The Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., are prepared to vigorously stand up for your legal rights and aggressively seek compensation to make up for your losses.
Schedule your free consultation today by calling us or visiting our contact page.
What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases?
Personal injuries can happen while you’re at home, at work, driving, shopping, and under any number of other circumstances. Here are some of the most common kinds of personal injury cases:
- Car accidents – Injuries related to drunk driving, distracted driving, pedestrian accidents, and so on are all possible personal injury claims.
- Motorcycle accidents – Motorcyclists are vulnerable to drivers who are distracted, are intoxicated, fail to yield the right of way, or fail to check their blind spots.
- Truck accidents – Tractor-trailers weigh much more than cars and are much larger, creating more damage and severe injuries when trucks are involved in crashes. Both the truck driver and their employer – and potentially others – may be liable for damages related to a crash.
- Dog bites – Dog owners are responsible for their pet’s behavior, including if the animal attacks another person. Homeowners’ insurance may be available to pay the costs of a dog bite.
- Slip-and-falls – Employers, landlords, and other property owners are required to maintain the buildings and grounds, as well as take proper precautions so visitors and guests aren’t unnecessarily injured.
- Medical malpractice – While proving medical malpractice requires extra legal work, that should not prevent you from seeking damages if your doctor makes a negligent mistake while you’re under their care.
- Premises liability – Premises liability claims are a broad category covering everything from toxic chemical exposure to visitors slipping on a wet floor. The bottom line is property owners are required to look out for the safety of tenants, guests, etc.
How Do Personal Injuries Most Commonly Occur?
While the specifics of any personal injury claim are unique, the underlying cause in almost all cases is some form of negligence. For instance, if your car is struck by a drunk driver, they’re negligent because they weren’t observing the rules of the road even though they have a clear duty to watch out for other motorists.
Similarly, if you’re a victim of medical malpractice and your doctor’s actions are found to fall below the medical standard of care, their negligence in treating you led to your injury. To prove your personal injury claim, you’ll have to demonstrate that the other party’s actions fit the legal standard for negligence and that they owe you damages as compensation for what they did.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
Georgia has a statute of limitations for filing any personal injury claims. To have your case heard and be eligible for compensation, you must file your claim within two years of the date of your injury. If you file your claim after this deadline has passed, you will be unable to recover any damages. Only very narrow exceptions may apply.
What Evidence Needs to Be Presented in a Personal Injury Case?
There are four pieces to proving a personal injury claim. In a successful personal injury case, you must show that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care (for example, that they had to make sure you didn’t come to harm due to their actions).
- The defendant failed in that duty of care in some way.
- You were injured in some way.
- The defendant’s negligent actions were what led to your injury.
Let’s use a hypothetical example of someone being injured after their car was hit by a drunk driver. All drivers have a duty to follow traffic regulations and watch out for other motorists on the road. That’s the duty of care.
The other driver failed in that duty of care by driving while drunk and then colliding with your vehicle. If you were injured in the crash and can show how it was the driver’s actions that led to your injuries (using police reports, medical records, expert witnesses, and other evidence), you may have successfully proven your claim.
Do Personal Injury Cases Have to Go to Court?
If you file a personal injury claim against another person, that does not mean the case is necessarily headed for court. In fact, the vast majority of such claims are settled out of court in deals between the victim and the negligent party’s insurer.
However, having a credible threat of taking the case to court may compel the other parties to settle faster and offer a larger payout. Your personal injury lawyer should be fully prepared to take your case to court, even if it’s unlikely to happen.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive from a Personal Injury Case?
The amount you can recover in a personal injury case depends on the extent and circumstances of your injury, as well as the amount of insurance coverage available and what role (if any) your own negligence played in causing the accident.
In personal injury cases, you can recover economic damages, such as:
- Lost income and benefits
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost future earning capacity
Non-economic damages are also available, such as:
- Emotional distress
- Stress and anxiety
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
Keeping good records of your losses and a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help make sure you are fully compensated for the complete extent of your losses.
How Can I Get Help from a Personal Injury Attorney?
At Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., we believe everyone has a right to seek compensation through the judicial system. That’s why we work on a contingency basis for personal injury claims, meaning you don’t pay us anything until we’ve helped you recover the compensation you’re owed.
We are prepared to research your case, handle any communication with the other party and their insurer, call expert witnesses to testify, and work to negotiate the best settlement deal possible.
While filing a claim won’t undo your injuries, it can help you obtain the money you need to get proper medical care and live more comfortably while you recover from the ordeal. If you’re ready to start the process of your personal injury claim, contact our office at Sherrod & Bernard, P.C. now to schedule your free consultation.