Understanding how the court system works in Georgia can be challenging for most people. For example, if you have been injured by the negligence of another, you might be wondering which Georgia court will handle your personal injury case.
In today’s post, we’ll give a brief overview of the civil law court system to help you figure out where your case might end up after it is filed and if it doesn’t settle.
Civil, not Criminal.
Before we get started, however, it is important to be clear about the fact that we are looking only at where civil law cases go.
We are not concerned with criminal law cases in this post.
Not all Cases End Up in Court.
It is equally important to understand that not all cases will end up in the court system. Many personal injury cases settle with insurance companies outside of court.
In Georgia, the law allows you 2 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim.
If you file too late, your case will be dismissed.
If you file too early, however, you won’t know the full extent of your damages.
When you file, then, depends on the facts of your case. So always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to find out what is the right time for you to file your case.
Because Georgia is an “at-fault” state, in most car accident cases, injured plaintiffs are expected to turn first to the at-fault party’s insurance company, not the courts, for compensation.
It is only when the parties are unable to reach a satisfactory settlement, for example, (there are other reasons of course) that a lawsuit is filed.
Where in the Court (System) are You?
Where your case will be in the Georgia court system depends on a number of things, but first is the amount of your damages.
Cases that are less than $15,000, are heard by a magistrate judge. There are no civil jury trials, and the parties represent themselves.
Civil cases worth more than $15,000 are heard in superior court.
There are 350 municipal courts in Georgia, and two appellate courts: the Court of Appeals and the state Supreme Court (the highest court in the state). It is most likely that you will file your action in the county where the accident occurred. For example, if the accident occurred in Atlanta, your case will be heard by the State Court of Fulton County or by the Superior Court of Fulton County.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Cumming, Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in several counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.