This week on the blog, we’re taking a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about personal injury. 

What is a personal injury… 

What is a personal injury claim? 

A personal injury claim is the process of seeking money to compensate someone for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other expenses and damages related to an injury caused by another person or entity. These claims can arise from slip and falls, car accidents, truck accidents, negligent security, shootings, sexual assaults, wrongful death, and more. For a claim to be successful in Georgia, the injured person must be able to show that another person or entity was at fault, or responsible, for causing the injury or harm and the injured person must be less than 50% responsible for the injury.  

What is a personal injury lawyer? 

A personal injury lawyer is an attorney who represents people with personal injury claims or “plaintiffs.” You wouldn’t hire your plumber to fix your wiring, so you shouldn’t hire a divorce attorney or a criminal attorney for a personal injury matter. Some people try to resolve their case on their own without a lawyer, but insurance companies never put top dollar on cases with unrepresented plaintiffs. Georgia personal injury law is nuanced and complicated. It is also ever-changing. How laws are interpreted may change in a single day with a decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals or Georgia Supreme Court. A qualified personal injury lawyer may be the difference between getting a mediocre payout and a life-changing result. 

What is a personal injury lawsuit? 

Often times, negotiating with an insurance company or corporation about the value of an injured person’s claim is unsuccessful. The insurance company can claim a person’s injuries are unrelated to the incident or they can claim the injured person was “at fault” and caused their own injuries. In many scenarios, insurance companies just do not pay for claims for personal injury simply because they do not think the injured person will be able to do anything about it. A personal injury lawsuit starts when a person turns to the court system to resolve their personal injury claim. The first step to filing a personal injury lawsuit and receiving compensation for your injuries is to file a complaint. From there, the process called “litigation” is complex. It is essential that injured plaintiffs hire a personal injury lawyer to represent them in these lawsuits. 

 

People also ask… 

What does a personal injury claim cover? 

In general, a personal injury claim covers most, if not all, costs arising from the injury. The law refers to these costs as damages. Personal injury damages include economic damages like past and future medical costs and loss of income. But they can also include non-economic damages, or damages that do not have a recognizable value, like pain and suffering, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life. The recoverable damages are entirely dependent upon the type and extent of the person’s injury. If you are injured, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer so that you recover everything you are entitled to. 

What are types of personal injuries? 

A personal injury case be a physical one (breaking a bone, herniating a disc, suffering a concussion, etc.) or an emotional one (anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.). But whether you can receive compensation for personal injuries like these depends on how they are caused and who caused them. For example, if someone slips and falls in their own home on water they mistakenly spilled, they may be injured, but do not have a personal injury for which they can recover. Reason being, no one else caused their harm. If that same person suffered an injury from a truck accident caused by another driver, their injuries are compensable. 

How is personal injury… 

How is personal injury calculated? 

There is no set “formula” for determining how much a personal injury case is worth. If a case goes to trial, the value of your case is determined entirely by a jury. It is the personal injury lawyer’s job to tell the jury how to value the damages suffered by the plaintiff. Most personal injury cases do not go to trial though—they settle before then. But it is still important that an injured person hire an experienced personal injury lawyer with a history of good verdicts at trial. Reason being, insurance companies value the total amount of a plaintiff’s damages higher if his or her lawyer has a history of convincing juries to award large verdicts.  

One of the first things your Atlanta personal injury attorney may look at are medical bills and expenses. Though your recovery will usually cover more than just the cost of your medical treatment, this is a good place to start. Next, your attorney will look at the insurance coverage involved. This includes the insurance for the party at fault but can also include your own insurance in some circumstances. In most circumstances, if the amount of insurance available is less than value of the plaintiff’s damages, the limits of the insurance policy caps the value of the case. A qualified attorney will exhaust every option available to maximize your recovery. 

Why is my personal injury… 

Why is my personal injury claim going to court? 

Claims go to court when they turn from personal injury claims to personal injury lawsuits. In most cases, claims will settle outside of court. Statistics show only 4-5% of personal injury claims ever make it to court. In the rare instance in which your claim cannot come to a settlement fairly outside of court, the best solution and chance at getting a fair result is to file a lawsuit.  

Why is my personal injury claim taking so long? 

Unfortunately, there is no set timeline for personal injury cases—especially after they are filed in court. Since every case has different facts and parties, two seemingly similar cases can take vastly different times to settle or resolve. Some cases take months, while others can take years. More, the COVID-19 pandemic stalled many cases since courts were shut down for months. The backlog of cases caused by the pandemic is still impacting lawsuits now. A good car accident attorney in Atlanta will keep you up-to-date on the status of your case and let you know what deadlines are approaching. 

Why is my personal injury case going to trial? 

Just like making a claim does not always lead to a settlement without a lawsuit, a lawsuit does not always lead to a settlement without a trial. At the end of the litigation process, the court will put the case on a trial calendar. The complexity of your case and its value, among other factors, determines if your case goes the distance to trial. Sometimes, insurance companies simply disagree about the value of a personal injury case to the point where the only way to recover is for a jury to award the plaintiff damages. Having a lawyer with a proven trial record can be crucial to your claim. 

These are just some of the questions people search on Google about personal injury cases. If you, or someone you know, was injured in a truck accident, shooting, assault, or fall, call the experienced trial lawyers at the Rafi Law Firm for a free consultation today at 404-800-9933.

If you have been injured by another party and need representation by a legal team that will fight hard for you, call Rafi Law Firm today for a free consultation at 404-800-1156.