If you believe someone else has violated your rights or otherwise caused you harm, an attorney can help you get justice. In many cases, a personal injury lawsuit can help you get compensation for your injuries and damages.
Personal injury law is a broad area of legal practice that encompasses a vast array of injuries and accidents. You should contact an attorney about a potential personal injury claim if you have experienced some form of bodily harm and someone else is responsible. It is best to act quickly since you have a limited time to sue under Georgia’s statute of limitations. Once your case is filed, our team can help you recover damages, including compensatory damages for your economic and non-economic losses and possibly punitive damages. We need as much supporting evidence as possible to prove your claims and get these damages covered.
Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 today for a free case review with our personal injury lawyers.
When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer in Augusta, GA
You should think about contacting an attorney about a possible personal injury claim if you were harmed or injured physically. People often conflate personal injury claims with losses and lawsuits that do not involve bodily injury. While many personal injury lawsuits might include damages for such losses, the case must involve some bodily injury to the plaintiff.
Many personal injury cases begin with an accident. Arguably most personal injuries result from someone’s unintentional negligence. While people sometimes say nobody is to blame for an accident, this is not true. Our personal injury attorneys can help you hold the negligent party responsible for causing your accident.
Although someone less common, many plaintiffs file personal injury lawsuits because the defendant intentionally caused them harm. Intentional acts of harm can be challenging to deal with because the defendant might also be criminally charged, and your civil action might take a back seat to criminal proceedings.
How Long You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Speaking to our personal injury lawyers about your case sooner rather than later is best because the clock is ticking on your lawsuit. Under Georgia’s statute of limitations found under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, plaintiffs generally have only 2 years to file their claims in court. If this deadline comes and goes with nothing filed, you might lose your right to sue.
If the deadline on your case has expired or is close to expiring, there might still be hope. The statute of limitations might be tolled, and plaintiffs provided with more time under very specific circumstances.
We can try to have the statute of limitations tolled if you were a minor or had a disability at the time of the accident. According to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-90, we can have the statute of limitations tolled until a minor plaintiff turns 18 or until a plaintiff with a disability has recovered. Generally, this means the statute of limitations would not even begin to run until the date the plaintiff turns 18 or recovers from their disability.
Keep in mind that a disability here does not always refer to a medically diagnosable medical condition. Generally, to have the statute of limitations tolled, a disability is a mental condition that prevents the plaintiff from understanding their legal rights.
Recoverable Damages in Augusta, GA Personal Injury Cases
One of the biggest aspects of your lawsuit is damages. Damages are the losses, injuries, and costs associated with your accident and injuries. Damages tend to fall into one of two broad categories. First, there are compensatory damages designed to make up for actual losses suffered by the plaintiff. Second, punitive damages are meant to punish defendants for their egregious behavior. Our personal injury lawyers can help you maximize your damages and get the most compensation possible.
Compensatory damages are broken down further into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are related to real sums of money the plaintiff lost or spent because of their injuries. Some common examples of economic damages include medical bills, property damage, and lost income. Our personal injury attorneys can also make sure your economic damages account for future expenses, like anticipated medical bills for future treatments.
Non-economic damages are harder to evaluate because they often do not involve any money. Instead, non-economic damages revolve around your personal experiences with the accident and your injuries. As such, they are very subjective. You can claim mental and physical pain and suffering, humiliation, damage to your reputation, and an overall loss of enjoyment or quality of life. While we can help you advocate for the highest compensation possible, a jury ultimately decides the value of non-economic damages.
The second category of damages is punitive damages, which are governed by O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1(b). While punitive damages are rarely available, they can be valuable to plaintiffs. Punitive damages may only be awarded if our personal injury lawyers can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant demonstrated malice, fraud, willful misconduct, wantonness, oppression, or there was such a lack of care that it can be presumed there was a conscious indifference to the consequences.
Most punitive damages awards are limited to $250,000, although this limit might not apply in cases involving product liability or when the defendant acted under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, 75% of a punitive damages award must be paid into the state treasury.
Supporting Evidence in Your Personal Injury Case in Augusta, GA
To successfully prove your claims, our personal injury lawyers need to help you find as much evidence as we can get our hands on. Evidence might include almost anything as long as it is relevant and tends to prove your claims.
Photos and videos are extremely helpful as they preserve valuable details that might otherwise be lost. For example, you should take as many photos as possible after a car accident to preserve details about the crash scene. These details would be lost later when the police come to clean up the accident.
Police reports can be a big help in our quest for evidence. Police reports might contain information about witnesses, and other evidence turned up by a police investigation. While we might use the report to find evidence, it is often inadmissible because it is usually considered hearsay.
Contact Our Augusta, GA Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
For a free case review, call our personal injury attorneys at Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 today.