Starting a Personal Injury Lawsuit 

starting personal injury lawsuit

Following a personal injury, the most important thing to do is to get all necessary medical care. There are also steps you can take to protect their legal rights as soon as an accident or the victim’s knowledge of harm occurs. Immediately following an accident, it is important to get all of the information you can get related to what happened, including the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses. If you are involved in an auto accident, stay on the scene and contact police so that a police report is created. 

Record what happened as carefully as you can, and make sure any financial losses accrued, such as medical bills and lost wages, are carefully documented. When it comes to documenting your injuries, don’t rely solely on medical records. Take pictures of your injury as well, and make notes about how you feel. 

Never discuss your accident with the party that caused the accident or with insurers without first discussing your case with your attorney. Keep information about your accident as private as possible until your case is resolved. Once immediate medical care has been obtained, the next step is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. 

What to Expect Once You’ve Hired an Attorney 

If an attorney agrees to take your case, the attorney will begin to investigate the facts of your case and collect all the evidence that you will need to successfully make a claim. This means getting as much information as possible about the event that caused the injury and getting thorough documentation of all medical care that took place. Often, your attorney may want you to see additional medical professionals to better assess your injury. Your attorney will also help you calculate the full value of your claim. 

After a case has been adequately prepared, a demand for compensation is usually sent to the responsible party or a claim is made to the responsible party’s insurer. At this stage, a defendant or insurer will either reject the claim or offer a settlement offer. In many cases, it is possible to negotiate a settlement that is fair, but this isn’t always the case. If a fair settlement can’t be reached, it is time to start preparing a lawsuit. 

A personal injury lawsuit is started with the filing of a Complaint for damages. It is critical that this be done prior to the Georgia Statute of Limitations for tort claims. This petition must be served upon the defendant, and the defendant will be given time to file an answer. Following this, for several months the parties will conduct discovery. Discovery is the process by which the parties share information about the case with each other. In most cases, the parties, eyewitnesses, and any medical or vocational experts that may testify in the case will give testimony in the form of depositions. The lawyers will also file procedural and evidentiary motions at this stage. The vast majority of cases are settled after the discovery stage is over. However, if a defendant thinks they have a good case, or if they are just stubborn, the case will proceed to a trial. 

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC 

If you have been injured due to the wrongful conduct of someone else, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, can help you understand your legal rights and options, and if necessary, help you to initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. Joel Williams Law, LLC, offers free case evaluations and accepts cases on a contingency fee basis. Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, to discuss your case today by calling (404) 389-1035.

Wrongful Death Claims in Georgia

wrongful death claims Georgia

There are few things harder to cope with in life than the loss of a loved one. This is especially true when a loved one dies due to a preventable accident. If a person dies due to the wrongful conduct of someone else, family members of the victim generally have the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties. A lawsuit can never replace what was lost, but under law, certain family members are entitled to fair compensation in these cases based on the “full value of the life of the decedent.” 

Georgia wrongful death claims are governed by The Official Code of Georgia Title 51 Chapter 4. These are claims made by family members that are intended to compensate them for their own loss. Wrongful death claims are usually brought alongside so-called survival claims that are made by the decedent’s estate. Survival claims are intended to provide compensation to a victim’s estate for any pain and suffering endured by the victim because of the wrongful conduct. 

Only Certain Family Members Can Bring a Wrongful Death Suit 

There are strict limitations on which family members can bring a wrongful death claim. Under Georgia law, the following persons are entitled to bring a claim: 

If there is a surviving spouse, they are entitled to bring the claim at the exclusion of all others; 

If there is no surviving spouse, surviving children may bring the claim at the exclusion of all others; 

If there is no surviving spouse or children, surviving parents may bring the claim at the exclusion of all others; and 

If none of the above family members are alive, the claim can only be made by the estate. 

Wrongful Death and Survival Action Damages 

Survival claims are brought by the administrator of a decedent’s estate whereas wrongful death claims are brought by family members of a victim in their own right. Wrongful death claims compensate family members for things like loss of companionship, loss of shared income, and loss of services that the decedent provided. A survival claim compensates the decedent’s estate for things like medical and funeral expenses, and also for any pain and suffering that the decedent endured. 

The Statute of Limitations 

Wrongful death claims must be made within the timeframe set out by the Georgia Statute of Limitations. Under this law, wrongful death actions must generally be brought within two years of the date of the death. After two years from the date of death passes, a claim is generally completely barred. For this reason, it is important for family members to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. 

Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, to Discuss Your Case 

The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, are dedicated to helping Georgia clients get the compensation they deserve when they have lost a loved one due to the wrongful conduct of someone else. If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, at (404) 389-1035 today to schedule a free consultation.