Personal Injury Compensation in Atlanta, GA
Atlanta, Georgia, has been growing by leaps and bounds for decades and shows no signs of slowing down. But with the population and the economic growth, inevitably and unfortunately, comes increased risk of personal injuries to workers and local residents.
If you have been seriously injured in the Atlanta area due to the negligence or recklessness of others, you do not have to suffer alone nor bear the financial costs alone. You have a right to a full compensation for all the wrongs suffered, both economic and noneconomic (as in “pain and suffering”).
Accidental injuries come in many different forms, and they can be life-changing and bury you under a mountain of medical bills and other related expenses. Here are the basics of Georgia personal injury law to help you be prepared for anything, of if an accident has already occurred, to seek full and fair compensation.
1. The Statute of Limitations
Every state has a limit on how long after an injury occurs you can file a lawsuit for compensation. In Georgia, you have a two-year window of time from the date of injury, though the clock can run from the date of discovery of an injury in some cases instead.
2. The “Modified Comparative Fault” Rule
In some states, it’s all or nothing with personal injury claims: any fault at all (even 1%) assigned to you will cancel your claim entirely. In other states, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault deemed by the court to be your own with no exceptions. So, if you were 60% at fault, theoretically at least, you could still seek the 40%.
But in Georgia, this comparative fault idea is “modified.” Your claim is reduced by the percentage of fault deemed your own, but with this caveat: if you are 50% or more at fault, you can’t collect anything at all.
3. No Damage Caps
Many states have damage caps for noneconomic damages, at least in the case of medical malpractice suits. Georgia passed such a law too, but it was overturned by the state supreme court back in 2010. The ruling said that such artificial limits violated the right to a jury trial as outlined in the Georgia Constitution, and they have never returned since.
4. Georgia is an Auto Insurance “Fault State”
In some states, your own insurer must pay for all claims in an auto accident up to a certain limit and under most circumstances, regardless of who was at fault. Georgia is not one of those states. That means you can file a claim against your own or the other party’s insurer and/or file a personal injury lawsuit. Simply put, it means you have more options on how to collect reimbursement.
5. Strict Liability for Dog Bites
If you are dealing with a dog bite injury in Atlanta, you should know that Georgia is a strict liability dog bite state. That means that dog owners need not have had reason to believe their dog would be dangerous based on a previous attack or other reason, before they are liable for all injuries the dog inflicts on someone else. Simply put, Georgia does not have the “one bite rule” that many other states follow.
Anyone who has suffered a personal injury will need to rely on an experienced and knowledgeable local injury lawyer. But learning some basic facts about our state’s injury laws will help you know what to expect and when to file a suit.