Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damage, meaning there are no receipts to prove it in court, as may exist with medical bills or car damage.
In Georgia, pain and suffering is considered a broad range of physical or emotional effects the accident had on the victim and his or her family. This can include physical pain, mental anguish, no longer enjoying life, loss of health and vigor, not being able to work, and more.
Personal injury law attempts to compensate a victim for the full extent of their damages, including those that are not so easy to quantify like pain and suffering.
What Is Included in Pain and Suffering in Georgia
According to Food Lion, Inc. v. Williams, pain and suffering in Georgia may include the physical and mental repercussions of being injured, such as:
- Past and future physical pain and suffering
- Past and future mental anguish
- Disruption to bodily health and vigor
- Disruption to normal living
- Disruption the enjoyment of life
- The loss of the ability to work and make a living
- The shock of the impact of the injuries on the victim
- Fear about the extent of the injury
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Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
Some aspects of your damage claim may be easier to quantify. For example, your property damage is the cost to repair or replace your property. Your personal injury lawyer will base your lost income claim on the amount of wages you lost while recovering.
However, other types of damages are more difficult to assign a monetary value. What is the worth of your physical pain and suffering? If your relationship with your spouse has been affected, how much should the defendant compensate for this change in your life?
Some insurance companies use a formula to determine pain and suffering damages by using a multiplier with your other damages. For example, if you had $100,000 in lost income and medical expenses, an insurance company may determine that pain and suffering should be three times this amount, or $300,000, based on the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life.
If your case goes to trial, juries may be instructed to consider what they believe would be the worth of their own pain and suffering under similar circumstances. Juries may consider a variety of factors when attempting to assign a monetary value to your pain and suffering damages, such as:
- The severity of the injury
- Medical bills and treatment involved
- Degree of pain
- Potential for ongoing consequences stemming from the injury
- The degree of impaired earning capacity
- Limitations of your movement
- The effect your injury has on your family
When you work with a personal injury lawyer, they can help you understand and document what may be considered pain and suffering in your case. A lawyer can represent you in both settlement negotiations or on trial.
Evidence of Pain and Suffering
While you may be eligible for compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured, as the plaintiff in a civil action, you have the burden of proving this aspect of your damages claim.
Your lawyer may present evidence to help substantiate your demand for pain and suffering damages, such as:
- Medical records that show your complaints of pain or other symptoms
- Results of imaging tests that show pain would be likely
- Receipts for prescription pain medications and over-the-counter substitutes
- Testimony from family members, neighbors, and coworkers who can explain how your injuries have affected you
- Entries from your pain journal about the frequency and severity of your pain
- Testimony from medical, vocational, and economic experts about the effects of your injuries
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Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for Help with Your Pain and Suffering Damages Claim
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers represents personal injury accident victims in the Atlanta area. We may be able to investigate your accident and determine what may be considered pain and suffering in your case when we represent you.
From settlement negotiations to trial, we can handle all aspects of your case while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Keep in mind that Georgia imposes a general two-year statute of limitations, or legal time limit, for filing a personal injury lawsuit, per O.C.G.A § 9-3-33.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today at (404) 888-8888. We may be able to represent you on a contingency fee basis, where you do not pay attorney’s fees to us unless and until you receive compensation in a settlement offer or court awards.