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PERSONAL INJURY 101
The Basics of Filing a Personal Injury Claim
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.
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
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
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
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
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.).
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.
EXAMPLE OF PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS -
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.
EXAMPLE OF PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS –
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 manninjurylaw.com/contact-us/
130 N. Crest Blvd.
Macon, GA 31210