If you are injured because of someone else’s bad behavior, you can hold them accountable in a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can help you file your case and hopefully get your damages covered.
You should file a personal injury lawsuit if someone else’s actions caused you injuries or harm. A personal injury involves some bodily harm, and your case must include some elements of physical injury. You should file as soon as possible after speaking with an attorney. Your damages should include the various financial losses and subjective personal experiences you endured due to your injuries. Punitive damages might also be available, although this is more unusual. Liability is based on negligence. To prove someone is liable for your injuries, we must establish all the legal elements that comprise negligence. An attorney can help you use the evidence in your case to prove liability and get compensation for your damages.
If you suffered bodily harm because of someone else’s negligence, our Savannah, GA personal injury attorneys can help you get compensation. Contact our team for a free case review. Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Savannah, GA
You should speak to a lawyer almost immediately after you are injured about filing a personal injury lawsuit. The longer you wait, the more evidence you risk losing, and the harder it becomes to prove your claims in court. If you are so badly injured that you cannot leave the hospital, your family can contact an attorney on your behalf. Our Savannah, GA personal injury attorneys can begin working on your case while you focus on recovering.
Under Georgia Code § 9-3-33, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time limit is much shorter than it initially appears, and the time will go by quickly. After spending some time recovering and more time mulling over the idea of a lawsuit, several months or even a year might have gone by. Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible helps you file your lawsuit on time and gather important evidence about your case before it is lost.
Damages Available in Personal Injury Lawsuits in Savannah, GA
Damages encompass the losses, financial and otherwise, a plaintiff experienced after being injured. It is crucial to speak with an attorney about your damages as people often overlook sources of damages and lose compensation as a result. Our Savannah, GA personal injury attorneys can help you identify all possible damages in your case and get you the most compensation possible.
Special damages are all the losses that came at a financial cost. Medical bills are one of the most significant sources of special damages in personal injury lawsuits. In cases where injured plaintiffs require extensive medical care, these costs can be extremely high. Many plaintiffs require ongoing medical care that might last long-term or indefinitely. Your expected future medical costs can be added to your special damages in such cases.
Other forms of special damages can include income you have lost because you were too injured to work. Much like your medical bills, you can include your expected lost future earnings if you cannot return to work because of your injuries.
Special damages not directly connected to your physical injuries can also be brought alongside your personal injury claims. For example, in car accident cases, plaintiffs can claim the cost of replacing their vehicles along with their medical bills and other costs.
Your general damages are more amorphous and harder to determine. They encompass your subjective experiences with your injuries and do not necessarily have a financial cost. Emotional and physical pain and suffering are common general damages in personal injury lawsuits. These damages can be quite high in cases where plaintiffs sustained severe injuries and endured great pain. You can also claim damages related to humiliation and damage to your reputation. Calculating these damages involves assessing how they have impacted your everyday life. The more you are affected by these damages, the more valuable they are in a courtroom.
Punitive damages are less typical than special or general damages. In fact, punitive damages are rarely awarded and tend to be available in more extreme cases. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate plaintiffs and are not awarded based on the plaintiff’s losses. Instead, punitive damages are meant to punish defendants for their behavior.
According to Georgia Code § 51-12-5.1(b), punitive damages may only be awarded if the plaintiff can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted in such a way as to arise to willful misconduct, malice, wantonness, oppression, fraud, or a lack of care demonstrating conscious indifference. If awarded, punitive damages are capped at $250,000, barring special circumstances, and 75% of these damages are paid to the state’s treasury fund.
Who is Liable in a Savannah, GA Personal Injury Lawsuit?
To determine who is liable for your injuries, we must examine the elements of negligence. A defendant may only be held liable if we can establish all four elements of negligence. Determining who is liable should begin with assessing how these elements apply to your case. Our Savannah, GA personal injury attorneys can help determine who is responsible for hurting you.
The first element is duty and refers to the defendant’s legal obligation to the plaintiff. The nature of the defendant’s duty might change based on the situation and their relationship with the plaintiff. In a car accident case – a common reason for personal injury lawsuits – the defendant’s duty is to drive with reasonable safety under the circumstances while obeying all traffic laws and codes. The duty would be different in a different situation, like a slip and fall case.
The second element, breach, is something the defendant did that violated or breached their legal duty. Again, the exact nature of a defendant’s breach of duty varies based on the situation. Continuing with the car accident example, a breach might be a traffic violation, driving while texting, or drinking and driving.
Causation is the third element of negligence and connects the breach to your injuries. The defendant’s breach must be the direct and proximate cause of your injuries. The defendant cannot be held liable if some other intervening source was the real cause of your injuries.
Finally, we must show that your damages are real and not just hypothetical. It is not enough that the defendant’s actions could have caused injuries. The injuries must be real.
A person or several people who fit these elements can be held liable for your injuries and damages. Our Savannah, GA personal injury lawyers can help you get justice for the harm you experienced.
Contact Our Savannah, GA Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Assessment
After being injured, our Savannah, GA personal injury attorneys can help you hold accountable those responsible for your pain and expenses. Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 about a free case evaluation.