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What Damages Can I Collect For A Car Accident in Georgia?

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Decatur or elsewhere in Georgia, you may be feeling frightened and overwhelmed and wondering how you’ll cover your expenses. 

Also, you may feel bitter about sustaining injuries and property damage because of another driver’s negligence. Fortunately, you can file a car accident claim to recover your financial losses. It’s crucial to work with an experienced car accident lawyer to determine your legal options and what damages you can collect for a car accident in Georgia.

Every car crash is unique and the damages you can recover will vary depending on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the extent of property damage, and whether you were partially to blame for the accident. Because the facts in your accident can determine the damages you can recover, you may not be eligible to recover every type of damage. This is an issue you must discuss with your car accident attorney during your first meeting with him or her.

What are the Damages in a Car Accident in Georgia?

Damages refer to compensation you can recover for injuries and suffering a loss because of another person’s or party’s negligence. According to the Georgia Code section 51-12-4, damages are estimated in monetary form. The at-fault party is liable for compensating the injured person for their losses through these damages.

To seek compensation for damages, you must file an insurance claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. The following are the types of damages you can recover during this process after suffering injuries or property damage in a car crash.

Medical Expenses

If you’re involved in a car accident, your injuries may be minor, including a few cuts and bruises, or severe such as paralysis or some other permanent disability. Also, because some injuries might not show symptoms right away, it’s essential to undergo a thorough medical examination as soon as possible after a car accident.

Medical costs arising from an auto accident might include (but aren’t limited to) any of the following:

  • Cognitive or physical therapy costs;
  • Ambulance costs;
  • Consultation fees with medical professionals;
  • Medical devices, such as crutches or heat pads;
  • Permanent disability;
  • Disfigurement;
  • In-home services.

Further, if your doctor believes you may need additional medical treatment or therapy after your claim is settled, your Decatur car accident attorney will calculate the likely costs. Doctors and other medical professionals can help with these estimates. 

Lost Wages 

Following a motor vehicle accident, injuries might prevent you from returning to work, thus, they may cause you to lose earning capacity. This includes the inability to work because of physical therapy sessions, problems with mobility, hospitalization, or other factors that may hinder you from earning your usual wages. To recover compensation for lost income, you must prove that your injuries have impaired or dismissed your ability to earn money in the future, based on past income. A jury will consider factors, such as age, life expectancy, occupation, skill, and experience when awarding damages for lost wages.

Property and Vehicle Damages

If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s likely you have suffered damage to your car, too. If you need to repair or replace your vehicle, you can recover damages to cover these costs. You can prove vehicle damage using:

  • Photographs of the scene of the accident;
  • Photos of your damaged car;
  • Witness statements;
  • Receipts and bills from the repair shop.

Typically, property damage claims are dealt with separately from personal injury claims, however, you’ll still be seeking compensation from the responsible party’s insurance company. 

You can claim the costs of repair or the fair market value of your vehicle as per estimates from Kelley Blue Book if your car needs to be replaced, or for the diminished vehicle’s value after repairs. 

These damages also include personal property damage. Thus, if any of your personal property was damaged during the crash, you may collect compensation for them, as well.

car accident injuries

Pain and Suffering Damages

Medical costs, lost income, and property damage are all economic damages, which you can easily prove and calculate. However, pain and suffering damages are noneconomic damages, which don’t have a clear dollar figure and are complex to prove and calculate.

Pain and suffering is the mental or physical trauma you experience because of your car accident injuries. The amount of personal injury compensation you can recover for pain and suffering depends on the severity of your physical injuries, and how the injuries affected your quality of life. 

Pain and suffering damages may include costs of therapy issues, such as depression or anxiety, a general loss of enjoyment of life, embarrassment, or disfigurement.

In Georgia, there’s no cap on the damages you can collect for pain and suffering. 

Wrongful Death Damages

If your loved one dies in a motor vehicle crash caused by another party’s negligence, you may recover damages for wrongful death. These might include:

  • Medical costs;
  • Funeral and burial expenses;
  • Loss of consortium or companionship;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life they suffered before their death;
  • Pain and suffering the deceased loved one suffered before his or her death.

A personal injury lawyer at Marks Law Group can help you calculate these damages if you’re eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased loved one.

Can You Sue for Emotional Distress in Georgia?

If you’re a victim of a personal injury caused by another person’s or party’s reckless actions and have suffered these injuries as a result, you’re eligible to seek compensation for your emotional distress. In Georgia, there’s no limit on the amount of damages that you can recover for emotional distress. An experienced Atlanta car accident attorney can help you determine how much your claim may be worth.

How are Damages Calculated After a Car Accident?

Economic damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, are easy to calculate because they’re measured in actual monetary figures and often have tangible evidence, including bills and receipts. However, it’s hard to calculate non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering because each individual will experience their injuries differently. 

Often, insurance adjusters calculate damages by totaling economic damages and then assigning a multiplier--usually a number between 1 and 5--to the case, based on the severity of the crash or injuries. For instance, if your total economic damages are $100,000 and the multiplier assigned to your case is 5 because you suffered leg amputation following the accident, then your total damages will $500,000 ($100,000 x 5 = $500,000)

If a personal injury claim goes to trial, some factors juries use to calculate a dollar figure for non-economic damages include:

  • The extent, type, and severity of injuries;
  • The disruption of daily life and activities;
  • Whether you’ll return to work and at what level;
  • The effect of the injuries on your marriage, family life, and social interactions;
  • The emotional distress suffered, including anguish, stress, grief, pain, and anxiety;
  • The duration you take to recover and whether you need multiple surgeries or rehabilitation;
  • The degree of disability, including scarring and disfigurement;
  • Your doctor’s opinion and assessment of your injuries.

At Marks Law Group, we have been helping auto accident victims recover the compensation they need and deserve for decades, and we can help you too. Working with our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is risk-free because we offer a free initial consultation and we don’t get paid unless we win you money. 

To schedule a no-cost consultation, call us today at (404) 939-1485, or chat with us online to learn how we can help. 

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