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Personal Injury FAQs 

The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC Dec. 20, 2022

None of us is immune to the perils that life throws at us, and every single day innocent people are left injured by accidents that were not their fault. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 7,625 individuals who suffered a serious injury on Georgia’s roadways in 2020. If something like this has happened to you or someone you love, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the guilty party—but there are several things you should know about the process ahead of time. 

For help with your personal injury claim, reach out to The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC in Atlanta, Georgia. Attorney Walter Gabriel is happy to represent clients throughout the surrounding area including Dunwoody, Alexandria, and the rest of Georgia. 

Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Georgia  

Each state sets its own rules for filing personal injury claims, and it’s essential you’re familiar with Georgia’s laws before you get started. Importantly, you should be able to answer the question, “Is Georgia a fault state?” since this will affect your actions. Georgia is a “fault state” which means that the party responsible for causing an accident is also responsible for paying damages. This is in contrast to a “no-fault” state where you would first have to file a claim through your own insurance, regardless of who caused the accident. However, fault can also be shared (known as “comparative fault”). For example, if you were found to be 20% liable for an accident, you may be responsible for 20% of the total damages due. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injuries  

What should I do after an accident?  

The most important thing you can do after an accident is ensure that you get the medical attention you need, even if you think your injuries are only minor. Only a doctor can adequately assess you, and it’s important to start a record of your medical treatment as soon as possible. 

What if I was partially at fault?  

You can still file a claim against the other party if you were partially at fault, but there is a limit to this. If you’re found to be over 50% responsible for the accident, you’ll be barred from seeking any damages. The best way to protect against this possibility is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate the available evidence and ensure you have a solid claim to bring forth. 

Should I talk with the insurance adjuster? 

You can speak with the insurance adjuster, but you are under no obligation to answer all their questions. You can give them general information about yourself such as your name, contact info, and employer, as well as basic information about the accident. Stick to simple who, when, and where statements and avoid any explanation about why it happened or who was to blame. If they ask you to submit a statement, politely tell them that you’ll provide this at a later date after you’ve spoken with your attorney.  

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?  

Georgia law permits claims to be filed up to two years after an accident occurs. While this may seem like a long time, it can go by faster than you think, especially if your injuries get worse over time. 

What if I'm injured and the other party has no insurance?  

While it may be frustrating to find out that the other driver who caused the accident doesn’t have insurance, you still have options. Your first step will be to file a claim with your own provider to have your personal injury protection (PIP) pay out what it can. This coverage is specifically designed for this event, but it may not fully cover your expenses. If this is the case, you can still file a personal injury claim against the driver. 

Do I need to hire a personal injury attorney?  

There is no rule stating you have to work with an attorney when you file a personal injury claim, but most people find it incredibly helpful to have a professional in their corner during this time. In the weeks and months after an accident, you’ll want to focus your time on recovering from your injuries, addressing any property damage, and moving forward after this trauma. The last thing you want to do is go back and forth with a pushy insurance adjuster or work through the stacks of evidence you’ll need to support your claim. A skilled lawyer can take this work off your plate and often help you negotiate a larger settlement than you could have on your own.  

The Experienced Legal Guidance You Need 

If you’re in the Atlanta, Georgia area and would like to speak with an attorney about a recent accident you’ve been in, contact The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC today to schedule a consultation.