Virtually every day, there is potential to be harmed—from falling at your favorite McDonough store to being involved in a car accident down the road from work. Even if you’re careful in every situation, not everyone will be as reasonable as you and accidents can happen. And when that accident is someone else’s fault or wrongdoing and you suffer, it just isn’t fair. Thankfully, Georgia law allows you to be reimbursed for some of your losses by starting a personal injury case—and using a McDonough personal injury lawyer to assert your case can be extremely helpful.
For over two decades, John Foy & Associates has been the go-to resource for personal injury victims in Georgia. Our team prides itself on being easily accessible, compassionate, and hard-working. We put our knowledge and experience to work for everyone who needs help after an accident. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How Does a Personal Injury Case Work?
When someone else causes you harm or damages, Georgia law allows you to hold them accountable. That generally means they must pay for any injuries or losses that you suffered, including things like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost time from work
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Any loss that you suffered should be repaid. But this repayment or reimbursement isn’t automatic. Instead, you have to prove very specific facts and information to be entitled to these money damages. And you must use a specific, technical process to assert your claim. If you don’t follow the rules, you risk having your case thrown out because of technical reasons that may have nothing to do with the merits of your case. This is where a good McDonough personal injury lawyer comes in.
A personal injury attorney will help you talk to the defendant or their insurance company after an accident that leads to harm or damage. Examples of these types of situations include:
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall incidents
- Car accidents
- Bicycle/pedestrian collisions
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
Once you hire a lawyer, they will help you through the legal process. The first step often includes contacting an insurance company or defendant to notify them of the accident and your resulting damages. At this stage, you will often provide a demand letter as well. If the defendant doesn’t respond to you, then the next step is usually to start a lawsuit.
What Is the Process for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If your case does proceed to trial, these are the steps you can expect.
A personal injury lawsuit begins with filing the petition or complaint. The complaint will set out very basic information about your situation, including what happened, what type of legal claim you are asserting, and what you are requesting from the court.
While you don’t have to have all of your damages determined at this initial stage, you should have a general idea of what they may be. Knowing basic categories of damages is often enough to start. But a lot of this information should already be a part of the demand letter that you and your lawyer sent.
In response to your complaint, the defendant will provide an “answer.” This is a document that denies or admits all of the facts you provided in your complaint. It will also provide an indication of any defenses that the other party might assert.
The process of getting information from the other party (and information from you) is referred to as “discovery.” It is by far the most time-consuming part of a personal injury case. It will usually involve things like:
- Answering written interrogatories
- Producing documents
- Gathering documents and information from third-parties
- Asking questions of other parties in a formal deposition
You may also want to involve experts in your case. Your attorney will be able to help you determine whether experts are necessary for your lawsuit.
The last stage in a lawsuit is actually going to trial. You will have a chance to tell your story in front of a judge or jury. The defendant will also be able to defend themselves in the same way.
Trial is always a risk, whether it’s winning the case or getting the damages you want. It is also time-consuming and emotionally and physically draining for a lot of personal injury victims. But even though it has its drawbacks, the trial can be extremely satisfying and fulfilling for personal injury victims who want to tell their story and hold the other party accountable for their actions.
The vast majority of personal injury cases never make it to the trial stage because they are settled long before you set foot in a courtroom.
Settlements are appealing for several reasons, including:
- They provide a faster outcome for everyone involved
- Settlements take the risk out of presenting your case at trial
- You don’t have to go through the stress and anxiety of a trial
- There is no option to appeal or challenge most settlements
Even with all the benefits of a settlement, it simply won’t work for some cases. Some legal matters just need to be heard in front of a judge or jury to ensure the victims get the recovery they deserve. It can be hard to tell the difference between a case that warrants a settlement and one that should go to trial, however. Personal injury lawyers, like our team at John Foy & Associates, will know how to consider the facts of your case and any settlement offers to determine whether settling is really in your best interest.
A case can be settled at any point in the lawsuit process. That means your attorney and the other side will be talking periodically about settlement as the case progresses.
Talk to a McDonough Personal Injury Lawyer for Free
You don’t have to deal with defendants or insurance companies alone. We can provide a buffer between you and the insurance company, ensuring that no one takes advantage of you, your family, or your situation. Get John Foy & Associates on your side. 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.