Damages Available In Personal Injury Lawsuits And How To Pursue Them
If you are injured by another person’s negligence in Georgia, in a traffic collision or in any other type of accident, what types of damages can you pursue with a personal injury claim in this state?
This is a brief look at the four types of personal injury damages, but if you are actually injured by someone else’s negligence here in Georgia, you’ll need the specific and personalized advice that an experienced Alpharetta personal injury attorney can offer, and you will need that advice at once.
What Are the Four Types of Personal Injury Damages?
What are the four types of damages that you have a right to pursue with a personal injury claim in Georgia?
- medical expenses
- lost wages
- out-of-pocket expenses that are not medical expenses or lost wages
- compensation for personal pain and suffering
Which Medical Expenses Can You Be Compensated for?
It’s not difficult to understand compensation for medical expenses. If you are injured by negligence and you prevail with a personal injury claim, you will be compensated for all of your past, present, and future medical costs arising from your personal injury or injuries.
You’ll want to know, as early as possible after you’ve been injured, what your medical prognosis is for the future. In some cases, your future medical expenses will have to be estimated, and your attorney may consult with medical and financial experts to arrive at that estimate.
Catastrophic injuries can result in complete or partial paralysis, temporary or permanent brain damage, disfigurement, or permanent disability. These medical conditions are tragic, and they may require a lifetime of treatments, surgeries, medical care, and medical expenses.
What Lost Income Can You Be Compensated for?
After an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you are also entitled by law to reimbursement for any lost income – sometimes called “lost profits.”
The exact amount of lost profits that a victim of negligence will be entitled to in Georgia will depend on whether you are a wage-earning employee, a salaried employee, or an independent contractor.
You will be entitled to whatever income you’ve lost because of the time you’ve missed from work due to your personal injury or injuries.
This means that if you take leave, sick time, or vacation time to recover your health – and you are technically being paid – you still have the right to be compensated for those days away from work because you are using those days for recuperation rather than for a vacation.
And like medical expenses, the right to reimbursement for lost income includes any past, present, or future lost income.
What Other Expenses Can You Be Compensated for?
The injured victims of negligence are also entitled to all of their out-of-pocket accident-and-injury-related expenses that are not medical expenses or lost income. Examples of what might be compensated include the cost of:
- transportation to and from medical appointments, including parking
- anything linked to your recovery that you have to purchase retail, such as bandages
- paying someone to help around the house while you’re recovering
- paying someone to care for your children while you’re recovering
It is imperative to keep every bill and every receipt that is generated as a result of your accident and injuries. If you don’t, you will be losing money that you are entitled to. Make copies of everything, and store all of the documents and receipts securely.
How Will You Be Compensated for Pain and Suffering Damages?
Finally, the victims of negligence in this state are entitled to damages for their personal pain and suffering. Pain-and-suffering damages are called “non-economic” damages because they do not reimburse you for actual monetary losses, and because you won’t have any receipts to produce.
While it can be difficult to determine a dollar amount for someone’s pain and suffering damages, Georgia’s judges and personal injury attorneys use standard and accepted formulas to determine what monetary amounts constitute fair and just awards in these cases.
How do these formulas work? In most cases, the economic damages are multiplied by a particular figure to arrive at an estimate for non-economic damages.
What Formula is Used to Determine Pain and Suffering Damages?
If your injuries were minor and you expect to recover quickly, multiply your economic damages by 1.5 to arrive at a rough figure for pain and suffering damages. If you were catastrophically injured and/or permanently disabled, multiply the economic damages by 5.
This can give you a rough idea of how pain and suffering damage amounts are determined in a typical personal injury case, but every case is different, and amounts will vary considerably. After reviewing the case, your attorney may be able to give you a more accurate estimate.
Like your other damages, compensation for your personal pain and suffering is compensation for your past, present, and future pain and suffering. If your doctor says that you will experience pain and suffering for life, you will need the maximum available compensation.
How Will a Personal Injury Lawyer in Ga Help You?
You’ll also need an experienced Alpharetta personal injury attorney who will advocate aggressively for the compensation you deserve and the justice you need.
Those are the four parts of most personal injury claims, but not every claim will include all four parts. If you do not work, for example, you won’t receive any compensation for lost wages. Nevertheless, a good accident attorney will fight hard for every cent that is rightfully yours.
Your attorney will launch an investigation of the accident, review the evidence, question any witnesses, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Most personal injury cases are settled out of court, so most victims of negligence don’t even have to make a court appearance.
Still, you’ll need a lawyer who is an experienced trial attorney as well as a seasoned negotiator. Every case is different, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be offered an acceptable out-of-court settlement.
When Should You Speak to a Georgia Injury Law Firm?
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence in Georgia, you must act at once. The sooner you put your attorney on the case, the more likely you are to win the full amount of compensation that you seek.
Georgia has established a two-year statute of limitations for taking legal action in a personal injury case. Do not wait two years and then try to take action at the last minute. Don’t even wait two weeks. If you’re injured by negligence in Georgia, speak to a personal injury lawyer at once.