We talk about personal injury cases all the time. We use the term when we meet with clients. We refer to the term in our advertisements. We just naturally assume that people know what a personal injury case is. However, we’ve come to learn that not everybody understands what a personal injury case entails. Just because we’re Marietta personal injury lawyers, that doesn’t mean our clients have the same knowledge base we do. That’s why we felt it was important to explain what a personal injury case really is.
What you don’t want to do is make assumptions about how a personal injury case works. You may have watched a lot of shows on television that deal with civil trial lawyers. What you see on television is not the way things work in the real world. You’re much better off finding out what a personal injury case is from an experienced personal injury lawyer in Marietta.
Here, we’re going to explain what a personal injury case is. We’ll discuss what the most common types of cases there are. We’ll also briefly touch on what kinds of damages you may be able to recover in a personal injury lawsuit. If you still have questions after reading our discussion here, just give us a call. You can schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our experienced injury lawyers in Marietta, Georgia.
How Are Personal Injury Cases Different from Other Types of Cases?
There are all sorts of civil lawsuits. The one thing they all have in common is that all involve plaintiffs suing defendants for money damages. Some of the different types of civil cases include:
- Personal injury lawsuits
- Workers’ compensation
- Breach of contract
The only type we want to concern ourselves here is the personal injury lawsuit. These cases involve a plaintiff who is suing a third party for injuries sustained in some sort of accident. Almost all of these cases involve negligence.
What is Negligence and How Can Your Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Prove it?
When you sue someone for personal injury, you’re going to need to prove negligence. Unless you can somehow prove that the defendant intentionally injured you, this is the only way to prove fault.
There are four elements of negligence. Your attorney needs to demonstrate all four if you expect to collect damages. These elements are as follows:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care – Depending on the type of case, this isn’t all that difficult to prove. For example, if you’re involved in a car accident, all you have to show is that the other driver owed you a duty of care. At a minimum, they need to obey the traffic laws. If they broke the law by speeding or drunk driving, they breached this duty of care.
- The defendant breached their duty of care – Your Marietta personal injury lawyer needs to prove that the defendant breached their duty. A good example of this is a slip and fall case. If you fell on a wet floor in a grocery store, you have to show that the store owner breached their duty of care. If you can show they knew the floor was wet and didn’t do something about it, then you’ve shown they breached their duty of care.
- You must show that you were injured – It’s not enough to show that you were in an accident. Your attorney also needs to demonstrate that you were injured. This is best done with medical records.
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions – Again, this shouldn’t be all that hard to prove. Unless something happened in between the time of your accident and the date your injuries were diagnosed, the defendant should be held liable.
If your personal injury lawyer can prove these four elements, you should have a good chance of winning your case.
What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases?
For the most part, motor vehicle accidents are the most common type of personal injury case. However, there are other types of cases as well. Our Marietta personal injury lawyers meet with clients every week who have been hurt at the hands of a third party. Most of these cases fall into the following categories:
- Car or truck accident
- Slip and fall
- Workers’ compensation
- Premises liability
- Product liability
If you’ve suffered any of these types of accidents, you may have a potential claim for damages.
What Kinds of Damages Are Available in a Personal Injury Case?
The reason people sue for personal injury is that they want compensation for their injuries. We understand that. Personal injury lawyers in Marietta wouldn’t be in business if this weren’t the case.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be eligible for any or all of the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Your attorney is going to work hard to get you as much compensation as possible. Of course, they’re probably going to have to negotiate a settlement of your claim. Very rarely do these cases go to trial.
It’s also important to understand that punitive damages are very rarely awarded in personal injury cases. These damages are meant to punish the defendant and send a message to society. We don’t often see this in personal injury cases. Your attorney is going to find as much evidence as possible to prove your damages in the state of Georgia.
Why Should You Contact an Experienced Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you think you may have a personal injury claim, you should call and schedule your free, initial consultation. Our personal injury lawyers in Marietta have handled all types of personal injury cases. Rather than waiting until you’re running out of time, call us as soon as possible after your car accident.
If you wait too long to retain an attorney, you could miss your filing deadline. Georgia has something called a statute of limitations. This law states how long you have to file your personal injury lawsuit. In Georgia, you only have two years from the date of your injury to file suit. If you miss this deadline, your case will be dismissed. There’s nothing your lawyer can do to fix things. Rather than risk this happening, call Diaz & Gaeta early on and find out if you want to retain our legal services.