Answers To Commonly Asked Questions About Personal Injury
Our lawyers at Cowan Law Firm, LLC, have more than four decades of combined legal experience helping Georgians who have been injured by the negligence of another person. They understand that a serious injury can leave you with a lot of unanswered questions. On this page, they have provided answers to some of the questions prospective clients ask most often. If you have additional questions or want to discuss your legal options, you can contact our firm to schedule a free initial consultation.
What does a personal injury attorney do?
A personal injury attorney represents clients who have experienced an injury, whether the injury took place on a job site, in a car accident, on someone’s property, or in another location.
The term “tort law” refers to negligence or intentional actions that may lead to personal injury and is the basis for personal injury cases. Experienced personal injury lawyers fight tirelessly to help their clients pursue compensation for the damages incurred due to a personal injury.
What makes a valid tort (personal injury) claim?
For a tort case to be effective, four aspects must be reviewed to determine the validity of your options to pursue compensation or damages.
There are four elements that need to be proven in order to claim compensation in a personal injury claim:
- Element one: The other party owed a duty of care to the victim. A duty of care can be described as what reasonable actions a person should have taken under the same circumstances to ensure other parties aren’t harmed by their actions.
- Element two: The defendant breached this duty of care. For example, the other party was aware of their duty to follow safety laws like obeying stop signs or not speeding but took those actions anyway.
- Element three: Due to this breach of duty, an accident occurred and the victim incurred injuries. The accident and injuries can be directly linked to the defendant’s breach of duty.
- Element four: The victims suffered damages due to the accident and their injuries. “Damages” often take the form of medical bills, property loss/damage, pain and suffering, and more.
You may have a valid personal injury case if these elements are evident and effectively presented. Consult an experienced attorney to determine your specific options.
What are some of a personal injury attorney’s duties?
A personal injury attorney will work to investigate the incident, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies or other relevant parties, request further documentation regarding medical bills or accident recreation, and more.
Consider the earlier example of a person who chose not to obey traffic laws, which led to an accident where you were injured. In this case, your personal injury attorney will gather any available evidence such as video or pictures during or after the accident, gather or confirm eyewitness accounts, and speak with responding law enforcement and emergency personnel. when relevant. They may also dig further into the medical or police records surrounding the incident.
They may negotiate with the other party’s insurance company to get a more appropriate settlement if they feel the original amount is too low. Negotiating is incredibly valuable, and most people who are not attorneys would have difficulty effectively negotiating with insurers. A lawyer’s experience and knowledge can be invaluable, and this may be especially evident during negotiations.
Should I hire an injury lawyer even if I’m partially at fault?
One of the biggest misconceptions following an accident is that the victim may feel they aren’t entitled to any damages because they were partially at fault. This isn’t entirely true.
Georgia (and many other states) follow a modified comparative negligence rule. This rule states that even if you are partially at fault for the incident, you may still be eligible for damages. If you are less than 50% responsible for the accident that occurred, you can typically seek damages.
Each party will be assigned a certain percentage of fault for the incident. The person who is less at fault (the plaintiff) will have their total award reduced by their percentage of fault. If you were seeking $100,000 in damages but were found to be 25% at fault, for instance, your portion would be $75,000.
What types of damages can I recover?
Damages refer to money owed for harm suffered. You may be able to pursue numerous types of damages following a personal injury:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property loss
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Compensation for pain and suffering
Some of the damages may be straightforward to calculate, such as the amount of medical expenses you incurred or the amount of wages that were missed while you were healing or attending medical appointments to address your injuries. Other damages, like pain and suffering, maybe more challenging to calculate. Your personal injury attorney can help ensure you aren’t settling for far less than you deserve.
How long do personal injury cases usually take to resolve?
One of the most common concerns that personal injury clients have is how long their case will take to go through the legal process. The length of time that your particular case takes to settle can be based on a wide range of factors and circumstances, which may include:
- Severity and duration of physical injuries
- The total amount of financial losses sustained
- Potential multiple issues with liability
Although a majority of claims are resolved out of court, personal injury cases can be lengthy and time-consuming. Often it is a dispute on the part of the insurance company that delays a claim.
Our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to recovering the maximum amount of personal injury compensation that is appropriate for your case. Contact our law office and ask to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury case.
When should I contact a personal injury lawyer?
Following most significant injuries or incidents, it is in your best interest to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to get victims to settle for far less than they deserve. They will use tactics that frustrate you, such as denying your claim or offering a minimal amount several times, so you will choose to settle just to get the process over with.
The facts of your accident may not be evident, and further investigation may be needed. If this is the case, it’s a great time to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney nearby.
By consulting an attorney immediately following the accident, you can discuss your options and determine the necessary next steps so you aren’t inadvertently hurting your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve, like missing the statute of limitations on your personal injury case.
Why should I hire Cowan Law Firm, LLC?
We are fully committed to obtaining an outcome that is in your best interests. We value the emphasis we place on our attorney-client relationship with each new case that we take on. We also strive to give clients the personal attention that they deserve after being injured by another person’s negligence.
No matter what legal issue you may be having to deal with as a result of your personal injury, our law offices are here to help you when you need it most. We recognize what a stressful and overwhelming time this is for you and your family. Allow us to assist you in recovering the financial compensation necessary to ensure that your needs are taken care of without placing a burden on your family.
Have More Questions? Ask Our Attorneys During A Free Initial Consultation.
Cowan Law Firm, LLC, is based in Dalton and we serve clients throughout Georgia. We offer free initial consultations to all prospective clients, and we take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. You won’t pay any legal fees until we help you recover money. To discuss your legal options, call us at 706-420-2949 or submit an online contact form.