You can recover multiple forms of financial compensation if you or a loved one was injured due to the negligence of another person or entity. You can recover economic and non-economic damages for the accident’s financial consequences. In addition, you can pursue punitive damages in your Decatur personal injury case if the at-fault party’s actions were intentional or egregious.
A Decatur personal injury lawyer can explain when you can request this additional form of monetary compensation. They will assess the details of your case and create a detailed list of all possible forms of damages.
You Could Pursue Punitive Damages in Your Personal Injury Case
According to O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1, punitive damages are awarded in instances where the at-fault party’s actions were:
Proving these elements means documenting the at-fault party’s negligence and the toll their actions took on you and your family.
Who Decides When Punitive Damages Are Awarded in Decatur, Georgia?
Punitive damages can affect how much your personal injury case is worth. They are awarded to penalize the at-fault party versus compensating the injured party. The request for punitive damages must be made by the plaintiff—the injured party—or their personal injury attorney. The trier of facts—a judge or jury—will determine whether they can be awarded.
How Much Can I Recover in Punitive Damages?
O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1 outlines how much you can seek in punitive damages. Presently, you can’t seek more than $250,000. That’s not chump change––that’s a quarter of a million dollars. You don’t want to overlook a dime that you’re entitled to following a negligence-related accident.
When you partner with a personal injury lawyer from our law firm, you get an advocate who accounts for each of your losses. That way, at the conclusion of your case, you walk away with the funds you need to get a new start.
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What Other Types of Damages Can You Get in a Personal Injury Case?
In addition to punitive damages, you can recover fair compensation to cover your injury-related damages. They include these compensatory damages:
- Economic damages, including current and future medical expenses and lost wages, property damages or destruction, and in-home medical and domestic help
- Non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, disfigurement and disability, mental anguish, and diminished quality of life
- Wrongful death-related damages, including funeral and burial costs, loss of the decedent’s income, and loss of consortium
You do not have to understand or calculate your recoverable damages on your own. If you are represented by a lawyer, they will document your injuries and their resulting costs. Their familiarity with personal injury law can help you avoid overlooking or omitting valid forms of compensation.
Is There a Filing Deadline for Personal Injury Cases in Georgia?
Recovering any financial compensation means filing your lawsuit within the allotted time. In Georgia, this generally means:
- Filing your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit within two years, according to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33
- Filing your medical malpractice case within two years from the date of the incident or two years from the date of discovery, according to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-71
Additional notification and filing deadlines could also apply. The outcome of the accident and the age of the injured party can change the filing deadline, making compliance difficult. A personal injury lawyer will help you understand the Georgia statute of limitations.
You Can Pursue Punitive Damages in These Instances
Our personal injury law firm handles cases resulting from negligence. We seek punitive damages for people who have suffered:
- Auto accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Wrongful death
- Slip and fall accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites or attacks
- On-the-job severe injuries
To recover damages in any of these cases, we generally must prove that because another party acted without regard for others’ safety, you were injured and incurred losses.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Prove the At-Fault Party’s Negligence?
Your legal team will conduct a thorough investigation into the details of your case, including its causes, contributing factors, and costs. Their investigation will include collecting the following evidence:
- Medical records
- Proof of income
- Accident reports
- Medical referrals
- Injury photos
- Accident scene photos
- Witness statements
- Expert testimonials
- First responder reports
Evidence collection is complex and time-consuming. Rather than taxing you or your family, your lawyer will handle it, including organizing and submitting evidence that proves your right to damages.
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How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Request Punitive Damages?
It can be hard to understand when you are entitled to punitive damages and even harder to determine their value. When a personal injury lawyer represents you, they will explain what types of actions make punitive damages possible. Your lawyer will also explain how punitive damages are calculated.
They will prove the at-fault party was or should have been aware of the potential harm of their actions. Your lawyer can obtain evidence and testimonials you might have difficulty accessing on your own. They can also identify experts who can substantiate your case and the severity of the negligent party’s actions.
What Else Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Do to Help Injury Victims in Decatur?
Representing yourself in a personal injury action can be risky and complicated. When you secure legal representation, your personal injury lawyer can:
- Investigate the details of your accident
- Gather physical evidence and documents
- Draft and file your insurance claim
- Handle all case-related communications
- Interview lay and expert accident witnesses
Your lawyer will also negotiate a settlement on your behalf. They will weigh each offer, review its merits, and help you make a well-informed final decision.
Learn More About Punitive Damages in Decatur Personal Injury Cases
If you or a loved one was injured in a negligence-based accident, our personal injury team will help you determine the damages you can request. When we assess your recoverable damages, we explain when you can pursue punitive damages in your Decatur personal injury case.
Find out how hard we work to obtain the best possible compensation for you by contacting Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today. We offer free legal consultations where you can learn more.