What Damages Do I Pursue?
As Cumming, Georgia personal injury attorneys, many of our clients come to our office with questions about what they can be compensated for after being injured by the negligence of another. Below is a list of damages you can seek compensation for in Georgia after you have been injured. It is important to remember that each category is only available to an injury victim to the extent they actually have those losses as a result of the incident which caused injuries:
All medical expenses incurred as a result of injuries sustained in the incident are fully recoverable. It is important to note here that regardless of whether or not you have medical insurance paying your medical bills, in a personal injury claim you have the right to reimbursement of the full amount of your medical expenses charged by each hospital or doctor. Not what your health insurance company paid.
For example, if you were taken to the emergency room and the hospital charged your health insurance company $5,000.00 for the visit and your health insurance company covered the visit by paying $2,000.00; you have a right to reimbursement of $5,000.00 from the at-fault party in your personal injury claim.
Lost Wages/Lost Profits:
If due to your injuries you lost any time at work, you have the right to the full value of this time. If you work for someone else, whether hourly or salary, the calculation of your losses here are simple. Even if you used sick time or vacation time and therefore were paid for your missed hours or days, you still have a right to compensation for having to use those benefits.
If you are self-employed, the calculation if more difficult but nonetheless compensable. Here it is lost profits not wages that you are seeking reimbursement for. For example, if you were unable to run your business for several months after the accident, and therefore, had no revenue coming in or had to turn down a new contract, you would have the right to reimbursement of those lost profits (revenue minus what it would have cost to obtain the revenue).
Pain and Suffering:
If you are injured, you no doubt have suffered pain from your injuries. Sometimes the pain only lasts a few weeks or months and in others, the pain lasts a lifetime. No matter how long you suffered, you have a right to compensation for having to suffer through pain and other limitations caused by your injuries.
This category of damages is a catch all category representing compensation not only for the physical pain and suffering you endured by how your injuries affected your daily life. It is a category that is the most difficult to figure out what amount is reasonable to compensate one for. Ultimately, only a jury can tell you what amount is right.
Keep in mind that this category covers three potential time periods of pain and suffering. It covers Past; Present and any Future pain and suffering experienced or to be experienced by you as a result of your injuries.
This category of damages is not available in every personal injury claim. Punitive damages are only allowed in what we call intentional tort cases such as drunk driving accidents, crimes or other injury cases where the defendant’s conduct is so egregious it ought to be punished more severely.
Much like pain and suffering damages, punitive damages are hard to put a number on. A jury ultimately is the only one that can tell you what your punitive damages claim is worth.