In the fallout from a severe car accident, victims are often left with significant financial losses in addition to physical and emotional injuries.
Georgia is an at-fault state, which means that victims of negligent drivers have the right to file a lawsuit seeking damages from the at-fault driver. There are three categories of possible damages.
Economic damages are the financial losses caused by the accident and resulting injuries. Examples of these losses include:
- Wages lost because of current and future missed work, including the loss of earning capacity caused by a permanent disability
- Cost of medical care for injuries, including ongoing treatments
- Cost of repairing or replacing property damaged in the accident
- All other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, such as necessary household care or transportation to and from medical visits
Georgia tort law also recognizes losses without inherent monetary value.
Non-economic damages are losses generally associated with the psychological effects of a personal injury. The most common is pain and suffering, including emotional distress and mental anguish. Other non-economic damages are post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and loss of the ability to enjoy life.
Evidence of non-economic damages sometimes includes the victim’s written statement and testimonies from people active in the victim’s life.
Car accident cases rarely involve punitive damages. However, if the at-fault person acted with no regard for human life or showed malintent, the court may deem it necessary to force them to pay beyond the compensatory damages.
Every car accident case has unique circumstances that could result in more or fewer damages.