Dekalb County Personal Injury Lawyer
Do you need a personal injury lawyer? Many people would benefit from recovering compensation for their injuries, but they may not realize this is possible.
It’s easy to think of a personal injury lawyer as someone you might call about a car accident, but the reality is that we handle a wide variety of cases with different kinds of injuries.
When Do You Need a Dekalb County Personal Injury Attorney?
If you’ve suffered an injury and believe it was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s worth your time to speak with a personal injury lawyer and learn your options. If you’re wondering whether your accident was another party’s fault or if you should be compensated, we can review your case and answer your questions.
We offer free consultations, so you don’t have to pay anything to find out if you have a case. The sooner you call, the easier it will be for us to gather evidence to support your claim, so please contact us as quickly as possible.
When Is an Injury a Personal Injury?
Some injuries aren’t really anyone’s fault but are simply due to unforeseeable situations.
For example, you might trip over your own feet and fall down. Or, perhaps one of your tires blows out while you’re driving, causing your car to crash.
These situations usually aren’t due to another party’s negligence, as they couldn’t be predicted or avoided. They’re unfortunate but not grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
But what if you didn’t trip over your own feet? Maybe you initially thought that’s what happened, but then you visited the same place a few days later and realized there was a loose floor tile exactly where you tripped.
You might have fallen because of the property owner’s negligence in this case. When evaluating a personal injury claim, no matter what kind of injury or accident occurred, we always start by looking for the elements of negligence:
- The defendant had a duty of care. The person or entity you believe is responsible for your injuries must have a duty of care in order for us to prove negligence. They were not negligent if they didn’t have a duty to you in the particular circumstances of your accident. The duty of care varies, but in general, most people have a duty to behave reasonably and avoid actions that could be dangerous to others. A store owner, for example, has a duty to provide a relatively safe environment for shoppers and address any obvious hazards that could cause harm.
- The duty of care was breached. Once we establish the defendant had a duty of care, we’ll need to show that they failed in this duty. For instance, the store owner failed in their duty to provide a reasonably safe environment by ignoring a loose floor tile instead of fixing it or at least placing a warning sign.
- This breached duty of care led to your injuries. We’ll investigate and find any evidence available, then use it to show how the breached duty of care harmed you. For example, we might use a video of you tripping and falling on the store’s loose floor tile. Or, we may interview witnesses about what happened if no video is available.
- You suffered damages because of your injuries. These include medical bills, lost income, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, permanent disability or disfigurement, property damage, and, in the most severe cases, wrongful death damages.
What if You Know the Negligent Party or Don’t Want to Sue Them?
This is a common concern. Sometimes, the negligent party is a friend, family member, or maybe a work colleague of the injured person.
We understand you may not want to sue your brother-in-law, next-door neighbor, coworker, or the nice couple who runs your favorite local business. In many cases, we are able to work things out with the other party in an amicable way or make a claim on a relevant insurance policy.
In some situations, clients tell us they don’t think the negligent party can afford to pay their damages, and they don’t want this person or business to go bankrupt because of a lawsuit. But at the same time, the client may be unable to afford the medical bills and other expenses they’ve incurred from their injuries.
We always consider a defendant’s ability to pay a settlement before advising a client to file a lawsuit. If there is no way to collect your award, it probably won’t be worth your time and stress to argue your case in court, and we will tell you that.
We would never advise clients to do something not in their best interest.
This is why most cases involve insurance policies. People often expect an insurance policy to pay their claim in a car accident but don’t realize insurance coverage could be available in many other kinds of personal injury cases.
Here are some examples:
If you are hurt at another person’s residence, you might be able to make a claim on their homeowner’s insurance.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies include liability coverage, although the policy limit and specific incidents that are covered vary by policy. Injuries caused by tripping and falling due to the owner’s negligence are frequently covered.
Dog bites on the property are sometimes included, but in some instances, the policy will not cover the homeowner if they keep a breed of dog believed to be dangerous. If you were injured on private property, we can review the owner’s insurance policy to determine the relevant coverage.
Every responsible business owner should protect their company with liability insurance, especially if their business is open to the public. However, this coverage may also be needed if the company produces a defective product that harms people or causes injuries in other ways.
You might be right if you are injured at your favorite local restaurant and worried the owner can’t afford a lawsuit. But it’s also likely the owner’s liability insurance will pay for your damages—that’s what business liability insurance is for.
Business liabilities also include situations of negligent security, so if you are injured during a criminal action in a public business—such as a shooting or robbery—we may also be able to make an insurance claim for your damages.
Many people assume the at-fault driver’s liability insurance will pay for their damages in an accident, but that’s not always what happens. The insurance company might claim that you were at fault, at least partially, or they may drastically undervalue your claim, offering you much less than it’s worth.
Your lawyer will help you avoid these issues by accurately valuing your claim, creating a solid case demonstrating the other driver was all or mostly at fault, and negotiating with the insurance company to ensure you receive everything you deserve.
If the at-fault driver is uninsured, we can file a claim with your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UI), even if you were hit by an uninsured driver while walking or riding your bicycle. Although UM/UI is not required in Georgia, it is frequently the only way to recover damages when you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver.
For context, about 12 percent of Georgia drivers are uninsured. In addition, UM/UI may also apply when the at-fault driver has minimal coverage and a low policy limit to cover all your damages.
Insurance on Boats, Watercraft, Golf Carts, ATVs, and Other Vehicles
Like cars, these vehicles could also have liability coverage covering your injuries, although this coverage is not required in some cases. However, depending on the nature of the accident, the vehicle owner may or may not be liable.
For instance, the owner of a golf cart or ATV is sometimes liable in an accident, but if the collision occurred due to a hazard on another party’s property, then the property owner might be the liable party, not the golf cart owner. We will investigate the accident to identify all liable parties and determine the best way to seek compensation for your injuries.