After you have been injured in a Georgia car accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, property damage, out-of-pocket expenses, and other real costs you incurred. In some cases, you can also receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering are considered “noneconomic damages” or “general damages.” This means it has nothing to do with the money you lost due to your injury. Instead, pain and suffering damages are intended to compensate you for the mental, emotional, and physical effects the injury may have had on you and your family.
While economic (or special) damages that have to do with real money lost, like medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses, are generally easy to prove with receipts and invoices, general damages like pain and suffering are much more complicated. That’s why it’s crucial to have a Duluth car accident lawyer by your side who will fight for your right to pain and suffering damages.
Give us a call at (770)-822-0900 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
What Is “Pain and Suffering”?
Broadly speaking, “pain and suffering” refers to (1) the physical pain you suffered because of your car accident, such as broken bones or a brain injury, and (2) the mental and emotional suffering that you’re facing because of your accident (such as mood disorders, loss of consortium, and more).
In Georgia, this doesn’t just include immediate pain and suffering. Future discomfort and other long-term effects are also taken into consideration. For example, if you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety over the loss of the use of a limb because of your car accident, you may be able to receive compensation for these long-lasting and/or future issues.
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in Georgia?
Figuring out how much you may be owed in pain and suffering compensation can be extremely difficult. Under Georgia Code Section 9-10-184, your Duluth car accident lawyer can make evidence-based arguments to show how much compensation you should receive. Fortunately, Georgia law assumes that in cases where physical injury is present, pain and suffering will also generally be present.
To calculate pain and suffering damages in Georgia, many insurance companies and lawyers will start with the cost of your medical bills. That figure will be multiplied by a factor of one to five. Determining the exact multiplier can be tricky, so your attorney will often work with doctors, psychologists, and other experts to determine by what factor your bills should be multiplied.
In some cases, this multiplier won’t be used because the outcome may be way too low. For instance, let’s say you have to have your arm amputated because of a car wreck. The immediate medical cost for this procedure may be around $20,000. But even if a multiplier of five is used, $100,000 isn’t enough to cover the anguish and other effects of not having an arm. In these cases, your lawyer will argue for a greater amount of compensation.
When your lawyer is making their arguments, they may ask the court to consider a variety of factors, including:
- Severity of your injuries
- Interference with daily life
- Distress to you and your loved ones
- Disturbance to family life
- Your ability to work
- Movement limitations
- Mental and emotional stress
Any or all these factors may be considered. However, not all of them may be. In some cases, simply proving one element will be enough. The severity of these factors will also play a role. For instance, if you lose an arm due to your car accident, you may be unable to perform daily tasks — not to mention you probably won’t be able to hold gainful employment. In a case like this, you may be entitled to millions of dollars in pain and suffering compensation.
Unlike most other states, Georgia has no limit on general damages. Instead, you have the potential to receive any amount within reason for your pain and suffering.
How Can I Help My Lawyer Get the Compensation I Deserve?
One of the most helpful things you can do to help your Duluth car accident lawyer get the compensation you deserve is to not talk to the insurance company without them being present. The insurance company will do everything they can to pay out the least amount of money possible.
So, they’ll record every conversation and may even send you a settlement offer. That offer may be a lot lower than what you deserve. Before accepting any offer and ending your right to seek higher compensation, speak with an experienced Duluth car accident lawyer.
Second, keep a record of your daily pain levels and difficulties you have in your everyday life. Yes, your records will be subjective, but they will show that you are experiencing pain and are having trouble in your life due to your injuries.
Finally, be aware that the insurance company may hire investigators to determine if you are actually in pain. So, don’t do anything that could damage your case. For example, if you say you’re suffering from back pain, but the insurance company’s investigators see you coming out of a nightclub, they can argue that you aren’t in pain.
Along those lines, you should also avoid posting anything about your case or injuries on social media. Anything you post on social media or say to anyone about your case can be misconstrued in the courtroom and damage your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Keep your thoughts to yourself, at least until after your case is resolved.
Get the Pain and Suffering Compensation You Deserve with the Help of a Duluth Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, your injuries could lead to pain and suffering that follows you for the rest of your life. But with the help of our Duluth car accident attorneys, you can get the full monetary compensation you deserve. We don’t charge a dime unless we win your case, so there’s no upfront cost to hire us.
To speak with an experienced lawyer at Andersen, Tate & Carr, call us at (770)-822-0900 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.