Snellville Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal injury law is a wide-ranging topic. Any time one person claims to have been injured by another person or entity and wants to recover damages, that person should consult with a personal injury lawyer. One important thing to bear in mind is that, in Georgia, you have just two years to file a claim for your injury.
As is true with every state, Georgia has laws and rules applicable to personal injury claims. The variety and complexity of these types of claims mean that you should always work with an experienced Snellville personal injury attorney if you think you may have a compensable personal injury.
What Is a Personal Injury?
There are many different personal injuries for which you can obtain recovery. In each kind of case, different standards will apply, and various issues arise. If you were involved in one of these cases, you will want to contact a knowledgeable lawyer at your early convenience.
- Slip and Fall Injuries – Slip and fall injuries happen when you have an accident and are injured on the premises of another by tripping or falling due to an existing obstacle. Whether you can recover any damages and what standard of care will be applied to the property owner depends on your status as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
- Bus, Truck, Car, or Motorcycle Accidents – Motor vehicle accidents include buses, trucks, motorcycles, cars, and other vehicles. You may have been operating one of the vehicles involved in the accident or have been a passenger in one of the vehicles. Or, you may simply have had the back luck to be a pedestrian who got in the way of the accident. In any of these cases, what happened to you is a possibly compensable personal injury.
- Drunk Driving Injuries – Under Georgia law, an accident involving drunk driving may allow you to obtain punitive damages in addition to your compensation for any injuries. Also, you should not give up if you hear that the drunk driver was acquitted of the charge. The burden of proof you will have to meet in a civil case is lower than in a criminal case, so you may still recover even if the driver was acquitted.
- Public Transportation Injuries –In Georgia, vehicles involved in public transportation are subject to special rules applicable to common carriers. A common carrier is a company or person that owns or operates a mass transportation facility. These providers are ordinarily presumed to be liable unless the injury was caused by an act of God or enemies of the state. A very different standard of care will be applied to common carriers, such as MARTA vehicles.
- Boating Accidents – Boating accidents are more common than you think in Georgia because of our long Atlantic coastline and our many navigable lakes and rivers. Georgia Department of Natural Resources rules apply to boating accidents, and these rules outline the negligence standard used for your accident. Boating accident claims are complicated by the application of maritime insurance rules, for which you will need to work with an experienced attorney.
- Wrongful Death – In Georgia, all compensable damage claims for wrongful death must arise directly out of the decedent’s injury or death. Damages to the family arising out of the death are not compensable in Georgia wrongful death cases. Generally, what you can recover includes:
- Funeral expenses, medical costs and expenses, and other fees or costs coming from the injury or death
- Medical fees and expenses, as well as the decedent’s pain and suffering, and any additional costs or expenses incurred between the injury and the death
- The value of the deceased person’s life, as shown by the evidence.
- Catastrophic Injuries – These are the kinds of injuries that leave the victim permanently disabled and facing a lifetime of challenging circumstances. These injuries often relate to the head, neck, back, brain, and the nervous system. They usually result in long-term incapacity, permanent disabling symptoms, and a long or essentially impossible recovery. Other factors will include paralysis or a loss of quality of life and the need for constant or live-in care.
- Dog Bites –As far as dog bites go, Georgia is a modified one-bite state. In sum, a dog cannot be put down or its owner found liable for the first time the dog bites someone. However, Georgia modifies this general rule by making owners liable when (1) they knew the dog might have been vicious, (2) the animal was not leashed when it should have been, or (3) the victim did not provoke the attack.
- Product Liability – Product liability cases are different because they don’t always require proof that someone was to blame. A product liability claim can be based either on a strict liability theory or on negligence in Georgia. Strict liability will not require proof of negligence, but it will require proof that:
- The defendant made the defective product
- The product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s control; and
- The defect was the cause of your injury
These cases can arise from a defect in the design or manufacturing of the product or the maker’s failure to warn consumers, users, or purchasers of a nonobvious foreseeable risk from the ordinary use of the product.
No General Damage Caps in Georgia Personal Injury Cases
Damage caps, which vary state, limit the dollar amount recoverable for certain types of damages in personal injury cases, regardless of the amount of the actual damages incurred by the injured party. In Georgia, however, damage caps in tort cases are typically no longer permitted. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions to this rule. There have been no caps on the recovery of economic or non-economic damages such as pain and suffering in Georgia for several years. There are, however, limits on punitive damages, and up to 75% of any punitive damages awarded will be paid to the state, not the injured party.
Comparative Negligence in Georgia
Recovery of damages in personal injury cases is complicated by Georgia’s reliance on the doctrine of comparative negligence in personal injury cases. In allocating damages, courts applying comparative negligence compare the conduct of all the parties in a negligence case and apportion a percentage to their level of the fault in the accident. The value assigned to a party’s fault is crucial because, while at 49%, that party can recover 51% of its damages, at 50%, it will recover nothing. Because of this rule, working with an experienced Snellville personal injury lawyer can be critical to your potential recovery.
Contact a Snellville Personal Injury Attorney Today
As you see, the law of personal injuries covers a lot of difficult ground in Georgia. If you have been injured in Snellville, it is time for you to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer from Spaulding Injury Law. Through a free initial consultation, you can discover the potential of your case and get help in obtaining the recovery to which you may be entitled. Contact us today.