In my years of experience as an Atlanta personal injury lawyer, I have noticed that my clients tend to ask certain questions often. In order to make useful information clear and accessible to you, I have collected some of these questions below. Simply click on each question to read its answer. Of course, a website can never substitute for knowledgeable legal advice. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a negligent party, the personal injury attorney, Jonathan J. Wade, can help you determine the next steps to take. Contact us today at 770-282-1188
What is negligence?
Negligence is one of the most important aspects of your personal injury case. When an individual fails to use reasonable care or act in the way a reasonable person should, he or she may be guilty of negligence. In order to establish negligence in your case, you must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care, failed to uphold that duty and that you suffered an injury because of his or her actions or failure to act.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Losing a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness can be devastating. Typically, the deceased victims’ relatives file wrongful death claims, but the law may differ depending on the state. In Georgia, the following is the prioritization of claims:
- Surviving spouse
- Any surviving child or children
- Surviving parents
- Kin that is next in line
- The decedent’s estate
What is a hit and run accident?
A hit and run accident is one in which an individual who is involved in a motor vehicle accident leaves the scene of the accident immediately after the collision. This can include a number of different types of accidents between motor vehicles, bicycles and even pedestrians. Seeking to hold the responsible party accountable when they have abandoned the accident site can be very difficult, but a skilled and experienced attorney can help to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted.
What is premises liability?
If you have suffered an injury as a guest or tenant on someone’s property, you may be able to recover financial compensation from them by pursuing a premises liability case. Property owners and managers are legally responsible for properly constructing and maintaining their property. Unfortunately, some property owners do not live up to this duty, causing innocent people to be injured. Premises liability covers a number of cases, from slip and fall accidents to porch collapses and swimming pool injuries.
What is the difference between personal injury and workers’ compensation?
This is a common question for a number of injured victims who may have been injured at work but aren’t sure if they should file a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. For the most part, if you were injured in the workplace where negligence wasn’t a contributing factor, such as developing carpal tunnel or falling from heights, you should file a workers’ compensation claim. On the other hand, if you were injured due to a negligent individual’s actions or from a defective product, you will likely want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
What are actual and punitive damages?
Damages are the types of compensation that may be awarded to the plaintiff in an Atlanta personal injury claim. The term “actual damages” refers to compensation for real losses the plaintiff has suffered such as impairment, medical expenses and lost work. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in addition to actual damages to punish an especially egregious act of negligence.
Is there a statue of limitations on personal injury claims?
Yes, although the details vary. depending on the type of claim. In most personal injury cases including defective product claims and medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is two years. That means you have two years following the accident or the discovery of your injury to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a property damage claim is four years.
How much is my personal injury claim worth?
People often wonder how much their personal injury claims are worth, but it is nearly impossible to predict ahead of time. Personal injury claims are resolved on a case-by-case basis and often depend upon the specifics of the case. Generally speaking, individuals held liable in personal injury cases are required to pay for medical expenses, pain, suffering, lost wages and other possible forms of compensation.
How do I know if I have grounds for a personal injury case?
There are different kinds of personal injury claims and the strength of your case will depend on the details of your injury. As a general rule of thumb, you may have sufficient grounds for legal action if any of the following applies to you:
You were hurt by someone who owed a certain level of care to you. For example, companies have the duty to produce safe products, while doctors have the duty to care for each patient as well as they reasonably can. Even ordinary individuals have the obligation to not place one another in harm’s way unnecessarily.
Your injuries were severe enough to cause some kind of loss to you, such as medical expenses, lost work or property repairs.
The negligent party’s behavior directly caused your injuries. If it was only a contributing factor, you may not have a strong case.