When to Bring a Car Accident Case to a Georgia Magistrate Court
Not all car wreck lawsuits end up before a jury. If a plaintiff’s injuries and financial losses are minimal, this is when a person should bring their car accident case to a Georgia magistrate court.
Unlike superior courts, small claims courts are only able to decide on cases that meet specific conditions. The magistrate judge is limited in that they can only hear lawsuits when the plaintiff is requesting $15,000 or less in compensation. Plaintiffs who believe they may require more than $15,000 in compensation should consider filing their suit in superior court. An experienced attorney could help an injured party decide if they should bring their motor vehicle collision claim before a magistrate judge.
Benefits of Bringing a Case Before a Magistrate Court
One of the primary benefits of the magistrate court is that the plaintiff may be able to obtain a resolution to their car accident case much quicker than in the superior court. The process starts with the plaintiff filing a petition in the Gwinnett County magistrate court. The at-fault defendant then has an opportunity to respond to the petition. Then, within a few weeks, the claim is set for a trial before a judge. If the defendant fails to file an answer to the petition, a plaintiff may receive a default judgment against the defendant.
Appealing Decisions in Magistrate Court
If one party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the trial, they may appeal the result to the superior court. Doing so essentially starts the process over, only now all parties may obtain discovery from one another and a jury may hear the case. Appealing a decision made by a magistrate judge may result in additional expenses and delay in obtaining a judgment.
Call a Car Accident Attorney in Georgia to Learn More About Magistrate Court Cases
An experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer could advise injured individuals as to whether they may need more than $15,000 in compensation. This determination can help an individual decide whether it makes sense to file their case in magistrate court. You can learn more about when to bring a car accident case to a Georgia magistrate court by consulting with one of our dedicated attorneys.