Getting a personal injury due to the negligence of someone else is devastating. Not only can it cause severe physical pain, but it can cause emotional pain as well. Whether the injury is temporary or permanent, you may qualify to get compensated for your injury. The process can be long and complicated, which is why it is crucial to hire a personal injury attorney in Macon, GA, like Reynolds, Horne & Survant. We have many years of experience in helping clients file for and get the personal injury compensation they deserve. Read on to learn more about personal injuries and how you can go about receiving compensation.
What Qualifies as Personal Injury and Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney in Macon, GA
A personal injury is when someone is hurt due to the negligence of others. This could be a physical injury, an emotional injury, or both. Common types of physical injuries include slipping and falling, being in a car accident, assault, battery, medical malpractice, and product liability. Personal injuries can be devastating. Between high medical expenses and losing wages due to time off from work, it can be a very stressful time. Not to mention the emotional component that can exist if this is a permanent injury. As your personal liability attorney, we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. We have experience in personal injury lawsuits and can help you through the process.
Compensation for Damages
Compensation for damages can look different depending on the situation. The compensation could be in the form of lost wages, past/future medical bill compensation, or damages paid for emotional suffering. In addition, spouses of the injured party can sometimes qualify for compensation as well. This is known as “loss of consortium damages.” It is designed to help compensate the spouse for the death or loss of service/companionship of their partner. Two other types of damages can be awarded, including hedonic damages and punitive damages. Hedonic damages are based on the plaintiff’s loss of enjoyment of activities that they were once able to do but can no longer participate in due to the injury. Punitive damages can be awarded when the defendant acted in an especially negligent way. In this case, the defendant would owe damages beyond the original determined amount.
Duties of the Plaintiff and How a Personal Injury Attorney in Macon, GA Can Help
In order to create a case to receive personal injury compensation, there are certain things the plaintiff must do. First, they must take care of all medical needs. For example, if the plaintiff is in a car accident and they deny needing medical care at the scene, this can hurt their case even if they seek medical care later on. Once the plaintiff is receiving medical care for their injuries, it is important that they stick to their appointment schedule. Even one missed PT appointment can hurt your case to receive compensation. It is also the duty of the plaintiff to collect as much evidence as possible. Here are some pictures that should be taken in various personal injury cases that can serve as evidence:
- The scene of a car accident
- An icy path leading up to a restaurant where you broke your leg
- Injuries caused by assault
- The product that caused your injury
In addition to pictures, it is important to save all medical documents and bring them to your personal injury attorney. Here are some examples of important medical documents that can help your case:
- Medical report from the ER
- Summaries of weekly PT appointments
- Any test results (ex: x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, etc.)
- All medical bills
- Proof of therapy appointments
Last but not least, if you are out of work due to an injury, bring your lawyer past paystubs from before you were injured. This can help serve as evidence as to how much compensation is needed to cover the loss in wages. This may seem like a lot to remember, but fortunately, your attorney will walk you through the entire process. They will advise you about what documents are needed and how they can help.
The key to winning a personal injury case is proving that the other party was negligent and that their negligence was the reason for the injury. Negligence means that a normal person in the same situation would have understood that the actions taken could lead to harm in others. Here are some examples of negligence:
- Driving 30 MPH above the speed limit, causing an accident
- Running a red light
- Failing to treat icy sidewalks outside of a business
- Walking a dog who bites without a leash
The goal of a personal injury attorney in Macon, GA, like Reynolds, Horne & Survant is to prove negligence in order for the plaintiff to receive compensation. Sometimes strict liability applies, which means liability can be established regardless of who is at fault. This is more common in product liability cases.
Potential Defenses Against the Plaintiff
As a plaintiff, it is not a sure thing that you will receive compensation from a personal liability case. Here are some examples of defenses that can be made:
- Negligence did not occur; it was an accident. For example, it snows overnight, and you go on an early morning walk at 5 AM and slip on ice outside of your neighbor’s house. It is unreasonable to think someone would be up shoveling snow before 5 AM. This is simply an accident, not negligence.
- The plaintiff knowingly took risks. For example, during a pickup game of basketball after work, you twist your ankle, causing a trip to the ER and a week out of work. Any reasonable person would know the “risks” associated with basketball, thus making a personal injury case would be difficult.
- The plaintiff’s own behavior contributed to the accident. For example, someone pulled out in front of you, causing an accident, but you were texting at the same time. Even if it was the other driver’s fault, you contributed to negligence by taking your eyes off the road.
These are just a few of the defenses plaintiffs need to be prepared for when going to court.
Handling a personal injury lawsuit alone is difficult, if not impossible. It is crucial that you immediately hire a personal injury attorney in Macon, GA, to help you with your case. At Reynolds, Horne & Survant, we will help you every step of the way throughout your personal injury case. We have experience making strong cases to help plaintiffs receive the compensation they deserve. For more information about the personal injury services we provide, contact Reynolds, Horne & Survant today.