Serious damage and destruction can easily occur from someone else’s carelessness and inattentiveness and may require the services of an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer. This is shockingly commonplace in the United States. For these type of incidents, our experienced personal injury & car accident lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia at the Law Office of John B. Jackson is prepared to give expert, competent legal counsel. Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers will help you determine what type of personal injury case you have, the damages you can claim, how much your personal injury claim is worth and more.
In cases involving personal injuries and accidents, determining what your personal injury claim is worth involves more than just adding up medical bills and damages to property. It is important to take into consideration the impact your injury could have on your life in the future, psychically, emotionally, and financially. When determining what your injury claim may be worth, it is important to consider the following factors:
The potential for suffering chronic conditions, which could result in periodic relapses and require ongoing treatment;
The impacts health problems could have now and in the future on your ability to participate in activities and do the things you enjoy;
The potential for permanent scarring or disfigurement; and
Lasting disabilities that could affect your ability to work in your chosen field and could impact your earning potential and future savings.
Determining the Worth of Your Claim
All of these things and more need to be carefully considered when calculating the total amount your personal injury claim may be worth. Unfortunately, these are often the type of expenses that are either left out or underestimated when dealing with insurance companies. To get a truly accurate estimate of what your claim is worth is to contact our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer for a Free Case Review.
Should I Sign an Insurance Release?
In the aftermath of an accident, injured victims often mistakenly believe that the insurance company is on their side and will help them to get the amount of compensation they deserve. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The insurer is operating a business, and like any business, their bottom line is making money. In order to accomplish this, companies often limit administrative costs by limiting the amount of time and effort spent on each claim, with the result being that offers to settle your claim may be far less than what you expected or what your case is actually worth. According to the Georgia Office of Insurance, avoid signing an insurance release accepting settlement of your accident claim before doing the following:
Conducting your own investigation into the costs associated with replacing or repairing any property damaged in the accident;
Speaking with your doctor about the prognosis for your injuries, any future treatments you may require, and any lasting effects or disabilities you may suffer;
Keeping a written record of all bills and statements you have received, as well as all correspondence you have had with the company and its representatives; and
Consulting with a legal professional before signing a release accepting a settlement amount.
You have one chance to get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. It pays to have our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer working on your behalf and negotiating with the insurance company to ensure you get the maximum amount you deserve.
How to Pay Your Medical Bills After a Work Injury
In the aftermath of an accidental injury, it does not take long for medical bills to come flooding in. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for these bills and other costs associated with your injuries. How do you manage these medical costs while waiting for your case to settle? You can always elect to have your bills paid through your own private insurance. If you do this, you are still free to receive compensation for these costs through your insurance claim or through a personal injury lawsuit. Your other option is to have our Atlanta personal injury lawyer file a letter of protection on your behalf with your medical providers. This letter lets them know that you are involved in a lawsuit and assures creditors that they will be paid through the proceeds of your suit or claim.
Do You Have to Go to Court to Get a Settlement?
While most accident victims want to get the maximum amount of compensation for their injuries, many have concerns about actually taking their cases to court. According to statistics from Black’s Law Dictionary, in approximately 95 percent of personal injury claims, the injured party receives a settlement without ever having to step foot in a courtroom. A major reason that insurance companies are willing to settle is that a court proceeding will likely result in increased costs, such as court fees and legal expenses. Any money saved by offering you less than what your claim is worth is canceled out by these costs. Additional motivation for at-fault parties to settle is that if a claim amount cannot be agreed upon and the case goes to trial, a judge will then set the amount, which is again likely to involve additional costs, thereby eliminating any savings for the insurer or at fault party.
Determining Damages in a Personal Injury Claim
Under Title 51, Chapter 12 of the Georgia Code of Laws, those who are injured in accidents or as the result of another’s negligence are entitled to damages, which is financial compensation for past, present, and potential future costs related to your injuries. The types of damages allowed under Georgia law include the following:
Special damages, which are those expenses you have actually incurred, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and damage to property;
General damages, which are those the law considers as likely to occur in the future, such as future medical costs and job impacts resulting from your injury; and
Punitive damages, which is a form of compensation the court awards to punish an at fault party for particularly reckless and negligent conduct.
When considering these damages, the court allows for such things as pain, suffering, and mental anguish associated with your injury and accident, as well as the loss of enjoyment or quality of life as the result of your injuries.
In assessing the types of damages you may be entitled to receive for your case, our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer extensively investigates your case and the underlying causes of your injury, to determine who can be held responsible. In addition to police reports and witness statements, we also gather evidence in terms of medical records, reports, and the opinions of experts to get an idea of any lasting repercussions you may suffer. You have one opportunity to get the compensation you need, and at the Law Office of John B. Jackson, we leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting you the financial settlement you deserve.
Determining Who Is At Fault For A Personal Injury
In certain cases, when people suffer accidental injuries they are tempted to assume full or partial fault for the accident occurring. They blame themselves for being ‘clumsy’, not watching where they were going, or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Before making any assumptions regarding whether or not you were to blame for the injuries you suffer, it is in your best interest to consult with our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer. Oftentimes, what appears on the surface to be a mere accident is the result of another person’s reckless or negligent conduct.
Determining fault or liability in an accident requires looking below the surface to understand exactly how and why injuries occurred. In many cases, it comes down to an issue of negligence. Under Title 51 of the Georgia Code of Laws, a person can be held liable for injuries for failing to exhibit due care. This can mean doing something that could result in injuries to others or failing to do something to prevent those injuries. Failing to warn customers or clients of unsafe conditions, not following local laws or regulations, or doing something that defies the normal standard of conduct could all make a person or entity liable for injuries that result. Depending on the particular circumstances, the following are some of those who may be held liable for injuries:
In car accidents, the drivers themselves and others who could have prevented the accident, such as a bar owner who over serves an intoxicated patron;
In premises liability cases, property developers, owners, store managers, supervisors, or employees;
In defective product cases, designers, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers; or
In medical malpractice cases, doctors, surgeons, hospitals, and other medical providers.
In each of these cases, all of those listed may share a portion of the blame, therefore sharing a portion of the liability when injuries occur.
Negligence Under Georgia State Law
Accidental personal injuries are often not an accident at all, but instead, are the result of another’s negligent actions. Under Section 51-1-2 of the Georgia Code of Laws, negligence is defined as failing to take certain acts that a reasonably prudent person would take under similar circumstances. Examples of negligence include the following:
A retail store supervisor who fails to ensure employees post signs notifying customers of wet or slippery floors, resulting in slip and fall injuries;
A restaurant owner who fails to ensure safe food handling techniques and storage, resulting in an outbreak of food poisoning;
A dog owner who fails to follow local leash laws, resulting in dog bites and attacks; and
A driver who fails to adhere to posted speeds, resulting in a car accident.
In the above cases, victims are entitled to compensation for their injuries from the person who committed the negligent act. There are also certain cases which are classified as gross negligence. Under Section 51-1-4 of the Georgia Code, these involve injuries caused by another person whose actions are contrary to basic common sense and fail to show the care even the most inattentive person might show under similar circumstances. Cases involving drunk drivers, distributors of products with known defects, and stores that fail to notify customers of obvious construction hazards all have the potential to be judged in a court of law as grossly negligent, entitling victims to additional damages for their injuries.
Statute of Limitations
When you are injured in an accident or as the direct result of another’s reckless conduct or actions, you deserve to be compensated for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Fortunately, injured victims have two courses of action available in terms of seeking reimbursement for their injuries: compensation through an insurance company claim, and compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Georgia law allows time for injured victims to explore their options to determine which avenue is most suited to their particular circumstances.
Statutes of limitations refer to the amount of time allowed by law in which a claimant can file a lawsuit. According to the Georgia Code of Law, Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-33, in cases involving negligence in which the willful and wanton actions of another resulted in injuries to others, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury. Allowing injured parties this period of time in which to file serves several purposes:
It allows injured victims time to recover from their injuries, and to get a general idea of the costs associated with their care and treatment;
It allows time to gauge whether the injured person will suffer any lasting damage or permanent disabilities;
It allows victims time to seek the counsel of an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer;
It allows time for investigations into the circumstances of the accident to be conducted; and
It allows time for negotiations with the insurance company, and time to decide whether an injured person’s interest would be better served through an insurance settlement or through a personal injury claim.
Georgia law does provide for additional time in which to file a lawsuit in cases involving loss of consortium. This is a claim for damages from a spouse or family member of a person who is killed or dies as the result of their injuries, and the above statute gives surviving family members up to four years to file a claim for these types of damages.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Premises Liability Cases
When a property owner is at fault for damages due to injuries occurring on the property it is called a premises liability case. Personal injury claims are frequently premises liability cases. Our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer can identify that these types of accident are often the fault of the property owner, not the victim being called “clumsy.”
According to the records maintained by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are several injuries that are the most common concerning unintentional injuries and are as follows:
Bodily harm by falls and slips;
Bodily harm occurring from something falling on or striking the person;
Bodily harm from being cut or stabbed;
Bodily harm from food poisoning.
These can be serious injuries and should be treated as such since they can lead to persistent conditions like that of fractured bones, muscle injuries, spinal injuries, injuries to the neck and head. Injuries like these mentioned mostly happen as the result of slippery floors, poor lighting, walkways that are not even, construction areas, and by food that has not been handled in the required way.
Product Liability Cases
The owner, seller, distributor, designer, or manufacturer could be found responsible and you could be awarded the compensation you need for your injuries. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that one trillion dollars of damages take place annually due to malfunctioning and defective products. A large database or products that have been recalled for creating potential harm to buyers is maintained by the CPSC, like the ones that follow:
Items electrically operated;
Home appliances and furniture;
Types of transportation, including motorcycles, bicycles, and cars;
Toys and clothes made for kids; and
Spas, pools, and other recreational items.
Malfunctioning or defective equipment can result in all sorts of injuries such as fractured bones, burns, choking hazards, serious cuts, and property damage and our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia can help you recover your losses.
Senate hearings on the quality of healthcare in the U.S. determined that there are close to a thousand deaths of patients that happen in America every day. An uproar from the public has poured out since medical malpractice has grown to be the third highest cause of deaths in the United States. You will get the help you need recover your losses from medical malpractice with our Atlanta personal injury lawyer who is very familiar with cases like the following:
Infections from hospitals;
Delays or errors in diagnosis that were the cause of potentially fatal situations;
Errors in anesthesia or surgeries, such as wrong patient, wrong site, or wrong procedure;
Drug-related errors concerning prescriptions;
Injuries or abuses suffered in nursing homes; and
Defective or broken equipment that is medical.
The life of a patient can be threatened by any of the above cases and medical providers can be held responsible for their medical malpractice.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every year 4.5 million people in the United States sustain injuries due to being bitten by a dog. There are several situations that may lead a familiar dog to bite should the dog be sick or injured; however, many times these attacks are due to owners that are negligent or just plain reckless. Irresponsible owners let their dog out of the house without a leash allowing serious injuries to occur, despite laws requiring people to have their dogs restrained at a controllable distance. If you’re a victim of a dog attack, an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer is here to help. The most common injuries associated with dog attacks and bites are as follows:
Tears to the flesh or cuts and lacerations;
Punctures to the flesh;
Torn tendons and/or muscles;
Infections from bites carrying bacteria and/or diseases; and
Trauma and mental strain from the stress of the attack.
Choose Our Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer to Win Your Case
When it comes to negotiating damages in an insurance settlement or lawsuit, you have one chance to get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. At the Law Office of John B. Jackson, our Atlanta personal injury lawyer has the experience needed in these types of cases and has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. We know the tactics insurance companies use in denying or undervaluing claims, and we understand the hidden and long term costs your injuries may result in.
While you are free to negotiate your claim with the insurance company yourself, we can provide the legal experience and expertise to ensure your rights are protected. Before making any statements or signing an insurance claim release, contact us today and put our innovative legal solutions to work for you. Damages you have suffered in a personal injury claim can be very serious and no one knows that better than our experienced legal team at the Law Office of John B. Jackson.
Contact our Atlanta personal injury firm today to get the compensation you deserve for the losses you have suffered by working with our experienced, passionate and professional group of injury lawyers. Reach out to our office conveniently located at 270 Peachtree St NE Suite 2200, Atlanta, GA 30303 for a FREE and confidential consultation on your case.