Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury Law
The information on this site should not be construed as legal advice, and does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship. This page is intended only to provide general information.
How do I know whether I have a personal injury case?
Generally speaking, you are entitled to recover from another person or entity if you were injured by that party’s negligence and sustained damages. The best way to find out whether you have a personal injury claim and the potential value of that claim is to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer. When you schedule a free consultation with our firm, we will review the specifics of your case and give you our best assessment as to whether you have a valid claim and what you might expect if you decided to pursue that claim.
How long do I have to file a personal injury case?
The statute of limitations for most personal injury cases in Georgia is two years from the date of the injury. However, there are many exceptions to that rule. It is important to note, however, that the statute of limitations is not the only reason you should act quickly to seek advice from a personal injury lawyer.
In some cases, you are obliged to make a report to another party, such as an insurance company or your employer, very soon after the injury occurs. In cases against governmental agencies, Georgia law may require providing detailed notice of the claim within a short window of time. In addition, the passage of time may make it more difficult to put together a strong case, since witnesses may be difficult to locate, memories may grow fuzzy and physical evidence may be lost. In most cases, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Do all personal injury cases go to court?
Every personal injury case is different. Some are settled without a lawsuit being filed and others after the suit has been filed but before the case goes to court. Some cases aren’t settled at all and proceed to trial, where a jury (or, occasionally, a judge) reaches a decision, called a “verdict”.
Many personal injury law firms attempt to settle every case, but we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. If we can negotiate a settlement that is in your best interests, we are happy to do so. If filing a lawsuit is necessary, then we’ll file fully prepared to build the strongest case possible and argue it before the court. The bottom line is that we make our decisions based on what best serves the client, whether that is a pre-filing settlement, a post-filing settlement or taking the case to trial.
According to a 2009 study published in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, “settlement mill” law firms consistently settle cases for less than full value—about 33% less. The study revealed that such firms often rely on non-attorney staff and juggle hundreds of cases at a time, basing case value on past settlements rather than on a thorough investigation of the case. Our decisions are always based on the specifics of your case, and your case is always in the hands of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
How much does it cost to file a personal injury case?
We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that rather than requiring a retainer and billing for our time, we receive a percentage of the settlement or verdict. We only get paid if we settle the case or obtain a verdict for you.
Of course, there are other costs associated with filing and preparing personal injury case, ranging from court filing fees to hiring expert witnesses and taking depositions. In most cases, our law firm covers these costs while we are negotiating on your behalf and/or preparing your case and we are reimbursed when you receive compensation in the form of a settlement or verdict. Thus, most personal injury victims we work with do not have to make any payment until they receive compensation, either to our attorneys or to the court or others assisting with the case.
What type of personal injury cases do you handle?
Our law firm handles a variety of types of cases, including medical malpractice, sexual abuse claims, car accidents, truck accidents, amusement ride injuries, premises liability cases and wrongful death claims. However, we focus on serious and catastrophic injury cases. These cases require significant personal attention from our attorneys and, if handled correctly, are extremely time-consuming. Therefore, we take on only a small number of carefully selected cases, allowing ourselves time to fully commit to the clients we accept.
We are happy to schedule a free consultation, either in person or by telephone, to discuss your case and determine whether our firm might be the right fit for you and your case.
Another lawyer turned down my personal injury case. Will you take it?
Possibly. Sometimes, if an attorney turns down your personal injury case, it is because the attorney sees a fatal flaw in the case, or recognizes that the value of the case is much lower than the expense of pursuing the case.
Other times, though, it is simply because that attorney doesn’t have the time or the interest or the specific experience to handle your case. In still other cases, attorneys turn down clients because their cases are going to involve a lot of work. Those settlement mill attorneys describe above won’t take on a case if they don’t expect to receive an offer with a limited investment of their time and resources.
We take on cases that many other lawyers are not interested in because they will be labor-intensive or may not be a sure thing, and have obtained verdicts at trial for clients in such cases. Even if another lawyer has declined your case, we may be able to help.
What happens if you accept my personal injury case?
By design, Hoffspiegel Law is a small law firm where you can expect personal attention every step of the way. Attorneys Lloyd and Alex Hoffspiegel work directly with clients, and strive to be accessible. The attorneys make every effort to return calls within 24 hours during the week when not in trial, and usually sooner.
In addition, each member of our team will know your name and be familiar with your case and its status. Our staff will be happy to discuss any aspect of your case that does not require direct input from an attorney, and to relay questions that do or schedule a return call from Lloyd or Alex.
The exact steps we’ll follow will depend on the nature of your case, the opposing party, how long ago the injury occurred and other factors, but we will keep you up to date every step of the way.
What are your qualifications to take my case to trial?
Our attorneys focus in a narrow area of law and consistently hone their skills and knowledge in this area. Lloyd Hoffspiegel has tried approximately 100 cases to jury verdict, and has successfully negotiated settlements for clients in many more. Alex Hoffspiegel has devoted his entire career to date to representing plaintiffs in the types of cases described on this page, serving as second chair to his father in many jury trials.
What kind of results can I expect if I hire your personal injury firm?
Every case is different, and past results do not necessarily guarantee future success. However, our track record of significant settlements and jury verdicts across our practice areas demonstrates our commitment to our clients and our determination to achieve the best result possible for each and every client. For a small sampling of our results, contact our team today.
How can I contact a personal injury lawyer at Hoffspiegel Law?
You can contact our office by telephone at (404) 760-8600, or by filling out our contact form. If you need to visit our offices, you’ll find us on Chamblee Tucker Road just off of both I-85 and I-285 in North Atlanta.