Although money is not the only reason injured accident victims file claims, it can be a significant motivator behind taking legal action. A compensatory award for your personal injury could help you and your family move forward after a serious accident with financial stability and comfort. It could be especially important if you suffered an injury as the main earner in your family. Evaluating your personal injury case starts with learning the potential damages recoverable in Georgia.
Most personal injury cases that succeed in achieving compensatory awards make up for the victim’s related medical expenses. These can include all previous and future medical expenses you will have to spend on recovering from your accident-related injuries. Medical recovery may include payments for doctor’s appointments, specialists, x-rays, medical tests, treatments, therapies, rehabilitation, medical devices, prescription medications, live-in care, and disability accommodations. The amount earned in medical recovery will depend on the significance of the injury and how long you will deal with its effects.
If your personal injury put you out of work temporarily or permanently, you may be eligible for lost wage reimbursement. The Georgia civil courts allow accident victims to request financial recovery for all past and future lost income. This can include wages lost from requesting sick leave or unpaid medical leave at work, as well as future lost earnings for additional doctor’s appointments or treatments. It can also include disability-related lost wages.
An injury that causes a temporary disability could end in compensation for your future lost wages. If you will foreseeably have to miss the next three months while you recover, for example, you could request compensation for these missed wages. If you can return to work but only in a limited capacity for less pay, you may qualify for the difference between what you were making and what you make now. A permanent disability that interferes with work could make you eligible for a lifetime of lost wages and benefits.
Property Damage Repairs
Many personal injury accidents also involve damage to the victim’s property. If you were in an auto accident, for example, your vehicle may require expensive repairs, or the crash may have totaled your car, requiring replacement. Other property damages could include your home or personal properties, such as electronics. Calculate the total value of your lost or damaged properties and demand an amount that is fair considering what it will take for repairs or replacement.
Pain and Suffering
Some clients, especially those with serious or catastrophic injuries, may receive pain and suffering damages. This type of award makes up for your intangible losses, such as physical suffering, emotional pain, mental stress, hardship, grief, anguish, psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress, humiliation, lost quality of life, and lost enjoyment of life. The value a judge or jury places on this type of award depends on many factors, including your age, the severity of your injuries, and the extent the accident has impacted your life.
The damages listed above are all compensable, meant to reimburse you for your personal losses. The other damage category is punitive. Punitive damages are an additional award the courts may grant you if they deem the defendant’s actions grossly negligent, wanton, malicious, or fraudulent. If you or your lawyer can prove the defendant’s actions meet the state’s threshold, you may also receive a punitive damage award on top of compensatory relief.
How Much Is Your Case Worth?
You can receive an accurate portrayal of the value of your claim from a Gwinnett County personal injury attorney. An attorney will want to maximize your recovery award, while an insurance company will want to minimize your payout instead. The estimate you get from a free consultation with a lawyer in Georgia may represent the honest value of your claim – the amount you may be able to obtain with legal representation. Trust an attorney to handle your personal injury claim for the best results possible.