If you or a loved one have experienced a personal injury in Marietta, there’s a possibility you may be eligible for substantial financial relief. This compensation is pivotal in addressing medical expenses, making up for lost workdays, and mitigating other hardships from your accident.
At our firm, a Marietta personal injury attorney is at your service, poised to guide you through your available choices. Our legal experts are committed to ensuring you obtain the maximum compensation possible, catering to your needs during the recovery process.
Regrettably, many individuals who’ve suffered harm settle for insurance offers that fall significantly short. With a formidable reputation as the “Strong Arm” across Georgia, our track record speaks for itself—having secured over $1 billion in jury awards and settlements over the past two decades for our clients.
What to Do After a Personal Injury in Marietta
While you need the help and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney to protect all your rights, you should always be your own best advocate in legal proceedings. No one knows your story as well as you do, and your lawyer should listen compassionately and negotiate aggressively for your best interests.
There are basic steps you can take to assert and protect your legal rights, such as:
- Document your accident: Take time as soon as possible after your accident and write what happened in detail. Take pictures of where it occurred.
- Watch what you say: You may instinctively want to apologize and accept the blame for an accident, but your words will be used against you by the insurance company. Never minimize your injuries or say you are fine unless a doctor has told you that.
- Talk to a lawyer: It may be hard to know what to do or how much your claim might be worth, but a legal consultation could be all it takes to decide on a course of action.
The person at fault or their insurance company may want you to sign an agreement binding you to unfair conditions and a lowball payout.
Always have an experienced attorney read and discuss any documents before signing. Insurance companies might argue that you do not have enough proof of your injuries or do not need a larger settlement. They are not on your side.
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What Qualifies for a Personal Injury Claim in Marietta?
Any harm can potentially qualify for a personal injury claim. The key to these claims is not how you were hurt but whether anyone’s negligence was involved.
In the law, negligence means that someone else was careless, and their behavior led to your injury. Examples of negligence can include:
- A dark stairwell where the light bulbs were never replaced
- A spill in a store that no one has cleaned up
- A driver changing lanes without signaling first
- A parking lot owner who does not clean up debris or fix potholes
- A dog owner whose pet runs loose and bites someone
- A bicycle rider who crashes into pedestrians in a crosswalk
Notice that nobody wanted to hurt anyone in these examples. However, in all these situations, someone fails to take basic precautions to look out for the people around them. As a result, they were careless with other people’s safety, and if that leads to harm, then there is a valid personal injury claim.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
All these cases involve an injured individual and someone who acted negligently or carelessly. Some common types of personal injury cases in Marietta include:
- Pedestrian accidents: Marietta’s city square and surrounding streets attract hundreds of shoppers daily. Drivers looking for parking may fail to notice someone in a crosswalk, leading to a pedestrian accident.
- Tripping, slipping, and falling: Slipping on a wet surface in a supermarket can leave you with a lifelong disability or worsen a pre-existing injury or medical condition.
- Truck accidents: Marietta highways and streets are traveled by large commercial trucks all day and night. These trucks are heavy and hard to control, with large blind spots. You risk catastrophic injuries if they collide with your vehicle.
- Car accidents: Streets around Marietta can be narrow and filled with vehicles. Both high-speed and low-speed car crashes are common, causing head-on collisions and T-bone accidents.
- Construction accidents: As people continue moving to the area, additional construction increases the chance of injuries. Hazardous materials, faulty equipment, and failure to follow safety rules can result in tremendous medical expenses for the victim.
- Wrongful death accidents: A wrongful death can happen from negligence, such as nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, or medical injury.
- Intentional acts: Crimes such as robbery, sexual assault, or battery that are meant to hurt you can be cause for a personal injury lawsuit.
- Dog bite attacks: When someone’s pet runs loose or is uncontrolled, you or a loved one could suffer disfiguring injuries and nerve damage from a dog bite.
- Nursing home injuries: Negligent care or abuse to elderly loved ones is cause for a claim.
- Defective products: When something is made poorly or marketed misleadingly, you may suffer harm or become ill. Product manufacturers, distributors, and sellers can be liable for faulty products.
- Dangerous prescription drugs: The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has ways to fast-track medication approval, which means some could be improperly tested and cause illness or injury. If you are taking dangerous prescription medication, you may be entitled to damages.
- Pharmacy errors: Technicians and pharmacists at your local store, hospital, or nursing home could give the wrong kind of drug or dosage. These pharmacy errors can result in illness or fatality.
- Defective medical devices: Devices meant to save your life or help you recover can malfunction or have a faulty design that causes injury or death instead. The product manufacturer or other parties can be liable for faulty medical devices.
This list is not exhaustive, and your Marietta personal injury attorney can work with you to determine if your case qualifies for a claim.
How to Prove Liability in Your Personal Injury Claim
When you pursue a personal injury suit, it is critical to gather as much credible evidence as possible showing the at-fault person’s liability. A strong case relies on proving that those to blame acted in a way that led to your damages. Be aware that the defendant’s lawyer often tries to show that you were partially at fault.
Georgia follows comparative negligence, meaning a plaintiff can be assigned some blame for their accident. If you are found to carry some of the responsibility, your damages may be reduced by that same percentage.
This can be upsetting, but a skilled personal injury lawyer in Marietta, GA, can help by conclusively demonstrating how the defendant harmed you. Your attorney and their team should assist you in gathering evidence such as:
- Police report: You can ensure an official record of your injury if you contact the police and request all reports about the incident for evidence.
- Photographs and video: Traffic cameras, store security cameras, and bystanders’ cellphone videos may provide valuable proof of your claim. Photos taken at the scene showing road conditions, injuries, and anything contributing to your harm can also be helpful.
- Witness statements: When you are hurt and there are witnesses, collect their contact information so your lawyer can obtain statements from them.
- Medical reports: Documentation of your injuries and diagnoses of your conditions will show the full extent of how you have been harmed and support your claim for damages.
- Criminal and civil suit histories: If the person who hurt you has a past of acting negligently or criminally, this can enforce the argument that they are to blame.
- Driving records: If you were hurt by someone driving negligently, a record of driving recklessly, drunk driving, or failure to show due care can be highly valuable to your case.
- Social media histories: If the defendant has bragged about hurting you or discussed the incident on social media, these statements can be used to show liability.
You should gather these items as soon as possible so that the witnesses’ memories are fresh and the evidence is intact.
For example, if someone neglected to clean up a spill and you slipped and fell, photographs showing the spill on the floor will be useful. You should also retain any clothing with fluid on it as evidence rather than wash it or throw it away.
Proving Negligence in a Marietta Personal Injury Case
Proving liability is one part of a personal injury claim. The other part is proving that the person who hurt you was negligent in their behavior. Each case is unique, but they all revolve around a careless action someone did or did not take.
Your Marietta personal injury attorney can help you prove the four elements of negligence to validate your claim:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care to behave a certain way.
- The defendant failed to uphold this duty.
- This failure harmed you.
- You sustained financial losses as a result of this harm.
Some laws add nuance to this process, such as those involving state government entities (GA Code § 50-21-24), comparative negligence, or medical malpractice. Again, a legal team can help you understand the specific laws that pertain to your case.
Going to Court for Your Marietta Personal Injury Claim
Most claims do not go all the way to court. Usually, insurance companies will agree to a settlement, or the offending party will pay compensation themselves. Negotiating a satisfactory amount is best done by your personal injury attorney in Marietta, GA, so the payout covers all your past, present, and future expenses.
You can get a much higher offer with strong evidence and pressure on the insurers to settle quickly. All the evidence you gathered for an insurance claim can also benefit you if you need to proceed to trial. Going to court is when you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer the most.
The Benefits of Hiring a Marietta Personal Injury Attorney
While you can pursue fair compensation alone, a personal injury lawyer in Marietta will review your case for free and advise on your next steps. An attorney can ensure you have included all damages in your claim. They can also help you file your claim correctly and on time so you don’t miss the deadline.
A personal injury attorney will also protect your legal rights. Some of the benefits you can reap in hiring a lawyer for your case include:
- Hiring expert witnesses to support your claim
- Investigating the scene of your personal injury accident to gather strong evidence on your behalf
- Completing all the necessary paperwork and filing it on time
- Negotiating a settlement amount until the insurance company or the liable party come to a number that’s fair to you
Many experienced and trustworthy law firms do not think you should be charged for talking to a lawyer. That is why they do not charge hourly fees. Instead, personal injury lawyers offer free consultations with no upfront costs.
You pay nothing out of pocket, and your attorney works on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe them nothing if you do not win money. Your attorney will also ensure you do not miss any deadlines for filing your personal injury claim. Marietta uses deadlines established in state and federal law.
Some cases have deadlines of up to two years, per Georgia Code § 9-3-33. However, you might have more or less time, depending on the circumstances of your case. These short timeframes mean you should see a lawyer right away.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Seek in a Claim?
The law defines personal injury as “damage to your mind, body, or emotions.” While the first thing most people think of is medical injuries or property damage, there are many types of damages you can pursue that may not come to mind immediately.
There are two main damages you can sue for, economic and non-economic. Economic losses usually have a price tag or specific cost, while non-economic damages are more subjective. However, they are no less consequential in your life and are equally relevant for financial compensation.
Your personal injury lawyer will assist you in creating a complete list of how another person’s negligence has harmed you.
The financial losses incurred by the injured person as a direct result of the accident are known as economic damages. These are tangible losses that are easy to quantify. You could be entitled to recover the following:
- Lost wages
- Doctor bills
- Hospital expenses, such as surgery, the ER, and the ICU
- Travel costs for medical treatment
- Property repair or replacement
- Medical and mobility devices
- Loss of earning ability
These losses cannot be precisely quantified in monetary terms. Non-economic damages are subjective, so determining the value of non-economic damages can be challenging. Depending on your case, you could receive the following non-economic damages:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life, such as hobbies or travel
- Pain and suffering, both physical and emotional
- Loss of companionship
- Isolation from society
- Scarring or disfigurement
Georgia has no limits on the amount of economic or non-economic damages you can receive if you win. Your lawyer will help you claim the full amount you are owed and present a solid case to support those losses.
The court may also award punitive damages when a defendant’s negligence is egregious. These are intended to punish the defendant rather than simply reimburse the victim for their losses.
In our experience representing Georgia cases, drunk driving accidents and nursing home abuse are among the most common personal injury cases that qualify for punitive damages.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible for punitive damages, contact our personal injury law firm. Our lawyers will review your case and determine what types of damages you can recover.
Wrongful Death Damages
You and your loved ones could qualify for damages in the event of a wrongful death. Depending on the details of your case, a lawyer can help you recover:
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Loss of income and benefits.
- Medical expenses incurred by the victim prior to death.
- Loss of companionship.
- Pain and suffering.
The amount of wrongful death damages awarded varies depending on factors such as the age and earning potential of your loved one, the level of financial dependence on them, and the circumstances surrounding their death.
The Georgia Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits
In Georgia, the deadline for personal injury cases is generally two years from the date of the injury. This means that a plaintiff must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury, or they may lose their right to take legal action.
This rule has some exceptions, such as in cases involving medical malpractice, where the statute of limitations may be extended under certain circumstances. Anyone considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia should know the statute of limitations.
Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible following an accident to ensure that all necessary steps are taken within the appropriate time frame.
Talk to a Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer for Free
John Foy & Associates exists for one reason: to help people who have been injured. Our law firm has earned the nickname “the Strong Arm of the Law” because we don’t back down when we are up against an insurance company at the bargaining table.
We pressure their attorneys to settle quickly and easily so the stress of a lengthy legal process is taken off your shoulders. Our lawyers always represent your best interest and pursue maximum compensation.
Let our experienced Marietta personal injury attorneys give you a free consultation to discuss your claim. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.