Burn injuries can result in extraordinary medical expenses, significant scarring, and profound impacts on the sufferer’s life. These expenses and impacts, along with many more, can be compensated in Lithonia through Georgia’s personal injury claims process.
An experienced Lithonia personal injury lawyer from John Foy & Associates can provide services to help claimants who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.
How the Personal Injury Claims Process Works in Lithonia
When an individual suffers burns in Lithonia as the result of negligence, a personal attorney can do a number of things to help them with their claim, including offering guidance that is based on experience with settling or litigating burn injury cases for other clients. This guidance allows the claimant to make informed decisions on their own unique case.
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Determining Who Is Liable for Your Injury
In order to obtain compensation for your Lithonia burn injury, you must be able to show who was responsible. This involves determining whose careless or reckless actions led to the accident that caused your injury. Once liability is determined, your attorney will learn about the liability insurance policies that the at-fault party possesses that can be used to compensate the monetary and psychological costs of your injury.
Determining How Much Your Burn Injury Claim Is Worth
There are a number of factors that go into determining the value of a Lithonia burn injury claim. The first factor involves the actual expenses the claimant has incurred as a result of their injury, such as treatment at a specialized burn center, skin graft surgery, and wage loss. When valuing the claim, the claimant’s attorney will also consider factors such as:
- The severity of the injury, as more severe injuries tend to result in more severe psychological impacts.
- The likelihood of the injury producing permanent damage that will impact the claimant’s ability to earn an income and result in a loss of quality of life.
Another factor that can impact the value of a Georgia personal injury claim is the amount of insurance coverage that is available through the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy.
Demanding Compensation from the Insurance Provider
After the claim is valued, a burn injury lawyer in Lithonia will prepare a demand package to be submitted to the at-fault party’s insurance provider. This package contains the details of how the burn injury was incurred, as well as documentation of expenses and a demand for the overall value of the claim. The insurance provider can either pay the claim, deny the claim, or offer a settlement.
Negotiating a Settlement
Generally, if an at-fault party’s insurance provider is interested in settling a burn injury claim out-of-court, they will make an initial offer that is less than half of the value of the claim. However, the claimant’s attorney can negotiate this offer on behalf of their client in order to convince the insurance provider to increase their offer. The attorney cannot accept a settlement on their client’s behalf but can communicate the particulars of the offer to the client and answer any questions they have during the decision-making process.
The settlement process often takes longer than claimants and their attorneys would like. Insurance companies will often attempt to “wait the claimant out” by delaying higher compensation offers in hopes that the claimant will accept a lower offer. However, filing a lawsuit against them is often the inspiration the insurance provider needs to begin taking the claims process seriously, as litigating a burn case in Georgia is expensive and lacks the ability for the insurance provider to control the outcome.
In Georgia, individuals must file their Lithonia burn injury claim in court within two years of the date on which the injury occurred. The at-fault party’s insurance provider can still make an offer to settle the claim out-of-court after the lawsuit has been filed. If they fail to pay the claim or provide an offer that the claimant will accept, however, a burn injury attorney in Lithonia will present the case in court and a judge or jury will decide on fair compensation for the claim.
Collecting Your Settlement or Award
When a claimant hires a Lithonia burn injury attorney to assist them, the attorney will ask them to enter a contingent fee agreement. This agreement allows the claimant to withhold payment for their Lithonia burn injury lawyer’s services until there is a positive outcome to their claim. At the resolution of their claim, they agree to give a specified percentage of their award to the attorney as payment.
The proceeds from the negotiated settlement agreement or the court award will be processed by the insurer and paid directly to the attorney. The attorney will deduct their fees along with any other debts they were obligated through the contingent fee agreement to pay, and then will release the remaining funds to their client after signing documents to close out the case.
What Happens If the At-Fault Party Appeals a Court Award?
While a settlement is final and the claimant — by agreeing to the settlement — releases the at-fault party and their insurer from any further claims, a court decision can be appealed. While litigation is not as common of a resolution to burn injury claims as a settlement is, and an at-fault party’s insurer appealing the claim is even rarer, it does happen. The attorneys at John Foy & Associates will provide further assistance for our clients during any appellate actions.
Hire the Right Lithonia Burn Injury Lawyer for Your Claim
Burns are often highly painful and highly impactful injuries to incur. An experienced Lithonia burn injury lawyer from John Foy & Associates is here to provide compassionate support and passionate advocacy for our clients as they seek the compensation they need after suffering a burn injury. For a free case evaluation, contact us online.