The right Athens, GA attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of any personal injury lawsuit. Kaufman Law, P.C. has more than 40 years of experience handling civil claims for our clients in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and we can put that experience to work in your case. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation about your car accident, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, dog bite, or other personal injury claim today, and we will let you know how we can help.
Athens, GA is a consolidated city-county with a population of more than 115,000, situated about 60 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. Athens is a major college town and home to the University of Georgia as well as several technology, biomedical, and pharmaceutical companies. The high volume of traffic in the area means there is always the potential for injuries in car accidents, and students and employees living in Athens should know what to do in personal injury cases.
Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Personal injury law hinges on the legal concept of negligence, or a party’s failure to uphold a duty of care in a given situation. When negligence leads to injuries and other damages, the injured party can secure compensation through a personal injury lawsuit and recover medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and compensation for pain and suffering.
Some of the most common causes of personal injury claims include:
- Car accidents. Drivers must follow the rules of the road and operate their vehicles as safely as possible to prevent injuries to others.
- Workplace incidents. Employers must furnish employees with necessary safety equipment and tools to complete their jobs without risk of injury. They must also address known safety hazards quickly and effectively.
- Interpersonal violence such as fights, muggings, and assaults
- Negligent security such as failure to maintain safe premises for the public, or poor or malfunctioning security measures like CCTV cameras, security checkpoints, or security monitors.
- Slip and fall incidents. Property owners have a legal duty to lawful visitors to prevent injuries and must clearly warn visitors of known safety issues or clearly mark dangerous areas.
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Brain Injury
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
- Defective Products
- Commercial Truck Accidents
When one of these scenarios or a similar situation results in injury, the injured party should handle his or her immediate medical concerns and then contact a reliable Athens, GA personal injury lawyer to discuss options for legal recourse.
The first step in winning any personal injury lawsuit is proving the defendant’s negligence. This requires proving the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care in the given situation and breached or violated that duty in some way, resulting in the plaintiff’s damages. The plaintiff must also provide sufficient evidence to prove that his or her damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not another cause.
Compensation in Personal Injury Claims
Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits can generally secure two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include measurable financial losses resulting from an injury such as lost wages, medical bills, and property damage to a vehicle. Non-economic losses are intangible things such as a victim’s physical and mental suffering after an injury as well as long-term psychological trauma resulting from an incident. The jury will assess the facts of the case and examine the extent of a plaintiff’s losses to determine an appropriate amount of compensation.
Although personal injury claims may appear relatively straightforward, it is essential for anyone considering filing such a claim to secure legal representation. Without proper legal counsel, a plaintiff could miss valuable avenues of compensation, miss filing deadlines with the court, or wind up with a higher fault percentage in the case than is appropriate. Georgia follows a contributory negligence law, which means plaintiffs can still secure damages even if they are partially at fault for a given incident. The plaintiff will lose a percentage of his or her settlement or case award equal to his or her percentage of fault in the matter.