A Fairburn personal injury case arises when you are physically or mentally harmed because of someone else’s fault. This type of accident can be very difficult it leads to life changes as well as anger and resentment from knowing the injuries and damages aren’t your fault. Thankfully, Georgia law has a way to address those damages after an accident: through a personal injury lawsuit. Your lawsuit will help you get back some of what you lost. It can’t fix everything, but it can often put you on the road to recovery. And having a Fairburn personal injury lawyer help you along the way is a good idea.
The team at John Foy & Associates has been serving personal injury victims in the Fairburn area for over 20 years. We not only know the laws that affect these types of cases, but we are very familiar with the legal process. We can help you develop a strategy to increase the likelihood of a full reimbursement of your damages and losses after an accident. Let us give you a free consultation to get started. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How Does a Personal Injury Case Work?
Many people are unfamiliar with the legal process, especially in civil litigation like personal injury cases. If you aren’t familiar with your legal rights after an accident occurs, you definitely aren’t alone. In general, you may have the opportunity to assert a personal injury lawsuit if you are harmed by another person’s misconduct, whether that is an action or inaction.
Some of the most common types of personal injury cases include:
- Slip and fall claims
- Car accidents
- Bicycle crashes
- Pedestrian injuries
- Bus accidents
- Dog bites
A formal legal claim starts with filing a complaint or petition. In the claim document, you’ll explain the general facts about the accident that occurred. This includes an outline of facts indicating the other person committed some wrongdoing and stating that you suffered losses because of the actions of that person. But while this is the official first step, the claim process actually starts much earlier.
Generally, your first true action will be talking to an attorney about what you should do next. The lawyer might file your case right away, but it’s more likely that they will send a “demand letter” first. This letter will describe the facts of your situation and your losses. It will also set out a monetary demand that you are making to the person who caused the accident (or, more likely, their insurance company). The demand letter puts the person on notice of the case and indicates to them that you intend to file a lawsuit if there is no response to your demand.
The demand letter starts the negotiation process between the parties. In some situations, you can arrange for an acceptable settlement before anything is ever filed with the court.
What Does the Litigation Process Look Like for a Personal Injury Case?
Once your complaint is on file, the defendant (in other words, the at-fault person) must be served through a formal process. Then, they will file an answer in response to your complaint. The answer provides a response to each allegation you have included in your petition. The answer will also set out any defenses.
The next major step is to work through the discovery process. In this process, you have a chance to gather information about the defendant and the incident that caused your damages.
The discovery process often includes:
- Using formal, written interrogatories (questions that a party must answer)
- Requesting documents from the defendant and other third-parties
- Talking to witnesses and preparing them to testify at trial
- Taking depositions (and having your deposition taken)
- Gathering information related to your damages, including medical records and lost wage data
Every case is different, so what discovery looks like for you may not be the same as someone else’s case.
Once discovery is completed, you will head to trial. Some cases involve motions that are addressed before trial. A motion asks the court to do something. It can be to decide a specific issue in a case, or it can be to decide the entire case without taking it to a jury. The facts and law that apply to your situation will determine if a motion is appropriate, and your attorney will need to respond to any motions filed that you do not like or want to be granted.
Negotiations with the insurance company and the defendant will generally continue throughout the case. In fact, the vast majority of cases will settle long before they get to the trial stage. But, some lawsuits need to go to trial if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached between your attorney and the insurance company. Your attorney will prepare as if you are going to trial, even if a settlement is more likely.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Every case in Fairburn has a time limit, meaning you have to start your lawsuit within this time limit or it will be dismissed. This is referred to as the “statute of limitations.”
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Georgia is two years from the date of the incident. But you should talk to an attorney long before that so they can start negotiating and gathering information on your behalf. The sooner you get a lawyer involved, the more likely you are to get a settlement or outcome that addresses all of your damages and losses adequately.
Talk to a Fairburn Personal Injury Lawyer for Free
Any accident can be overwhelming, but trying to deal with an insurance company on your own is all the more frustrating and disheartening. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through this process alone. John Foy & Associates is here to help. We have more than 20 years of experience helping personal injury victims get the financial recovery they deserve for all their damages. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to your right and get your free consultation today.