What Types Of Injuries Result From Accidents?
A catastrophic injury is one that changes someone’s life permanently. Examples include paralysis and spinal cord injuries that do not result in paralysis but otherwise limit one’s ability to function. It could be an amputation, a catastrophic burn or disfiguring scars. Catastrophic injuries also include traumatic brain injuries, which can have an obviously significant effect on one’s life and the caregivers.
How Are Personal Injury Cases Valued?
Like most cases, it depends on the case. Lawyers, judges, juries, defendants and insurance companies look at several factors. Those would include the severity of the injury, the amount of medical expenses incurred in the past and any future medical expenses. We look at any past, present or future lost wages. These are special damages, meaning they can be calculated based actual numbers.
In addition, there are general damages. General damages are awarded not as reimbursement for a past or anticipated expense or pecuniary loss, but as compensation for non-economic damages such as past and future emotional distress, mental anguish, the loss of enjoyment of life, impairment of bodily health, and actual physical pain and suffering. The amount of general damages to be awarded is left to the discretion of the jury.
For settlement purposes, lawyers and insurance companies will look at comparable cases and see how they were resolved, either through settlement or trial. There are services that collect information from jury verdicts and settlements which include multiple factors to help value a case. These factors include:
- Similar liability – for example, was this a rear-end car wreck a head-on collision car wreck, a side impact, etc.
- What kind of physical harm or emotional injury occurred – for example, was this a head injury or a soft-tissue cervical, neck or lower back injury; were there broken bones such as a broken shoulder, arm or leg; was there an emotional injury involved, etc.
- The jurisdiction or place where a case is brought (some counties are thought to be more favorable to plaintiffs than others)
While every case is unique, these are resources to help value a case based on what similar cases in the same or a nearby county have been valued.
How Long Do Personal Injury Cases Typically Take To Resolve?
Again, it depends. Cases can be resolved quickly with just a few letters being written, and unfortunately, some cases can take several years. You have two years to file the lawsuit; most suits can take a couple of years to reach a trial setting. Most cases settle short of that, but it is not unusual for a case to take more than two years to work its way through the legal process and either reach a settlement or go to trial. If there is a trial, of course, there can be an appeal, which can add another couple of years. So, unfortunately, justice is not necessarily swift.
What Is The Statute Of Limitation For Personal Injury Cases In Georgia?
Normally, the Statute of limitations is two years. There are exceptions for cities, counties and states. If the victim is a child, then the statute of limitations can be tolled until the child reaches the age of eighteen. However, there might be “statute of repose”, meaning that there might some outer limit beyond which the case is barred, regardless of when the incident occurred or the age of the victim at the time. This is one reason why it is important to speak with an attorney early on in the process
Should Someone Ever Have Contact With Insurance Companies In These Cases?
It is acceptable to speak with insurance companies at the early stages of a claim but not necessarily to conclude the claim; the insurance company does not necessarily have your best interests at heart. We do not mind our clients talking to an insurance company before they retain us, but once we are retained, we will tell the insurance company that future correspondence or communication needs to go through us. That is especially true if you had an automobile accident and want to negotiate with the insurance company regarding your car and the damages. Those are usually fairly cut and dry, and they want to take care of that matter.
For more information on catastrophic personal injury in Georgia, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 770-637-5470 today. Get Help Now.