Any accident that causes injuries likely also has some sort of impact on your life — in legal terms, these impacts are known as “damages.” In many instances, victims of an accident are able to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company, but they may not realize that the damages they are entitled to compensation for go far beyond the financially measurable issues such as medical bills and lost wages. Insurance companies know that people often do not realize how much more they deserve, and they work to settle personal injury claims as quickly and painlessly as possible in order to pay far less than the victim is entitled to.
When a victim is working with a personal injury lawyer in Lawrenceville, GA, they have a much better chance of recovering compensation for a comprehensive suite of damages, including the obvious issues like lost wages, but going further to include things like the pain and suffering they have endured following their injuries or the emotional trauma of losing a loved one in a wrongful death. These are just two examples of the many non-economic damages that Atlanta, GA victims seldom realize they deserve, and even fewer understand how to calculate — and then defend — these calculations during settlement negotiations. The team at The Pendergrass Law Firm is here to help.
Contact The Pendergrass Law Firm Today For a Free Consultation With a Lawrenceville Personal Injury Attorney
We offer a free consultation for people who want to know more about working with a personal injury law firm after an accident. There are many different types of personal injury cases we handle across Gwinnett County, each of which is unique to the specific circumstances of the accident. Unfortunately, the insurance company handles each personal injury claim with a similar approach: to settle quickly and cheaply, without taking the many unique details of the situation into account. This is why working with a Lawrenceville personal injury attorney is such an important step.
You can read more below to get a general idea of some of our personal injury practice areas, but whether or not you see your own accident case mentioned below, simply contact us as soon as possible to connect with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lawrenceville, Georgia to go through a comprehensive case evaluation and to learn more about what you can expect as a client of The Pendergrass Law Firm.
Common Example of Accident Cases Resulting in Personal Injury Claims
The following are just a few of the many examples that entitle victims to compensation for their injuries and damages. Whether or not your situation is mentioned here, contact us as soon as possible to speak with a personal injury attorney about your unique situation and get a sense of how an attorney can help you move forward with your case.
After a car accident, it is common for the victim to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover compensation for things like property damage, medical bills, and lost wages. However, insurance companies have years or decades of experience handling car accident claims, and their adjusters are highly skilled at reaching low settlement agreements. When you have legal representation handling your personal injury claim after a car accident in Gwinnett County, they will fight to get you the money you truly deserve.
Motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous for the motorcycle rider and passengers, far more so than a car accident due to the fact that a motorcycle provides no structural protection from impact. These crashes typically result in higher medical bills and other personal injury damages than a car accident for this reason, but insurance companies work aggressively to avoid paying as many of these additional damages as possible, whether in Lawrenceville, Georgia, or elsewhere.
You will likely endure significant pain and suffering after a motorcycle crash, but the sooner you are partnered with a Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer.
Commercial truck drivers are held to higher licensing and certification standards than passenger vehicle drivers, but these standards will never be able to guarantee that a trucker won’t cause an accident. Truck accidents can be much more dangerous than car accidents due to the substantial size difference between a semi-truck and passenger vehicle, which is why their commercial insurance policies often have much higher limits and premiums. While a higher policy limit may leave more room for a higher settlement in personal injury cases, this still does not mean that the insurance company will willingly pay every damage owed to the victim.
Your personal injury attorney will need to fight to get you the money you are entitled to after a Gwinnett County truck crash.
Any fatal accident that falls under the Georgia personal injury laws can be handled like other personal injury cases, but the accident case is brought forward by certain family members or dependants (through the deceased’s estate) to recover the common damages of a personal injury claim as well as a number of additional damages such as the long-term financial contributions from the deceased, as well as things like loss of companionship and consortium, among others.
There were a total of 67 fatal car accidents in Gwinnett County in 2019, one source of many types of wrongful deaths in the county that year.
Lawrenceville personal injury lawyers understand the sensitivity required for wrongful death cases and will work aggressively to recover compensation after a wrongful death while giving the grieving family the time and space necessary to start the healing process.
Premises liability is an area of personal injury law that holds a property owner accountable for the conditions on their property that may lead to an accident. The most common type of personal injury case stemming from premises liability issues is a slip and fall, which happens when a lawful visitor to someone else’s property slips, trips, and falls due to a hazardous or dangerous condition.
After slip and fall accidents, property owners may attempt to offer the victim compensation in the form of a cash payment in order to avoid paying the full amount after a personal injury case in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Don’t sign anything, don’t make any statements, and don’t agree to any offers until you have spoken with a Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer.
In Lawrenceville-Atlanta, GA, and the rest of the state, dog owners are held to “negligence” standards, meaning that they typically must already be aware of their animal’s aggressive nature in order to be held accountable for their actions. Lawrenceville personal injury attorneys understand the legal prerequisites for filing a personal injury claim following a dog bite and will work with their clients to ensure that they are able to recover compensation after this painful attack.
These types of personal injuries can result in extensive pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and much more that entitles a victim to substantial compensation.
What Are The Prerequisites of a Personal Injury Case?
The following factors establish important things like fault and liability and can be translated across a range of situations in order to make sense of unique accidents as they apply to Georgia personal injury law. When you are speaking with a Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer for an initial consultation, they will use these factors as an initial gauge of how strong your case may be.
The Defendant Owed the Victim a Duty of Care
Each day, we all have duties of care to others, both to those we know and to complete strangers. Simply put, a duty of care is the expectation to act in a reasonable and prudent manner in order to avoid unnecessary accidents and harm to others. Depending on the activity we are engaged in, this could range from things like not driving drunk or speeding to making sure that a product our company is selling is safe for consumers.
Depending on the specifics of your Lawrenceville, GA accident, the duty of care the at-fault party owed you will be unique.
The Defendant Failed To Uphold Their Duty of Care
When someone leaves a bar in Atlanta, GA and drives home to Lawrenceville, GA while over the legal blood alcohol concentration limit, they are guilty of a criminal violation and have failed their duty of care to all others on the road. This is a simple and understandable failure of a duty of care, but there are many other failures that personal injury lawyers are skilled at identifying in order to prove fault and liability on behalf of their clients.
When you are working with a Lawrenceville personal injury attorney, you won’t need to worry about identifying or proving that there was a failed duty of care — they will handle this for you as you focus on your recovery. This is why it is so important to partner with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more time the insurance company has to build a counter-argument in an attempt to pin as much blame on you as possible.
This Failure Resulted in an Accident
If a drunk driver does not cause an accident and therefore has caused no personal injury to another, they are only guilty of a criminal violation. If, however, they cause an accident, the situation is now addressed under both criminal AND tort law because another individual has suffered an avoidable personal injury due to their failure to act prudently in their travels.
If the at-fault party is cited for a criminal violation, this does not bar a victim from taking action as a personal injury victim — these two types of law are handled separately, and it is even plausible that someone may have their criminal charges dropped but still be held liable for the personal injury damages due to different standards for burdens of proof.
The Accident Caused Measurable Damages To the Victim
To continue with the drunk driving example, if a drunk driver runs into someone’s mailbox, they have caused property damage but no personal injury. However, if they rear-end a vehicle at a stop sign, the victim may suffer a range of injuries including both physical and emotional, each entitling them to compensation under Georgia personal injury law. Working with personal injury attorneys in Gwinnett County is the best way to identify the range of damages you are owed and then have comprehensive legal support for negotiating a final settlement with the insurance company.
Our personal injury law firm is skilled in these negotiations, and in the event that your case goes to the Georgia courts, we are ready to act. Many personal injury attorneys focus solely on settlements, meaning that a victim will need to hire trial lawyers, but you will not need to worry about that with The Pendergrass Law Firm acting as your Lawrenceville personal injury lawyers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases
The following are a few basic answers to some of the many questions we get during our free initial consultations. The answers below are not to be taken as legal advice, and are simply meant to give you a sense of what the answer to your questions may be regarding your unique situation. The only way to get a clear answer about your case is to speak directly with a Lawrenceville lawyer and go through the many distinctive factors of your injury case. Contact us as soon as possible to get the answers you need and to learn about how best to move forward with the help of an experienced attorney.
How long do I have to take legal action after a personal injury in Georgia?
The statute of limitations for most personal injuries in Georgia is two years following the accident. This means that you have two years to file a lawsuit in the courts, but it is absolutely essential that you partner with an attorney sooner than this. Your lawyer will use these two years to build a case, investigate your damages, and handle settlement negotiations before determining whether or not it is necessary to take your case to court.
If you wait before contacting an attorney, they will have much less time to get a clear understanding of your injuries and damages and may need to file a lawsuit even if an out-of-court settlement is likely the best option for all parties.
There are exceptions to the two-year statute, particularly when victims do not immediately recognize their injuries. Still, if you even suspect that you have suffered an injury, we highly suggest that you connect with our law firm immediately to get started with plenty of time.
Do I need to hire an attorney to get a fair settlement with an insurance company?
You can absolutely handle your own claim, but the reality is that insurers have been handling claims like your own for years and have developed playbooks for handling claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Tort law is complex, and a big part of these settlement tactics involves overwhelming a victim with legal documents and terms while making extremely low settlement offers and rejecting a victim’s counteroffers outright.
When you are working with a Lawrenceville attorney, the insurers know that they are working with someone who understands personal injury law, has handled a range of accidents, and is dedicated to getting fair compensation for their clients. Unfortunately, initial negotiation talks often go smoother when carried out by an attorney, but this also means that you will have more time and emotional space to focus on recovering from your injuries.
In addition to the monetary benefits of working with a lawyer, stress has a significant impact on the recovery process from physical injuries, and the claims process is often very stressful — especially for someone unfamiliar with the process. Insurers know this, and they use this as leverage to convince a claimant to settle for a low offer and move forward with their lives. Your attorney will not settle a case to get it over with and will do what it takes to get you the money you deserve, whether through direct negotiations or in front of a judge and jury.
Will my case go to trial?
There are no clear statistics about how many personal injury claims are settled without going to court, but many estimates put the number above 50% settled out of court and upwards of 95% of all cases being resolved before seeing trial. These numbers are difficult to gather because many settlements are done with the express intent of avoiding any publicly available record of the compensation amount or other details about the accident. These settlements are not reported to a central authority, meaning that the settlement rate is speculative.
However, the fact remains that most personal injury cases are resolved before a trial. Whether or not your situation follows the trends is to be determined, though, and there are some injuries that an attorney may deem deserving of litigation without exhaustive negotiati,ons. This is common in instances where your situation may warrant punitive damages, which are only awarded by a judge or jury at the resolution of a trial. Punitive damages are added in addition to compensatory damages, and as opposed to repaying victims for their measurable damages are intended to serve as a punishment to the defendant.
How long will it take to get a payment for my personal injury claim?
Like most general answers about personal injuries, it depends. Some cases are extremely straightforward and can lead to a settlement agreement in a matter of months, while others may be drawn out over the course of a few years and can be contentious and complex. If your case goes to court, this will naturally extend the time necessary to reach a settlement agreement because the case will then be moving at the speed of the courts.
Even as we are working on a Gwinnett County personal injury case, it can be difficult to determine whether or not we are closing in on an agreement. We make sure to keep our clients informed about every development, and can generally give a sense of what to expect as our conversations proceed with the at-fault party’s representation.
What if I am partially responsible for my car accident? Am I still entitled to compensation?
The Georgia Code uses a legal tool known as comparative negligence when assigning liability for personal injuries and allows a victim to recover damages proportional to the amount that they are responsible for the accident. For example, if you accept 25% fault for a car accident, your final settlement will simply be reduced by this amount.
Comparative negligence is a significantly beneficial law, considering that the alternative would block victims from compensation even if they were 1% responsible, but insurers use this tool to their advantage by attempting to pin additional blame on a victim in order to lower their financial burden. An experienced attorney will push back on these unfair tactics and will only accept fault that you rightfully deserve to be held liable for.
Insurers count on victims to tire of going back and forth about “minor” details, such as a quarter of a percent of fault, but each of these seemingly insignificant cuts adds up. You do not deserve to take on the financial burden of someone else’s dangerous or reckless behavior.
How much money am I entitled to for my injuries?
To determine how much money you deserve after a car accident, product liability injury, or any other personal injury accident, you will need to sit down with a Lawrenceville lawyer and go through many details of your situation. The basis for your damages are predominantly things like your medical bills and lost wages, each of which is highly dependent on your unique situation. From there, your lawyer will need to determine the non-economic damages you have suffered as well, using a number of tools at their disposal.
After your initial consultation, you will have a better idea of what your case may be worth, but your attorney will spend a substantial amount of time at the outset of your work together investigating each possible damage before reaching a final calculation. However, even this final calculation will not likely reflect your actual final settlement for a variety of reasons.
Contact Us Now To Speak With a Lawrenceville Personal Injury Attorney
The sooner we are in contact after your injuries, the sooner we can establish an agreement and begin working together. After a car accident or any other personal injury case, your medical care should be your absolute top priority. Once you have gotten your immediate care addressed, we encourage you to contact us before even contacting the other insurer. We will be able to handle your claim from day one while you focus on your recovery.