Car Accident Victims Are Entitled to Compensation
If someone else’s reckless or negligent driving is the reason you’re injured, you are entitled by law to compensation, but you may have to prove exactly how and why you were injured. You’ll need to ask a Dalton car accident attorney to represent you and fight on your behalf.
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, more than 300,000 traffic collisions were reported in this state in 2022. On average, that’s more than 820 accidents around the state every day. Most of these accidents are caused by distracted, negligent, or reckless drivers.
After a traffic injury, what compensation can you recover with a personal injury lawsuit? When your medical bills and lost wages are reimbursed, can you receive additional compensation? What steps should you take, and when should you contact a Dalton traffic accident lawyer?
What Compensation Can Auto Accident Victims Recover?
The compensation or “damages” that an injured victim of negligence may recover after a traffic accident in Georgia are economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages.
Economic and noneconomic damages are “compensatory” damages awarded to compensate victims of negligence. Punitive damages aren’t compensatory but instead may be ordered by the court to penalize a liable party’s egregious recklessness, negligence, or intentional behavior.
What Economic Damages Can Injury Victims Recover?
Under Georgia law, after you have been injured by another driver’s negligence, and if you and your attorney can prove you were injured by that driver’s negligence, you may recover these “economic” damages:
- compensation for your medical costs, including your pending medical bills and the projected costs for your future care and treatment
- compensation for your lost wages and your projected future lost wages
- compensation for your damaged or destroyed property including the repair or replacement of your vehicle and any items damaged or destroyed inside the vehicle
What Are Considered Noneconomic Damages?
If your injury claim prevails after a car accident, you can also expect to recover noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages are the damages and losses that you can’t produce receipts for: emotional and physical pain, distress, and personal suffering triggered by the accident and injury.
Noneconomic damages may also include compensation for the “loss of enjoyment” if an injury victim can no longer enjoy exercise, hobbies, or other favorite activities. If an injury prevents spouses from having intimacy, compensation may be awarded for the loss of consortium.
The most serious mental and emotional injuries can negatively affect your life – and your career and family – just as seriously as a catastrophic or disabling physical injury.
How Are Emotional Injuries Identified?
Persons who have been emotionally injured in traffic wrecks express their emotional injuries in a variety of ways. They may be unable to maintain friendships, keep jobs, or focus on important matters. For many, emotional difficulties do not emerge until weeks after a traffic accident.
Victims who have been disabled in a traffic accident – temporarily or permanently – may have sleeping or eating disorders, anguish, guilt, depression, anger, or fear. Psychological injuries of this nature may persist for months or even years after a serious traffic collision.
What’s The Best Way to Handle Emotional Distress After a Car Accident?
You are entitled by the law in Georgia to recover compensation for psychological injuries caused by a reckless or negligent motorist. If you are suffering emotionally after a traffic accident:
- Do not skip your medical appointments, and adhere to your doctor’s orders.
- Speak to a counselor or another person you trust.
- Stay active. Exercise. Eat right. Get the sleep you need, but not too much.
- Speak about your legal options and rights with a Dalton car accident attorney.
In Georgia, most auto accident cases are settled out of court, and most injury victims never make a court appearance. But if your case can’t be settled privately, your lawyer will take your case to trial, tell jurors how you were injured, and ask the jury to order payment of your compensation.
When Are Punitive Damages Awarded?
In Georgia, punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury cases arising from auto accidents. Georgia law only allows punitive damages in car accident cases when defendants and their attorneys can offer clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault driver acted with:
- intentional or purposeful malice, or
- extreme recklessness reflecting a conscious disregard for the lives and safety of others
Punitive damages may be ordered to penalize a defendant’s conduct and to deter the defendant and others from such conduct in the future. With several narrow exceptions, punitive damage awards in personal injury cases are capped by the State of Georgia at $250,000.
What Steps Should You Take?
If you are injured by a negligent or reckless driver in North Georgia, contact a Dalton traffic accident lawyer immediately after you’ve been examined and treated for your physical injuries. Your lawyer will investigate the accident, protect your rights, and fight for your compensation.
In most cases, you will have two years to initiate legal action, but you should not wait two years or even two weeks to contact an accident lawyer. Your lawyer will need to scrutinize the evidence and speak to the witnesses as quickly as possible.
A North Georgia personal injury lawyer will handle your physical and/or emotional injury claim on a contingent fee basis. You will only pay an attorney’s fee if and when you are compensated for your physical and/or psychological injuries.
Cowan Law Firm is Ready to Work for You
If another driver’s negligence or recklessness is why you’ve been injured, obtain the medical help you need, the psychological help you need, and the legal help you need. You are legally entitled to compensation for your emotional injuries, but you must have a good lawyer’s help.
The Cowan Law Firm legal team has more than thirty years of personal injury experience. We know how to protect an injury victim’s rights, and we know how to win the compensation – and the justice – that an injured victim of negligence will need after a serious traffic collision.
You deserve to be compensated if someone else injures you. If you have sustained either physical or emotional injuries in a car crash, or if you are injured that way in the future, call Cowan Law Firm at 706-503-7811. We will evaluate your case with no cost or obligation, and if you proceed with legal action, Cowan Law Firm will fight aggressively and effectively on your behalf.