Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer From Our Firm?
- Our lawyers represent individuals and families out of a passion for helping people. We work tirelessly for the results our clients deserve.
- We use proven and aggressive legal strategies to maximize case outcomes for injured victims. Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
- At BMW Law Group, our trial lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis and offer free initial consultations. This means you won’t pay attorney’s fees out of pocket, win or lose.
What is a Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury claim is a type of civil lawsuit that allows you to seek reimbursement from one or more parties for causing your accident and injury. As a plaintiff in an injury lawsuit, the burden of proof rests with your side of the case. It is you or your lawyer’s burden to prove the defendant’s liability is more likely to be true than not true. This requires clear and convincing evidence of negligence. In personal injury law, negligence is when one person’s careless actions result in another person’s injury. Proving negligence entails evidence of four elements:
- Duty of care. A duty of care is a legal obligation to use a reasonable degree of caution. In other words, to act in a way that an ordinarily prudent person would in the same or similar circumstances.
- Breach of duty (negligence). The defendant did not act as a reasonable person or party would have in similar circumstances. The defendant committed an act or omission that failed to meet the accepted duties of care.
- Causation. The defendant’s actions or inactions caused or greatly contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Damages. The plaintiff suffered real and specific damages because of the defendant’s negligence, such as bodily injury or property damage.
The civil justice system holds that you should not have to pay for your own bills and expenses if you did not cause your injury. The person or party at fault is responsible for making you whole again. Legal concepts such as negligence and liability are easier to navigate with assistance from personal injury lawyers.
How Much is My Personal Injury Claim Worth in Duluth?
If the defendant was negligent or reckless and this caused your injury, he or she is financially responsible for your economic losses. In Georgia, the defendant could also be accountable for your noneconomic losses. These are intangible losses you suffered because of the accident and injury, such as physical pain and emotional suffering. Types of financial compensation available during a personal injury claim in Georgia include:
- Past and future medical expenses:This covers all of the medical care that you have already had, as well as future foreseeable health care costs. This can include surgeries, emergency medical care, medical imaging and tests, lab tests, medications, medical devices, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and home/vehicle modifications for a permanent injury.
- The wages from your job that you lost as a result of an injury, such as while you were in the hospital or going to doctors’ appointments. If you suffer a debilitating injury that prevents you from ever returning to work at your full capacity, you can also qualify for compensation for your lost capacity to earn.
- Pain and suffering: This is an umbrella phrase that can refer to almost limitless ways in which an accident and injury have impacted your life. Common damages claimed are psychological trauma, emotional distress, physical pain and suffering, chronic pain, inconvenience, humiliation, depression, and anxiety.
- Lost quality of life: In cases involving permanent injuries, such as paralysis or brain damage, there may be lost quality or enjoyment of life. If a debilitating injury prevents you from playing with your kids or enjoying your previous hobbies, for example, this can qualify you for compensation.
- Property damage repairs: Many personal injury accidents involve property damage. If any of your property was damaged or destroyed in the accident, the defendant may be responsible for paying for repairs or replacement.
- Punitive damages:Unlike compensatory damages, which intend to make a victim whole again, punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant. They may be available if the defendant in your personal injury case is guilty of gross negligence, maliciousness, or a wanton and willful disregard for the safety of others.
The value of your personal injury claim in Duluth depends on the injuries and losses you sustained, as well as personal traits such as your age and income. Although an insurance company will want to minimize your financial outcome, a lawyer can help you fight for a fair settlement value.
Do I Need an Duluth Personal Injury Attorney?
In a personal injury case, it is your word as the plaintiff against the defendant – and, in most cases – the defendant’s insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious for denying and limiting claims. Insurers have the resources to fight your injury claim and protect their profits. When you hire a lawyer, you even the playing field between yourself and the defendant.
An Duluth personal injury lawyer can negotiate with an insurer on your behalf for fair and full compensation for your injuries and losses. This is especially important if you or a loved one has serious injuries that will require future medical care, such as rehabilitation or therapy. Our legal team can also answer your questions, connect you to local top doctors, gather evidence of fault, and perform many other key tasks for you while you concentrate on getting well.
Can I Recover Compensation if I Was Partially at Fault?
Yes. Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law means you can still be eligible for financial compensation even if you were partially at fault for an accident or injury. You will lose all right to recover damages, however, if the courts allocate more than 49 percent of fault for an accident to you. You or your personal injury lawyer must be able to prove that the defendant is at least half responsible for your accident to be eligible to recover damages. If the courts in Georgia do assign a proportion of the fault for your accident to you, this will reduce your recovery award by an equivalent amount.
If you are found to be 15 percent at fault for an auto accident, for example, this would reduce the defendant’s liability for your fall by 15 percent. In this example, a $100,000 settlement award would be reduced by 15 percent to $85,000. The effect that your partial fault could have on your payout is why it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer in Duluth if you believe you will face the comparative negligence defense during your case. An attorney can help you combat this defense using evidence that the other party is at fault to help maximize your financial recovery.
How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Claim in Georgia?
Act quickly if you believe you have grounds to hold someone legally accountable for your recent injuries. Georgia has a law called a statute of limitations that places a time limit on bringing a legal claim for personal injury. In most cases, this deadline is two years from the date of the accident or of injury discovery (O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33). With only a few exceptions, if you miss the two-year deadline, the courts will refuse to hear your case.
This will bar you and your family from financial recovery. You may have less than two years to file in some cases, such as a case brought against the government in Georgia. Contact an attorney right away to make sure you file by your time limit.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle in Duluth
At BMW Law Group, our accident lawyers have years of experience representing the best interests of injury victims throughout Georgia. We have experience in many different areas of personal injury law, including:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Burn injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Dog bite injuries
- Motorcycle accidents
- Premises liability cases
- Product liability cases
- Slip and fall accidents
- Spinal cord injuries
- Truck accidents
- Wrongful death
Our car accident attorneys in Duluth are well-versed in insurance and injury law. We use a group approach to representation, with a staff certified in a variety of areas, including medical coding, billing, and counseling.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Accident?
Liability is the legal term for legal and financial accountability for an accident and the related injuries and losses it causes. If you hold someone liable for your injury, it means that person or party must pay for your medical bills and the other losses that you experienced because of the accident. The liable party in your personal injury claim will depend on the cause of the accident. The person or party who is most responsible for causing your injury is liable for damages, in most cases. This could be a:
- Motor vehicle driver
- Property owner
- Dog owner
- Product manufacturer
- Doctor or nurse
- Business or employer
- Combination of multiple parties
The person or party you can hold accountable for your losses will depend on the circumstances of your accident and who violated a duty of care. Determining liability is one of the many complicated tasks that an attorney can complete for you. The Duluth personal injury attorneys at BMW Law Group can thoroughly investigate your recent accident in Duluth, collect evidence, identify the defendant(s), and help you build a compelling claim against the correct party or parties.
Negligence Laws in Georgia
Having a basic understanding of how the fault laws in Georgia work can allow you to better defend your rights and negotiate for fair financial compensation for your losses. First, know that if you have a car accident claim, Georgia is a fault-based car insurance state. This means that the person or party at fault for causing your vehicle collision is liable (financially responsible) for your losses. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, your own auto insurance company would reimburse you, regardless of fault for the crash. In general, a fault-based claim will result in greater compensation than a first-party car insurance claim. The tradeoff, however, is that you must prove the defendant is to blame in a fault state, while you do not have to prove negligence to recover damages in a no-fault state.
Another fault law to know is Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law. This gives injured accident victims the right to recover a financial settlement even if they are partially to blame for an accident. The “modified” part of Georgia’s comparative negligence law means that a plaintiff can only recover if he or she is less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. In a state that has adopted a pure comparative negligence law, a victim can be up to 99 percent responsible and still recover compensation. Contact our law firm if you or a family member has suffered an accident in the Duluth area, our legal team can help you understand Georgia’s laws and how they apply to your specific case. We offer free initial case consultations.
What to Do If You’ve Been in an Accident in Duluth
Many accident victims fail to realize that the things they do – or don’t do – after an accident can affect the ability to recover financial compensation. Insurance companies can change how they handle your claim according to the actions that you took after an accident. If you get injured in an accident in Duluth, our attorneys strongly recommend that you take the following steps:
- Report it. Telling someone about the accident – whether it is a store manager, your employer, a property owner or the police – can help you prove that the accident happened and collect witness statements to use as evidence later.
- Go to a hospital. Seek medical attention for any injuries immediately. If you delay medical care, an insurance company could argue that you failed to mitigate your losses. Even if you feel fine, you may have hidden injuries – making it important to still visit a hospital.
- Protect evidence. You will need clear and convincing evidence to hold someone responsible for an accident. Start preserving evidence early, if possible, by taking photographs of the scene and your injuries. Request copies of all accident reports and medical records.
- Be careful when talking about the accident. Do not post about your accident on social media. When speaking to the police, be truthful, but do not speculate if you don’t know the answer to a question. When speaking to an insurance company, do not give a recorded statement and do not admit fault for the accident.
- Contact an Duluth personal injury lawyer. A lawyer is someone you can trust to have your best interests in mind throughout the claims process. Your injury lawyer can help you gather evidence, build a personal injury lawsuit and get the help that you need to move forward.
It is okay if you don’t manage to take all of these steps after an accident in Duluth. Our attorneys can take over and help you build the strongest claim possible based on your specific circumstances, whether or not you did everything that you could have as a claimant. We will give you our best advice and guidance to help you through every phase of the recovery process.
Contact an Duluth Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Justice starts with a free initial consultation at BMW Law Group. Our personal injury lawyers in Duluth can answer your legal questions and listen to your story. Then, we can develop a case based on the specific facts involved to fight for the results your family needs. You will not pay unless we secure financial compensation on your behalf. Speak to an experienced attorney from our injury law firm today. Contact us online or call (770) 225-4710 to request a free case evaluation.