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Personal Injury 101


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The Basics of Filing a Personal Injury Claim

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Personal Injury 101

  1. 1. PERSONAL INJURY 101 The Basics of Filing a Personal Injury Claim
  2. 2. WHAT IS A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM? When someone suffers an injury, they might be entitled to compensation for the costs associated with that injury, particularly if it was someone else’s fault. To receive that compensation, the injured person must file a personal injury claim, which is a civil lawsuit filed against the person or persons that caused the harm.
  3. 3. WHAT IS NEGLIGENCE? Negligence means that a person or an entity (e.g., a business) acted carelessly or failed to take proper actions to prevent the injury from happening. Negligence can mean different things in different contexts. For example, a driver who is texting on their phone and causes a crash is a negligent driver. A doctor who carelessly performs the wrong procedure on a patient is negligent in their duty to provide proper care to the patient.
  4. 4. WHY IS NEGLIGENCE SO IMPORTANT? For an injured person to have a successful claim, there typically must be some form of negligence. That is because negligence means someone else was at fault. Fault, or liability, is a central part of most personal injury claims. However, it’s not necessarily a requirement that the at- fault party be 100% responsible for the injuries. In many cases, fault can be shared and the negligent party will pay compensation based on their percentage of fault.
  5. 5. OTHER IMPORTANT TERMS IN PI LAW… Plaintiff - The person filing the personal injury claim. The plaintiff is usually the injured person. However, in some cases, a representative of the injured person might file the claim on their behalf. Defendant - The party against whom the claim is being filed. This can be a person (such as a negligent driver) or an entity (such as a business that failed to provide for the safety of its patrons). Damages - The amount sought by the plaintiff. Damages include costs associated with the injury (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) and other harm suffered by the plaintiff (pain, suffering, etc.).
  6. 6. SETTLEMENT VS. TRIAL There are many possible outcomes in personal injury cases. In some cases, a defendant might wish to offer the plaintiff payment to stop the lawsuit from proceeding to trial. This is called a settlement. Conversely, if the defendant disputes the claim against them and does not want to settle, the matter might be taken to court, where a trial will take place.
  7. 7. EXAMPLE OF PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS - VEHICLE ACCIDENTS Each year between 2012 and 2016, there were more than 300,000 vehicle crashes on Georgia’s roads. In 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available, there were 1,551 fatalities on our roads and many more serious injuries. Most crashes are caused by human error and often because of negligent driving. Common examples of negligence in vehicle accident personal injury claims include impairment, fatigue, distraction, speeding and other forms of reckless driving.
  8. 8. EXAMPLE OF PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS – WORK-RELATED INJURIES Every year, there are around 3 million non- fatal workplace injuries in private industries in the U.S. While many workplace injuries result in workers’ compensation benefits, it is not uncommon for a workers’ compensation claim to be inadequate or rejected altogether. An injured worker might be able to file a personal injury claim against an employer (particularly if they are misclassified as an independent contractor) or a third party to receive the compensation they deserve.
  9. 9. OTHER TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CASES Medical malpractice cases - These cases typically involve a negligent doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider who causes harm to a patient. Premises liability cases - When a property owner or manager fails to take reasonable care of their property and someone suffers harm, the injured person can file a premises liability claim to receive compensation. Wrongful Death - When a negligent party is responsible for someone’s death, the deceased’s survivors sometimes file wrongful death claims to receive payment for the costs associated with their loved one’s death.
  10. 10. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS The statute of limitations is the window of time in which a plaintiff may file a claim. In Georgia, the statute of limitations on most types of personal injury and malpractice claims is two years. In some circumstances, there might be options available even after two years, though it is always best to act quickly if you want to file a claim.
  11. 11. WHERE TO START… If you’re interested in filing a personal injury claim, the first step is to find an attorney to represent you. You’ll want to make sure the attorney handles personal injury claims (not all do) and that the attorney practices in your state. Many attorneys and law firms offer free consultations, which gives a potential client the chance to discuss their case and determine whether the attorney is the right fit.
  12. 12. CONTACT DAVID MANN TO LEARN MORE To learn more about filing personal injury claims in Georgia, contact David Mann. David Mann has years of experience handling personal injury claims and is proud of the results he gets for his clients. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. (478) 742-3381 130 N. Crest Blvd. Macon, GA 31210