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GEORGIA PERSONAL INJURY AND CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS

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Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve suffered a personal injury caused by another person or organization’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages. Whether a person was injured as a result of a poor design, a driver’s inattention causing an accident or a person’s negligence, the negligent party should compensate you for the victim’s financial and emotional losses. Contact ChancoSchiffer P.C. to discuss the details of your case over a free initial consultation with an attorneys.

Quickly Access Personal Injury Information

What is a “Personal Injury?”

A personal injury refers to an injury sustained to someone’s physical, emotional or mental state that is caused by another individual and/or organization’s negligence or recklessness. A personal injury claim could also arise from breaches of privacy that damage one’s reputation, employment, investments, and more. There are many different types of personal injury cases. Five of the most common claims that occur in Georgia include:

  • Car Accidents. One of the most common is a car accident claim. Car accidents can occur because of distracted driving, impaired driving, someone acting recklessly, or another factor. Auto accident claims are often more clear-cut, as there is usually a negligent driver. For example, if one of the drivers was on his or her phone and crashed into another car, the court would likely find him or her liable. To discuss the details of your accident car with an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer, contact our office.
  • Medical malpracticeA person may file for medical malpractice if a doctor made a reckless or unreasonable decision that led to an injury. Medical malpractice cases are more complex because they hinge on proving a doctor acted unreasonably, and there is no clear legal definition of reasonable medical care.
  • Premises Liability. People also often file personal injury claims for slip and fall accidents. Premises liability is often part of slip and fall claims, as property owners have a legal duty to keep their properties reasonably safe for visitors.
  • Defamation of character is also a more common type of personal injury case. If someone damages a person’s reputation with libel or slander, the victim could file a personal injury claim against him or her. For most claims, the victim must only prove that the defendant’s damaging statement was false.
  • Dog Bites. Dog bites are another cause for personal injury claims. In Georgia, the victim must prove the defendant previously knew his or her dog was dangerous or vicious, and did not take steps to prevent the dog from injuring someone. However, if the dog is not on a leash when it attacks, the court could find the owner liable even if he or she did not know the dog had aggressive tendencies.

How to File a Personal Injury Claim in Atlanta

Many kinds of personal injury cases exist, from car accidents to those involving defective products or conditions on another party’s property. No matter how an injury occurs, it is important for a person to understand for a person to understand the legal processes that follow and how they may affect grounds for a personal injury case. If you believe that someone else is legally responsible for your injuries, the following steps can be used to protect your potential personal injury claim.

  1. Investigate Insurance

If you sustained injuries in an accident, you first step will be to investigate and determine if insurance can cover your injuries. In some cases, this will be simple. All Georgia drivers, for example, are required to carry insurance with minimum amounts of coverage. Business owners and homeowners are similarly beholden to carry such policies.

This first step is important because it helps determine the viability of a personal injury claim and where to go next. For example, if a motorist does not have any insurance coverage, or you were the victim of a hit and run, you may have to go through your own insurance policy to obtain compensation.

  1. Find a Personal Injury Attorney

If your accident involved any type of injury, your damages may be significant. At this point, it is essential to schedule a free initial consultation with a personal injury law firm to discuss your legal options. In this no-obligation meeting, an attorney will review the facts of your case and determine if there is an evidentiary basis for a claim.

Should an attorney determine that you have legal grounds for a viable personal injury claim, he or she will likely take your case on a “contingency-fee” basis. This means you will not owe any attorney’s fees unless he or she obtains a settlement or court judgment on your behalf. Generally, it’s worth having a personal injury attorney represent your rights because it helps you achieve maximum compensation for your tangible and intangible losses.

  1. File the Claim

Many personal injury cases never make it to trial because both parties reach a settlement beforehand. In many cases, two parties may achieve a resolution before filing a lawsuit becomes necessary. Sometimes, the simple act of getting an attorney involved can help expedite the process and help recoup the losses that arise from the accident.

Attorneys are valuable early in the process because they help negotiate with insurance companies. When a party has insurance coverage, an attorney can send a document called a “notice of claim” that details the date of the accident and your intent to file a claim for damages. Later, in a separate document called a “demand letter,” an attorney can document the specifics of your accident, including the damages incurred and the appropriate settlement amount desired.

When settlement negotiations break down or prove unfruitful, it may be necessary to file a formal lawsuit. An attorney can help you abide by any important laws and regulations that may apply to your case, such as the statute of limitations. Your attorney can also ensure that you file a claim with the appropriate court system and follow any other requirements that may affect your claim. Though many personal injury cases do settle out of court, having a personal injury attorney early in the process can help you if a formal claim becomes necessary.

  1. Trial and Judgment

When all settlement negotiations fail, a personal injury case may go to final trial by jury. In this proceeding, a jury will listen to the facts of the case and make a final decision regarding the veracity of the claim and the damage amount, if applicable.

Building Your Case

Once you have a medical report from your doctor and the police report from your accident, you should be ready to start building your personal injury case. It’s vital to find a reliable and experienced personal injury attorney who has solid experience in the area of law most relevant to your case. For example, if you sustained injuries in a car accident, you wouldn’t want to hire a lawyer who typically only takes medical malpractice cases.

When you meet with your attorney, he or she will review the details of the case to determine whether you have solid grounds for a lawsuit. Personal injury law hinges on the legal concept of “negligence,” or one party’s failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. Your attorney will help you assess the damages in your case and help you determine the defendant of your lawsuit.

Potential Damages Awarded in Atlanta

If you win your case the court could award you damages, which you can receive for a variety of reasons. The most basic type of compensation is for current or future medical expenses, including hospital bills, cost for doctor visits, physical therapy, and any other medical necessities you required.

The court could also award you damages for wages you lost on any days you needed off from work to recover. If the injury prevents you from being able to earn as much as before, the court could also order the defendant to compensate you for the difference between the two salaries.

You may also receive compensation for pain and suffering, which focuses on overall quality of life. Many attorneys will bring in people who can testify about your quality of life before and after the incident to prove the need for pain and suffering compensation.

Georgia Personal Injury Laws

Liability

It’s possible for a personal injury claim to involve more than one defendant. Your attorney will review the facts of your claim to discern which persons or parties bear any responsibility for your damages. For example, if you sustained an injury at work due to a defective piece of equipment, you may have an Atlanta product liability claim against the manufacturer. However, if your supervisor knew the equipment was dangerous, but did nothing to correct the situation in a timely manner, your supervisor bears a degree of fault as well.

Georgia follows a modified comparative fault statute, meaning that multiple defendants in a personal injury lawsuit will receive a fault percentage based on their level of responsibility for the damages in question. It’s also possible for the plaintiff to absorb some liability as well. A plaintiff who is found partially at fault in a modified comparative negligence state will lose a portion of the case award equal to his or her fault percentage.

Modified Comparative Fault

Georgia follows the modified comparative fault rule, which gives the court the right to adjust compensation based on how responsible each party was for the incident. For example, if the court determines that you were 20% at fault for the incident that caused your injury, it could reduce your compensation by 20%.

Georgia’s Statute of Limitations

In Georgia, you have two years after the time of the incident to file a claim. If you do not file within two years, you may lose your right to receive compensation for the accident.

Schedule a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury in Atlanta, you deserve compensation. ChancoSchiffer P.C. can provide you with determined representation. We offer quality, personal legal service. Contact ChancoSchiffer P.C. for experienced and dedicated legal assistance in your Atlanta personal injury claim.