When someone injures you in Duluth, you have the right to take legal action against them. It lets you recover from the costs arising from the incident, like medical bills. However, legal proceedings are often fraught with obstacles, so rather than face them alone, consider getting help from a Duluth personal injury lawyer.
Let us examine the laws and factors affecting your personal injury settlement in Duluth.
Establishing Liability for Your Injury
There are three ways that a person, business, or other entity can be liable for your injury in Duluth:
They Were Negligent
The at-fault party did not act according to the standard of care expected from them at the time. For example, a motorist is negligent for texting while driving since they should pay attention to the road. They would likely be liable if they get involved in an auto accident.
They Acted Willfully
This is when the other party acted with harmful intent against you. They are often crimes as well. For instance, you could have gotten shot during a robbery. That would make the robber liable for your injury.
They Are Strictly Liable
Strict liability is when the party did not directly harm you, but something under their responsibility did. One such instance where strict liability applies is in defective product injuries. In such cases, a manufacturer could be at-fault for problems resulting from design flaws or unclear instructions. A dog bite incident is another scenario where a party can be strictly liable. The dog owner would be liable for the injuries their pet caused.
Our Duluth personal injury lawyer can help investigate the incident to determine the liable parties for your injury. They can also gather proof of your injury, such as medical records, camera footage, photos, and witness testimonies.
For a free legal consultation with a personal injury lawyer serving Duluth, call 404-214-2001
Your Personal Injury Settlement Damages
A successful Duluth injury settlement lets you recover from the financial cost of your injuries. Our Duluth personal injury lawyer can help compile your expenses to determine the damages you could receive. These typically include expenses such as:
- Medical bills—hospitalizations, doctor’s appointments, surgeries, medications, and so on
- Lost earnings—wages or business profits lost due to the injury preventing you from working or managing your business
- Replacement services—you can also get compensated for services hired while recovering, such as childcare or housekeeping
Besides your financial losses, you can also get compensated for more intangible costs. These are non-economic or pain and suffering damages. Some examples of non-economic damages include disabilities, disfigurements, and psychological trauma. While Georgia has no specific formula for calculating non-economic damages, their value generally increases if your injury is more severe.
Duluth Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me 404-214-2001
Should You File an Injury Claim or a Lawsuit?
Once you and our Duluth personal injury lawyer have finished compiling and reviewing your evidence and damages, you can work towards filing an action against the at-fault party. Unless the liable side proposes to settle privately with you, you typically have two ways to get damages:
Through a Liability Claim
Insurance policies such as homeowners, commercial, and auto insurance typically include liability coverage. This helps shoulder the expenses accrued by victims when the policyholder is at-fault in an accident.
The insurer will likely downplay their client’s fault, as siding with you would mean offering a larger amount. However, our Duluth personal injury lawyer can help speak with the insurance company if you do not accept their initial settlement offers.
Filing an Injury Lawsuit
Civil injury lawsuits are often the next option for injury victims who cannot recover damages through the liability claim. For instance, the other party may be uninsured or have insufficient liability coverage.
With an injury case, the court determines your settlement amount, not the claims adjuster. Keep in mind that it can take multiple proceedings to reach a verdict. The Duluth personal injury lawyer can be your court representative to guide you throughout the litigation process.
Time Limit for Filing Your Duluth Injury Action
All Georgia injury cases, including your case here in Duluth, follow the statute of limitations in O.C.G.A. Section 9-3-33. It is a time-sensitive filing requirement that is strictly followed. This statute states that you have two years to bring the case to court. Failure to file within the deadline would automatically get the suit dismissed, so it would be wiser to get started while you still have ample time.
A Duluth personal injury lawyer from Kaine Law can help determine your exact deadline by checking for applicable tolling exceptions. These special situations can extend your due date by a certain amount of time or indefinitely.
For example, if you file a case for your injured child, the statute of limitations would only begin once they turn 18. Meanwhile, the statute clock can pause if the at-fault person runs away to another place outside Georgia. The timer will only count again when they return to the state.
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Contributory Fault and How It Affects Recovery
Be aware that successfully proving the other party’s liability does not guarantee that you can receive the full amount of damages owed to you. Due to the contributory fault rules in O.C.G.A. Section 51-12-33, your settlement amount can be reduced if you share some liability for your injury.
For example, let us say you were injured in a slip and fall accident inside a restaurant. Evidence shows that the restaurant staff failed to place a “wet floor” sign to warn customers. However, you were also walking briskly at the time. After reviewing the case, the court or claims adjuster declares you 30 percent liable. That means you would recover 70 percent of your total damages.
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Get in Touch With Our Injury Lawyer Today
With over multiple decades of combined experience in Georgia personal injury law, the office of Kaine Law is here to help you take legal action against the party who wronged you here in Duluth. We have a Duluth personal injury lawyer who can work with you from the start to the end of the settlement process. These include complying with filing requirements and facing the insurance company or civil court.
You can get started today by scheduling a free consultation through our website. We also provide 24/7 support, so you can contact our office anytime for legal concerns and other inquiries.