Georgia state laws and statutes govern the review and evaluation of personal injury claims. As such, any attorney you select should have state-level experience. He or she will therefore be able to argue negligence and fault in your claim according to state laws, and will work to get you the fairest settlement available or award of damages possible given the unique circumstance of your case.
Georgia is a “Comparative-Fault” State
Every state evaluates personal injury claims under a fault-based system. In some states, if you are at all responsible for your own injuries, you can’t file a lawsuit, even if you are only minimally responsible for the injuries you suffered. In Georgia however, a comparative-fault or contributory negligence analysis is applicable in personal injury claims. Under this type of system, your degree of fault and that of the party or parties you name in your lawsuit is examined. As long as you are no more than 50 percent responsible for your own injuries, you can hold the other party or parties liable for damages you’ve suffered.
It’s important to note however that while you can still file a claim for compensation, any damages you are awarded under comparative-fault will be reduced in proportion to your own negligence. In other words, if you are 30 percent responsible for the injuries you suffered, you can only receive 70 percent of the potential damages in your case.
Potential Damages for Personal Injury in Georgia
The damages that can be sought in a personal injury claim vary from one state to the next and in the state of Georgia you can seek both financial and non-financial damages. Financial or economic losses can include property damage, medical expenses, in-home supportive or skilled care, lost wages and loss of future earnings ability. In terms of non-financial damages, you can seek compensation for pain and suffering and for loss of consortium. A personal injury attorney familiar with the Georgia claims process will be able to advise you on the damages you should seek in your case.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Georgia
Every state places limitations on the timeframe you have for filing personal injury claims. In the state of Georgia there are several statutes of limitations applicable to personal injury claims. For claims involving liable and slander, you have one year to file a lawsuit. For those that deal specifically with loss of consortium, the statute of limitations is four years. All other personal injury claims fall under a two-year statute of limitations in the state of Georgia.
While most personal injury claims must conform to the statute of limitations, there are specific instances in which the statute can be waived or extended. The timeframe for filing a claim starts as soon as you realized you’ve suffered harm. In most cases this means as soon as you were injured; however, injuries in some types of cases take more time to show up. In such a case, you may not realize you’ve been harmed until later down the road. A personal injury attorney may be able to get your case reviewed even if you believe the statute of limitations has already expired.