Chances are, someone in your family has needed a Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer at some point in their lives. Lawrenceville personal injury lawyers help people with problems big and small. You may have been hurt in a slip and fall at a department store. Or maybe a neighbor’s dog bit you while you were walking to your car. These are the kinds of things that require a Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer.
If you’re injured at the hands of another, you may need to file a personal injury claim. Depending on how serious your injuries are, your claim could be pretty big. You don’t want to handle it yourself. You need to rely on an experienced Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
For most personal injury cases, you’ll file a claim against the defendant’s insurance company. If your claim is paid – great. But if they don’t pay it, you’re going to have a problem. You will have to file an appeal. And, if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to file a lawsuit. This isn’t something most people know how to do. That’s why Lawrenceville has skilled personal injury lawyers.
What are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims?
A Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer can handle all types of cases. Some are more common than others. Thankfully, most cases don’t involve life-threatening injuries. Regardless of the type of injury, your lawyer will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Some of the most common types of personal injury claims include:
If you get hurt on someone else’s property and get injured, you’ll have a claim for damages. People are required to maintain their property in a safe condition. If they don’t and you get hurt, they will be held responsible. You can file a premises liability claim against either an individual or a company. For the most part, these claims are paid by insurance. For businesses, you’d file a claim against their general liability carrier. Also for individuals, it would be filed against their homeowner’s insurance.
If you get hurt by a product, you will have a product liability claim. For the most part, these claims involve defective products, However, there are a few main types of product liability claims:
Here, the product itself is inherently dangerous. Even it was made perfectly, it still would’ve injured the plaintiff. A lot of cases involving defective cars involve a defective design issue.
In these cases, the product isn’t inherently dangerous. However, it wasn’t made properly and this is why it injured the plaintiff. Sometimes we see recalls for products like dog treats or baby formula. These recalls are usually done because the product was tainted. This is a manufacturing issue – not a design defect.
Failure to Warn
If a product is dangerous, it can still be sold as long as the fair warning is given. For example, toy companies label their products with safe age ranges. They do this because they were sued at one point for not doing this. Failure to warn cases are common with new products. Most of these cases involve toys or power tools.
There are some drugs out there that are dangerous. No matter what warnings are given, there could be side effects that nobody anticipated. Dangerous drug cases are usually class actions. They can result in very large settlements.
We go to doctors in order to get better. They’re supposed to help us. So, when a doctor does something that injures us or our loved one, we want justice. Medical malpractice is an entirely separate category of personal injury. There are lawyers out there who specialize in medical malpractice. Some of the most common medical malpractice cases involve:
- Birth injuries – When there are complications during labor, babies can be injured. They can end up with cerebral palsy. They may end up with brain injuries due to lack of oxygen. These cases typically result in large settlements. Juries are very sentimental when it comes to child injuries. They can empathize with the parents and imagine how to hurt they must be.
- Failure to diagnose- If a doctor doesn’t diagnose a patient and they end up getting sick or dying, the patient will have a personal injury claim. The same is true for doctors who incorrectly diagnose a patient. A lot of these cases have to do with cancer patients. When a doctor brushes off a patient’s complaints and symptoms and they actually have cancer, there can be devastating results.
- Surgical Errors and Complications – Surgeons aren’t perfect. They do make mistakes. If a doctor performs surgery and hurts a patient, the patient will have a claim for damages. These cases do result in large awards. We hold doctors and surgeons to a high standard. When they fail to meet this standard, we expect to be compensated.
You never know when you may get bitten by a dog. You could be at the park or the beach when a random dog attacks you. Or, you could be taking your trash out when your neighbor’s dog bites you. Dog bites are pretty common personal injury cases. Thankfully, the injuries usually aren’t that serious. However, you still deserve to have your medical bills paid.
Slip and Fall
If you fall on someone else’s property, you may have a personal injury claim. This is a bit different than premises liability. It is limited to falls. For example, if you’re out at a department store and fall on a wet floor, you’ll have a slip and fall claim. The same is true if you fall in an icy parking lot.
Regardless of the type of personal injury claim you have, there are experienced lawyers in Lawrenceville who can handle your case.
How Much is my Personal Injury Claim Worth?
One of the first things clients ask their lawyers is how much their case is worth. People have a misconception about how much money they’ll get in a Lawrenceville personal injury lawsuit. The truth is – you can only be compensated for injuries you actually suffered.
It is not your Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer’s job to make you rich. It is his job to make you whole. There is a big difference. If you only suffer minor injuries, you aren’t going to receive millions of dollars in court. Even people who suffer really serious injuries typically don’t ever receive millions.
Your lawyer is going to fight to get you as much money as possible. But he can only recover what you lost. Aside from pain and suffering, you will have to prove actual damages. Some of the damages your Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer will demand includes:
You are allowed to recover any medical bills caused by your injury. This includes future medical bills. If your doctors think you’ll need medical treatment going forward, he can testify to this fact. Your lawyer will have experts demonstrate how much this future treatment will cost. You should be compensated for this.
If you miss time from work because of your injuries, you can demand that you be compensated. If your case is worth filing a lawsuit over, then it should involve pretty serious injuries. These injuries will more than likely keep you out of work for weeks or even months. Some people end up permanently disabled as a result of their injuries. If this is the case, you will be entitled to the future income you’ll lose as a result of your disability.
If you suffer any property damage or out of pocket expenses, you can demand that you be compensated. Property damage is usually limited to a car accident, but there are times when they can be demanded in a personal injury case.
Pain and Suffering
This is where plaintiffs get their clients their money. If you’re injured, you will experience a certain amount of pain. You’ll also experience some emotional and mental anguish. This is where pain and suffering kick in. These damages are harder to prove. There are no receipts to document pain and suffering. Your lawyer will have to rely on experts and witnesses to prove your pain and suffering.
Your lawyer will make a demand for damages in your lawsuit. The defendant will know from the beginning how much you are asking for. This is the jumping off point for settlement negotiations. The defendant is not going to offer to pay the whole amount. You won’t walk away without a certain amount of money. The lawyers will work together to come up with an amount that is fair to both sides.
When you first meet with your lawyer, he’ll review your case. He can give you a rough estimate of what your case may be worth. He can’t give you an exact figure. Also, he has no idea what may happen in court. There’s no guarantee that you’ll win your case. This is why lawyers settle. They’d rather get you guaranteed money rather than risk it all in court.
Do You Have to Go to Court to Settle Your Case?
Over 95% of all personal injury cases settle. Nobody wants to go to court. Trials are expensive and time-consuming. And, contrary to popular opinion, most cases don’t go before a jury. There are a lot of cases where a judge decides your case.
When you go to court, there’s always a chance that you’ll lose. Even if you have an amazing attorney, there is no guarantee what a judge or jury will do. Your evidence may be weak. The defendant may have a surprise witness that casts doubt on your claim. You just don’t know.
When you first file your lawsuit, the defendant’s lawyer may call to discuss your case. He may offer a small amount just to make the case go away. Your lawyer will probably turn this down. He won’t do anything until he talks to you. But, if your claim is strong enough to warrant a lawsuit, it should be strong enough to resist a tiny settlement.
Once the case gets a little deeper, the odds of a settlement increase. Once the defendant sees what evidence you have, they will be more amenable to a settlement. If they think there’s a chance their client will get hit with a large judgment, they’ll be more likely to settle.
If you do settle your case, you won’t go to court. The lawyers will draw up an agreement. The agreement will state the amount to be paid to the plaintiff. It’ll also state that neither party may come after the other in the future. Once you sign your settlement agreement, you won’t be able to go after the defendant for more money in the future.
After the agreement is signed, you file a copy with the court and let the judge know the matter has been settled. After it’s marked settled, there will be no future court dates. The judge almost always approves a settlement in a Lawrenceville personal injury case. They have no incentive to deny a settlement.
What if the Insurance Company Asks me to Sign an Insurance Release?
When you file a claim against the defendant’s insurance company, they may offer you a settlement. This usually happens pretty early in the process. If an insurance company is offering you a settlement directly, that means that you don’t have a lawyer.
Because you don’t have a lawyer, the insurance company is going to take advantage of you. They may offer you a low-ball settlement. They may try to get you to sign a very one-sided agreement. The settlement agreement will include something called a release.
A release basically requires that the plaintiff release the defendant and his insurance company from all future liability related to the accident. Once you sign it, you can’t take it back. This means that you could find out a month later that you have terrible injuries. If so, there’s nothing you can do about it.
Never sign a release without talking to a Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer. Let your lawyer review the settlement offer. He’ll let you know if it’s fair. If it’s not something you should sign, your lawyer will tell you. He’ll also reach out to the insurance company and try to negotiate a better settlement.
If your lawyer is unable to secure a fair settlement, he’ll have no choice but to file a lawsuit on your behalf. This suit will demand compensation for all of your damages. It will also put the insurance company on notice that you’re not one to be taken advantage of.
How Do I Pay My Medical Bills After my Injury?
If you get injured in an accident, you’re going to have some hefty medical bills to pay. These bills are going to have to be paid. When you first get hurt, you may have to pay co-pays and deductibles. You’ll also have to pay for your prescription medications. Make sure you keep receipts for all of these. Your attorney will need them.
Once your lawsuit is underway, your lawyer will let the medical providers know that you have a pending lawsuit. He’ll include your medical bills in your demand for damages. Once you win or settle your case, you’ll have to pay these medical bills.
When you settle your case, your lawyer will receive your settlement check. He’ll deduct the money spent on filing fees and expenses first. Then he’ll take out his fee. Out of what’s left, you’ll have to pay your medical bills.
Generally, you’ll have to send payment to all of your medical providers. Your lawyer may try to negotiate settlements with the providers for a reduced payment. If you settled for less than the total amount of your claim, he may be able to do this.
It is your responsibility to pay the medical bills out of your settlement. If you don’t, you will create big problems for yourself. You don’t want to pocket the settlement money and then have medical providers hounding you for their money.
Keep in mind, if your medical treatment was covered under either Medicare or Medicaid, you may have to reimburse the State. This means you’ll have to create a set-aside to take care of these bills. Your lawyer can help you do this.
Once the medical bills are all paid, whatever is left of the settlement will be yours.
How Do You Determine Damages in a Personal Injury Case?
Determining damages in a Lawrenceville personal injury case can be difficult. Some damages are a lot easier to determine than others.
Economic damages are pretty easy to prove. You can submit copies of your medical bills. You can also submit evidence of any out of pocket expenses.
When it comes to lost wages, your Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer will submit the following:
- Copies of your payroll records showing any missed time
- Copies of the tax return to show a loss in income from years prior
- Proof of permanent disability if you become disabled due to your injuries
Your lawyer may have to rely on experts to prove your economic damages. These experts can prove how much future income you may have lost. They can also help estimate your damages to account for inflation.
When it comes to pain and suffering, it can be very hard to prove. Some of the factors the jury will consider include:
- How much physical pain you’ve experienced
- Any emotional and mental anguish you are suffering
- Testimony that you can’t do the things you used to do for fun
- Proof of permanent disability
- Evidence that you can no longer take care of your family the way you used to
- Testimony by doctors and psychologist regarding your future pain and suffering
Pain and suffering may make up the lion’s share of your damages. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could end up with a lot of medical issues. Your lawyer will fight to get you the most money possible.
How to Determine Who’s at Fault in Your Case?
The hardest part of your lawsuit is proving causation. In order to win your case, you have to prove that the defendant is responsible for your injuries. The fact that you got hurt isn’t enough. You also must be able to prove that the defendant directly caused your injuries.
Your lawyer will rely on several things to prove fault. Some of the tools he’ll use are:
- Testimony by experts as to who caused the accident
- Medical testimony about the nature of your injuries
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Statements made by the parties themselves
- Common sense
- Case law
- Your testimony
Some of these types of evidence won’t apply to your case. It all depends on your situation. If your case was a slip and fall, there may not be any need to have an accident recreation expert. Likewise, if you suffered a dangerous drug interaction, you won’t need witness statements.
Your lawyer has handled dozens of cases just like yours. You can trust that he knows exactly what it takes to prove causation. You have to remember – your lawyer receives nothing unless you win your case. He has every incentive to do what it takes to get you the most money possible.
How Does Negligence Work Under Georgia Law?
Negligence works the same way in every state. Negligence, by definition, just means that the defendant didn’t behave the way he should and, as a result, you were hurt. There are four basic elements of a negligence case. Your Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer has to prove all four elements in order to win your lawsuit:
- The defendant had a duty of care
- He breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of his duty
It’s worth taking a look at each of these elements in detail.
What does it mean to say the defendant had a duty of care? Well, it means he was required to act in a certain way. For example, a cook has a duty to only serve food that is cooked properly. A doctor has a duty to diagnose his patients promptly and correctly.
Different defendants have different duties of care. Some of the most common duties involved in negligence cases include:
- Daycare workers – Have a duty to care for your child. They must keep your child safe while in their care. This means they keep things like sharp objects and chemicals away from your child. it also means they must pay attention to what the kids are doing at all times.
- Mechanics – Have a duty to repair your car properly. They must quality ingredients and the right tools. They must return cars to their customers that run properly and safely. This means they don’t use tires that are drily rotted. Nor can they use the wrong kind of oil in your engine.
- Store owners – Have a duty to keep their stores clean and free of debris. They must make sure their floors are safe and that their customers don’t trip on their shelving.
- Plastic Surgeons – Have a duty to perform the proper procedure on the right body parts. They must use sterile equipment and warn their clients of any dangers. They must also provide their patients with proper aftercare instructions.
- Drivers – Rideshare and cab drivers must operate their cars in a safe manner. They must obey the rules of the road and all traffic laws. They cannot operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Now that we’ve talked about what duties exist, we can look at how these duties may be breached. Some common examples of breaches of duties of care are:
- Doctors who perform surgery while under the influence of alcohol
- Daycare workers who allow a child to wander off and touch a hot stove
- Uber drivers who drive recklessly and hit a pedestrian
- Restaurants who serve undercooked meat
This part of the negligence case is pretty obvious. You have to suffer legitimate injuries in order to file a negligence claim.
Your lawyer must prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. Unless you have a pre-existing condition, this should be easy for your lawyer to prove. The defendant may claim that you were responsible for your accident. If they do that, your lawyer will have to prove that the defendant is at fault.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Georgia?
Every state has something called the statute of limitations. This statute dictates how long you have to file your lawsuit. The statute of limitations in Georgia is as follows:
- For injuries, you have two (2) years from the date of your accident to file your claim. the two years starts when you get hurt – not when you realize you’re injured.
- For property damages, you have four (4) years to file your claim. There aren’t typically property damages involved in most Lawrenceville personal injury lawsuits. But, if you did suffer property damage, you will have four years to file your lawsuit.
Most attorneys just combine all damages into one lawsuit. So, for our purposes, you really have two (2) years to get your claim filed. If you don’t file in time, your claim will be barred forever. The court is not going to grant extensions.
Just because you don’t have an attorney, the court isn’t going to have any pity on you. You are still required to meet all procedural requirements even if you are handling the case yourself.
Choose Our Lawrenceville Personal Injury Lawyers to Win Your Case
It’s important that you have an experienced Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer to handle your case. There are so many reasons for this. Some of these reasons are:
- The insurance company is not going to take you seriously. They will try to take advantage of you. They may even offer you a low-ball settlement in the hopes that you’ll sign a release.
- There are strict court rules that must be followed. If you miss any of these, your case could be dismissed.
- The defendant and the insurance company will have lawyers working for them. You don’t want to be at a disadvantage.
You want to have an experienced attorney by your side. They will make sure your case is filed on time. He will also make sure all parties are named in your suit. There could be multiple defendants responsible for your injuries. If you don’t name them in your initial lawsuit, you may not be able to add them later.
Attorneys spend years learning how to win Lawrenceville personal injury cases. They are experts at dealing with other attorneys, insurance adjusters, and the courts. They have the experience needed to win your case.
Call the offices of John B. Jackson to handle your personal injury case. They will do what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve. Call and schedule your free initial consultation today. It gives you a chance to have a skilled Lawrenceville personal injury attorney review your case. He will also let you know what it may be worth.
The consultation is absolutely free and you pay nothing until you win your case!