A very broad spectrum is covered by personal injury, which means it is very likely that you need to have help from a personal injury lawyer, no matter how you sustained your injury. From incidents on private properties to car accidents, any type of personal injury probably will have medical expenses and other types of damages associated with it. You can get assistance from a Shrable Law Firm personal injury lawyer in Georgia to help determine whether or not your injuries fall within the category of personal injury law.
If you think you are the only individual who can handle those expenses, that is not completely right. An injury caused by another person’s neglect may provide you with several different options for pursuing a legal resolution. So if you were injured due to the carelessness of another person, you may not need to pay for all your medical expenses on your own.
If you are not completely sure that the best option for you is a personal injury attorney, consider all of the aspects that are involved in your recovery process. Can you afford to pay for all of the medical bills that you need for your recovery? Did you sustain injuries in a car accident? Have you experienced serious economic damages like lost wages due to your injuries?
Those questions can help guide you to make the decisions of whether to pursue a case or not. Personal injury claims do not go to court very often and don’t always involve challenging someone you know. Give Shrable Law Firm a call today at (762) 821-0051 if you have sustained a personal injury in Columbus, GA to obtain your risk-free consultation with an expert attorney from our firm. They will answer all of the questions you may have and provide you with guidance on what is the best action to take to move forward.
Table of Contents
What Is A Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury case is a legal solution for individuals who have suffered emotional, economic, or physical pain. The actual case is the entire resolution process where an individual seeks compensation. Georgia state law allows the kind of financial compensation for different types of personal injury.
The deciding factor or benchmark behind the injury that can result in a case is the harm that comes from intentional conduct or negligence. Negligence may cover unintentional acts like failing to put a leash on a dog that resulted in a dog bite injury whereas intentional conduct may refer to examples such as driving or drinking.
Generally speaking, many of these cases are fully resolved without going to court. Usually, personal injury cases are quickly resolved through the negotiation process and a settlement is involved.
The following are some of the most kinds of personal injury cases:
- Medical Malpractice
- Wrongful Death
- Slip & Fall
- Dog Bites
- Construction-site Accidents
- Car Crashes
- Trucking Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Other kinds of negligence
These cases often involve recoverable damages including medical bills, lost wages, and punitive damages. It is essential to keep in mind that there is a deadline to file a personal injury claim. Soon after the accident, it is always best to contact a lawyer.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?
Many individuals are hesitant to contact a lawyer following a personal injury due to being concerned that it will be very expensive to hire an attorney. However, a majority of personal injury attorneys in Georgia work on a contingency basis, and that means you will only owe them money if your case is won. Once you win your case, you will then owe your attorneys a previously agreed-upon percentage which usually ranges from 25% to 40%. The fee range also will be based on the amount of work that the attorneys needed to do; if a settlement is reached with the insurance company before any court proceedings occur, most likely you will owe less money than if your case ends up going to court. This pay structure not only means you just have to pay your lawyer if you get a settlement but also means that your lawyer will have a vested interest in winning your case since their pay will be based on the amount of money they obtain for you.
Some lawyers work with various payment arrangements, including a flat rate or hourly fee. Although in some cases those might be preferrable options, most clients will be better served by a contingency arrangement.
What Is My Columbus GA Injury Worth?
It is very important to remember that insurance adjusters have a reason why they actively encourage individuals to avoid seeking legal representation. Individuals who are represented by a personal injury attorney in the Columbus area will most likely receive much more in compensation compared to people who accept an initial settlement offer from an insurance company. Insurers want people to think that their personal injury cases do not have a high worth. However, that is not true.
When it comes to personal injury cases, there is no specific rate of compensation that you can expect to receive. However, when you work with a lawyer who is working on behalf of your best interests, they will ensure that all potential aspects of compensation are covered. We believe it is very important that you receive all of the medical treatment that you need so that you can fully recover. That might include rehabilitation. Those situations might also require you to miss work and other factors that can result in economic damages.
After you hire an attorney, he or she will begin to record your expenses and collect evidence for your case. One of the major responsibilities of a personal injury lawyer is to help you seek the maximum amount of compensation that you need and deserve and to make a fair value calculation for your claim. This means presenting the most compelling facts to support your case.
Since no fool-proof formula exists, every claim requires an experienced attorney to provide personalized attention to the case to make an accurate calculation. Some of the factors that are considered when we do our calculations include the following:
- Extent and length of treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Personal hardship that the incident has caused
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
In addition to those factors, a personal injury attorney in the city of Columbus should consider damages and causation in addition to proof of liability. If you were in a car accident and you sustained injuries that were not your fault, then you may have a better chance of receiving a higher amount of compensation. Lawyers might also consider the credibility of any witnesses in order to gauge the chances of successfully achieving the compensation goal if your case were to end up in court.
A trained personal injury lawyer can help guide you throughout the entire case. They can tell you what you should expect throughout your case and the amount of compensation you can expect to receive also.
When you meet with a personal injury attorney, they should talk with you about a compensation goal, the range of compensation that a settlement can offer to you that you should consider accepting. These cases often settle quickly since the insurance companies do often have reasonable settlement options available.
Do I Need A Personal Injury Lawyer In Columbus For A Car Accident Claim?
A personal injury attorney in Columbus can significantly impact your car accident claim. Quite often these claims involve two insurance companies or more, and they handle these cases in a very strict manner. In the state of Georgia, if you make any legal mistakes, misstatements, missteps, or miss a deadline, you could lose your opportunity for receiving any compensation.
It is possible for your financial future to instantly change. Attorneys can help you avoid making simple errors and mistakes. A car accident attorney in Columbus will not take the same approach as someone in the guise of a helpful insurance agent. It is rare for insurance agents to work on behalf of your best interests.
Their accommodating and nice demeanor covers up their ultimate goal to minimize or deny your claim. Even if you tell an insurance adjuster you are “fine” could result in reducing your claim.
Considering how these seemingly pleasant conversations can potentially work against you, it’s a good idea not to speak at all to the insurance adjusters. A car accident attorney can be both qualified and compassionate. The Shrable Law Firm always takes great pride in helping auto accident victims with care and concern.
Initial Meeting With Your Attorney
We will work to expose every potential source of insurance and take all necessary steps to increase the chance that you will obtain full compensation. This includes ensuring that all deadlines are complied with and gathering evidence. We analyze cases, note the specific requirements, and calculate a fair compensation goal for your personal injury claim.
When you meet for the first time with your personal injury attorney in Columbus, you can discuss your unique situation as well as the events leading up to your injury. It is very likely that another person owed a duty of care to you and failed. Failing to provide care is often through intentional acts, negligence, or carelessness.
With a skilled and experienced Columbus personal injury attorney working on your behalf, you can rest assured that you are on your way towards receiving fair compensation. Our personal injury lawyers at the Shrable Law Firm fight hard for car accident victims. We protect the rights of victims to compensation and always act in their best interests. The goal of the Shrable Law Firm is to be the most reliable and best personal injury law firm in the state of Georgia.
Relying on our experienced team of lawyers and years of handling car accident claims, our firm is very confident that we can provide assistance on any auto accident claim.
How Long Will It Take To Settle My Case?
Since cases can vary so significantly, it is hard to identify an exact timeline. Every case is different. The first aspect that needs to be considered when trying to determine how long it might take to settle your case is your health. Skilled and experienced personal injury attorneys in Columbus will always first consider your recovery above all else.
It is not only critical for you to receive the medical care you need for your recovery but attempting to seek a settlement while you are still trying to recover can minimize your claim. Attorneys work with doctors to track your bills as well as other medical expenses.
After the Shrable Law Firm receives your medical expenses and records, we will review all of the available information. The review will start categorizing your damages and expense. A personal injury lawyer can use your medical records as a formal document in order to asses the changes that have been made to your life as a result of your injuries.
Submitting Your Demands For Compensation
Following the assessment, your attorney will discuss the worth of your case and the options that are available to you. You will be informed on what they believe the value of your case is and what next steps you can take. For many individuals, submitting a demand is the next step to take after a value is put on your damages.
A demand goes directly to the appropriate insurance company. It is informed of the full and fair compensation you are seeking. Once the demand has been submitted, your attorney will stay in contact with you and inform you of any offers that are made.
If an offer is submitted by the insurance company, your attorney will inform you of the amount of the settlement offer, and whether or not you should accept it. One of the more valuable aspects of having an attorney involved in your claim is having their opinion at each step in the process.
A case, on average, will be fully settled from three weeks to a few months. It is up to you to decide whether you want to reject or accept a personal injury settlement. Only around one out of ten cases end up moving forward to litigation.
Should I Go To Trial Or Accept A Settlement?
Insurance companies often draw a line and then choose to either fight your case or issue a settlement. If the insurer makes the decision to fight your case, our attorneys will make preparations to argue your case in court in Columbus. Experienced attorneys deal with large insurance companies on a regular basis.
If you make the decision to file a suit, it is still possible to reach a settlement agreement. Before you go through a trial, the insurance company might offer a settlement to try to avoid court fees as well as other related costs.
If your case ends up going to trial, unfortunately, it can up to two years for your claim to be resolved. You won’t be spending two years in court. Quite often those cases will take up a year waiting to get a court date.
It is very important to note that in the state of Georgia, claims with a value of less than $15,000 might end up going to a local magistrate court. In those cases, your trial will occur with a judge instead of a jury. Often local court trials are fully resolved within a couple of weeks.
The goal of our attorneys is always to resolve cases as efficiently and quickly and possible and at the same time to fight for the compensation goals for your case.
What Types Of Dames Can I Recover In My Personal Injury Case In Georgia?
Georgia does not place any damage caps on non-economic or economic damages. In Georgia, there are three main categories for damages, and all might apply to your personal injury claim.
It is easy to handle economic damages. They are objective and often can be found on paper. Those damages include financial losses such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.
Economic damages include the following:
All expenses that relate to the car or medical treatments that are needed after the accident. Those bills often will accumulate rather quickly and be included in your compensation demand.
Have you missed work while you were recovering? If you have missed any work as a result of your injuries, it can be verified through your employer, tax records, and pay stubs.
The replacement and repairs of any motorcycle or vehicles. Following a car accident, a serious financial strain can be placed on individuals and families due to property damage.
If you have lost your sick or vacation time in order to cover any missed work das. As part of your overall economic damages, you might be able to recover compensation for lost benefits.
Loss Of Earning Capacity
In serious accidents, injuries can have lifelong impacts. If you cannot return to work or need to take a different job or position, and you might be able to receive compensation for the amount of money you should have earned if the accident had not occurred.
It is hard to put a number on non-economic damages since they are subjective. It can be quite difficult for a person to agree that a certain amount of compensation should be received for emotional distress. Since there is no exact amount for such an award, these damages usually fall to insurance adjusters, juries, or judges.
Non-economic damages may include the following:
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Companionship
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
Assigning a financial value to “loss of companionship” might seem impossible. However, this task now falls every day to insurance adjusters. For the victim, there might be any amount of financial compensation to remedy this kind of loss.
When working with a personal injury lawyer in Columbus, GA, you must be fair and honest with your non-economic damages. This is your best chance to ensure that you are not taken advantage of by an insurance company.
Punitive damages do not apply to all situations. They are awarded under certain circumstances like an event such as a drunk driving accident.
Punitive damages might be applied to financially punish an at-fault individual to prevent them from behaving in a similar way in the future. A drunk driver might be required to pay punitive damages, and a form of reprimand may be issued by the court for the person’s willful misconduct. There is a $250,000 cap on punitive damages.
Is Georgia An At-Fault State?
Georgia, similar to most of the other states, is an at-fault state. It essentially means there is a responsible party in every accident. Assigning fault helps an insurance company know what and who needs to pay and helps attorneys resolve cases also. Typically, an at-fault driver is liable for all damages, which includes medical expenses and property damage.
It is very important to know that spin has been placed on Georgia’s at-fault systems by using a proportional comparative fault. Every driver involved in an accident will have a percentage of the overall blame.
For example, in an accident that involves two vehicles where one failed to signal before making a turn, while the other driver was speeding, then the fault would show the extent of each driver’s negligence. Any individual who is assigned over 50 percent fault will not be able to pursue compensation.
This percentage may also impact the driver who is less at-fault. A driver who is found to be 30 percent at-fault, might have their compensation reduced by 30 percent as a reflection of their fault in the accident.