If your injury is because of someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to win damages in court. For you to win, you need to prove a few facts in order to ascertain that you are entitled to damages. To file a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, you should do so within two years. For other states, the statute of limitations varies.
For you to sue an individual or company, you need to file your complaint within the state where your injury occurred, or in a state that has some connection to the complaint’s defendant. A summons is a notice given to the defendant to appear in a court of law in order to respond to the complaint. The complaint gives a full account of your claim. A process server or state official personally delivers a summons and complaint to a defendant who should respond in writing to the complaint received. The court then sets a date for first hearing.
Cases of personal injury are usually based upon negligence, strict liability or intentional tort. For negligence, you are required to prove that a defendant failed to fulfill a duty that caused the accident and that the accident injured you. Strict liability means that one can win without having to prove that a defendant was at fault. Intentional tort means showing that the defendant had the intent of harming you when injury was caused; for example when someone punches you.
In a criminal process, one has to prove guilt beyond doubt. In a personal injury case, the standard is preponderance of evidence. This only means that you have to prove that the defendant was 50% and more likely to have been responsible for the injury incurred. These standards explain why most defendants acquitted of criminal crimes; lose personal injury lawsuits based on the same evidence used before.
In a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, you can claim damages for different angles of your injury such as pain and suffering, lost work time, and future and past medical bills. Pain and suffering damages are often time much larger than lost work time and medical bills damages. If you are partially at fault for causing an accident, your damages are likely to be reduced in negligence cases. In some states, you are not liable to receive any form of damages if you are responsible for even 1% of the accident. A majority of personal injury lawsuits are resolved via private settlements instead of courtroom verdicts.
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