Representing Personal Injury Victims in Norcross, GA
YOUR CATASTROPHIC INJURY
CASE IS OUR TOP PRIORITY.Get help now
Nobody ever expects to suffer a serious injury. One moment you are driving your car down the road–and the next, you find yourself waking up in a hospital. You may not even fully realize what just happened to you.
No matter how careful we are in our daily lives, someone else’s reckless, thoughtless, or even intentional conduct can land us in this situation. If this has happened to you, an experienced Norcross personal injury attorney can assist you in seeking justice. Attorney James T. Ponton and his team represent clients throughout Gwinnett County who are struggling to rebuild their lives after sustaining a catastrophic injury caused by another person or persons. We can represent you in negotiating with an insurance company, and where necessary by filing and prosecuting a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
How Personal Injury Claims Work in Norcross, Georgia
A personal injury claim is civil in nature. This means that a plaintiff does not have to prove any criminal or intentional wrongdoing by the defendant. While some personal injury cases are rooted in such acts, most of the time they are based on negligence. And negligence only requires proof of the following:
- The defendant owed some duty of care to the plaintiff.
- The defendant breached that duty through some act or omission.
- In breaching that duty, the plaintiff sustained some loss or injury.
A duty of care can be something as simple as failing to obey local traffic laws. For example, if a driver runs a red light and plows into a vehicle that lawfully entered the intersection, that is a clear act of negligence on the part of the first driver. If the second driver sustained any injuries or other losses as a result of the collision, they could seek compensation from the first driver.
Indeed, motor vehicle accidents are the most common type of personal injury claim that we handle. Georgia is a fault-based state with respect to such accidents. This means that you can always sue a negligent driver for damages without having to go through your own insurance first.
In addition to car accidents, Ponton Law can advise and represent you in connection with these other personal injury cases:
- Bicycle Accidents
- Commercial Trucking Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Dog Bites & Animal Attacks
- Drowning Accidents
- MARTA (Public Transit) Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Negligent Security
- Premises Liability (Slip and Fall)
Seeking Full and Fair Compensation in a Norcross, Georgia, Personal Injury Case
Because personal injury is a form of civil law, the main objective is to compensate the victims for their losses. These are known as damages. Georgia law generally divides compensatory damages into general and special categories.
Special damages, which are also known as “economic damages,” are meant to cover out-of-pocket losses that are easily quantified in dollar terms. Some of the more common examples of special damages in Georgia include:
- Medical Bills: You are entitled to compensation for all of the reasonably necessary costs of your medical treatment. This includes the medical expenses you have already incurred, as well as estimated future expenses should you require ongoing care.
- Lost Income: Many accident victims are forced to miss time from their jobs to recover from their injuries. You are entitled to compensation for any lost wages and benefits. Additionally, if your injuries prevent you from resuming your previous job or occupation, you can seek additional damages for your diminished earning capacity.
- Property Damage: You can also seek special damages for any property losses. In the case of a car accident, for instance, you can demand compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
Special damages must be proven. That is, you must present evidence in court establishing the exact amount of your losses. In contrast, general damages do not require such proof. The reason for this is that general damages are meant to cover intangible losses that cannot be precisely quantified. Some examples of losses that are classified as general damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Psychological trauma
- Permanent impairment, disfigurement, or disability
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of a spouse’s consortium and companionship
In limited cases, Georgia law also allows a personal injury claimant to seek punitive damages in addition to general and special damages. Punitive damages are not compensatory. Instead, they are meant to punish egregious wrongdoing or intentional misconduct. Even when a personal injury claim meets the standard for punitive damages, however, recovery is limited under Georgia law to $250,000. And 75 percent of any punitive damages awarded must be turned over to the State of Georgia.
How Georgia Law Affects Your Right to Seek Compensation
There are a number of rules that must be followed and understood in any Georgia personal case. The first is the statute of limitations. This refers to the deadline for actually filing a lawsuit. In Georgia, personal injury claims against private parties must be brought within two years. This is normally measured from the date that the accident or injury occurred. There are different rules that apply to personal injury claims against government agencies and their employees.
The second rule you need to understand is comparative negligence. If you sue someone, they can argue that you were equally or mostly at fault for causing your own injuries. It is then up to a judge or jury to determine each side’s relative–or comparative–fault.
Georgia actually follows a modified comparative fault rule. In simple terms, you must be less than 50 percent at fault to recover any damages. And even if you are below the threshold, the defendant’s obligation to compensate you is reduced in proportion to your fault.
Contact Norcross Personal Injury Attorney James T. Ponton Today
Personal injury claims are often more complicated than most people realize. That is why it is important to work with an experienced Norcross personal injury lawyer at each step of the process. Call Ponton Law today at (404) 418-8507 or contact us online to schedule a free and strictly confidential consultation.