Settlements in Personal Injury Cases in Atlanta
No matter who you are or what your day-to-day life entails, an injury stops you in your tracks.
Medical treatment, property repair estimates, and time lost at work pile up quickly, so getting a settlement for your personal injury claim is an urgent matter.
Settlements in personal injury lawsuits include compensation for a wide range of damages, including:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
Talk to an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney to ensure your personal injury settlement covers the total loss your injury has caused in all areas of your life.
Common Types of Personal Injury Claims in Georgia
- Car Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Workplace Injuries
- Premise Liability
- Product Liability
- Assault Injuries
Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases
With the wide range of personal injury types, there are inevitably a lot of different damages that can be incurred and compensated for in any given personal injury lawsuit. However, most of the damages fall into two separate categories.
When you think of the measurable costs associated with being injured, what you’re thinking of are “economic damages.” These can include:
- Medical expenses associated with your injury
- Damage to your vehicle or other property
- Wages lost due to the injury
Most of these damages can be calculated easily with the use of medical bills, repair estimates, and employment records.
Monetary costs aren’t the only loss experienced when you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence. That’s why non-economic damages are often included in personal injury settlements.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Poor quality of life due to disability or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment in daily life
- Reduced future earning capabilities
These damages are less tangible than measurable economic damages. However, they often represent the highest levels of personal loss experienced in the case of an injury due to negligence.
What Impacts Settlement Amounts in Georgia Personal Injury Lawsuits?
So, what is the largest personal injury settlement you can get in your particular case? The answer to that question will be affected by a few factors, including:
- The nature of the injury
- How much insurance coverage the at-fault party has
- Georgia law when it comes to settlement caps
- How egregious the at-fault party’s behavior was that caused the injury
- Percentage of fault for each party involved
Personal Injury Lawyers in Atlanta can help you navigate the complicated road toward getting the most out of your personal injury settlement.
Severity of the Injury and Loss Sustained
When you sustain severe injuries in a car accident or some other event caused by the negligence of the at-fault party, the likelihood of a heftier settlement is greater. Not only are your medical bills and lost wages higher, but the emotional, mental, and physical impact the injury has on your life is exponential.
Coverage Limit Requirements for Georgia Drivers
Car accidents are one of the most common personal injury claims made around the country. That’s why the state of Georgia requires drivers to carry certain amounts of auto insurance coverage.
Georgia drivers must carry a minimum of:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $25,000 per incident in property damage liability coverage
Should an at-fault driver not comply with minimum insurance coverage requirements, they could find themselves being sued personally for the damages caused in the accident.
Settlement Limits in Georgia’s Personal Injury Law
Certain types of personal injury cases and damages are subject to a maximum settlement according to Georgia law.
Two notable caps are:
- Non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases – capped at $350,000 (there is no cap for economic damages)
- Punitive damages in non-product liability cases – capped at $250,000 (75 percent goes to the state treasury)
What are Punitive Damages?
There are certain cases where Georgia courts will award additional payment from the at-fault party on top of economic and non-economic damages. These instances where punitive damages are awarded are reserved for when the offender’s behavior was particularly reckless, intentional, or displayed gross negligence.
Comparative Negligence in Georgia
The state of Georgia uses a Comparative Negligence model when determining fault in a personal injury case. This means that the court will decide what percentage of the fault lies with each party. If you’re determined to be 40% at fault for a car accident, for example, you’ll receive a settlement award, minus 40 percent.
How to Maximize Your Atlanta Personal Injury Settlement
- Seek medical attention right away. This includes both physical and mental health treatments as well as follow-up appointments. Immediate medical treatment will ensure your injuries are directly linked to the incident and that you get compensation for all damages associated with it.
- Document and keep physical evidence. If you’re in a car accident, for example, get a copy of the police report and any witness statements, take pictures of the damage, record any injuries sustained, and collect the other driver’s insurance information.
- Don’t make any statements to insurance adjusters. Insurance companies are trying to pay the lowest settlement possible so they’ll try to discredit you or assign fault to you. Have your lawyer speak to the insurance company on your behalf if possible.
Let an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney Help
Once your medical treatments are completed, make sure you’re armed with the expertise of legal representation. Contact an expert Personal Injury Lawyer and ensure you get compensated fairly.