Retain a Top Personal Injury Lawyer in Atlanta
Injuries can change your life. Unexpected medical expenses, health complications and other difficulties can be overwhelming. You need justice, accountability, and compensation to pay your bills. Michael Geoffroy, our head attorney is here to help. Don’t tread the treacherous waters of working with insurance companies alone.
At MG Law, our Atlanta personal injury lawyers are committed to leading our clients to justice. We have the legal skills and experience to help you navigate the claims process. You deserve personalized representation from a reliable attorney. Call MG Law today and get the legal experience of Atlanta’s top talent on your side.
Types Of Personal Injury We Handle
We are a full-service personal injury law firm representing victims and their family members in Atlanta and throughout North Georgia. We handle every case with a personal touch and the highest level of professional skill. No matter the nature or severity of your accident, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys are ready to advocate for your rights and injuries. Common accident types that we work with:
- Bicycle Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Crosswalk Accidents
- Daycare Injuries
- Dog Bites
- DUI Accidents
- Environmental Law & Toxic torts
- Mass Torts
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Negligent Security
- Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
- Pharmaceutical Injuries
- Premises Liability Claims
- Slips and Fall Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Uber Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
- Wrongful Death
Common Injuries Associated With Personal Injury Claims
If you were injured in an accident, it is crucial that you get access to the proper medical care. All serious injuries require an immediate medical evaluation and sustained follow-up treatment. Nothing should come before your health and well-being. Over the course of Michael’s career he has litigated a variety of different injury cases. Some of the most prevalent include:
- Head injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Loss of limbs;
- Severe cuts and lacerations; and
- Whiplash injuries.
Proving Fault By Demonstrating Negligence
To hold a defendant liable for an accident, you must prove fault. Most personal injury claims in Georgia arise under the legal theory of negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care. If your accident occurred because of another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Your accident should be investigated immediately. Our Atlanta, GA personal injury lawyers are ready to help. We will gather and organize all of the evidence you need to prove liability.
How Much Compensation Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?
One of the most pressing things that most people want to ask a personal injury attorney in Atlanta is: How much is my case worth? The value of a personal injury claim is dependent on several factors, including your ability to prove liability, the extent of your damages, and how effectively you can navigate the legal claims process. Under Georgia law, you can hold a negligent defendant liable for the full value of your economic and noneconomic damages. Sadly, corporations never make it easy for people to recover the full amount of money they deserve. At MG Law, our Atlanta personal injury lawyers know how to get our clients justice and financial support.
What Are the Different Types of Damages You Can Sue For?
Injured victims need economic support to pay their bills and cover their losses. Even when liability is undisputed, though, an insurance company may offer you far less than you truly need and deserve. At MG Law, our Atlanta, GA, personal injury lawyers know how to help our clients maximize their recovery. We will help you get every penny you deserve. Through a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Emergency medical care;
- Medical bills and related costs;
- Rehabilitative therapies and treatments;
- Loss of current and future wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish;
- Disfigurement or scarring;
- Long-term disability; and
- Damages for the wrongful death of a family member.
Our law firm is committed to representing each and every client with the highest level of care, attention, and professionalism. We understand how difficult and traumatic it is to go through a serious accident, and you and your family deserve personalized legal guidance and support.
Steps To Take Immediately Following an Accident
In order to maximize the compensation you receive after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it is crucial that you understand the proper steps to take. The actions you take after an accident can make or break your claim. After any accident, the most important steps to take are as follows:
- Seek medical attention: Your health and safety are the most important priority after any accident. If you need urgent care, call an ambulance to the scene of the accident. If you can leave the scene of the accident, make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Even if you do not think you were injured, it is important to still see a doctor. A medical professional will examine you and determine if you have injuries that have not shown symptoms yet, such as a concussion. Also, if you do not seek medical attention, the insurance company will likely argue that you were not injured and as such, deny you the damages you deserve.
- Exchange information: You may know that after a car accident, you should exchange contact information, names, and insurance information with all other parties involved. However, you should do this with any other type of accident, as well. For example, if you were injured in a store, you should exchange information with the store manager, owner, or anyone else in charge.
- Collect evidence: When working on your claim, our Atlanta injury attorneys will collect many different types of evidence. Still, while you are at the scene, you can collect important evidence too, including photographs and video of the scene.
- Dealing with the insurance company: Shortly after any accident, an insurance company will likely contact you. It may be the insurance company of the negligent driver that hit you, or the insurance company of a property owner where you had an accident. You should never speak to the insurance company before you have spoken to an Atlanta personal injury attorney that will protect your rights.
Once you have left the scene and obtained medical treatment, you should call a personal injury attorney in Atlanta. A lawyer will ensure your rights are upheld and will help to recover the full damages you deserve.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Many people put off calling an attorney after an accident because they do not think they can afford one. This is not true. Our lawyers will meet with you for free to discuss the merits of your case, hear your side of the story, and explain the injury claim process.
If you choose to allow us to handle your case, we will then build a solid case to give you the best chance of obtaining the compensation you need to fully cover the cost of your injury. You will never pay anything unless we are successful with your case and even then, we only take a small percentage of the damages awarded.
The question is not really whether or not you can afford to work with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer. The question is whether you can afford not to. Studies have shown that accident victims that work with experienced lawyers will recover approximately three times more in damages than individuals that are not represented by an attorney.
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Are Hotels in Atlanta Liable for Injuries?
Hotels are required to follow a variety of regulations and keep their property up to code, making sure the property is safe and clean for guests. If you contract an illness or are injured on the premises of the hotel you are staying at, you may have grounds for a personal injury case. You should inform a hotel employee immediately if you have been injured. It is important to keep as complete of a record of the incident as possible, especially if you may have to pursue a personal injury suit in the future.
Take pictures of the scene of the incident and give the hotel employee as much detail about what happened as you can remember. You will most likely have to fill out an accident report for the hotel. It is important that this official report is a comprehensive description of the events that led to your injury. Do not accept responsibility for the incident — this may prevent you from pursuing legal action at a later date. You should also contact an attorney if you have been seriously injured.
Your lawyer will be able to advise you on any specific steps you should take, as well as advocate with the hotel for your best interests. If you do end up filing a personal injury suit, the hotel may not be the only defendant. Depending on how the injury occurred, a contractor, manufacturer, or even another guest might share the liability.
Are Airbnb’s in Atlanta Liable for Injuries?
A newer option for travelers, Airbnb is very popular, especially with younger adventurers. Hosts can list a home or apartment or just a section of their own personal dwelling for rent on Airbnb, where guests can review the listings and make a reservation, just like at a hotel. However, getting injured at an Airbnb is different from getting injured at a hotel.
According to the company’s terms and conditions, Airbnb only acts as an intermediary between the renter and the property owner. The company is not liable for any injuries that might occur while you are staying with a host. If the host was aware of a hazardous condition, they may be liable for your injury; however, many Airbnb hosts do not have the necessary insurance to cover a lawsuit.
If your host does not have insurance or personal assets, there may not be much that can be gained by pursuing legal action against them. If you are injured at your Airbnb, inform the host and seek medical attention immediately. You should still do your best to make a record of the details of the incident. Although Airbnb denies any liability in the case of injury, the company is still new. Your lawyer may find some scenario where you are able to pursue legal action against the company.
Get Travel Insurance to Cover Injury Costs
No matter where you stay while you travel, you might want to look into travel insurance if you are a frequent traveler. This special insurance will cover injuries that are sustained while traveling, though policies may be limited regarding certain parts of the world or specific situations. You need to make sure to read the restrictions of any policy carefully, but a travel insurance policy can be a great investment for regular travelers.
Will Your Personal Injury Claim go to Court?
Whether you have been hurt in a slip and fall, a car crash, or some other type of accident, your case will likely settle out of court. To reach a fair settlement, your Atlanta accident attorney will negotiate with the insurance company and liable parties for the damages you deserve. This process can take a matter of weeks, or it may take several months. The vast majority of personal injury cases do not go to trial but instead, end with a settlement between the parties involved.
If the insurance company or liable party refuses to negotiate fairly, a trial may be necessary. Trials are more likely when the liable party is a major corporation, or when the injuries sustained are very serious. However, any time an insurer or other liable party refuses to act in good faith, the case must go to trial. During a trial, your Atlanta personal injury attorney will argue your case to a judge and/or jury, who will then determine the fair amount of damages you deserve.
No one knows when a case will settle or go to trial. As such, it is crucial that you work with a personal injury attorney in Atlanta that has experience with negotiations, as well as trial experience.
6 FAQ’s About Personal Injury Cases
1. What Are the Elements of a Personal Injury Claim?
against another person based on an injury you’ve suffered, there are actually four elements that must be established in a personal injury claim. A person maintains a cause of action against another when one party’s negligence leads to the harm of another. In order to win your personal injury claim and recover the damages to which you’re entitled, you’ll need to prove:
Duty of care. The first thing that you’ll need to prove is that the defendant owed you a duty of care. Duty of care may be implied. For example, a doctor owes their patient a duty of care based on the doctor-patient relationship. Or, the driver of a car owes others on the road a duty of care by virtue of operating a motor vehicle.
Breach of duty of care. The second thing that you’ll need to prove is that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to you, typically via an act of negligence (although sometimes, such as in the case of a doctor, an act of malpractice). Negligence refers to the failure to act with the same degree of care that another reasonable person of ordinary prudence in the same situation would exercise. For example, a driver breaches the duty of care owed to others when they speed. A property owner breaches the duty of care to others when they fail to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition.
Causation. The third thing that must be established is causation – that is, that your injuries would not have occurred but for the breach of the duty of care/negligence. Even if you can prove that the defendant did something negligent and that you were harmed, if you cannot prove causation, you will not have a case.
Damages. Finally, you must prove that you actually suffered damages as a result of the breach of duty of care. Damages might include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage costs, pain and suffering, etc.
2. How Much Time Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Suit?
Unfortunately, we are too often asked this question by people who have already missed out on their opportunity to file a claim because they waited too long to do so. In Georgia, the statute of limitations governs how much time a person has to file a claim after being involved in an accident. Per Georgia Code Section 9-3-33, a civil action for a personal injury must be commenced within two years of the date that the cause of action accrues. That means that you have two years from the date that your injuries were incurred to file a civil action; if you wait longer than the two-year time period, you will be permanently barred from recovery.
3. What Happens if I’m Found to Be Partially At-Fault for My Injuries?
Another question that our legal team frequently encounters is that of what happens if a victim contributed to their injuries in some way. Take the case of a car accident – what happens if the other driver ran a red light, causing the accident, but the victim was traveling above the speed limit, which increased the force involved in the crash and the severity of damages?
The state of Georgia adheres to a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that a plaintiff will not be barred from recovering compensation from a defendant, even if they contributed to their own injuries, so long as their degree of fault is less than 50 percent. While a plaintiff will not be barred from recovery, their recoverable damages award will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. Referring back to the example above, if the court found that the plaintiff was 10 percent to blame for their injuries based on the speed at which they were traveling at the time of collision, the plaintiff could only hold the defendant liable for 90 percent of their total losses.
4. How Can an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney Help Me?
If you’ve been injured, you may be wondering whether or not you even need an attorney or if you should just initiate the claims process on your own. While you have every right to do that, it’s not recommended – your chances of recovering the settlement you deserve are better if you work with an attorney. An attorney will handle all of the details of your case, explain the law, advocate for you, and more!
5. What are the Common Personal Injury Claim Types?
In the United States, people file millions of lawsuits every year. Personal Injury claims are the most common type of legal action that goes to court. Personal injury claims happen when a person is careless, negligent, or reckless and cause harm or injury to another individual or party. When a person is injured or hurt due to any negligent act, he or she has a right to sue the party who is at fault to recover the damages incurred as a result of the injury.
Personal injury claims include a broad range of actions that will allow the injured person to receive monetary compensation from a negligent person to reimburse the victim for damages due to the accident. Some types of personal injury claims are more common in today’s legal system than others.
Product Liability claims
An average of 20,000 product liability claims is filed each year. Product liability injuries account for about 7% of all personal injury cases. People will be injured due to the vast amount of goods available. Liability claims can involve anything from defective toys, unsafe medical devices, and even pet products. Product liability cases have the second-highest average (approximately $300,000) in damages awards. Medical malpractice lawsuits have a higher median for compensation awards.
Slip-and-fall claims are a common type of personal injury claim. According to the National Safety Council, slip and fall accidents have accounted for the death of over 20,000 Americans and caused over 7 million injuries. A slip or fall can happen anywhere, the mall, at work, or at home. The elderly are more susceptible to a more severe injury after a fall.
Slip and falls can be especially damaging to the hips, neck, or head. Proving a slip and fall claim can often be harder than for other personal injury claims. When property owners are neglectful to keeping the premises reasonably safe, those who are injured have a right to sue and collect damages for the accident or injuries incurred while on the property.
Medical Malpractice is also a common type of personal injury claim. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide patient care that meets an acceptable standard level of care, and the patient is harmed or injured as a result. The standard level of care is measured by the care that a reasonable professional of similar experience would use in a similar situation. To prove medical malpractice occurred the following must be evident:
- A patient-doctor relationship existed.
- The doctor was negligent.
- The doctor’s negligence caused the injury.
- The injury led to distinct damages.
- A failure to diagnose.
- Improper treatment was administered
- Failing to tell a patient of known risks.
A bad result does not always equate to medical malpractice. At times, adverse effects will occur in the medical field. Doctors do not have the ability to heal every patient. A victim must prove that their medical provider was negligent in order to receive compensation for injuries.Medical malpractice is among the most challenging and complex types of personal injury cases.
It will often require witnesses to testify regarding the standard of care that should have been exercised and how the breach of that standard of care resulted in the patient’s injury. For this reason, the injured party should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney who has experience in the area of medical malpractice.
Despite a slow-growing economy and unemployment rates, work-related injuries are some of the most common personal injury claims. Work-related injuries also include repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome from typing or other repetitive hand movements, back injuries from lifting, and neck injuries from reading.Work-related injuries are often unreported since employees are fearful of being fired. If someone is injured at work, the incident should be reported to the supervisor as soon as possible.
On average, there are over 6 million vehicle accidents every year in the U.S. This figure includes injuries to drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. A reasonable explanation is that people spend lots of time in cars rather than walking. It seems that distractions, primarily smartphone usage, while driving is largely responsible for increased road traffic injuries.
An easy solution to prevent a distracted driving accident, even from someone who is addicted to their device, is to secure the device out of reach to avoid any temptation to check notifications while on the road. The notifications and calls can wait until the destination has been reached.
6. What are the Common Misconceptions About Personal Injury Claims?
I don’t need an attorney as long as I have insurance
Personal Injury claims can be complicated and involved. Insurance companies are always trying to make a profit, and their employees are experts and well-trained adjusters. Almost always insurance companies try to settle your claim for the least amount possible, and that may be a disproportionate amount to cover the medical bills and expenses.
Trying to negotiate with an insurance company on your own is a bad idea. Any statements you make to them could be used against you and cost you part of your claim. The wise choice is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in Conyers to be on your side who has handled thousands of similar cases. Insurance alone is not enough to guarantee your expenses and medical bills will be paid. Lost wages and the cost of possible future medical care is another reason you should speak to your personal injury attorney.
If Needed I can Hire an Attorney Later
Hiring representation early is advised because a stronger case may be created for you. Delaying hiring an attorney could seriously hurt your claim. A personal injury lawsuit has a statute of limitations, or a time limit. Additionally, if you accept insurance money or any offer, you will forfeit the right to file a lawsuit in the future. If you have already received a settlement, the insurance company will not give you another cent regardless of any surgeries or health care needs that may be necessary for the future. Having an experienced attorney representing your case will ensure that you will be allowed to collect what the claim is worth.
Hiring a lawyer is expensive
Many people believe that they cannot afford to hire a lawyer, but the truth is that they cannot afford not to hire a lawyer. Injured people are already dealing with medical bills after an injury, lost wages, and possibly pain and suffering. Property damage is another loss that you may be experiencing. If you are unsure if you have a case or need a lawyer, you are welcome to contact us for a free consultation and ask questions. You need a personal injury lawyer’s opinion about the case to see if it is worth pursuing. Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you do not pay us unless there is a settlement in your favor.
I do not wish to sue anyone; it seems wrong
The legal process of filing a lawsuit exists to help and protect people who are wrongfully hurt or injured. Pursuing a lawsuit is your constitutional right. The money recovered will not come from any individual’s wallet; it will come from the billion-dollar insurance company that the person pays premiums to every month for this exact situation. Some people have bad feelings about making an insurance company pay for the injuries or lost wages they have incurred. Insurance companies exist for this reason exclusively. In reality, you are not suing anyone; it is a giant conglomerate.
Those who file personal injury lawsuits are just greedy
Insurance companies perpetuate this misconception to make people feel guilty about pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. The money is rightfully obligated to the individuals who are injured because of the negligence of another person. Another misconception is that anyone who is filing a claim is filing frivolous lawsuits. Most people who will submit a personal injury case have been involved in legitimate accidents or have real injuries due to the negligence of someone else. In almost all cases, a person filing a claim is an honest person just trying to collect what is owed to them for damages and the expenses.
It will take forever to resolve my personal injury case
The truth is that submitting a claim will take some time and also effort. If you have hired a personal injury attorney, you should only be concerned with your recovery while your lawyer works at getting the compensation you are due. The amount of time it will take will depend on the complexity of the case. Many cases settle before a personal injury claim is ever filed. Many insurance companies do not want to go to court. Court cases are time-consuming and expensive.
My family or estate lawyer can handle my personal injury case
All lawyers are not experts in all legal matters. All lawyers are professionals but may have specialized areas of practice. Personal injury lawyers have spent thousands of hours trying and researching personal injury claims. It is a misconception that any lawyer will know how to best proceed with a personal injury case.
Call Our Atlanta, GA Personal Injury Attorneys for Immediate Help
At MG Law, our Atlanta personal injury lawyers fight aggressively to protect the rights and interests of victims and their families. We are proud to be leaders and in court and the community. If you were hurt in an accident, our attorneys are more than ready to help. For a free case evaluation, please contact our Atlanta office right away. We represent injured victims throughout the region, including in Fulton County and DeKalb County.
We offer no-obligation, free case consultations. With MG Law, you do not need to worry about upfront costs or out-of-pocket bills. Our attorneys only get paid when you get paid. Our interests are fully aligned with your interests. We are committed to doing what is right for you and your family. Call us today to get started.
Bodily Injury vs Personal Injury: Is There A Difference?
When you learn the number of people that seek treatment for accidental injuries in the US every year, you realize that it is entirely possible to become a victim in a mere moment. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 23.8 million people visit hospital emergency rooms annually because of unintentional injuries, many of which were preventable. For these victims, life will never be the same as they suffer physical, emotional, and financial harm. If you were hurt under such circumstances, you will be relieved to know that you have legal remedies to recover compensation for these losses.
However, as you consider your options, you might run into a critical hurdle: Understanding the difference between bodily injury and personal injury, since both concepts play a role in the legal process. Unless you have a background in law, you might use them interchangeably to your detriment.
Basic Difference Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury
You can best appreciate the distinction between these concepts by breaking down the terminology. Bodily injury refers to the physical harm and effects of an accident, such as broken bones, strains, sprains, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord injuries. Personal injury is a more expansive concept, which may include physical injuries as well as mental and emotional implications. This term often refers to the legal action which stems from an accident, i.e., a personal injury lawsuit.
It is important to not confuse bodily and personal injury with other contexts that these terms may come into play.
- Bodily injury is a type of liability insurance coverage. For instance, Georgia auto insurance laws require motorists to carry at least $25,000 for a single victim and $50,000 per accident.
- Another type of auto insurance coverage is personal injury protection (PIP), which pays medical costs and lost wages regardless of fault. PIP is not required in Georgia, but some motorists carry it for extra assurance in a crash.
- Bodily injury can be an element in a criminal case, such as aggravated assault.
What is Needed to Prove Liability In Accident Cases?
Once you understand that personal injury is a type of lawsuit, you should grasp what is required to recover compensation. While some claims are based upon intentional torts, negligence is the applicable standard in most personal injury cases. The four essential elements you need to prove are:
- The responsible party had a duty to exercise reasonable care, so as to not cause a risk of harm to others;
- That person or entity breached this legal duty by engaging in unsafe acts or omissions;
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident that led to your injuries; and
- You suffered losses as a result of being hurt.
Understanding The Legal Process In Accident Cases
Contrary to popular assumption, your first step usually involves filing a claim with an insurance company. Motorists, business and property owners, and other entities carry liability insurance to protect against accidental losses. In some situations, you might be able to resolve your claim by settling with the insurer. However, it is important to note that these companies look out for their own financial interests, not yours. An insurance company may deny your claim, citing such reasons as:
- Your injuries were not that severe;
- The insured’s policyholder was not at fault; or
- You were wholly or partly responsible for causing the accident.
Under the circumstances, you may need to take the next step by filing a lawsuit in court. Under Georgia’s statute of limitations, it is critical to note the two-year deadline. If you do not sue before the time limit expires, you cannot recover monetary damages for your losses.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
Multiple types of compensation are available in personal injury cases, and bodily injury ties into the amount you may be able to recover through an insurance claim or lawsuit. By proving the above four essential elements, victims may be entitled to:
- Economic Damages: This category of compensation refers to definite and out-of-pocket expenses related to an accident. For instance, you may obtain amounts for your medical bills, lost wages, and transportation costs to doctor’s visits.
- Non-Economic Damages: Other losses are not quantifiable by dollar value, but you most certainly endure hardship after being injured. This class of damages includes pain and suffering, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, and losses that affect your personal relationships.
There are also damages available for surviving family members in a wrongful death lawsuit, based upon the losses they suffer from their loved one’s passing.