Navigating the legal landscape after suffering a traumatic brain injury can be overwhelming. If you’re in Georgia and considering filing a lawsuit, it’s crucial to understand the steps involved. Below, Butler Kahn breaks down the typical phases of a traumatic brain injury lawsuit so that you know what to expect.
Initial Consultation With A Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer
Your first step should be consulting with a qualified personal injury lawyer who has experience with cases involving traumatic brain injuries. During this consultation, the attorney will evaluate your case, discuss the feasibility of filing a lawsuit, and guide you on the next steps. This is a crucial stage as it helps you understand whether you have a valid claim.
Under Georgia law, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, which includes claims for traumatic brain injuries. This is known as the statute of limitations.
Gathering Evidence And Investigating The Claim
Once you’ve engaged a lawyer, the next step is gathering all pertinent evidence. This may include medical records, accident reports, and eyewitness accounts. Your attorney may also work with experts to establish the severity of your brain injury and its long-term implications.
Under Georgia’s comparative fault system, you can recover damages as long as you are less than 50% at fault for the injury. Gathering strong evidence helps in proving this.
Filing The Lawsuit
After accumulating enough evidence, your lawyer will usually file the lawsuit on your behalf. This involves drafting a complaint, which outlines the specifics of your case and what you’re seeking in terms of damages.
The lawsuit must be filed in the appropriate Georgia court, and within the two-year statute of limitations mentioned earlier.
The Discovery Process
Once the lawsuit is filed, both parties will engage in the discovery process. This entails exchanging information, documents, and other evidence relevant to the case. Depositions may also be taken, where witnesses and experts are questioned under oath.
Georgia courts often set timelines for the discovery process, so it’s vital to adhere to these deadlines.
Pre-Trial Motions And Negotiations
Before going to trial, both parties usually file various motions such as requests for summary judgment or motions to dismiss. Additionally, settlement negotiations often occur during this phase. Sometimes, a fair settlement is reached without the need for a trial.
In Georgia, if a settlement is reached, an agreement is entered into, which typically prevents any future lawsuits concerning the same injury.
If a settlement isn’t reached, the case proceeds to trial. Here, both sides present their evidence, and witnesses may be called for examination and cross-examination. Ultimately, the jury or judge will render a verdict.
If you win, Georgia law allows for various types of damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may also be awarded in extreme cases.
Post-Trial And Appeals
After the trial, the losing party has the option to appeal. If an appeal is filed, the case will go through another round of examinations, but in a higher court.
Appeals must be filed within 30 days of the judgment, as per Georgia appellate rules.
From the initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer to potentially going through a trial or reaching a settlement, each phase is crucial and bound by various Georgia laws. Always consult with an attorney for tailored advice.
Atlanta Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, the time to act is now. Your life has been irrevocably changed, and you deserve compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma. At Butler Kahn, we represent victims of such life-altering injuries and fight for the justice they deserve. With offices conveniently located in Atlanta, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, and Roswell, we’re always within reach to provide you with the compassionate and aggressive legal counsel you need. Contact us today at 678-940-1444 or online to schedule a free consultation. Let us be your advocates, because you don’t have to go through this alone.