Personal Injury FAQs
- I have been in an accident. What should I do first?
- I have been injured in an accident. Do I need an attorney?
- What damages are recoverable, and how much can I recover in a personal injury claim?
- How long will my case take?
- How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
- How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
A: Report the matter as soon as possible to appropriate law enforcement and your insurance provider. If you were injured at work, you should also, as soon as reasonably practical, report the injury to your employer. Seek medical help. If it is not a medical emergency, seek the names of qualified doctors in your area (in case of a vehicle collision) or that are listed on your employer’s Panel of Physicians (in case of a work-related injury). If you were in an accident, obtain as much information about the other drivers involved, and any witnesses, as possible. The sooner you contact us, the more we can help you find this information.
Other than the above, we advise our clients to speak to no one other than their attorney about their case. Many clients receive requests to talk to various sources almost immediately after an incident. You are not obligated to make a statement or grant an interview, but many are unaware of this fact and feel pressured or compelled to cooperate.
Finally, if possible, make and retain photographs of all damage and/or personal injury.
A: You could attempt to handle your case without an attorney, but we strongly advise against it. Many people wonder if they can settle their case on their own with the opposing side’s insurance company. We discourage this for a number of reasons.
First, the insurance company representative is well aware that you may not know all of the laws that govern what you would be able to recover. Because of the uneven playing field, you would likely settle your case for less money than you might be entitled to. Second, an attorney is much better equipped to fully explain to the insurance company the medical implications of your injury. An attorney can also evaluate your case and determine what the long-term effects of your injury might be, and we have the resources to find a medical expert if necessary.
Third, an attorney has the experience needed to handle your opponent’s insurance company. We know how to coordinate the various calls and respond to the questions that both your insurance and the other side’s insurance will ask, without jeopardizing your continued coverage and possible future benefits. Insurance companies evaluate claims with the plaintiff’s choice of attorney in mind; an experienced, reputable attorney with an established record of successfully taking cases to trial will maximize the recovery on your case.
A: In most personal injury claims, you can recover for both the physical and emotional damages you have suffered. You can recover for lost wages, medical and/or funeral expenses, and property damage. In wrongful death cases, you can also recover for the loss of companionship and support that your loved one provided.
Determining the amount of recovery requires a thorough evaluation and discussion of the facts of your case. Every injury is different; therefore the recovery in each case will also vary. Contact us to schedule a free consultation so that we can discuss your case and give you a better idea of how much you might be entitled to recover.
A: A case should not be resolved until you, your doctor, and your attorney know the extent of your injury; this helps ensure that you recover the maximum you are entitled to. If you elect to settle your case, it will take less time than if you choose to proceed to trial. We have extensive trial experience and are always prepared to take your case to trial in order to maximize your recovery.
It is important to note that in Georgia collision cases, the property damages part of your claim is typically settled within days. This means that you may see some part of your recovery quickly.
A: We are paid on a contingent fee.* This means that our fee is a portion of what we collect for you. If we do not obtain any recovery for you, you do not pay any attorney fees. We govern ourselves strictly to the parameters of all applicable State Bar of Georgia Rules and Regulations in the definition of “fees” and other expenses. If you need to call or write to us, or need a personal meeting after we begin representing you, you will never be charged extra for those services.
*“Contingent attorneys’ fees refer only to those fees charged by attorneys for their legal services. Such fees are not permitted in all types of cases. Court costs and other additional expenses of legal action usually must be paid by the client.” — Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 7.1 (a) (5)
A: This varies depending on the type of case. For most personal injury matters, such as vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and products liability, you may have up to two (2) years from the date of the injury/death to file a claim/lawsuit. It is best to speak directly to a personal injury lawyer in Cobb County about the specifics of your particular set of circumstances. Although two years might seem like a long time, it is not a good idea to wait long before consulting an attorney to begin representing you. Witnesses become unavailable, and memories fade over time. Additionally, proper documentation of your case is an ongoing process that becomes very difficult, if not impossible, if a considerable length of time passes between an injury and when you obtain your representation.