What is a personal injury?
Personal injury is a type of tort, or a civil wrong that imposes legal liability on the
party who caused the loss or harm. It specifically refers to loss or harm
to a individual’s body or emotions as a result of another party’s
acts or omissions. An Atlanta person injury attorney can help you determine
if you have a personal injury case.
Personal injury claims can arise from a variety of circumstances, including:
· Motor vehicle accidents;
· Accidents which occur at work, a business, or other establishment;
· Medical malpractice;
· Product defects; and
· Industrial diseases.
What types of damages are available in a personal injury lawsuit?
Parties who are involved in a personal injury lawsuit may agree to enter
into a monetary settlement, which compensates the plaintiff for their
losses and damages, prior to a judge or jury issuing a ruling on the matter.
However, if this does not occur and the defendant is found liable for
causing the plaintiff’s personal injuries at trial, the court will
determine the appropriate judgment which the defendant is liable for based
on the monetary value of the plaintiff’s losses and damages.
Under Georgia law, a prevailing plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit
is entitled to compensatory damages for both their financial and emotional losses.
Compensation for financial losses includes both expenses the plaintiff
has already incurred as well as, future financial losses that will occur
as a result of the personal injury. Depending on the circumstances of
a given case, financial losses could include:
· Medical bills;
· The cost of obtaining disability modifications; and
· Lost wages.
Compensation for emotional damages, seek to quantify the value of a plaintiff’s
pain and suffering. Emotional damages are often more difficult to prove
because they are not tangible. The intent of awarding emotional damages
is to help plaintiffs deal with the mental and emotional impacts of their
injuries and losses.
In some cases, the court may determine that punitive damages are appropriate.
Unlike compensatory damages, which seek to put the plaintiff in the same
position they were in prior to the personal injury, punitive damages are
intended to punish the defendant and deter them from engaging in similar
conduct in the future. Punitive damages are reserved for circumstances
where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious. Under
Georgia law, punitive damages are only awarded in tort actions where it
is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s
behavior showed, “willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness,
oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption
of conscious indifference to consequences.” Punitive damages are
capped at $250,000 by statute.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of another party’s
negligence, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can
review the facts of your case, determine the best course of action, and
help you receive the compensation you deserve.