The Brown Firm is moving to a new office in Atlanta: 197 14th St. Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30318
The Brown Firm is moving to a new office in Atlanta: 197 14th St. Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30318

Frequently Asked Questions

You probably have a lot of questions about your legal options, the people involved in your claim, and next steps. Here, our experienced Georgia and South Carolina personal injury lawyers answer some of your most common questions.

Personal Injury Law

Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you were injured because of someone else's behavior, the answer is yes. The most important thing is that you get better, and now is the time to focus on healing. While you do that, a good personal injury attorney will take care of the rest. Further, an experienced attorney may secure three times the settlement or jury award you might get on your own. 

What Is a Personal Injury?

Personal injury refers to legal cases that involve someone who was injured physically, mentally, or emotionally. This can also include property damage. You can demand compensation for these losses, either through a settlement or a jury award.

You might have a personal injury claim if someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused your injuries. For example, if you are injured in a car accident because another driver ran a red light, you likely have a personal injury case.

Typical personal injury cases arise from:

  • Car accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Workers’ compensation cases
  • Premises liability or slip and fall accidents
  • Product liability (defective products)
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Wrongful death claims
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit is the formal, court-based process of claiming that a person or entity caused harm to someone else. Not every personal injury case involves a lawsuit; often the parties reach a settlement agreement out-of-court.  

However, if the pre-litigation negotiations break down, you (the plaintiff) may file a formal, civil complaint against the party at fault for your injuries (the defendant). Filing that formal complaint is also called filing a lawsuit. 

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Georgia?

In most Georgia personal injury cases, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. If you try to file or negotiate with the insurance company after two years, you may lose your legal rights and be forever barred from seeking compensation.

How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth in Georgia?

Each case is different, and your best bet is to discuss your claim’s strength with an experienced Savannah personal injury lawyer to know for sure. In general, you may have a strong case if:  

  • Someone else’s action (or inaction) caused your injury 
  • That injury negatively affected your life (in terms of health, finances, and quality) 
  • You have bills, statements, or other ways to show the other party’s fault and your losses 
  • The at-fault party has adequate insurance coverage to compensate you for your losses 

You’ll also need to calculate your damages, or the financial and emotional losses associated with your claim. Your damages might include: 

  • Medical and health care costs (now and in the future) 
  • Lost income and wage-earning capacity 
  • Property damage 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Funeral and burial expenses 
  • Punitive damages (in rare cases, if the at-fault party was judged to be grossly negligent or acting intentionally and worthy of “above and beyond” punishment.) 

In Georgia, drivers must carry a liability insurance policy that’s at least $25,000 for the injury or death of one person and $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single accident. Some drivers have policies with higher limits.  

When you schedule a free consultation, our team will start calculating your damages and investigating your case. 

What Should I Do if an Insurance Company Contacts Me After an Accident?

Don’t say anything to them until you’ve spoken with a Savannah personal injury attorney. Anything you say can be used against you in your case, and insurance companies will often try to get a statement, even if it only hints that you carry some fault for the accident.  

Often, insurance companies will contact you to offer a settlement amount. These are typically low-ball offers, intended to close the claim quickly and cheaply rather than truly cover the needs of the injured person.  

What Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?

An adjuster is a specially trained employee at an insurance company or claims management service. They investigate claims and negotiate with the injured person—trying to resolve these issues as quickly and cheaply as possible. They may also be called a claims specialist, independent claims analyst, or claims representative.  

No matter what they are called, the insurance adjuster is not on your side and cannot provide legal advice. Sometimes, they will even pressure you to settle, arguing that your case isn’t worth much or that an attorney is a waste of money. These are red flags—and you should immediately call a lawyer for practical, honest advice. 

Should I Accept a Settlement From the Insurance Company?

You should never agree to a settlement until you’ve spoken with an experienced personal injury lawyer. The insurance company want to pay out as little as possible. Usually, they will make an initial, low-ball settlement offer, hoping that you will take the “easy money.” 

However, once you settle your case, you cannot go back and demand more compensation. So, if you take that initial settlement offer, you might find yourself paying for your accident-related bills later on.  

Hiring a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer

If I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney, Will I Have to Go to Trial?

Usually, you will not need to go to trial during your accident injury lawsuit. Most of the time, a settlement will be reached between your attorney and the at-fault party's insurance company. 

However, your attorney will discuss the best options for you to receive the largest settlement possible, and occasionally that can mean going to trial. 

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost in Georgia or South Carolina?

Hiring a South Carolina or Georgia personal injury attorney will not cost you anything up front. We offer free initial consultations and take our fee as a percentage of your settlement at the end of the process (called a contingency fee). 

That means there are zero charges up front and zero charges if we do not recover compensation or win in your case. You have no risk! Our goal is to get every client as much money as we can, as quickly as we can. 

We have an experienced legal team of dedicated professionals who are at your service: our attorneys, investigators, and legal assistants. They are all trained to fight on your behalf and get you fair compensation for your losses. 

We take the time to: 

  • Interview you carefully  
  • Answer your questions about your case and legal options 
  • Talk to your medical team about your condition 
  • Gather police reports, medical records, and other evidence 
  • Visit the crash scene and talk to eyewitnesses 
What Should I Bring to a Free Consultation at The Brown Law Firm?

During your free consultation, our team will want to learn as much as possible about your claim and injuries. The following information can help speed up our investigation: 

  • A written account of the incident as you remember it  
  • The police report  
  • Any evidence gathered at the scene, such as pictures or witness statements  
  • Medical records explaining your injury, diagnosis, and treatments you’ve had or will need   
  • Copies of your medical bills and check stubs 
  • Letters from the insurance companies 

If you have trouble accessing the police report or other records, that’s okay. If we take your case, our team can help you collect these documents.  

You should also bring a list of any questions you might have. That way, you can make the most out of your consultation and get the information you need. 

Car Accidents

What Should I Do if I’ve Been in an Accident?
  1. Check for serious injuries and call emergency medical care. 
  2. Call the police or other proper authorities to report the accident. 
  3. Take pictures of injuries, property damage, and the surrounding scene. Include any roadway or weather conditions that contributed to the accident.  
  4. Get the name and contact information of anyone else involved in the accident. If you are in a motor vehicle accident and the other driver is driving for work, get their credentials.  
  5. Record the names, contact information, and statements from any available witnesses. 
  6. Do not sign anything other than police documentation. 
  7. Do not provide a statement about the accident and don’t indicate you were at fault in any way.  
  8. Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as medical treatment is secured and it’s safe to make a phone call.  
  9. Keep records of important materials and details, such as medical expenses and your physical pain. 
What if I Don’t Think I Was Injured in My Accident?

If you have been in an accident, you should always get a medical evaluation, even if you do not think you suffered an injury. 

In many of the minor car accidents we handle at our law firm, injuries have delayed or mild symptoms. If these injuries go untreated, they can lead to further complications or more severe damage. 

As well as possibly leading to more serious injuries, failing to get medical treatment can result in your injury being excluded from your lawsuit. 

Do I Need to Call My Insurance Company After a Car Accident?

Yes. Even though Georgia is an at-fault state (where the at-fault party and their insurance company are responsible for the costs), you should report the car accident to your auto insurer as some of your policy coverage might apply. They will then contact the other party’s insurance company to begin the claim against them. 

Commercial Vehicle and Truck Accidents

Who Is Financially Responsible in a Semi-Truck Accident?

Personal injury refers to legal cases that involve someone who was injured physically, mentally, or emotionally. This can also include property damage. You can demand compensation for these losses, either through a settlement or a jury award.

You might have a personal injury claim if someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused your injuries. For example, if you are injured in a car accident because another driver ran a red light, you likely have a personal injury case.

Typical personal injury cases arise from:

  • Car accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Workers’ compensation cases
  • Premises liability or slip and fall accidents
  • Product liability (defective products)
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Wrongful death claims
Do Truck Drivers Have to Follow Different Traffic Laws?

Yes. Because of the massive responsibility of driving a semi-truck, federal and state laws regulate the following for commercial trucks: 

  • Hours driven without breaks 
  • Length of driving breaks 
  • Driver health  
  • Cargo loading 
  • Vehicle weight 
  • Drug use and testing 
  • Maintenance schedules 

Violating any of these guidelines can mean a larger penalty for the defendant and a larger settlement for you. 

What if the Truck Driver Was a Private Contractor?

You may still be eligible for compensation, even if an independent contractor caused your truck accident. 

However, this might mean that instead of filing a lawsuit against the trucking company, you’ll need to file a claim with the driver’s liability insurance company. Issues involving truck accident liability can become complicated in situations like this. To protect your rights, it’s best to consult with a skilled big rig accident attorney. 

Wrongful Deaths

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

If an individual is killed because of wrongful conduct, the family of the victim and other beneficiaries may be able to file a wrongful death action against the person or entity responsible for the incident. 

The actions that cause injury resulting in death can be intentional or unintentional. For example, a blow to the head during an argument which results in the death of the person is an intentional action. Yet a driver who unintentionally causes the death of another person in an accident can still be sued for negligence.  

A wrongful death action is separate and different from criminal charges, like murder. Neither of these two proceedings affects or controls the other. This only means that the defendant acquitted of murder can still be sued by the victim’s family in a civil action for wrongful death. 

What Can I Be Compensated for in a Wrongful Death Case?

The damages in a wrongful death case are similar to those in a personal injury case, with a few additions.  

Like a personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim can seek compensatory damages for financial costs and emotional pain. The difference is that the person may have endured all the difficulties of a personal injury before their death. Then the survivors endured another kind of cost and pain.  

There are different categories of losses and potential compensation in a wrongful death claim: 

  • The pain and suffering of the deceased person before he or she passed away. This is also called a survival claim. 
  • It also includes medical costs where the deceased victim has spent because of the injury before death. 
  • The funeral as well as the burial costs. 
  • The loss of income of the deceased person. 
  • The loss of inheritance because of early death. 
  • The average value of the services that the decedent could have provided. 
  • The loss of love and companionship to spouse and children 

Punitive damages may be awarded to survivors in a wrongful death case if the defendant's actions are proven reckless. Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party and discourage their behavior in the future, rather than compensate the family of the deceased.  

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death laws vary from state to state. In Georgia, the following family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit: 

  • The surviving spouse 
  • The victim’s surviving children 
  • The victim’s parents 
  • Their estate’s personal representative 

Other loved ones, like grandparents, siblings, long-time partners, or close friends, typically cannot file a wrongful death claim in Georgia.  

Motorcycle Accidents

What if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet in a Motorcycle Accident?

Personal injury refers to legal cases that involve someone who was injured physically, mentally, or emotionally. This can also include property damage. You can demand compensation for these losses, either through a settlement or a jury award.

You might have a personal injury claim if someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused your injuries. For example, if you are injured in a car accident because another driver ran a red light, you likely have a personal injury case.

Typical personal injury cases arise from:

  • Car accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Workers’ compensation cases
  • Premises liability or slip and fall accidents
  • Product liability (defective products)
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Wrongful death claims

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Contact The Brown Firm

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You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild. We serve all of Georgia and South Carolina from four conveniently located offices in Savannah, Atlanta, Athens, and Okatie.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (912) 324-2498 or completing our simple online form.

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If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way. We serve Savannah, Atlanta, all of Georgia, and South Carolina.

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