This is when working with a skilled attorney makes all the difference. When you seek the help of a personal injury attorney shortly after your accident occurred, you will be able to get help identifying all responsible parties for your injury. If the investigation points to more than one at-fault party, your attorney may recommend filing separate claims to maximize your damages award amount.
Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?
Most personal injury cases are settled without going to trial. It is common for parties to reach a settlement agreement before the trial date. This is a more favorable route because it usually means you will not have to wait for a court decision before receiving your money. However, a small percentage of cases ends up in court when there is a dispute or when there is a legal issue being contested.
It is important for you to work with your attorney and gather strong evidence to support your case so that the other party is more likely to accept the evidence and offer a settlement agreement. Cases that require a trial take longer to settle. If your case is likely to go to trial, your attorney will then advise you on what to expect.
What if I Can’t Afford Hiring an Attorney for My Case?
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis rather than charging a flat fee upfront or charging by the hour. This means you do not need to worry about paying for your attorney until your case is won and your settlement is awarded. You have the right to seek compensation for your pain and suffering and hiring a personal injury attorney may give you a fair advantage when it is time to fight with the insurance companies.
Look for an attorney with a track record of obtaining favorable verdicts for their clients and has handled claims similar to yours in the past. The best way to find the attorney that is right for you is to contact a few different firms and ask them questions until you find a personal injury lawyer that you feel good working with and who has the experience to win your case. Most attorneys will not ask for more than 33.33% of your settlement amount as compensation after you win, so make sure to ask that question upfront.
Why Should I Choose Oren Ross & Associates for My Personal Injury Case?
When you’ve been injured, you need to be able to count on a team of attorneys who are not only well-versed in all aspects of Georgia tort law but are also fierce negotiators that will stop at nothing in order to secure a positive verdict on your behalf. Oren Ross & Associates has been serving the Atlanta and Roswell communities and has been instrumental in helping victims get the compensation they deserve.
With a combined experience of over 25 years, we will fight with insurance companies on your behalf and handle every aspect of your claim, so all you need to do is to focus on healing and getting back up on your feet. We are a small firm that takes pride in dedicating ourselves to provide any client with the strongest representation possible. Our clients receive the personalized attention one may expect from a small firm but enjoy “big firm” results. Don’t fight the insurance company by yourself—let us help you instead. Call Oren Ross & Associates at (678) 250-4281.