If you’ve recently suffered a personal Injury in Dallas, whether you were in a car accident, attacked by a dog, or injured due to the negligence of another person, you may have many questions about personal injury law.
Your suffering deserves to be acknowledged. Often, the right lawyer can help you build a legal case for being monetarily compensated for it.
But personal injury law isn’t as straightforward as it sounds.
Let’s talk about some of the specifics of this legal term, and how it may apply to your situation.
Personal Injury Cases Are Brought By Individuals
Unlike many criminal cases (which are brought by the government), personal injury cases are brought by an individual--also known as the plaintiff--who is typically the personal injury victim.
The plaintiff will file a formal complaint against the business, corporation or person whom the plaintiff deems responsible for the accident that caused them harm. This complaint or claim seeks compensation for the costs associated with their injury.
These costs include the value of property damage, medical attention for injuries, lost wages and pain and suffering.
It’s important to understand that you (the injured victim) are responsible for filing a personal injury claim so you can collect the money you deserve following an injury. The criminal court may find the defendant in your case guilty of drunk driving, but a criminal court does not provide financial compensation to drunk driving victims for their injuries.
It’s also important to understand that personal injury claims in Georgia must be brought within two years of the date of your injury. This is called a statute of limitations.
What Are Compensatory Damages?
“Compensatory damages” refers to money awarded to a plaintiff in a personal injury case to compensate him or her for the losses incurred by their injury.
This type of damages is awarded in civil cases.
Most commonly, personal injury claims are settled by the negligent party’s insurance company before the case goes to court. The goal of your personal injury attorney is to help you receive the highest possible settlement from the insurance company without subjecting you to the stress of a court case.
However, if the other party’s insurance company refuses to settle your case with the amount you need, your lawyer will help you fight your case in court.
What Are Intentional Torts?
An “Intentional tort” refers to a wrongful act that was done intentionally to one individual by another individual. It covers things like battery, assault, false imprisonment, and fraud.
The “intention” aspect of this category of tort does not refer to the offender’s intent to harm; rather, it refers to their intent to complete the act which ultimately caused the harm.
What Is Negligence?
Most personal injury cases are based on “negligence”.
Negligence is a type of tort that applies when an individual is harmed by someone else acting irresponsibly or carelessly, but not intentionally.
There are four parts of negligence:
1) Duty: An individual, the Defendant, has a duty to exercise reasonable care towards others.
2) Breach: The Defendant breaches that duty by some act or omission.
3) Damages: As a result of the act or omission, the Plaintiff suffers an injury.
4) Causation: The injury to the Plaintiff is a foreseeable consequence to the Defendant’s act or omission.
Slip-and-falls, car wrecks, dog bites, medical malpractice, and pedestrian accidents are a few examples of personal injury cases that can be caused by negligence.
Personal Injury in Dallas Statute of Limitations
According to Georgia statute §9-3-33, an individual has two years from the date of their injury to file a civil claim.
In general, this means an individual has two years from the day of a personal Injury in Dallas to file an injury claim. However, that’s not always true. Sometimes, it takes weeks or months for complications from an injury to arise. In these cases, your statute of limitations may start from a different day.
As a general rule, however, personal injury cases that have missed the two-year deadline are dismissed.
If you want to discuss the statute of limitations clock on your case, speak with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Finding Out If You Were Partially At Fault
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that an individual can still recover damages for a personal injury claim, even if they were partially at fault for the accident that caused their injury.
It’s important to note that plaintiffs who are found to be more than 50% at fault cannot recover damages.
The value of your personal injury claim will be reduced if you were found to be partially at fault in your accident.
For instance, if the defendant in your personal injury case was found to be 80% at fault for your accident, but you were found to be 20% at fault, your payout will be reduced by 20%.
You can be found partially at fault for a wreck if you were found to be speeding, changing lanes abruptly or failing to follow road signs to name a few.
Do You Need a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney to File a Claim?
It’s important to remember that majority of personal injury cases settle prior to going to trial. Typically, you organize and prepare your case, and the insurance company of the person who caused your injuries will offer a settlement amount.
Insurance companies have two main goals when offering a settlement: (1) minimizing the cost of your claim and (2) avoiding a trial.
This is because trials are time-consuming and costly for everyone involved. Some trials can stretch out for months or even years.
If you approach an insurance company without an attorney, you may be offered a settlement far below what your case deserves. Additionally, you may miss important details that could ensure you get a better settlement.
If you suffered serious injuries that require extended medical care and lost time at work, it is highly recommended that you meet with and hire a personal injury lawyer. If you don’t, you could miss out on thousands of dollars that you deserve.
How Much Is Your Personal Injury Claim Worth?
To determine the value of your claim, here’s the information you should collect:
- Medical care and all related expenses
- Time off work due to injury and disability
- Property damage
- Emotional damages (pain and suffering)
Calculating the value of pain and suffering damages can be difficult. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney for guidance.
Should You Get a Lawyer For a Personal Injury in Dallas ?
Georgia does not require personal injury victims to hire a lawyer to file a claim. However, if you want the best chance at recovering the financial damages you deserve, hiring a lawyer is the best choice.
If you have injuries that created significant medical expenses, a Georgia personal injury lawyer can help you navigate interactions with insurance companies.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, that person’s insurance company will attempt to settle your claim. Often, they will do this by offering a monetary settlement that is far less than what your claim deserves.
These settlements are meant to get you to go away. Insurance companies don’t want you to fight for the financial compensation you deserve. A lawyer can help you navigate your claim and get the monetary support you need for your injuries
What Do You Need to File a Personal Injury Claim?
You should collect as much evidence from your accident as possible prior to filing your personal injury claim.
This evidence should include :
- Police reports regarding the cause of the accident and any resulting injuries
- Medical tests, medical bills, prescriptions, related medical information
- Video or photographic evidence of your injuries and damage to your property
Your lawyer can help you organize your personal injury evidence. He or she can also determine how much your claim is actually worth.
Lonati Law Firm: Your Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re searching for a trustworthy, experienced personal law firm in Dallas, GA, Lonati Law Firm is here for you.
Our firm has years of experience helping personal injury victims recover the damages they deserve. Our team will help you navigate your personal injury case with expert information and compassionate advice.
Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.