Car accident damages vary by crash. The severity of bodily damage accompanying a car accident may range from minor to extreme – and sometimes death. The financial expenses incurred as a result of an accident also vary with the extent of injuries resulting from the accident.
Thus, the compensation of a car accident victim in Georgia varies accordingly. The size of the victim’s settlement is also subject to the insurance available. Georgia’s laws are quite clear on personal injury cases; the negligent party must compensate their victims for damages – both economic and non-economic.
So it’s no surprise and understandable that one of the first questions car accident victims ask their personal injury attorneys is ‘how much can I expect to receive for my damages?’
To get the answer, you need to consider several factors and hire a car accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA. This article will shed light on how much a car accident victim can expect to receive for their damages.
A Car Accident Lawyer, Atlanta, GA, Explains the Types of Damages to Expect
According to Georgia laws, there are two types of car accident damages a victim can receive: economic and non-economic damages. However, in some cases, the victim may also be awarded punitive damages. These terms are briefly explained below.
Economic damages or ‘specific’ car accident damages can be defined as tangible losses a car accident victim has suffered or will suffer as a result of their accident. They are generally more straightforward and concrete as they can be documented and easily calculated. Economic damages are measurable and can be objectively verified.
Medical expenses are a popular example of economic damages as they make up most of the damages awarded. Examples of medical damages awarded include hospital bills, therapy bills, rehabilitative care, ambulance bills, cost of drugs, etc.
Loss of wages and salary is another typical example of economic damage. Car accidents may put victims out of work for days, months, years, and sometimes permanently. Other examples of economic damage are:
- Lost business opportunities
- Value of services rendered
- Utility bills
- Property damage etc.
It is worthy of note that economic car accident damages may not always apply in car accident cases. Some states like Georgia that uses comparative negligence may reduce or limit the size of monetary damages a car accident victim receives. For example, if a plaintiff was found to be over-speeding shortly before the accident, they can expect to have their awarded economic damages reduced.
Non-economic damages, also called general car accident damages, are intangible losses incurred due to the accident. They are not measurable, implying that they cannot be calculated by summing up documented bills or receipts. Instead, non-economic damages compensate for non-quantifiable losses.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss related to reputation
- Loss of companionship, etc.
General damages are subjective, and they vary across cases. Furthermore, they are quite tricky to calculate and are controlled by strict guidelines determined by each jurisdiction.
Some states only permit non-economic damages based on proof of economic damages. These damages are calculated according to a specified formula in proportion to the monetary damages. For instance, with the multiplier method, your lawyer chooses a number from one to five to multiply the economic damages.
Punitive damages are those meted out by the court in a bid to punish the at-fault party. You can seek punitive damages if there is evidence of gross, willful, and malicious negligence. In Georgia, the maximum amount for punitive damages is $250,000.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Car Accident Damages?
The reality is that there is no fixed amount of compensation for damages incurred as a result of car accidents. However, the size of the settlement awarded to you depends on several factors, as each car accident case is unique.
The next few points explain some of the factors that can affect the size of compensation a car accident victim receives.
The Severity of the Injury
When accessing the car accident damages, one standout is the medical expenses. The extent of the injury generally determines medical bills. This is only logical as an individual with a minor injury, say cuts and bruises, will get less compensation than an individual with a severe injury.
Disability also affects the amount a car accident victim can expect to receive for their damages. The insurance adjusters usually begin by adding up the medical expenses.
This amount is then multiplied by a factor of 1.5 to 3 for minor injuries with full recovery or 5 if it is a long-lasting, serious injury. Lost earnings will then be added to this number. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA, to boost your chances of recovering compensation.
The main property put into consideration, in this case, is your car. If the vehicle were totaled or damaged beyond repair, you’d need a replacement.
The responsibility falls on the at-fault’s party insurance carrier to determine the value of your car and replace it. If the vehicle is still repairable, the insurance company will conduct an auto examination to determine what needs fixing and how much it will cost.
Insurance Coverage of the At-Fault Party
The limit of the at-fault party’s insurance coverage is often one of the essential determinants of a car accident compensation value. This is usually determined by the jurisdiction where the at-fault party’s car is registered, as each state has laws for the type of insurance and minimum coverage required.
Georgia drivers must have liability insurance that meets the minimum limits required by law to drive on the state’s public roads and highways. But you can purchase more coverage if you choose. Liability insurance helps pay damages to others on your behalf if they are injured, or their property is damaged in an accident or incident where you’re at fault.
Unfortunately, some motorists either do not follow the law or may unknowingly allow their coverage to lapse or cancel. These drivers are considered “uninsured.” If an uninsured driver causes an accident that damages your car or injures you or your passengers, uninsured motorist insurance will protect you. So, it is advisable to buy a policy.
Let an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta, GA Help You!
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, you may be liable for financial compensation. Contact the best Atlanta personal injury attorney at Jamie Ballard Law for legal advice. We will help you fight your case and get you the maximum compensation possible.