A personal injury claim is a legal tool in which an injured party seeks compensation for losses they suffered because of the actions of another party. The plaintiff, the party filing the claim, must identify the defendant, the party responsible for their damages, and prove that the defendant directly caused the losses cited in the claim.
If you believe that another party is responsible for inflicting a personal injury on you or a loved one in Georgia, it’s natural to wonder what the potential value of your successful civil claim might be. An experienced personal injury attorney is an invaluable asset for your recovery efforts, no matter what your case entails. The sooner you secure legal representation, the sooner you can obtain an estimate of your case’s potential value.
The main objective of any personal injury claim in Georgia is for the plaintiff to secure compensation for the losses that the defendant inflicted. Various types of losses can be cited as damages in a personal injury claim, including economic losses and noneconomic losses. Other variables can also influence the plaintiff’s case award, such as punitive damages or comparative fault.
Economic losses are the most direct and can be easily proven with the appropriate documentation. These include any financial losses resulting from the defendant’s actions, such as:
Lost income also includes lost future income if the plaintiff was left unable to return to the workforce due to the severity of their injury.
Noneconomic damages are more subjective and include the pain and suffering that the victim experienced. Georgia law does not limit pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury claims, so it is possible for this to account for the bulk of a plaintiff’s case award if they suffered severe injuries from the actions of the defendant.
Punitive damages can be awarded when a defendant has broken the law when causing the plaintiff’s personal injury. Driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, and interpersonal violent crime are the most common examples of how punitive damages may be applied in a case. These are not claimed directly by the plaintiff and are instead awarded at a judge’s discretion.
Some issues can diminish a plaintiff’s case award, such as comparative fault. Georgia enforces a modified comparative fault rule that will allow a partially at-fault plaintiff to still recover compensation as long as they are less than 50% at fault. This fault percentage is subtracted from the case award, and they keep the remainder. However, if their fault is 50% or more, they lose the right to claim compensation from the defendant.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you identify all the damages you can seek from the defendant who caused your personal injury. The sooner you connect with an attorney you can trust, the more likely you are to maximize your final case award.
A: No, your personal injury settlement in Georgia will not be subject to taxation at the state or federal level. The proceeds from a personal injury claim are meant to repay a loss and are, therefore, not classified as income, so they cannot be taxed as income. The only exception would be if you receive punitive damages as part of your case award; your attorney can explain whether you will need to pay taxes on this portion of your recovery.
A: Success with a personal injury claim in Georgia requires firmly proving liability for the incident in question and proving that your claimed losses directly resulted from the defendant’s actions. The evidence you may require to make your case will largely depend on the type of personal injury you experienced. Your attorney can help you identify the various forms of evidence that may be necessary to succeed with your claim.
A: If your loved one died from a personal injury, a wrongful death claim can effectively replace the personal injury claim that they are no longer able to file. State law restricts eligibility to file a wrongful death claim to the victim’s closest family members, typically a surviving spouse, child, or parent. A wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the damages the family suffered as a result of the death, and a good attorney can help their client maximize their case award.
A: Technically, no, you have the right to try to file your personal injury claim without legal representation in Georgia. However, you would face tremendous risk and various challenges if you attempt this. Having legal counsel that you can trust to handle your case allows you to recover without worry, and your attorney can manage case filings and procedural deadlines on your behalf. You are not only more likely to win your case but also more likely to maximize your recovery if you have an attorney you can trust assisting you.
A: Most personal injury attorneys throughout Georgia accept clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that the client is only required to pay an attorney’s fee if they win the case, and the client’s fee is a percentage of the total compensation that the attorney wins on their behalf. If the attorney is unable to secure compensation for their client, there is no fee at all. This billing policy ensures that the client does not pay more in legal fees than they win in compensation for their damages.
The lawyers at Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys can help you navigate the aftermath of a personal injury with confidence and ease. Our firm has enabled many past clients to secure considerable case awards in all types of personal injury cases throughout Georgia, and we can put this experience to work for you. Contact Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys today to schedule your consultation with a personal injury attorney and learn how we can empower your recovery efforts.