Personal injury is the wrongful injury of one person caused by the fault of another. A Georgia personal injury claim can seek compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and potentially punitive damages to punish the offender. An experienced Clayton County personal injury attorney can help victims through the personal injury claims process. Contact the Law Office of Shane Smith to have your case reviewed.
Step One: Reviewing the Case
All cases are unique in their own way though Georgia personal injury claims follow some common steps. The first step is to secure the services of an experienced Clayton County personal injury attorney.
The attorneys at the Law Office of Shane Smith will request the details of the incident and the victim's injuries at the free initial consultation and at subsequent meetings. Your legal team will obtain police reports, accident photos, eyewitness statements, medical records, insurance documents and will determine the proper way to proceed.
Step Two: The Filing of Complaint
Upon reviewing the case and determining that there is a legal issue your attorney will file the complaint to commence the lawsuit. Filing a complaint begins the claim and outlines basic case information, including:
- The named parties in the lawsuit;
- The case's legal grounds; and
- The damages sought, also known as the "the prayer for relief".
By filing the complaint the offender (legally, the defendant) is placed on notice about the legal claims against him. There may be multiple filings of a complaint if it is a Georgia personal injury suit against multiple parties or multiple claims against one party.
Once the Georgia personal injury claim has been filed there are unique steps that follow depending on the specifics of the case. Most cases require extensive communication between the Clayton County personal injury attorney and the defendant's attorney. Additional communication may take place with an insurance company's legal representatives.
Step Three: Additional Stages in a Georgia Personal Injury Claim
The defendant will be informed of the lawsuit pending against them from a service of process by the court with jurisdiction over the claim. The case will likely follow in the following procedure:
- Answer: The defendant responds to each area of complaint by admitting, denying, or claiming insufficient knowledge to admit or deny;
- Counterclaim: The defendant may includes claims against the plaintiff (the source of the original lawsuit) arising from the same incident;
- Reply to counterclaim: Similar to the answer, this addresses the issues that were cited in the counterclaim by admitting, denying or claiming insufficient knowledge to admit or deny;
- Cross-claim: This is common in multi-car accidents, such as if when the original plaintiff sues multiple drivers for the same accident (for example, if a suit is filed against Alice and Bob, a cross-claim may be filed by Bob against Alice for injuries sustained in the accident); and
- Answer to cross-claim: The defendant named in the cross-claim (in the example, Alice) will respond to the complaints issued in a cross-claim.
Hiring an experienced Clayton County personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Shane Smith allows the victim to focus on his recovery while his legal team handles all paperwork, legal procedures and deadlines. This will enable a victim to have the best chance at reasonable compensation for his injuries.
Contacting a Clayton County Personal Injury Attorney
An experienced Clayton County personal injury attorney will pursue a case to get fair compensation for the victim. Call Shane Smith Law at (980) 246-2656 to schedule a free legal consultation.