- September 22, 2017
- Attorney Matt Stoddard
- Vehicle Accidents
We have heard countless questions over the years regarding how to decide if you need an attorney or if you even have a case. We strive to answer every question, from every client, and to fight for their rights. Here are answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions.
Do I have a case?
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you could have a personal injury case. Every situation is different, so there’s no way to know if you have a case without consulting with a qualified personal injury attorney. If you are badly injured or a loved one has died, we are happy to speak with you and investigate the matter at no charge.
What does negligence mean?
When someone fails to take reasonable care when performing a certain task, they are being negligent. The term might apply to drivers, apartment management companies, doctors, store owners, product manufacturers, or any other party that has a responsibility to behave or conduct themselves in a certain way. When someone is careless or reckless, they could be found negligent if their mistakes injured someone else, caused someone else harm, or caused the death of someone else.
How long does a lawsuit take?
Lawsuits can last as short as a few months to as long as a few years – it really depends on several different factors. To ensure your claim goes as quickly as possible, it’s best to consult an attorney and begin the process soon after an injury. After hearing the details of your case, an attorney might be able to give you a clearer picture of your case’s timeframe.
What do your services cost?
A consultation with the Stoddard Law Firm is free. In most circumstances, we earn no fee unless we win your case. If your claim is successful, we take a percentage of the recovered amount.
How much is my case worth?
There’s no way for us to know how much your case is worth until we hear the details of your case. Be wary of any lawyer who gives you an amount without first evaluating your case. After evaluating the facts, an attorney should be able to determine how much to seek in damages, i.e., the amount of compensation you are owed for your injuries.
Do I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many wrongful death and personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. However, it is our experience that the most successful cases are built as if they are going to court. Our firm prepares every case to go all the way to trial, even if it is ultimately resolved before the trial starts.
Why is an attorney important in a personal injury case?
Personal injury law can be complex, and filing a successful claim can require a great deal of time, effort and experience. A lawsuit often involves several other parties, including defendants, insurance companies and other attorneys. There are also many procedural rules that must be followed. Having experienced, skilled legal representation maximizes your chances of success.
How do I pick the right attorney?
You’ll want to look for several qualities when choosing who will represent you. Your attorney should meet with you instead of sending an investigator, and he/she should be available throughout the process instead of having you consistently talk to a legal assistant. Your attorney should have a low number of cases so he/she can devote significant time to you and your case. Your attorney should have experience handling cases with facts similar to yours, and your attorney should have a proven track record with similar claims. Your attorney should also be able to devote significant money to your case so that he/she can hire experts, travel the country finding witnesses, and depose whomever is necessary to achieve justice. It’s also important to make sure your attorney is the right fit on a personal level, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
There is a time limit on how long a person has after an injury to begin a lawsuit. This window is called a statute of limitations. For most personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the injury was suffered. However, there are exceptions and subtleties that might change the amount of time you are afforded. Sometimes the period can be as short as 6 months, and other times it can be much longer than two years. Determining the statute of limitations requires a detailed analysis of the facts of your case.
What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?
For your free consultation, bring all relevant documents that you’ve collected regarding your case. If there are police reports, bills or correspondence from insurance companies, you’ll want to bring those items to the consultation so an attorney can learn as much about your case as possible.
If you or a loved one has questions, contact our office so we can talk about your rights to be compensated for injuries caused by the negligence of others, your best options to protect those rights, and how we can help. Call the Stoddard Firm at 470-467-2200 or 678-737-8587 (678-RESULTS) to learn more.