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Damages in Georgia Car Accident Cases

Car accident victims may suffer terribly in the aftermath of the wreck. They may be forced to cover the costs of significant property damage, emergency medical treatment, doctor’s bills, and even long-term rehabilitation. Often, accident victims are also out of work due to their injuries and no longer have a source of income. Many people who have suffered an automobile accident then wonder what type of compensation the law grants to help pay for these bills.

Types of Damages in Georgia

Damages are given as compensation for the injury or loss sustained. Georgia law divides compensatory damages into two main categories: special damages and general damages.

Special Damages: Those which actually flow from a tortious act and must be proved in a specific amount. Special damages in an auto accident may include property damage, medical expenses, hospital bills, ambulance bills, doctor’s bills, physical therapist bills, and lost earnings or income.

Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a car accident knows that these quantifiable financial losses are not the only harms experienced by an accident victim. Accident victims experience stress, anxiety, exhaustion, fear, fatigue, and a host of other types of emotional turmoil. What about these harms? Accident victims who have experienced these types of suffering may also be awarded general damages after a crash.

General Damages: Those which Georgia law presumes flow from a tortious act and may be recovered without proof of a specific amount. The exact types of general damages will vary widely from case to case. General damages in an auto accident may include physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, emotional distress and a diminished capacity to work, labor or earn money.

The Case of a Car Accident Victim With a Rare Condition

In general, a victim’s susceptibility to injury does not limit the amount of liability borne by a negligent driver. For example, a driver may suffer from a rare bone condition. During an accident, the driver may suffer more serious injuries because of the bone condition than he would have otherwise. Under Georgia law, the person at fault for the accident bears a responsibility to compensate the injured driver.

Determining a Value for General Damages

Although general damages are associated with types of harm not easily quantifiable, accident victims must nevertheless offer evidence to prove their losses. In nearly all circumstances, the only remedy that a civil court can offer is money. Accident victims should do their best to document their general damages, including keeping a list of doctor visits, medications, treatments, therapy, and the like. Often an award of general damages will depend on such factors as the seriousness of an injury, the sensitivities of a jury, and the abilities of an attorney. Damage awards in seemingly similar personal injury cases can vary.

What To Do When You Have Been Injured in an Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, it is essential that you contact an Atlanta car accident attorney right away. If you have questions about who may be at fault for your injuries, how to deal with claims adjusters, or whether you may recover for your damages, the personal injury attorneys at Goldstein and Hayes, P.C., can answer your questions and assess your case. We have years of experience helping personal injury victims navigate the Georgia legal system to hold those responsible for their injuries accountable. Contact us today.