How Much Is My Georgia Personal Injury Claim Worth?
The most common question we get from clients is probably “how much is my claim worth?” It’s understandable. After suffering the pain, injury, and trauma of an accident, few people also want to deal with a trial. It’s important to know whether the investment of effort, time, and energy will be worth it, particularly when you are already feeling drained and overwhelmed. While there is no way to guarantee the value of your claim prior to entering settlements or going to court because so many different factors can ultimately impact the outcome, understanding how claims are calculated can give you a strong sense of what your claim is worth and whether it makes sense to move forward with a lawsuit. Of course, the advice below is intended to be general. However, if you would like to receive personalized feedback and advice based on your specific case and circumstances, feel free to contact Hawkins Spizman for a free personalized consultation.
Types of Damages
In order to bring a personal injury lawsuit, you need to have suffered financial damage as the result of someone else’s negligence. These damages can be in the form of medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more. For the purposes of settlements, courts generally consider the following kinds and categories of damages:
- Economic Damages. Generally, these damages are easy to calculate, because they come with receipts or can be established with documentation. The cost of medical treatment, therapy, prescription medication, medical equipment, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle, are all examples. When calculating this figure, it’s also important to factor in future costs; for instance, if you will require on-going therapy, medical treatment, or will suffer a permanent decrease in income potential, these future anticipated costs should all be included.
- Non-Economic Damages. Non-economic damages are those for which there are no receipts. These damages are meant to compensate for the pain and suffering, or physical and emotional trauma of an injury. These damages include things like loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
- Punitive Damages. These damages, as the name implies, are intended to punish the offender for particularly reckless or malicious conduct. In Georgia, these damages may be capped at $250,000 depending on the nature of the case. However, there are exceptions, such as product liability cases, cases where the offender intended to harm the victim, and cases where the offender was under the influence of alcohol or an illegal substance.
Calculating Non-Economic Damages
It can be hard to put a number on something that does not have a value. Most courts and insurance companies in Georgia use the multiplier method to determine the approximate value of someone’s pain and suffering. This method involves taking the total of your medical bills and multiplying it by a number between 1 and 5. The more serious, permanent, and debilitating your injuries are, the higher the number you choose will be. The resulting figure will be your approximate damages for pain and suffering.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you are a loved one has been injured in an accident in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, or any surrounding areas, Hawkins Spizman Trial Attorneys are prepared to evaluate the unique facts and circumstances of your case and help you find the best path forward. Call today and schedule a free consultation with a Cobb County personal injury attorney.