Personal injury law is the legal field that deals with any injury to the body, either physically or emotionally, caused to a person through the negligent actions of a different party. Personal injury law is meant to help people involved in accidents that weren’t their fault to recover compensation for their damages.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury following an accident in Georgia, you will likely face an uphill battle with expenses and medical treatment, as well as a difficult road to recovery, not to mention a hard blow to the lifestyle you had before the accident.
You might no longer be able to go to work, pay your bills, and all this can easily be overwhelming. If the accident was not your fault, then the negligent party should be responsible for providing you with compensation. A Douglasville personal injury lawyer can help make sure you get the justice and compensation you need.
At Hartley, Rowe & Fowler, our lawyers have extensive experience handling all kinds of personal injury claims throughout Georgia. We take pride in helping people and families whose loved ones were injured or killed through the negligence of another person.
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What Should I Do After an Injury?
Suffering an injury is stressful and can leave you feeling overwhelming. This checklist will help you in the event of an accident.
Seek Medical Attention and Keep Records of All Treatment
You shouldn’t wait until you get home following the accident – get help immediately. Visit the emergency room if necessary. You have a responsibility to mitigate your own injuries, and failure to seek medical attention could potentially harm the case down the line.
Take Photos or Videos of the Scene
If possible, try to take photos or videos of the scene of the accident, and be sure to capture the details you deem relevant. Such details include the condition of the floor (slip and fall accidents), damage to vehicles, skid marks, and injuries sustained (car accidents), etc. If you’re unable to take the images, ask a friend or family member to do so.
Exchange Contact Information
Get the contact details of any witnesses present at the scene. These include the full names, addresses, phone numbers, and any other relevant information. Don’t forget to thank them for their willingness to help.
Never Admit Fault
Avoid saying “sorry” for the accident or any other statements that could be interpreted as you are admitting fault. Also don’t give out any records to the insurance companies without having your lawyer present.
Get a Personal Injury Lawyer
Reach out to an experienced Douglasville personal injury attorney who can adequately protect your rights and can negotiate the best possible outcomes based on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case.
Hartley, Rowe & Fowler is one of the most distinguished personal injury firms in Georgia. We have been representing clients for decades now, and we have helped thousands of clients to obtain compensation for their personal injury cases. We also have the resources and professional relationships that help us obtain significant settlements and verdicts for our clients.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
The following are some of the benefits you get from working with a lawyer in your personal injury case:
When it comes to personal injury claims, the evidence you present is critical. Your lawyer will essentially be responsible for collecting all of the evidence you need for proving your case. Some of the common forms of evidence include hospital bills, medical records, police reports, witness statements, as well as photos and videos of the scene, the damage sustained, and the injuries suffered.
The Douglasville personal injury lawyers at Hartley, Rowe & Fowler are skilled and experienced at negotiating with insurance companies. Among the first things they do is go through and assess the insurance policy details as well as the circumstances surrounding your specific case. This will help them come up with the amount of compensation that you may be eligible for. Your attorney will also be responsible for handling any communications with the insurance companies, to help avoid compromising your case by mistake.
In case the insurance company is unwilling to reach a reasonable settlement amount, your attorney’s next move will be taking the case to trial. At Hartley, Rowe & Fowler, our team is well experienced in the Georgia court system, and we are always ready to fight aggressively for your rights and ensure you get justice.
It’s worth noting that according to statistics, 95% of personal injury cases are settled out of court. Going to court is often time-consuming and expensive for both sides of the claim, and everyone will be motivated to reach an agreement out of court.
And aside from saving money in court costs, the insurance companies know too well that a judge or jury may award the victim a higher amount. Therefore, it’s usually in the best interest of everyone involved to avoid taking the case to trial.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
For personal injury cases, the financial compensation that the defendant owes you is referred to as “damages.” No matter the nature and extent of your injuries, we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
These are also referred to as special damages and include the losses you incurred that can be assigned a monetary value. They include:
- Medical costs, including treatment costs, medications, rehabilitation, and future treatment costs
- Lost income from spending time away from work
- Any damage to your property or any property that was lost during the accident
These encompass the losses that you suffered in the accident that can’t be assigned a monetary value. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In some personal injury cases, the court may decide to award punitive damages. While rare, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant a bit more for their negligent actions, which the court has deemed malicious, reckless, or willful, or a blatant disregard for human life.
How Is Liability Determined?
In Georgia, the plaintiff has to prove four main things to hold the defendant liable for their personal injury claim.
Duty of Care
The plaintiff will have to demonstrate how the accused owed them a duty of care. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, this duty might vary. For instance, in a car accident case, every motorist has a duty of care to all other road users.
Breaching the Duty of Care
The second thing to prove is that the defendant was in breach of their duty of care in their actions. In case the defendant is found negligent in their actions in any way, it is deemed a breach of duty of care. In a car accident case, a drunk driver who is above the legal blood alcohol content is in breach of duty of care.
Keep in mind that the breach of duty must have been the cause of damages and/or injuries to the plaintiff. For instance, in the car accident case example, the driver is in breach of duty of care by driving while intoxicated. But for the victim to have a case, they must show that the reason they suffered damages was impaired or poor judgment by the driver.
The plaintiff will also have to demonstrate how the accident actually caused damages or losses. After all, the whole point of compensation is to make the victim “whole” again.
It’s worth noting that Georgia is a comparative fault state, meaning that the victim of negligence in a personal injury case will only be able to recover compensation if they contributed less than 50% to the accident that resulted in their damages.
In our example, the court may decide that failure to use the turn signal puts you at a 20% fault for the accident. In that case, you will only be able to recover 80% of your compensation award.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in GA?
The statute of limitation in Georgia is two years for personal injury cases. This means that for your personal injury claim to be valid, you have to file your claim within two years from the date of the accident. Otherwise, failure to meet the deadline bars you from ever recovering compensation for the claim.
Generally speaking, the sooner you hire an attorney, the better. Working with an attorney early on will give them a chance to collect the available evidence while it’s fresh and available. It will also enable them to prepare a strong case on your behalf and give you the opportunity to settle the case before the deadline elapses.
Georgia’s Personal Injury Claims Process
The following is the process for personal injury claims in Douglasville, GA:
- Filing a claim with the defendant and formally informing them that you want to pursue compensation
- Trying to discuss and negotiate favorable settlement offers with the defendant’s lawyer and/or insurance company. This step is done out of court.
- Filing a lawsuit in court if the settlement negotiations do not produce results.
- Litigating the case in court and demonstrating why you deserve the compensation award.
How Much Will a Douglasville Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
At Hartley, Rowe & Fowler, our Douglasville personal injury lawyers serve our clients on a contingency fee arrangement, meaning you don’t have to pay any fees upfront to access our legal services. We will only charge you after we win a settlement or compensation award on your behalf – a percentage of the total amount you receive.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle at Hartley, Rowe & Fowler
We handle a variety of personal injury cases, including:
Car Accident Cases
We handle personal injury claims involving vehicle crashes, including taxi or bus collisions, boating accidents, bicycle and motorcycle crashes, roadway defects, etc. We also represent victims of distracted driving, DWI/DUI, and accidents involving ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber.
Our team of personal injury attorneys can handle cases that involve defective machinery, dangerous medical products, auto defects, and others.
We understand the special regulations and circumstances surrounding truck accidents, and the kind of devastation and losses such accidents could bring.
We are passionate about cases involving negligent doctors and medical facilities, and we have helped many victims of nursing home abuse, daycare negligence, and other forms of medical negligence to seek justice.
We know that losing a loved one due to the negligence of another entity or person is tragic and no one deserves it. We always work diligently to ensure that the perpetrators are held liable for the wrongful death.
Contact a Douglasville Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault, one of the most important things is to seek compensation and justice from the parties responsible. Hiring the personal injury attorneys at Hartley, Rowe & Fowler can make a big difference, as we will work hard to ensure you get the maximum compensation available for your case.
Don’t let the party who caused your injuries off the hook without having them first pay you the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help. Our team has decades of experience in navigating the complex laws surrounding personal injury cases, and we represent clients throughout Georgia.
Let’s put our experience to work and help you get a favorable settlement or verdict. Call us now at 678-825-6004 to schedule your free consultation.