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How Much Compensation Can I Recover for Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident in Atlanta?

Car crashes happen every day. The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that car accidents are consistently the “second leading cause of injury deaths and second leading cause of hospitalizations and ER visits” in our state. Following a motor vehicle collision, it is imperative that you are able to secure full and fair financial compensation, including for your pain and suffering. 

This raises an important question: How much compensation can you recover for pain and suffering after a crash? The answer always depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Here, our Atlanta car accident lawyers provide a comprehensive guide to the key things to know about recovering compensation for pain and suffering after a motor vehicle crash in Georgia. 

Pain and Suffering: Defined 

A motor vehicle crash can cause serious harm. Medical needs are always the first priority. Car accident victims need prompt, comprehensive professional care from a licensed doctor. An auto accident injury can cause serious pain and suffering. For the purposes of personal injury law, pain and suffering is a relatively broad term that is used to cover the physical discomfort, emotional anguish, and psychological trauma that one endures in an accident. Pain and suffering can impact many aspects of a person’s life. It includes everything from the immediate physical pain that a person experiences when they are hurt and still at the accident scene to the long-term trauma associated with recovering from the accident, including things like anxiety and sleepless nights. 

The Challenge: Pain and Suffering is a Non-Economic Damage

There are two broad categories of personal injury damages. Economic damages are more straightforward. They are the losses that are associated with an actual dollar amount. For example, $10,000 in medical bills can be easily calculated as $10,000 in damages. Once liability is resolved, valuing economic damages is not especially challenging. However, that is certainly not the case for non-economic damages, including for pain and suffering. 

Unlike medical bills or lost wages, which can be calculated with a degree of precision, pain and suffering lack a tangible price tag. The subjective nature of these experiences defies any true clear or one-size-fits-all valuation method. Instead, each car accident victim’s ordeal involves its own unique set of facts and circumstances. Still, while pain and suffering can be hard to put a specific dollar figure on, it is no less real. It is a damage that must be properly compensated. 

How Pain and Suffering is Calculated in Georgia

How do courts in Georgia resolve the challenge associated with calculating pain and suffering damages? The answer is that there is no one set formula that is used for this matter. In fact, if the issue of pain and suffering goes before a jury as part of a car accident injury claim, then the jury is instructed to use their good judgment to determine the extent of the pain and suffering damages endured by the victim. That being said, there are some basic formulas that are used to help get a baseline for the calculation of pain and suffering compensation. Here is an overview of the key things that you should know: 

  • Multiplier Method (Typical): The multiplier method is the more commonly employed strategy for quantifying pain and suffering in Georgia. The approach begins with the sum of an individual’s economic damages—such as medical expenses and lost wages. Indeed, these economic losses are key to establishing the value of the claim. The total non-economic damages are then multiplied by a number—typically ranging from 1.5 to 5—based on the severity and lasting impact of the injuries. The rationale behind this method lies in its attempt to proportionally reflect the intensity of the victim’s suffering in relation to their tangible losses. However, the subjective selection of the multiplier underscores the inherent complexity in assessing non-economic damages.
  • Per Diem Method (Uncommon): There is another method that may be used to calculate pain and suffering damages called the per diem approach. The per diem method—which is much less common—offers an alternative. It assigns a daily value to the victim’s pain and suffering. With the model, a specific monetary amount is determined to represent the daily suffering of the individual. That number is then multiplied by the number of days the victim is expected to endure this discomfort. The per diem rate could be tied to a concrete benchmark—such as the individual’s daily earnings. 
  • Car Accident Injury Claims Tip: No matter the circumstances of your case, your economic damages will be used, in part, to help determine the value of your pain and suffering. With this in mind, it is imperative that your economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc) are well-documented. 

Insurance Companies Often Try to Undervalue Pain and Suffering

Insurance companies are not on your side. They put their own bottom line ahead of what is best for you and your family. Driven by the fundamental profit motive, these adopt strategies aimed at minimizing the compensation for pain and suffering. Their tactics might include questioning the extent of your injuries, suggesting your pain is not as severe as claimed, or asserting that your suffering is not directly related to the accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to undervalue pain and suffering damages. Do not go it alone: A top tier Atlanta car accident lawyer can review your case, document your damages, and represent you in settlement negotiations so that you are in the best position to secure the absolute maximum financial compensation. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Atlanta Auto Accident Attorneys Today

At Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys, our Atlanta car accident lawyers are skilled, aggressive, and experienced advocates for justice. If you were seriously hurt in a motor vehicle collision, we are here to help you fight for the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering. Call us at (404) 529-3476 or contact us online for a free, no obligation review of your case. From our office in Atlanta, we handle auto accident injury claims in Cobb County, Fulton County, and DeKalb County.

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