If your injuries are caused due to the negligence of another person, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against such a party in Fayetteville. A slip and fall case in a hotel while you were on vacation, a car accident, or receiving the wrong medications by the doctor that worsened your condition are covered under personal injury laws in Fayetteville, except for worker’s compensation.
Worker’s compensation follows a different set of laws and should not be confused with personal injury laws. Since laws are complex, it is important to consult a Fayetteville personal injury lawyer to not miss anything important.
Personal injury laws in Fayetteville
If you are suffering from serious injuries as part of an accident that is covered under personal injury laws in Fayetteville, here are a few of the things to know:
The first steps after an injury are vital
Most people are unaware of the right way to react just after the injury. The first few steps are very crucial from the point of view of the personal injury laws in Fayetteville. The first to do is to seek medical attention after the injury. Even if the injuries are invisible, it is important to get your vitals checked.
One of the preliminary steps also includes collecting evidence as much as possible before the arrival of the police at the scene. This can be done by taking photographs and videos, talking to witnesses, and getting their contact information. You can also ask the witnesses to do the same for you if you are seriously injured.
Strong evidence can make a lot of difference in seeking compensation for vehicle damage, medical bills, and lost wages.
Dealing with the insurance company
The defendant’s insurance company is responsible for providing compensation in a personal injury case. Even if it is a car accident, slip and fall, or medical malpractice, if the defendant has the insurance company, personal injury compensation is recovered from them.
In cases where the insurance companies do not agree to the required settlement amount, the plaintiff seeks the court’s help to recover the damages.
Since Georgia is an ‘at-fault’ state, the injured has the right to seek negotiation from the defendant by suing the negligent party.
When carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the defendant can cover such damages through their insurance. The minimum coverage covers $25,000 in bodily injury, $50,000 total bodily injuries of all people, and $25,000 coverage for property damage of the other driver.
Statute of limitation
The third thing to know is the time limit within which the victim can file a lawsuit in a personal injury case. In technical terms, this time limit is known as the statute of limitation. In Fayetteville, Georgia, this time limit is set at three years.
It means the victim has the right to file a lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident. If the personal injury resulted in the victim’s death, the dependents must file a lawsuit against the defendant within two years from the day of death. In case the injuries were discovered way later after the accident, there are some exceptions to this rule. However, no case can be brought forward 10 years after the date of the accident.
What damages are recovered?
The most common types of damages recovered in any personal injury cases are monetary and non-monetary damages. In some cases where the accident caused life-threatening injuries, punitive damages can also come into action. Punitive damages are recovered as a punishment to the defendant so that the negligence is not repeated.
The economic or monetary damages include medical bills, lost wages, and property damages majorly. The non-economic damages include pain and suffering, psychological (stress), and emotional well-being.
In medical malpractice – injuries caused by medical staff due to carelessness, like giving the wrong medication, higher dose, or wrong treatment, are categorized under medical malpractice. In Georgia, the upper cap on such personal injury cases for non-economic damages is $350,000.
Personal Injury Laws in Fayetteville -Georgia follows Modified Contributory Negligence Law
It should be noted that Georgia follows a ‘modified contributory neglected’ instead of ‘comparative negligence’ law. A pure contributory negligence law refrains the plaintiff from suing the other party, even if they are guilty of 1% fault in the accident.
The victim loses the right to seek compensation outrightly if found partially at fault for the accident. Georgia follows modified contributory negligence law.
Similar to states like Florida, Georgia follows modified comparative negligence law, wherein the plaintiff found less than 50% at fault can still recover the damages. The amount recovered is only reduced by the percentage of the fault. For instance, if found 49% at fault, they can still recover the compensation amount. However, if they are 50% at fault, they cannot recover any damage.
In a modified contributory negligence state, it becomes more important to hire an attorney when dealing with the insurance company. As even 1% of the fault determined by the insurance company of the at-fault party will completely make you lose your right to compensation. An attorney can ensure that a 100% negligence fault is established before the court of law.
Worker’s compensation is not the same as a personal injury case
If you are injured at your workplace, you can sue your employer or their insurance company for compensation. However, this falls under Georgia’s worker’s compensation laws and not personal injury laws.
The coverage for the lost wages is determined differently in worker’s compensation compared to personal injury laws. Also, worker’s compensation attorneys are more experienced in dealing with such cases.
What is the cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Fayetteville, Georgia? The personal injury lawyers in Fayetteville work on a contingency fee basis. This means the cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Fayetteville is not an out-of-pocket expense. Their fee is deducted from the amount of compensation recovered. If the attorney cannot recover anything, no fee is paid. Moreover, the more the compensation is recovered, the easier it is to cover the full cost of filing a lawsuit (including attorney fees, legal expenses, filing expenses, court fees etc,).
Why hire an attorney To Deal With Personal Injury Laws in Fayetteville?
Hiring an attorney for a personal injury case in Fayetteville is profitable. One, the attorney will help establish 0% fault in the accident. Thereafter, collects evidence, files the case, and presents the case on your behalf.
Personal injury cases in Fayetteville are trickier as Georgia is a contributory negligence state. Talking to the insurance company is the trickiest of all. An experienced personal injury attorney based in Georgia will be able to better deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
Consulting an attorney in Fayetteville is free. If you are uncertain if your case will fall under a personal injury case or not, contact and consult a personal injury lawyer in Fayetteville, Georgia, for any help.