Answers to the most common questions about personal injury lawsuits in Atlanta, GA
Were you or a loved one recently injured due to the negligence of another person, company or entity?
Serious accidents happen every day. Many could have been prevented had reasonable actions and laws been followed. If this recently happened to you or a loved one, then you likely have many questions about your legal rights and financial future.
Scholle Law can provide the answers.
By far the best way to get actionable information and clear answers about your potential claim is to consult with an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney near you as soon as possible. In the meantime, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions our Georgia injury attorneys receive.
While we hope this list provides some answers for you, understand that there may be many complicating factors with your individual claim. Contact a knowledgeable and friendly legal expert at Scholle Law today for your free consultation.
Personal Injury FAQ
- What is personal injury?
- What does a personal injury lawyer do?
- What is a personal injury claim?
- How much should I ask for in a personal injury settlement?
- How long does a personal injury case take?
- How do I write a demand letter for personal injury?
- How can I settle my personal injury case?
- How much is the average personal injury settlement?
- Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) cover passengers?
- What does Personal Injury Protection cover?
- Do I need personal injury coverage for my car insurance?
- What percentage of personal injury cases go to trial?
- What are special damages in personal injury cases?
- Are personal injury settlements taxable in Georgia?
- What happens after deposition in a personal injury case?
- Is a personal injury settlement marital property? (Is my spouse entitled to any of the settlement?)
- Can creditors take my personal injury settlement?
- Do I have a personal injury case?
- What is considered a workers’ compensation injury?
- Do personal injury cases settle after the deposition?
- How can I find a reputable personal injury lawyer near me?
- Is there a time limit on personal injury claims?
- Can I fire my personal injury lawyer?
- Do personal injury lawyers work on contingency?
- How do I set up a personal injury trust?
- How do I make a claim against Walmart if I slip and fall?
- Should I accept the settlement offer?
- Why are there so many personal injury lawyers?
- Does homeowner’s insurance cover personal injury?
- How much can you get from a personal injury claim?
- How do I negotiate a personal injury settlement without an attorney?
What is personal injury?
“Personal injury” is a legal term used to describe any injury to the body, either physically or emotionally, that a person suffers following an accident. Personal injury law was designed to help people who were involved in accidents that weren’t their fault. It protects both you and your property following any harm done because of someone else’s negligence.
When someone else is found to be at fault for your injuries, they can be held responsible for your medical expenses, pain, suffering and more.
Personal injury cases are different from others in that they seek to compensate the injured person for harm done to their body or mind, as opposed to damage to their property. Damages can typically include the injured person’s medical bills, lost income and/or wages, pain and suffering and any diminished quality of life.Back to top
What does a personal injury lawyer do?
A personal injury lawyer is a legal professional who provides legal services to people who claim to have been injured as a result of the negligence of someone else. This can include injuries that are physical, mental or emotional, and can be against a person, company or other entity.
Personal injury lawyers primarily practice in the area of law known as “tort” law. Tort law was designed to help protect and compensate accident victims for any harm done to you and your property because of someone else’s negligence.
Often, lawyers choose to concentrate their practice areas to specific types of law, which can include personal injury law. While not required, having an experienced personal attorney represent you can help alleviate the stress and burden of filing a personal injury claim on your own. A personal injury attorney will not only research your case, file any claims and negotiate with the insurance company and/or opposing counsel, but they can also bring knowledge and experience into your case while assuring you receive the compensation you deserve.Back to top
What is a personal injury claim?
Personal injury claims are legal disputes that happen when someone suffers harm to either their body or mind from an accident or injury, and they believe that someone else may be legally responsible for that harm. Typically, the responsible person’s insurance company will pay money to the injured person for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering and other expenses that occurred because of the negligence of their insured. Personal injury claims may be settled with the at-fault party’s insurance company or following a trial.
Common types of personal injury claims include motor vehicle accidents, work accidents, dog bites, trip and fall accidents, wrongful death and product liability, which occurs when a product has a defect. Personal injury can also include medical malpractice cases, which can lead to medical negligence claims.
While you can file your own claim for personal injury, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can help you make sure that you are receiving the total amount of compensation to which you are entitled.Back to top
How much should I ask for in a personal injury settlement?
There is no perfect formula to calculate what to ask for in a personal injury settlement. The value of each case is dependent on several factors, each one specific to your case. However, a general rule of thumb is to look at the total amount of your damages—which include all of the medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses you have spent on your case (for example prescriptions) and any lost income—and multiply that number by 3.
This allows for pain and suffering to be considered since there is no textbook monetary value you can place on pain and suffering. Plus, you want to always ask for more than what you would actually be satisfied with. This gives you room to negotiate with the insurance adjuster as their first offer typically comes in quite low.
For example, if you have $5,000 in damages, you could ask for $15,000 and expect to finally settle somewhere between those 2 numbers. It should be noted that the at-fault party’s insurance limits could affect the settlement offer. The amount that you demand from your settlement cannot exceed the at-fault party’s available insurance policy’s limits.Back to top
How long does a personal injury case take?
The length of time for a personal injury case differs as it often depends on the length of time it takes for the medical treatment of the injured party. Some personal injury cases may only last a few months or weeks because the plaintiff’s injuries only required emergency room treatment on the day of the accident for the injuries they sustained. Other accident victims may have to follow up with their primary care doctor.
Often, a primary doctor will recommend conservative treatment, which can include medications or physical therapy. Depending on the type of injury and the area of the body that is injured, physical therapy can take months or even years. If conservative treatments aren’t healing the body, injections, or surgical intervention may be required.
Another factor in the time frame of a personal injury case is the settlement process. It can take months of negotiating with the insurance adjuster. If a case doesn’t settle within 2 years from the date of the accident, a lawsuit may be filed.
Once filed, it can take 1 to 3 years to get a trial date. Further, if you receive a favorable decision at trial, the defendant has the right to appeal the decision. This could take another year or 2. Undoubtedly, each of these steps has a lot of variables regarding how long your particular case could take to settle.Back to top
How do I write a demand letter for personal injury?
A strong demand letter is well-organized and contains evidence supporting your claim. This includes medical records and bills, proof of lost wages (if you have any missed income), a copy of the accident or incident report, and any photographs or witness statements.
When writing the demand letter, try to follow an orderly progression for the insurance adjuster to follow. Start by explaining exactly what happened and how you are not responsible for the incident or your injuries.
Then, discuss how you were injured, the pain you felt and the treatment that followed. Include any specific details that show the insurance adjuster how your life was impacted. This helps to emphasize your pain and suffering. You may have to cancel a previously planned vacation.
Finally, state the specific amount of money you are demanding for all of the damages you’ve sustained. When signing the letter, always place a time limit on their response and thank the adjuster for their time and attention.Back to top
How can I settle my personal injury case?
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, there are typically 2 ways to get the compensation you deserve. One is being offered a settlement and accepting it outside of court, and the other is to go through the civil lawsuit process.
A settlement may be offered at any time and you always have the right to accept. However, it is important to note that once a settlement agreement is reached and you have signed a liability release, you are unable to file a lawsuit or pursue any other settlement in connection with the accident. This is why it’s so important to make sure that all your damages are being compensated in the settlement you accept.
The best way to accomplish this is to gather all of your medical bills and records, lost wage statements and any other proof of damages. Knowing the exact amount of damages you have lost helps you estimate a proper settlement amount you’d be willing to accept.
There will probably be negotiations that take place at some point between you and the other side’s insurance company, so don’t jump at the first offer. It’s common for the insurance adjuster to make an unreasonably low first offer to see if you will accept.
During negotiations, continue to emphasize the strongest points in your favor. This can include the fact that their insured was found at fault for the accident, if there was a significant amount of property damage, or if you needed injections, a surgery, or other treatment due to the accident.
Once you and the insurance adjuster come to an agreement, make sure that you confirm your acceptance of the offered settlement number in writing.Back to top
How much is the average personal injury settlement?
There is no perfect formula to calculate the ideal personal injury settlement as the value of each case is dependent on several factors, each one specific to your case. One such factor is “special damages,” which are monetary expenses incurred because of the wreck, such as property damage, medical bills, lost wages and more.
Every personal injury case will look a little different depending on the specific types of special damages incurred in that individual case, but they are all generally out-of-pocket expenses that can be determined by adding together all the losses incurred from the accident. Special damages are typically the easiest to calculate because an exact dollar amount has already been spent and there are usually receipts or invoices that you can provide to the insurance adjuster. Generally, the higher your special damages are, the higher you can expect your personal injury settlement to be.
Insurance adjusters also look at “general damages,” which are losses that aren’t easily assigned a monetary value, such as pain and suffering. General damages are much harder to calculate because there are no receipts of bills to provide the insurance company. It’s also hard to determine because general damages are unique to each accident victim.
For example, a large scar is worth more than a small one. A facial scar is also worth more than a scar anywhere else on the body because the face is the first thing we look at when we see someone, and it is the only thing that can’t be covered. However, no matter the size or placement, they are all still losses that deserve compensation, nonetheless.
Further, the type of personal injury case you have can have a bearing on what your overall settlement might be. For instance, if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and the person who caused the accident was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision, you could be entitled to punitive damages as well.
The best way to determine an accurate value for your personal injury claim is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.Back to top
Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) cover passengers?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a type of coverage available through your automobile insurance policy which is designed to pay for medical treatment you require as a result of an accident. PIP coverage is compulsory in certain states, whereas in other states (such as Georgia) the equivalent coverage is referred to as a “Medical Payments” (or MedPay) coverage. While it functions similarly, there are some differences—primarily that MedPay coverage isn’t mandatory on Georgia automobile insurance policies.
Because of PIP’s purpose, in most instances, it “follows the household.” This means that if you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, your own PIP covers you. There are limited circumstances where a passenger may be able to file a claim under your PIP coverage, or where you, the passenger, may be able to file a claim under another person’s PIP coverage. This is usually only the case when the passenger doesn’t own their own vehicle with PIP coverage and no one in their household does either.
Every situation varies and it’s always best to have an experienced attorney review the facts of an individual case and investigate the available coverages on your policy so you can be certain that you are receiving any and all benefits to which you are entitled.Back to top
What does Personal Injury Protection cover?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers an insured—usually the policyholder—following a motor vehicle accident for medical expenses, lost wages and other special damages not covered under the property damage policy. Depending on the state in which the policy is written, PIP may pay out according to very specific rules set out by state law. Sometimes, that means a PIP coverage may pay out only 60 percent of lost wages or may only pay your doctors at a set rate based on Medicare reimbursement rates.
It’s also important to clarify that PIP coverages are usually only found in states which require it to be on every automobile insurance policy. In Georgia, the equivalent is called “MedPay” and it isn’t mandatory. MedPay is also used to reimburse providers based on whether the treatment and charges are “reasonable, related, and necessary.”
Again, this varies from state-to-state. If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to seek out the advice of an experienced attorney in your area who can investigate your specific situation and advise you on how to best protect your rights.Back to top
Do I need personal injury coverage for my car insurance?
In Georgia, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is NOT required on automobile insurance policies. There are other states that do require it, however, some of which border Georgia. Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage, which serves roughly the same function, is available on many automobile insurance policies in Georgia but isn’t mandatory.
Ultimately, what coverages you “need” on your car insurance policy are about what protects you best, and that you can afford. MedPay and PIP coverages offer an extra layer of protection for people injured in car accidents because they pay medical bills immediately as the injured party is getting medical treatment. The regular liability coverages in Georgia will not pay until settlement at the end of a claim or case.Back to top
What percentage of personal injury cases go to trial?
There are many variables in every case and no personal injury case comes with a guarantee. The insurance company, the individual adjuster, the severity or longevity of the injuries, the amount of the total damages, liability issues, causation issues and many other factors can all affect a case’s chances of going to trial.
All of that being said, the percentage of personal injury cases that go all the way to trial is low. The majority of personal injury cases are settled before a lawsuit is filed. Of the claims that result in a lawsuit, an even lower percentage ever reach trial.
One of the primary reasons why most cases don’t go to trial is because a trial is extremely uncertain. No one can predict how a jury will feel about a case and the risks go both ways. A plaintiff risks getting a jury that is unsympathetic and awards very little, if anything, to cover their damages; whereas a defendant or insurance company risks getting a sympathetic jury that awards the injured party far more for the injuries than anticipated.
These risks, as well as court-mandated dispute resolution measures such as settlement conferences and mediation, result in most cases settling before trial. Whatever the likelihood, however, it’s always important to have the advice of an experienced attorney who is comfortable with every stage of a case—including trial.Back to top
What are special damages in personal injury cases?
“Special” damages are damages that are calculable, provable and directly attributable to the injuries stemming from an incident for which a party is making a personal injury claim. They include the cost of medical treatment stemming from the incident which caused the injury as well as lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, property damage or other damages that can be specifically proven. A practical example would be all of the medical expenses, lost wages and property damage suffered by a person in a car accident.
Special damages are different from general damages, which most people think of as “pain and suffering.” Whatever your situation, it is always important to have an experienced attorney working on your case and making sure that ALL of your damages are compensated.Back to top
Are personal injury settlements taxable in Georgia?
As a general rule, no. Personal injury settlements aren’t taxable in the state of Georgia or federally by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Personal injury settlements are considered to be compensation for a loss suffered as a result of someone else’s tortious (wrongful) conduct and are therefore not considered to be income.
That being said, there are some factors that can affect each individual person’s financial and tax obligations. For instance, portions of a settlement or judgment which are apportioned as punitive damages or attorney’s fees are taxable.
While Scholle Law works hard to get the best possible personal injury settlement for each of our clients, we always recommend that they consult with an experienced and knowledgeable account or tax attorney to make sure that they don’t unintentionally damage their financial well-being following a personal injury settlement.Back to top
What happens after deposition in a personal injury case?
A deposition is sworn testimony of a “deponent” (the person being deposed) which is recorded by a certified court reporter for use in a lawsuit. Depositions usually occur after the party being deposed has already responded to written discovery requests—although that depends on who exactly is being deposed and why. Because there are many strategies and factors to be considered in litigation, there is no exact answer to what happens after the deposition.
Sometimes, the deposition will result in the defending party making a settlement offer. Sometimes, the deposition will be the last event before a case proceeds to trial. Often, the next event to follow depositions is a trial preparation period when both sides work to get their case “ready” for trial.
Another frequent follower of depositions is a mediation, which is when all parties sit down with a neutral mediator and try to reach a settlement. Whatever the facts or circumstances of a case, it’s always important to have an experienced attorney who is comfortable with every phase of litigation—including trial.Back to top
Is a personal injury settlement marital property? (Is my spouse entitled to any of the settlement?)
The question of whether a personal injury settlement is marital property usually comes up in the context of a divorce proceeding and, unfortunately, there’s no short answer. Often, defendants and the insurance companies representing them will not settle a case unless both the claimant and the claimant’s spouse both sign a release of all claims. This is because the claimant’s spouse (even if they are not physically injured) may be entitled to claim damages stemming from the claimant spouse’s injuries such as a loss of consortium claim.
In Georgia, personal injury settlements are subject to equitable division. Per Georgia case law, settlements or awards for personal injuries may be divided into separate portions based on the settlement or award’s purpose. In theory, this means that a soon-to-be ex-spouse should NOT be entitled to much, if any, of a claimant’s personal injury settlement.
However, the releases or settlement agreements signed in most personal injury cases do not specifically apportion percentages of the settlement amount to particular persons or claims. In other words, the release will usually cover ALL claims in exchange for $XXXXX amount.
Ultimately, Scholle Law works to get the best possible result for each of our clients—and part of that work for any of our clients involved in divorce proceedings is to include the client’s divorce attorney in final settlement discussions so the divorce attorney can protect our client’s assets as well as possible.Back to top
Can creditors take my personal injury settlement?
Most personal injury settlements are not subject to income tax because it is viewed as a replacement for something lost, not as income. However, if you invest settlement proceeds, future money is treated as the proceeds of any other investment.
If you owe back taxes, for example, the IRS and state agencies can, with proper authorization, garnish your bank accounts and aren’t subject to the same limitations as other creditors. Unlike a regular creditor, government agencies can take more of your money at one time.
A “lien” is a legally binding document that essentially forces you to pay the creditor. An attorney can work with creditors and possibly negotiate a reduction.
If you owe back child support, the state has the right to attach the delinquent parent’s property, including a personal injury settlement.Back to top
Do I have a personal injury case?
If you’re injured by someone else, they have a legal responsibility for your injuries and damages. In a personal injury case, you bear the burden of proof, meaning you must prove your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness.Back to top
What is considered a workers’ compensation injury?
In order to file a workers’ comp claim, you must be an employee who is injured while at work or within the scope of employment. Independent contractors are not considered bona fide employees, and therefore don’t typically qualify for workers’ comp. It’s normally irrelevant if the injury was the fault of the employee or the employer.
Examples of a work-related injury include suffering a back injury while lifting a heavy object, a wrist injury from repetitive typing or even a broken arm suffered while playing softball at a company-sponsored picnic. For example, a cable TV installer who drives from location to location and is involved in a wreck between work locations is covered by workers’ compensation.
Workers’ comp claims start with the report of an injury, which must be filed as soon as possible. They also include detailed calculations, a lot of paperwork, multiple time-sensitive deadlines and a certain order in which forms must be filed.Back to top
Do personal injury cases settle after the deposition?
A personal injury case can settle at any time between the time of the injury and the dismissal of the case by a judge following the return of the jury with a verdict. The depositions of the parties are usually the first time the attorneys get the opportunity to speak directly with the other party. Sometimes, seeing the pros and cons of each side of the case at the deposition will prompt a settlement offer.Back to top
How can I find a reputable personal injury lawyer near me?
One of the best ways to find an attorney is to ask your family and friends to refer you to a lawyer who represented them in a similar type of case. You can also research an attorney’s bio online. Start by calling the office of several lawyers. If, based on the conversation, you feel they would meet your expectations, arrange to meet with the attorney and be prepared to ask questions about their fees and qualifications.Back to top
Is there a time limit on personal injury claims?
Each state has a different time limit, called a “statute of limitations,” that dictates the date when you must file a personal injury case and serve the defendant(s). In Georgia, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case is generally 2 years from the date of the injury.
However, the sooner you hire an attorney, the better. This gives them more time to collect all the medical documentation needed, which can sometimes take an extended amount of time. The attorney will need time to build your case and have the opportunity to settle your case before the statute of limitations deadline.Back to top
Can I fire my personal injury lawyer?
If you are unhappy with your attorney, you can give them a termination letter at any time between signing the contract and the beginning of the trial. But give this serious thought before you take this step. Is it a difference of opinion that could be worked out by discussing your opinion with the attorney?
If you cannot settle the problem with a conversation, you should consult with another attorney before you fire one. You need to know someone else will accept your case and pick up where the previous attorney left off.Back to top
Do personal injury lawyers work on contingency?
Most personal injury attorneys in Georgia work on a contingency basis for attorney’s fees. A contingency fee is based on how much the attorney recovers for you. The standard attorney fee percentage is 33.33 percent for pre-suit settlements. If the case is filed with the court, the attorney fee percentage may increase to 40 percent.
It’s important to know that in addition to attorney’s fees, there are also costs associated with your case. This might include postage, copies, medical records, court costs and any other costs the attorney has paid on your behalf. While attorney fees are a contingency, costs are separate. If your attorney handles your case from pre-suit, costs are normally calculated throughout the case and deducted from the settlement proceeds.Back to top
How do I set up a personal injury trust?
A personal injury trust is essentially a built-in safety net for unexpected future expenses that is typically established in a structured settlement agreement. For example, an injury victim who was catastrophically injured may choose to invest their settlement proceeds into a structured annuity, resulting in their settlement being paid in installments over time.
Structured payments ensure that there will be a steady and stable income for the victim. However, the injured victim may also wish to plan for unexpected medical or living expenses not coverable by the incremental payments of the annuity. A personal injury trust addresses the injured victim’s need for financial flexibility.
To set up a personal injury trust, you or your attorney should contact a reputable settlement planning company and express your interest in structuring your settlement. Ask for a consultation. You may also ask what settlement planning company is typically used by the insurance company paying out your claim as they may have one internally.
Lastly, before establishing a personal injury trust with any company, be sure to check consumer reviews from a third-party such as J.D. Power.Back to top
How do I make a claim against Walmart if I slip and fall?
To sue Walmart in a slip and fall case, you should be aware of several essential guidelines.
First, you should immediately notify the store manager of what happened so that the incident can be documented by the appropriate staff at the store where the incident occurred. Although you will likely not be allowed to have a copy of the incident report, request a copy from the manager anyway.
Second, you or someone with you should take photos of the immediate area to memorialize the exact spot and any evidence that may have caused the fall. For instance, pay close attention to whether or not there were any signs indicating that the floor was wet.
Third, obtain the contact information of any witnesses who are willing to testify on your behalf. Write down their names and phone numbers, and thank them for their willingness to help.
Fourth, seek immediate medical attention that same day. This is especially true if you are elderly or fragile because of a pre-existing medical condition. The longer the distance your treatment is from the day of the incident, the weaker your claim will be.
Fifth, take photos of any bruising or visible injuries from your fall. Remember, visible injuries may fade away over time.
Lastly, contact an experienced slip and fall injury attorney. Walmart’s adjusters will likely try to minimize the incident to avoid paying anything. With the help of an experienced injury attorney at Scholle Law, your chances of prevailing with a fair settlement are exponentially higher.Back to top
Should I accept the settlement offer?
You should never accept a personal injury settlement offer without making sure you fully understand the offer, see it in writing, and you agree to it. Realize that open-ended offers at the front-end of a claim are typically capped by time and money.
For example, an offer may be extended to you that will cover all reasonable and related medical expenses on the day of the incident, plus $1,000 for future treatment as needed (to be paid directly to the provider only) and $1,000 to you for pain and suffering. This is a clear and unambiguous offer. However, if an adjuster offers you $1,000 and does not explain what it covers, this is an unclear offer and should be rejected for that reason.
Even if you verbally accept an offer, check how the release is written. If your understanding of the offer seems different once you see it on the release, don’t sign the release agreement until clarification is provided. Do not alter the release on your own.
If the adjuster doesn’t clarify the original offer in the release, reject the offer. There is no actual settlement until you sign the agreement. Make sure you fully agree with the offer. And if you can’t reach an agreement, contact an experienced attorney at Scholle Law for help.Back to top
Why are there so many personal injury lawyers?
The reason why there are so many personal injury lawyers is because of the large number of unfair settlement offers by the insurance companies to settle. Just as high crime areas tend to have a stronger police presence, the increased presence of personal injury lawyers is an indication of the number of adjusters who fail to compensate accident victims fairly.
Frankly, if the insurance companies were suddenly willing to pay all of the money they owed to the injured victims because of their insured’s negligence, the personal injury lawyer industry would soon fizzle out. Seemingly, there is no end in sight for those needing help with their battle against the insurance industry.
But keep in mind that not all attorneys claiming to be a personal injury lawyer actually have the knowledge and experience needed to get the job done.
It takes years of experience and a track record of success to handle a victim’s injury claim properly. You should know that the insurance companies keep close tabs on which injury attorneys work on which cases. Reputation is everything. If the insurance company knows that a lawyer never takes cases to trial, they will often keep their offers low.
There are many attorneys out there who are willing to represent you, but only some will represent you all the way to trial if necessary.Back to top
Does homeowner’s insurance cover personal injury?
Most homeowner policies have personal liability coverage included. As a homeowner, personal liability coverage covers you (the insured) against claims for injuries caused by you or another household member. Homeowner liability coverage does NOT cover the owner of the home or its residents who are personally injured.
However, if a non-resident or an invitee is on the property of the homeowner and is injured due to a negligent act (or omission of an act), the injured party has a right to pursue a legal claim against the homeowner for damages. An example of this may be a hired handyman falling through loose deck boards on the homeowner’s property. If negligence is found against the homeowner for neglecting to keep his or her deck safe for visitors, the homeowner’s personal liability coverage will pay for the damages.
Additionally, a homeowner’s policy may also have medical payment coverage. The amount of medical payment coverage is usually a nominal dollar amount listed on the declarations page of the homeowner’s policy and is typically paid to an injured invitee with little questions asked.Back to top
How much can you get from a personal injury claim?
The amount of money you can receive from a personal injury claim depends on several factors.
First, the extent of your injuries will determine the value of a claim. The more severe the injury, the larger the right to compensation.
Second, the venue matters. Some counties consistently have conservative jury verdicts, while others have liberal verdicts. The adjusters know this and take this factor into consideration when valuing an injury claim.
Third, medical bills and treatment make a difference. If you have received very little treatment, it might appear to the adjuster as though you have little need for treatment—in other words, your injuries are not so bad.
Fourth, punitive damages must be considered. If the driver who hit you was under the influence of alcohol, for instance, the insurance company might owe additional money that is to be paid to you directly.
All of these factors must be considered by the adjuster in their evaluation of your claim. An experienced injury attorney at Scholle Law will always make sure the insurance adjuster keeps each and every one of these in mind as they negotiate your claim toward settlement.Back to top
How do I negotiate a personal injury settlement without an attorney?
If you are negotiating your injury claim without legal representation, you ought to keep a few basic rules in mind.
First, never accept the first offer. The adjuster often has 3 moves: an initial offer, a middle offer, and a final offer. Listen carefully to the final offer being stated by the adjuster.
Second, focus on property damage. Minor property damage is not good for your case. In that instance, you should point out the greater damage to the other car to escape the appearance of your accident looking minor. The damage explains the mechanism for injuries and is a critical piece of the negotiation process.
Third, make sure all bills are accounted for when you present your medical expenses. Remember, the insurance company owes for any bills created by its insured.
Fourth, read the release carefully before you sign it. Make sure that you fully understand the agreement the insurance company is offering. If you’re concerned that you aren’t getting the best deal, talk to an experienced injury attorney at Scholle Law.Back to top
Have more questions?
Visit our Georgia Personal Injury & Accident Guide for answers.