Car accidents can have serious consequences, and there are multiple types of compensation a victim may be entitled to in Atlanta, Georgia. The two primary types of damages that you can collect in a car accident claim are economic (special) damages and non-economic (general) damages.
Types of Recoverable Damages
Economic damages include direct costs of the accident, such as medical bills, transportation costs, and ongoing health costs. Non-economic damages account for subjects that are harder to quantify, such as pain and suffering, loss of ability to focus, and emotional anguish that can also follow a traumatic car accident.
What Damages Should Be Able to Cover
In a car accident claim, what you can recover financially will depend on the local court system. The policy for courts is typically to help provide a victim with all the compensation they may be entitled to following an accident. This can include garnishing a legal award from the at-fault driver’s insurance company to offset damages such as:
- Hospital invoices
- Medical expert outpatient bills
- Transportation or ambulance costs
The more difficult category of legal damages to prove involves the mental anguish during and after a traffic collision. Mental health is important to consider in a person’s overall well-being, and courts should recognize this. Judges may be more careful to limit the scope of damages, but these can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Court-ordered damage repayment can also include bereavement, funeral services, and loss of consortium if a wrongful death has occurred as a result of a car accident.
Special damages refer to the direct costs, bills, invoices, or receipts stemming from an accident and its aftermath. Many consider hiring a lawyer to help them understand how to maximize the potential for a favorable settlement they may be entitled to.
Punitive damages are a category of compensation that an accident victim may also be entitled to if the court believes a defendant’s behaviour was especially harmful, according to the Legal Information Institute (LII).
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Georgia Law in Roadway Collision Liability
The damages a person may be entitled to collect after a roadway collision are determined by local laws.
Georgia operates under a system of liability called “Modified Comparative Fault.” In this system, a party cannot recover damages if they are determined to be 50 percent or more at fault for a collision, and their claim can be reduced by a ratio of their fault. This primarily affects cases where two cars are equally at fault in a wreck, but one driver is more injured than the other. In these instances, the burden is on each party to pay for their own damages and injuries.
For example, if one driver was speeding, but another driver recklessly cut them off and caused an accident, liability may be tricky to determine. A jury may rule that for speeding, the car who was cut off is 10 percent at fault for the incident. If the damage settlement originally would have been $430,000, the fault-sharing ruling would lower that amount.
Possible Time Limitations on Damages Collection
What damages you may be entitled to collect after a car accident depends on each state’s statute of limitations.
Personal Injury victims have two years from the day of an accident to begin filing a lawsuit, according to Georgia Code § 9-3-33. However, the law stipulates that claims can only be filed for injuries to reputation for one year in the state of Georgia.
One year is still a potentially long time to begin the settlement process, but evidence for your case can disappear in a matter of hours. Injured individuals may consider seeking the help of a lawyer to:
- Collect evidence
- Send official legal letters and file paperwork
- Check medical and police records
- Build, plan, and handle your case
If you are considering taking legal action following a car accident in Georgia, a lawyer may be able to help you with the above obstacles and more.
If you are wondering what damages you can collect in a car accident claim, you are not alone. The team from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers represents people in Georgia who were injured in car accidents that resulted from another party’s negligence. If you have additional questions or concerns about what types of compensation you may be entitled to, or are wondering how to begin approaching the legal process, call us at (404) 888-8888 to receive a free, no-obligation consultation.