Were you or a loved one injured on a boat and have questions? Check out these 3 boat accident tips, then call our Atlanta lawyer for a free case evaluation.
1) Boat Accident Case Value
When we have clients come to our office who have been injured in a boating accident, one of the things they want to know is what the value of their claim is. Unfortunately, at the beginning of a case, you can’t determine the claim value because the first thing you have to understand is what the extent of the injuries are. The first thing we have to do is get you through medical treatment to know if you’re going to heal fully or if you’re going to be in a situation where this injury is going to impact you for the rest of your life. From there, we have to look at the things that you are eligible to recover under Georgia personal injury law. There are two categories, essentially. The first one is called special damages, which is the value of medical expenses and lost wages. These are relatively easy to determine.
The other category, called non-economic damages, is much more difficult to valuate. It includes things like pain and suffering damages or disruption of life that you are entitled to be compensated for. Because this value is difficult to determine, that is why we often end up in front of juries to determine what that value is, and the ultimate decider is the jury and what they think the value of that claim is.
Another thing you have to take into consideration is the available insurance to compensate someone for an injury. You have, generally, a certain amount of insurance coverage, and that’s going to cap what you are allowed to recover from the person that causes your injuries. You may have a claim that’s worth a lot more than what your liability coverage is, but you might only be able to recover what’s on your insurance. The best thing to do if you have been injured in a boating accident is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
2) Boat Accident Settlement Timeline
When we have clients come to see us about boating accident cases, one of the first things they want to know is how long it’s going to take to resolve their claim. This is hard to determine because the length of time a case may take is very dependent upon several circumstances. Two things that really drive how long a case will take are the significance of the injuries and the amount of insurance coverage available.
When an at-fault party has a relatively small amount of insurance coverage and the injured party has very significant medical expenses, the case can often be resolved in a couple of months. When you have a party that has substantially more insurance coverage and the injuries are less extensive, those are the cases that may be more drawn out because the insurance companies will try to fight it.
In Georgia, a personal injury lawsuit — which includes boat accidents — has to be filed within two years of the date of the incident. Once a lawsuit is filed, the case has to go through a discovery process in which you build the facts that support your case, and that can take a while to do. Boating cases can be very heavily fact-intensive, so a good timeline estimate after you file a lawsuit would be one to three years, depending on the severity of the incident and the injuries.
3) Boat Accident Claim with Minimal Medical Bills
When people come in to see us and they’ve been injured in a boating accident, one of the things they want to know is whether there’s a minimum amount of expenses they need to have incurred for medical treatment in order to sustain a viable personal injury claim. The answer is, no, there’s not. It’s more important to evaluate your case by looking at the injuries, specifically the permanency of the injuries, rather than just the medical expenses.
One of the things that needs to be evaluated is whether you have an injury that’s permanent, such as scarring or deformity. For example, scarring may not have a lot of medical expenses associated with it, but it can often have some extensive value. Conversely, you could have a lot of medical expenses, but have a claim where it’s unclear who is responsible for the incident, and those cases may have no value whatsoever. That’s why it is best to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine how viable your claim is.
Were you or a loved seriously injured while boating in Georgia and have questions about these 3 boat accident tips?
Contact the experienced Atlanta boat accident lawyer at The Gunnels Law Firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation.
Let our experience work for you.
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