After a slip and fall accident in Georgia, you are entitled under the law to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. If you and the insurance company cannot reach a settlement, you might have to file a lawsuit to get paid after your accident. However, it’s rare for a slip and fall case to go all the way to trial.
In any slip and fall case, it’s best to contact a lawyer with experience in these types of cases right away. They can help you file a strong insurance claim and hopefully avoid having to file a lawsuit for the money you deserve.
Why Might I Have to File a Lawsuit in My Georgia Slip-and-Fall Case?
You would typically only need to file a lawsuit if a settlement could not be reached.
You, your lawyer, and the insurance company agree on a settlement amount when you settle your case. You receive that compensation, and the case is closed or “settled.” A settlement also protects both sides from the risks associated with going to trial, and there are several.
You should only decide to file a lawsuit if you are very confident in your ability to win at trial. Always consult an experienced and trusted slip and fall accident lawyer before making such a huge decision.
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Advantages of Filing a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit in Georgia
There are reasons to file a lawsuit in some slip and fall cases in Georgia. The biggest one is money. When you go all the way to the superior court, a judge or jury will decide whether or not you should be awarded money and what that amount should be.
Winning a lawsuit usually means you will leave with a significant award for your damages, much more than the insurance company was willing to offer you through a settlement. This can be a massive relief if you have substantial medical costs and other damages from your slip and fall accident.
Money is the primary personal reason you’d file a lawsuit, but it can also help prevent the property owner or business from repeating the same negligent act twice. They will want to avoid any possible future lawsuits and are more likely to increase their care and diligence. This can prevent other people from being injured in the same way as you.
Cons of Filing a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit in Georgia
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), only a small percentage of personal injury cases go to trial. Instead, most get settled well before they get to trial, and many injury victims decide not to pursue a lawsuit. There are many reasons for this.
Lawsuits Are Expensive
Going to trial is not cheap. You will face costs like:
- Filing fees
- Expert witness fees
- Court reporter fees
- Costs of copying and mailing documents
- Lawyer fees
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee, which means they don’t take a percentage unless they win your case. However, the other expenses required to file a lawsuit can add up quickly.
Lawsuits Require a Lot of Time
Most lawsuits take at least six months, and some take years. It depends on the details of your case, but you will need to prepare for the time-consuming nature of a lawsuit. If you and your slip and fall accident lawyer decide to file, you’ll want to discuss how long your case might take.
The property owner or business will also have their own lawyer researching the details of your slip and fall accident. Finally, you’ll need to prepare for the many stages of a lawsuit, including the deposition where the other side’s lawyer can ask you often exhausting and personal questions under oath.
Providing Proof Can Be Difficult
Proving that the property owner knew beforehand about the dangerous condition that caused your accident is not usually easy. They must have allowed the hazard to be present within a “reasonable” amount of time, which can be hard to determine. You will need to have solid evidence before deciding to bring a lawsuit.
You Do Not Have to File a Lawsuit
Bringing a lawsuit is ultimately your decision, but you’ll want to consult with a lawyer who has extensive experience in slip and fall accidents in Georgia. They will only advise filing a lawsuit if they believe you have a good chance of winning and can handle the grueling nature of the process. In most cases, you will not have to file a lawsuit to reach a settlement that is fair to you.
If I Don’t Need to File a Lawsuit Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?
Just because you don’t have to go to court or file a lawsuit doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire a lawyer. Remember, if you don’t have any experience in personal injury law, negotiating for a fair settlement can be next to impossible. In addition, it isn’t easy to go up against an insurance company that has lots of legal resources at its disposal.
Even though you have the right to negotiate for compensation on your own, this leaves you vulnerable to insurance companies and their tactics to get slip and fall injury victims to settle for less. Just by hiring a lawyer, you give yourself a significantly higher chance of getting fairly compensated.
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Get Properly Compensated Today
Slip and fall injuries can lead to permanent injuries and severe damages that affect both your physical and financial health. But, instead of paying for these costs out of pocket, you can get financial compensation today.
Our slip and fall accident lawyers in Georgia have decades of experience handling even the toughest of cases. Our results speak for themselves. With millions of dollars recovered for our client, don’t underestimate how critical it is to have a lawyer help you. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §9-3-33 gives you two years to file, so take action fast.
Talk to a Georgia Slip-and-Fall Lawyer for Free Today
To discuss the details of your accident and your legal options with an experienced Georgia slip and fall accident lawyer, contact John Foy & Associates for a free consultation. You can call us or fill out our online form to get started scheduling your appointment.