Answers To Commonly Asked Personal Injury Questions
At The McGarity Group, our attorneys understand that Georgia’s personal injury laws can be confusing. Every accident and injury is unique, so it is important to seek legal counsel regarding your specific circumstances. For your convenience, we have assembled a list of frequently asked questions and answers. We are also available to answer your accident-related injury questions in a free initial consultation.
Will I have to go to trial to recover damages?
Not necessarily. In fact, about 95% of cases don’t go to trial – for many clients, a settlement is preferable. However, we prepare every personal injury case as though we were going to trial, allowing us to protect your interests at every turn.
What is considered pain and suffering?
In Georgia, pain and suffering can be defined as physical or mental anguish, and damages are calculated by severity. Whether you’re in a car crash and need physical therapy to recover, or the accident results in you being wheelchair-bound for the rest of your life, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with our attorneys to see if you can make a claim.
How much money am I entitled to if I’m hurt because of someone else?
There’s no way to know for certain up front, and any attorney who tells you otherwise isn’t being 100% honest. Compensation is based on a number of things, including the severity of your injuries, lost wages, property damage and more. To make a claim, we must also be able to prove that the at-fault party was negligent.
The insurance company refuses to pay my medical bills because my car wasn’t damaged in the accident. Can they do that?
No. The extent of the damage to your car may have nothing to do with the injuries you received. However, it’s important to know that in Georgia, it’s extremely rare for an insurance company to pay medical bills as they’re accruing. At The McGarity Group, we’ve represented insurance companies, so we know how to make an argument on your behalf that will stick.
What are the most common types of brain injury?
There are two kinds of brain injuries: acquired, which may occur because of oxygen deprivation, and traumatic, which may occur because of a car accident or a blow to the head. Our lawyers have represented clients successfully with both kinds of injuries. Our experienced auto accident and medical malpractice attorneys are always prepared to fight for your rights if you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury.
What should I do after being bitten by someone else’s dog?
Call the police. Call a doctor. Call us. Georgia’s complex laws regarding dog bites favor the owners, so it’s important that you contact us quickly if you’ve been hurt by an animal. However, you also want to seek medical attention because dog bites can be lethal. Your doctor’s documentation may also prove valuable to your case.
I fell in the grocery store. Can I sue?
Maybe. If the store owner knew there was a potential danger of someone slipping and falling – such as an obvious hole in the floor, or a wet floor with no visible caution sign – you may have a case. It’s important to speak with a lawyer quickly after your fall to determine whether or not you have a case worth pursuing.
What is the difference between wrongful death and medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice implies negligence on behalf of a medical professional or institution. Some medical malpractice cases may lead to wrongful death suits, though the reverse is not necessarily true. When you make a claim for wrongful death, you’re usually seeking damages for the full value of your loved one’s life. These damages may be based on lost wages, expenses and emotional anguish.
Who is liable for medical malpractice?
While any health care provider (such as a doctor, a surgeon or a nurse) or institution (such as a hospital) may be held liable for medical malpractice, the state of Georgia has very strict guidelines about that liability. As of 2005, the courts have required more from claimants to prove they were hurt because of a medical provider’s negligence, specifically in cases involving emergency room care.
How do I know if I have a viable personal injury claim?
Figuring out whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim involves determining whether or not someone else’s negligent, reckless, or deliberate actions caused your injuries and losses.
Examples of incidents that lead to personal injury claims include car accidents, slip-and-fall incidents and medical malpractice. An experienced attorney can evaluate your situation and help you understand your legal options.
What kind of compensation can I expect from a personal injury claim?
Compensation, or “damages,” in a personal injury claim can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and occasionally punitive damages. The amount you may receive will vary based on the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life, as well as the degree of negligence involved.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim after a car accident?
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim after a car accident is generally two years from the date of the wreck. Failure to file within the statute of limitations will likely result in the loss of your right to seek compensation forever. Contacting a lawyer promptly can help ensure that an investigation begins in a timely manner and that you meet all necessary deadlines.
Do I need a lawyer to file a personal injury claim?
While it is possible to file a personal injury claim without a lawyer, it is not a good idea. Personal injury law can be complex, and insurance companies know the rules of the game far better than the average person. A knowledgeable attorney can navigate the legal process, gather evidence, negotiate with insurers and advocate for your rights, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
How is a personal injury attorney paid?
Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney’s fees are contingent on successfully recovering compensation for you. If the attorney wins your case, they receive a percentage of the settlement or court award. If the case is not successful, you generally do not owe the attorney fees. This arrangement makes justice after an injury affordable for everybody.