Personal Injury FAQ

Get answers to your personal injury claim and litigation questions from Schneider Williamson

Table of Contents

General Questions

Do I need an attorney for a personal injury claim?

While you can file a car accident claim on your own, having an experienced personal injury attorney can significantly improve your chances of securing a fair settlement. Personal injury attorneys have the expertise to navigate complex legal processes and negotiate with insurance companies.
Many personal injury attorneys, including Schneider Williamson, work on a contingency fee basis. This means we only get paid if you win your case. Fees are typically a percentage of the settlement amount, which makes legal representation accessible to those who need it.
Each case is unique, and settlement amounts vary widely. They depend on factors that include the severity of the injury, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the at-fault party’s degree of liability.
The duration of a personal injury claim varies depending on its complexity, but many cases are resolved within months. More complex cases or those that go to court may take longer, sometimes even several years.

Car Accidents

Can I receive compensation for future medical expenses and ongoing care?

Yes. In car accident cases involving catastrophic injuries, we work to ensure that your compensation covers not only current medical expenses but also the anticipated costs of future treatment and care.

Catastrophic Injuries

What types of catastrophic injury cases can I file a claim for?

Some examples of our catastrophic injury cases include:

  • Brain and spinal injuries
  • Paralysis, permanent disabilities, and disfigurement
  • Injuries or illnesses caused by dangerous drugs or faulty medical products
  • Multiple fractures or amputation

Components of catastrophic injury claims that can impact compensation include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Medical bills
  • Future medical needs
  • Physical limitations
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning potential
  • Impact on quality of life
  • Effects on relationships
  • Disfigurement


The Schneider Williamson team is dedicated to thoroughly investigating all of these factors to ensure the best chance at recovering maximum compensation on your behalf.

Negligent Security

What are some examples of inadequate or negligent security cases?

Negligent security claims typically argue that a property owner or business failed to implement proper security measures, allowing a criminal act to occur.

Some common instances of inadequate security are:

  • Not installing or maintaining proper lighting
  • Ignoring broken locks, doors, gates, or fencing
  • Failing to install surveillance cameras on the premises
  • Ignoring security warnings, alerts, or threats
  • Neglecting to enhance security measures despite repeated crimes
  • Failing to alert visitors about potential dangers

Landowners aren’t liable for every crime committed on their property. Liability arises when it can be proven that the property owner, business, or event sponsor didn’t exercise reasonable care.

In a negligent security case, the victim needs to show that:

  • They were an authorized tenant, customer, or guest on the premises
  • The defendant had a legal or contractual duty to maintain a reasonably safe environment
  • The defendant’s negligence led to a lack of protection from foreseeable criminal activities
  • Adequate security measures from the defendant could have prevented the crime
  • The victim suffered harm due to the negligence inflicted by a third party

Liability for inadequate or negligent security extends to various settings, including:

  • Shopping centers
  • Hotels and motels
  • Apartment complexes
  • College campuses
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Restaurants
  • Concert venues
  • Sports stadiums
  • Office buildings
  • MARTA stations

Premises Liability

What are common types of premises liability accidents?

Unsafe premises can result in a range of accidents, including:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Accidental drowning in public pools
  • Dog attacks and bites
  • Elevator accidents
  • Falling merchandise in stores

Injuries from unsafe premises accidents can range from minor to life-threatening, including:

  • Cuts, bruises, lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Torn ligaments
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Contusions
  • Animal bites
  • Drowning
  • Burns
  • Food poisoning


If your injuries or suffering resulted from a property owner’s negligence, you have the right to seek rightful compensation.

Your premises liability attorney will take the following steps during the claims process:

  1. Your Case: Expert premise liability evaluation helps determine the best approach, considering your unique situation.
  2. Identify Liable Parties: Your lawyer will identify responsible parties, ensuring all aspects are considered.
  3. Interview Witnesses: Gathering witness accounts strengthens your claim, enhancing its credibility.
  4. Value Your Claim: Accurate valuation ensures you receive rightful compensation for losses.
  5. Engage Experts: Scene reconstruction and engineering professionals may be involved to illustrate negligence.
  6. Negotiate Settlements: Your personal injury attorney will skillfully negotiate, safeguarding your interests during settlement discussions.
  7. File Lawsuits and Observe Deadlines: A dedicated lawyer guides you through the litigation process, ensuring all legal procedures are followed.

Product Liability

How is liability established in a defective product claim?

Products can be defective in many ways, which is why each product liability claim requires individual examination. In our experience, product liability occurs in three primary categories: manufacturing defects, design defects, and warning defects.

Manufacturing Defects
Manufacturing defects stem from errors during the manufacturing process. For instance, if inferior rubber is used in car tire production or if a plastic toy’s edges are dangerously sharp for children, these products deviate from designated specifications established during the design phase.

Design Defects
These defects arise from fundamental flaws in a product’s design. Demonstrating that the consumer’s injuries could have been prevented with a different product design is crucial for proving this type of defect.

Warning Defects
Warning defects occur when a manufacturer neglects to include appropriate warning labels concerning potential product hazards. It must be proven that the manufacturer was aware or should have been aware of the potential dangers associated with the product to establish this defect.

Injuries that victims of defective products can suffer include, but are not limited to:

  • Burns
  • Lacerations
  • Choking
  • Electrocution
  • Poisoning

Slip & Fall

What should I do after a slip-and-fall accident?

Certain actions can strengthen your case if you plan to file a slip-and-fall accident claim. These include obtaining an accident report, photographing the accident scene and your injuries, and maintaining a journal detailing the impact of the injury on your daily life.

Conversely, you should avoid giving statements to insurance companies before consulting with your Atlanta slip-and-fall lawyer. You should also avoid signing any medical releases for insurance companies or discussing the accident with anyone other than your personal injury attorney.

Insurance adjusters are likely to contact you after a personal injury claim. While they may claim to have your best interests at heart, it’s crucial to remember that their priority is their bottom line.

Avoid providing accident statements to insurance adjusters, and don’t sign medical releases that could expose your entire medical history. Always refer them to your attorney.

It’s common for the at-fault party to attempt to shift blame in slip-and-fall accident cases. They might contend that you, the victim, bear some or all responsibility for the accident.

In Georgia, slip-and-fall cases follow a system of comparative negligence. This system determines how damages can be recovered based on the degree of responsibility attributed to each party. You can file a claim if you’re deemed less than 50% responsible for the accident. Your damages may be reduced proportionally to your level of responsibility.

Collaborating closely with your attorneys will help you determine how comparative negligence factors into your case.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

What is the difference between a Traumatic Brain Injury and a concussion?

Unlike concussions, which can heal quickly, traumatic brain injuries are often more severe and long-lasting. Falls, motor vehicle accidents, assaults, and other forms of trauma can all trigger traumatic brain injuries. When negligence is the root cause of such incidents, you have the potential to pursue personal injury claims against those at fault.

Brain injuries often necessitate extended hospital stays and long-term care, incurring substantial expenses. Additional potential medical costs related to a TBI personal injury claim encompass ongoing rehabilitation, medical assistive devices, and cognitive therapies.

TBI can significantly impede someone’s ability to work, attend school, or engage with others. While some TBIs lead to mild, recoverable symptoms, others may result in irreversible cognitive decline. In extreme cases, you might require assistance with daily activities or long-term care, leading to emotional distress, significant healthcare costs, and substantial income loss.

If returning to work becomes impossible, the financial impact can devastate you and your family. Children may lose vital parental guidance, and spouses might experience relationship strain due to the changes induced by traumatic brain injuries. Reduced quality of life can also contribute to damages, particularly if lifestyle adjustments are significant.

Consulting a local attorney after experiencing a traumatic brain injury is prudent.

All lawsuits have specific deadlines for filing dictated by state law. While these statutes of limitations vary across states, injury victims typically have a two-year window, under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, from the date of their accidents to file personal injury claims. Disregarding this limitation could result in the dismissal of your claim.

Though two years might seem ample time, stabilizing and reaching maximum medical improvement after a TBI can take considerable time. Prematurely settling a claim might lead to insufficient compensation.

Tractor-Trailer Accidents

Are there differences between truck accidents and car accidents?

Yes. Commercial trucks often weigh more than 80,000 lbs. and pose distinct challenges compared to regular passenger vehicles.

Given commercial trucks’ massive size and weight, collisions result in substantial property damage. Injuries sustained from truck accidents are typically more severe, necessitating extensive medical attention and recovery periods. Fractures, broken bones, and even life-threatening injuries are more common.

Truck drivers carry insurance policies substantially greater than those for regular car accidents, often worth millions. That said, their insurance providers are resourceful in evading liability and might offer settlements well below fair value. In these cases, an experienced truck accident lawyer will identify these tactics and negotiate effectively on your behalf.

Yes. Trucking companies and drivers must adhere to regulations outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to ensure road safety. Regulations cover various aspects, including service hours, documentation, maintenance, and hazardous materials transportation. Familiarity with these regulations is essential for building a solid case.

For example, while regulations limit truck drivers to 10 hours of driving daily, financial pressures can lead to violations of these rules, endangering other motorists.

In the aftermath of an accident, maintaining your composure is critical. Activate your hazard lights and, if it’s safe, remain in your vehicle while contacting emergency services.

Allow EMTs and paramedics to evaluate your condition, even if your injuries seem minor. You and any passengers should receive a comprehensive medical assessment.

Do not leave the accident scene until you’ve gathered all the necessary information to support a potential case. Collect names and contact details of everyone involved, including eyewitnesses.

Note the names and badge numbers of responding police officers, and take photographs from various angles to document the accident scene, including points of impact and any pertinent details.

Avoid inadvertently admitting fault by using seemingly innocuous phrases like “sorry.” Reserve discussions about the accident’s details for the police officer and your insurance agent. You are not obligated to speak with the truck driver’s insurance agents.

Wrongful Death

What factors are considered in a wrongful death case?

Wrongful death is when a person loses their life due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, organization, or entity. Several key factors come into play to establish a strong case, such as:

  • Establishing Negligence or Malice: The defendant’s negligence or malicious intent must be evident.
  • Identifying Negligence or Similar Circumstances: Cases involving criminal behavior, medical malpractice, inadequate supervision, exposure to hazards, and more can be considered for a wrongful death claim.
  • Addressing Financial Strain: The loss should result in financial hardship for the surviving family members.

Family members pursuing wrongful death claims are eligible for various forms of compensation, such as:

  • Lost wages and employment benefits
  • Medical expenses and hospital stays
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of property
  • Loss of companionship
  • Pain, suffering, emotional distress
  • Punitive damages for gross negligence

The initial phase of a wrongful death case centers on thorough research and investigation.

You can help to streamline this process by assembling all relevant documents, such as accident reports, medical records, insurance documentation, and more. Even before retaining an attorney, begin accumulating and organizing this data.

In the second phase, you and your attorney will explore the potential for a settlement. While settlements expedite financial recovery, their amounts may be lower than trial outcomes. Your attorney should provide guidance and help you make informed decisions about settlement options.

Restore Your Quality Of Life After A Car Accident

Schneider Williamson takes your personal injury personally.