After suffering an injury in an accident, you may be wondering about your options for compensation, and what type of damages you could be eligible to receive in a personal injury case. The specific types of compensation you may be able to seek will depend upon the particular facts of your case and the incident that gave rise to your claim. You should get in touch with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your case and provide you with more information about your options. In the meantime, the following are common types of compensation or damages that a person can seek after sustaining a personal injury due to another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing.
Before you even begin filing a lawsuit, you could be eligible to file an insurance claim and seek compensation through an insurance settlement. Most insurance claims are filed in connection with certain types of accidents or injuries, such as motor vehicle accidents or slips and falls. If you are able to seek compensation by filing an insurance claim, you may be eligible for a settlement that will cover some or all of your losses.
Compensatory Damages: Economic Damages
When you file a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, you will most likely be seeking compensatory damages under Georgia law. There are two types of compensatory damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are designed to compensate a person for direct, financial losses. Generally speaking, economic damages can provide you with compensation for any losses for which there is an objective dollar amount. You may be able to obtain economic damages to compensate you for lost wages and medical bills, for example.
Compensatory Damages: Non-Economic Damages
Another type of compensatory damage that you may be able to seek is non-economic damage. This category of compensatory damages is aimed at compensating a person for subjective losses that are difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, or the loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damage tends to be more complicated than economic damage since there is no objective dollar figure associated with a person’s losses. For example, one member of a jury might quantify a person’s loss of enjoyment of life differently than another member of a jury since there is no direct financial loss.
In addition to compensatory damages, it may be possible to seek punitive damages in limited circumstances. For most types of personal injury lawsuits, punitive damages are unlikely to be awarded. This category of damages is designed to punish the defendant for especially harmful or dangerous behavior and to deter similar behavior in the future. While punitive damages are designed to punish, they are still paid to the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit.
Under Georgia’s punitive damages statute, this category of damages is also known as “exemplary damages,” and they are only awarded in cases where the plaintiff proves “by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s actions showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that utter want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.”
Contact our Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys
Do you have questions about the type of compensation you can seek in a personal injury lawsuit? One of our Atlanta personal injury attorneys can help. Contact Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys online or call our firm at (404) 529-3476 for assistance.