Q: What will happen in my personal injury case?
A: Well, that’s a very general question. Each case is different. Here are a few generalities that might address some of your concerns.
When you’ve suffered an injury due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, it’s only fair that you be compensated for any losses that you have incurred and may continue to incur as a result of the incident. This includes pay from lost work time, medical bills, property loss, pain and suffering (what I call intangible or human losses) and legal expenses. A consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine whether or not your case warrants further investigation, whether you need a lawyer and how likely you will be to recover your losses and at what level. Not every case requires an attorney.
Once it has been confirmed that you need to be represented by an attorney, you will not have to have any further direct contact with insurance companies or the responsible parties. Your personal injury attorney will provide a buffer and represent you in all future communications.
As you work through a personal injury claim, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Be prepared to offer evidence of negligence. In order to successfully bring a case against another party for personal injury, it is imperative that you prove there was negligence or recklessness on their behalf. The litmus test in any personal injury case comes down to whether or not reasonable care was taken. In some cases, there may be multiple parties that are responsible. Even if you were partially at fault up to 49%, you can still recover for a percentage of your loss. However, under Georgia law as a general rule, if you are 50% at fault or more, you cannot recover.
Be prepared to provide necessary documentation. In order to provide proof of loss, you will need to be able to produce documents such as medical records, tax records, receipts, and pay stubs. Be sure to keep good records of any or all details and conversations relating to the case that you can. File both your originals and backup copies for future use. As the plaintiff, you should also plan on being deposed by attorneys for each party.
Be prepared to be patient. A personal injury case can take anywhere from a couple of months to over a year to conclude depending on whether a settlement is offered and accepted or the case goes to trial. And even once a case has been decided by a jury it can continue on if the Defendant appeals. The time frame can also be extended by the number of defendants involved in the case and the individual negotiations that must take place.
If you have questions or would like to discuss your personal injury case with us, call us at 770-564-1600.