When you are involved in an accident through no fault of your own or incur a personal injury due to the negligence of another, you may already be aware that you could be due damages for medical bills, car repairs, and lost wages. Some who incur a personal injury may settle out of court without the aid of a skilled Personal Injury Attorney – simply providing proof of lost wages and medical bills for recompense. Unfortunately, they could be leaving some well-deserved restitution on the table. While medical bills, automobile repairs, and lost wages fall under the economic damages umbrella, under Georgia law, there are also non-economic damages called “Pain and Suffering” that could go a long way in further aiding in your recovery and making up for lost time following your injury.
How is “Pain and Suffering” Defined in Georgia?
Because a personal injury may leave you scarred in more ways than one, the State of Georgia defines pain and suffering as the pain of the physical injuries, as well as the emotional or mental suffering that accompanies those injuries. In Georgia Superior Courts’ Civil Pattern Jury Instructions, when determining the extent to award damages for pain and suffering as the result of a personal injury, it instructs jurors to take into consideration things like:
- interference with normal living
- interference with enjoyment of life
- loss of capacity to labor and earn money
- impairment of bodily health and vigor
- fear of extent of injury
- shock of impact
- actual pain and suffering, past and future
- mental anguish, past and future
- extent to which the plaintiff must limit activities
What Kinds of Injuries are Entitled to a Pain and Suffering Settlement?
While there are immediate wounds evident following a car accident, dog bite, or another personal injury, there may be reverberations of your injuries felt well after the collision, attack, slip and fall, or otherwise. Physically, you may incur back pain, broken bones, chronic pain, headaches, internal organ damage, neck pain, nerve damage, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, and more. Emotionally and mentally, you could suffer from cognitive changes, generalized fear, insomnia, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and so much more.
Some pain and suffering settlement examples outlined by Forbes include:
- Cancer caused by a type of chemical
- Perforated organ during surgery
- Loss of vision in an eye from an assault
- Spinal cord injury from a slip and fall
- Depression as a result of workplace harassment
Sadly, the list goes on and on. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average payout for a personal injury resulting from a car accident is $23,234 between medical bills, car repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Institute also warns dog owners that a single lawsuit resulting from a dog bite could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?
To prove pain and suffering in court, you will likely be asked to submit the following records into evidence:
- Medical bills
- Treatment records
- Photographs of your injuries
- Psychological or Psychiatric records
- An accounting of days you missed work
- A clear accounting of your mental state
You may be asked to provide that last one on the stand as you describe to jurors how your life and mental state have been impacted due to your injuries. You may also enlist the aid of a medical professional to testify on your behalf about your mental state and physical injuries.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Georgia?
While the State of Georgia leaves the awarding of damages up to the “enlightened conscience as impartial jurors.” The jury will ultimately decide whether they deem you are due for pain and suffering recompense and for how much. Your insurance company and Personal Injury Attorney will most likely enter the courtroom with an idea of how much in damages they’d like to request on your behalf. That figure is often calculated using one of two methods. The multiplier method takes the sum total of your medical bills and multiplies them by 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity of your injuries. The per diem method places a price tag on the pain and suffering you incur each day, then multiplies it by the number of days since you incurred your injury plus the number of days forecasted into the future that you are expected to continue to suffer.
Who Can Help with a Georgia Pain and Suffering Settlement?
It’s not unusual for someone who’s been injured to feel isolated and overwhelmed. You need to enlist the aid of a skilled Personal Injury Attorney with a proven track record of success in pain and suffering settlements to fight for justice on your behalf. While you may feel alone, this is not a time when you want to go it alone. Serving all of Northeast Georgia – including Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Dawson, Elbert, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison, Oconee, Rabun, Townes, Union, Walton, and White Counties – John Edmonson of Edmonson Law Firm invites you to schedule a FREE Case Analysis. He welcomes the chance to represent you and win you the damages you are due – including pain and suffering. To learn more about Edmonson Law Firm and our capabilities, please visit www.ELF-Legal.net. You can also call John and his team at 678-271-9111 or email John directly at [email protected].
From all of us here at Edmonson Law Firm, we wish you a swift and full recovery!