If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you’re probably facing medical costs, time away from work, and maybe even permanent changes to your way of life. You shouldn’t face these costs alone when someone else’s reckless actions are to blame. A personal injury claim could help hold the right parties accountable.
You might think the parties involved in your claim or lawsuit are apparent, but there may be more than you think. With the help of a local personal injury attorney, you can identify all the parties at fault and secure everything you’re entitled to by law. Contact The Champion Firm for a 100% free consultation about who could be held accountable for your car accident injuries and how you can hold them responsible.
Injury Claims & Lawsuits: The Parties Involved
Under Georgia’s personal injury laws, you can pursue compensation if you were the victim of an accident caused by someone’s negligence. In a personal injury case, there will be a plaintiff or claimant, a defendant, and an insurance company.
We can help you understand what that means and who can be held accountable for your losses.
If you are filing an insurance claim against an at-fault party for an accident they caused, you are the claimant. You are pursuing compensation for the losses and injuries their actions caused. The claimant can also be called a plaintiff. Some cases might have more than one plaintiff involved.
The defendant is the person or persons you’re bringing your insurance claim against. You want them to pay for the damages they caused. There could be more than one defendant, depending on the details of your case.
For instance, if a drunk driver hits you, you could sue them and the restaurant that overserved them for damages. A personal injury attorney can help identify anyone who might share liability for your injuries.
The Insurance Company
Georgia is an at-fault state. That means you’ll file a claim with the defendant’s insurance company to secure compensation for your losses. The insurance company will have an adjuster investigate your case. They’ll determine fault, evaluate their policyholder’s coverage, and offer a settlement.
Insurance companies typically offer the lowest legal amount to the plaintiff. Consult with your lawyer before answering the insurance adjuster’s questions. You shouldn’t accept an offer without making sure the offer is enough to cover your losses.
Identifying the Liable Parties
Knowing who the defendants are in your case is critical. In some instances, the defendant will be obvious. Others may be more difficult to discern. But when you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer, you stand a better chance at holding the appropriate party liable for your damages.
For instance, if a drunk driver hits you, they caused your injuries. You can file a claim against them. But you could also file a claim against a bar or restaurant that served them too much alcohol when they knew the defendant was impaired and was going to drive.
The type of personal injury case you’re pursuing will determine who you take legal action against. If you were hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, you could sue the property owner for unsafe conditions. You might also be able to sue employees if you can show they neglected to prevent your accident. If a defective product hurts you, you could pursue compensation from the manufacturer or distributor.
Discuss the details of your accident with a Georgia personal injury lawyer to ensure you can identify the liable party to recover compensation. Once you know who to file a claim against, you can work with your attorney to get started.
Compensation if You Share Liability
Some accidents aren’t 100% the fault of someone else. If you weren’t taking proper precautions when you were hurt or contributed to your accident, the court might find you partially at fault for your losses.
Georgia operates under a comparative negligence law, which means any compensation you’re awarded for your losses could be reduced if you share fault. You can pursue compensation for any damages where you share less than 50% of the blame. Your payout will be reduced proportionately by the amount of your fault.
So, if a drunk driver hits you, it’s reasonable they share most of the fault. But if you were driving while using your cell phone before the crash, the court could rule you were partially to blame for your accident. If you received $1 million from the defendant when you were 20% at fault, you’d only receive $800,000.
Proving Your Case Against the Liable Parties
In personal injury cases, the standard of proof is known as a “preponderance of the evidence.” That means your version of events must be shown to be more likely true than not. You’ll need proof to show the judge or jury that the defendant caused your injuries.
Your lawyer can investigate your accident to find the evidence you need to win a settlement. Useful evidence includes:
- Your testimony
- Eyewitness statements
- Evidence introduced by the defense, found in the discovery phase
- Accident reports
- Expert witnesses
- Video or photographic evidence
- Medical bills
- Statements from your family
Your attorney should use the evidence to build a solid case that shows the defendant was at fault for your accident and that your injuries have significantly impacted your life. You need a case with as few holes as possible to win a settlement.
Contact The Champion Firm Now
If you have questions about who may be liable for your injuries or need direction to start your case, we can help. The Champion Firm’s dedicated Georgia personal injury attorneys will guide you through the legal process of establishing fault and liability. Then, we’ll help secure maximum compensation. Contact us today for a no-cost, risk-free consultation.
Call 404-498-4314 or contact us online to get started.