Last Updated on June 16, 2021 by Theodore Spaulding
In this video, attorney Ted Spaulding explains he process of filing a personal injury claim in Georgia. He details how the goal is always to move the case along as quickly as possible, and what this entails.
What happens in a personal injury case? Keep watching this video to find out. Hi, I’m Ted Spaulding, an Atlanta personal injury trial lawyer, and I’m the founder here at Spaulding Injury Law. So this question assumes…it says case, so it assumes that your case has been filed in a court, meaning a complaint has been filed against the defendant or defendants, and you’re pursuing that case to trial. So what happens first is, obviously, the complaint is filed, it is served on the defendant or defendants. Once the defendant is served, they have 30 days to respond by filing an answer. Then typically what happens is the discovery period starts. That is a standard six-month period by Georgia law, but that can be extended or it can be shortened by the judge within discretion. Typically, it is extended at least once. Believe it or not, it is very difficult in this day and age to get a case completely litigated and ready for trial in six months. We try to do that as much as possible. Certainly in your standard car wreck cases where there’s not a lot of evidence that’s needed, maybe liability is not an issue, that that should only take about six months. However, it may stretch to a year or more depending on the complexity of the case. Then once discovery is over, you are looking at potential for motions to be filed mainly by the defense, summary judgment to try and get the case kicked out on technicalities, or other motions to limit either claims or evidence, those sorts of things. Then it is put on a trial calendar and you work your way up the judge’s trial calendar to get to number one, which means you’re going next to try your case. Most jurisdictions judges have a civil trial calendar week each month, some jurisdictions, it’s one week per quarter or two weeks per quarter. So depending on your jurisdiction or your cases, it could take much longer to actually get to number one to be able to try your case. It just is a complete guess when your case is filed, how many cases that judge has ready for trial ahead of you, how many get resolved right before trial. It is a complete guess as to when your case is gonna be filed.
The goal, though, is to move your case along as quickly as possible within reason. You want to have your lawyer build your evidence the best way possible to try the best case, but you don’t want that to take forever. So you want to keep pushing, you want to try to minimize the length of time it takes to get it to trial, and then the case is either going to resolve because the defense knows you’re heading to a trial and you have a good case, or the case is gonna be tried. All you have a right to in Georgia is a trial by 6 or 12 jurors to tell you what your case is worth. So that’s where you’re ultimately headed once your case is filed in a court of law here in Georgia.
If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to reach out to me, or if you have a case or claim that you would like to see if our firm can handle, several ways to do that. You can comment to the video below. You can go to our website, spauldinginjurylaw.com, we have a contact form there. Or you can give me a phone call, two phone numbers, 770-744-0890 or 470-695-9950. Thanks so much for watching this video.
For close to 15 years, Mr. Spaulding has helped victims of negligence across the state of Georgia resolve personal injury disputes, and he’s received a remarkable number of awards and honors from the legal community recognizing his commitment to clients and to the metro-Atlanta area.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Spaulding belonged to the Phi Beta Kappa honors fraternity at the University of Georgia, and he obtained his legal training at the Georgia State College of Law, where he clerked for the Honorable Judge Rowland Barnes of the Fulton County Superior Court. Mr. Spaulding has also worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Enforcement Division. Since 2005, he has dedicated his career to helping the injured victims of negligence and their loved ones win justice in Georgia’s personal injury courts.