Car accidents are expensive. Many people hope to return quickly to work, but the reality is that many injuries require months of rest and rehabilitation. In addition to lost income, many of our clients have mammoth medical bills that they have no way of paying.
Fortunately, Georgia allows injured victims to seek compensation in the form of money damages. At MG Law, we strive to obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible, and we will do everything possible to ease the process for you. Below, our accident lawyer reviews the types of damages you might receive following a wreck.
Compensatory Damages: Special Damages
Special damages are those losses that victims suffer which are economic in nature. In other words, you can easily measure these losses in monetary terms, often because there is a bill or receipt attached.
In Georgia you might receive compensation for:
- Medical care to treat your injuries
- Lost income or lost wages
- Property damage
- Consequential damages, such as the cost of a rental vehicle
The amount of compensatory damages available depends on the facts of your case. For example, if you suffered a serious back injury, you could have missed 10 weeks of work and required painkillers and rehabilitation. We can use your bills or invoices to calculate the total cost to you. If your car needs $10,000 in repairs, then we have the estimate or bill to prove that as well.
In many situations, special damages are not controversial because they can be easily verified. But some disputes might arise. For example, any medical care you receive should relate to the injuries you sustained in the crash and not a pre-existing condition. If you have suffered permanent disabilities, then you might need ongoing care, and a dispute can arise over how much that will cost or even if it is necessary.
Compensatory Damages: General Damages
Georgia also allows car accident victims to receive compensation to make up for other losses that are not financial in nature. For example, most bodily injuries cause pain and inconvenience. You might struggle to sleep at night and miss out on enjoying your favorite hobbies or time with your family.
Many accidents victims suffer psychologically from their injuries. As an example, someone with a bad burn might be wracked with anxiety and fear. They might also feel intense embarrassment to be seen in public due to disfigurement.
There are several types of general damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
What separates general from specific damages is the difficulty of establishing how much money qualifies as “fair” compensation. No two people will value pain, fear, anger, or embarrassment the same. One person might think a facial burn is worth $100,000, while another might only believe it is worth $25,000.
Often, victims can receive a multiple of their special damages, up to 5 times as much. However, everything depends on the specifics of your injury. A facial burn, for example, might be relatively inexpensive to treat. But it could be worth a large amount for emotional distress.
Our lawyers work closely with our clients to document as best as possible the pain and suffering they endure. These techniques can include asking family members to testify on your behalf as well as keeping a journal to document how you feel.
Georgia allows victims to seek punitive damages when the defendant’s conduct is very offensive. Although a victim can receive compensatory damages when the defendant is merely negligent, punitive damages are only available for the following:
- Willful misconduct
- Wanton behavior
- So careless as to be consciously indifferent to the consequences
For example, a motorist might strike you because they backed up without checking over their shoulder. This is mere carelessness. But a person who intentionally hits you or drives into a crowd has exhibited the type of behavior that punitive damages were created to punish or deter.
Punitive damages are only available where the plaintiff has “clear and convincing” evidence that they are warranted. This is a high bar. They are not available in every case, but the lawyers at our firm will review your case and seek them if appropriate.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyers Today
The lawyers at MG Law have decades of combined experience seeking money damages on behalf of our clients. We drive a hard bargain and never simply accept the first offer put on the table by the insurance companies.
Call or send us an online message to schedule a time to meet. Our consultations are no-risk and confidential.