Personal injury lawsuits are common in civil litigation, mainly because there are a million ways that people get hurt every day. You crave a great deli sandwich, so you go to the grocery store. By the entrance, there is one of those water cooler bottle refill stations and it is leaking. You walk by minding your own business, and you slip and fall, breaking your arm. Next thing you know, you have a ton of medical bills and can’t work. It’s easy to see how you might turn to a personal injury lawsuit to recover the costs of your new expenses. Let’s take a deeper look at how to navigate a personal injury lawsuit.
What Counts as a Personal Injury?
A personal injury is any injury caused by another person’s negligence. In our grocery store example, the store management had the responsibility of:
- Making sure that the water refill station wasn’t leaking
- The floor was cleaned up promptly
- Precautions were taken to make sure that no one was injured
In this case, the store failed to meet its obligations and is open to a personal injury lawsuit. If the store had done anything to stop this accident from happening, you might not have a successful lawsuit.
What Can You Sue For In a Personal Injury Case?
The goal of every personal injury case is the same: to collect compensation for damages. This means trying to get the judge to make the person responsible pay for your expenses related to the accident. To do this, your lawyer files claims for each expense that falls into specific categories. Some of the things that they can claim on your behalf include:
● Medical bills
● Damaged property
● Lost wages from not being able to work
● Ongoing medical costs like physical therapy
● Emotional damage in some extreme cases
● Wrongful death if someone in your immediate family is killed in an accident
How Much Can You Win In a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The only limit to how much you can collect if you win a personal injury lawsuit is that the amount you collect is directly related to the damages that you suffered. For example, if you have $10,000 in medical bills related to the accident, then you can collect up to $10,000 for your medical bills claims.
The only two exceptions to this are if the judge awards you pain and suffering and wrongful death claims. Pain and suffering is a claim that covers the emotional damage of the accident and is often used to punish the person at fault for extreme negligence. Likewise, wrongful death claims don’t have a direct correlation to how much you lost since you can’t put a finite value on human life. However, the judge determines the value of these claims and likely won’t make them so large that the person cannot afford them.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Every jurisdiction has a limit on how long after an event you can file a lawsuit. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. That’s not a lot of time to get everything together and filed by the deadline, so it’s important to discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Joshua J. Smith Attorney at Law by calling us at (706) 217-2095 or filling out our contact form. We are here to help you recover from a personal injury.