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What's my personal injury case worth in Georgia?

Oct 23

Written by:
10/23/2012 5:16 PM  RssIcon

Let me explain.  The money you can get from a personal injury case is called “damages.”  In most cases, there are several types of damages.  And adding up all these damages gives you the value of your personal injury case.

There are two broad categories of damages—Special and General damages.  Special damages are things like medical bills, and they are capable of an exact value.  You can get money for past and future medical expenses and bills.    Special damages can also be things like lost wages (money you can get for missing time from work).

General damages, on the other hand, are not capable of an exact value.  These damages are for pain and suffering from an injury.  In Georgia, the rule is that general damages are calculated from “the enlightened conscious of a fair and impartial jury.”  This means these damages are determined by a jury or what we can prove a jury would give for someone’s pain and suffering.  This is where the nature and extent of your injury affects the value of your personal injury case.  Another type of general damages is “loss of consortium.”  Loss of consortium are monetary damages that compensate the personal injury victim’s spouse for loss of companionship and how the injury changed a relationship.  It can include things like one spouse having to do more chores around the house because the other spouse was injured. 

Another category of damages you can get in a personal injury case are punitive damages.  Punitive damages are different than special damages and general damages.  Punitive damages are not awarded as compensation.  Punitive damages are awarded to deter the wrongdoer or business that caused or had a part in causing your injury and others from engaging in similar negligent conduct.  Punitive damages are not available in every case.  An example of when punitive damages are available is when a drunk driver causes a car accident that injures someone.  Punitive damages can add significant value to your case if they are available. 

What also needs to be explained is how other influential factors affect the value of your personal injury case.  Some of these factors include, for example, in a car accident case what the at-fault driver was charged with.  Another factor is the venue of where the case would be tried if a lawsuit had to be filed.  The property damage to the vehicles involved in a car accident can also be a factor that could affect the value of your personal injury case.

This is just a brief summary and I hope it has helped you understand a little about determining the value of personal injury cases.  Remember the value of your personal injury case is based on special and general damages, punitive damages if they are available, and other influential factors that could affect your case. 

If you have any questions about your case, please give me a call.  It is a free consultation, so there is no charge.


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The Law Offices of John W. Hurst, P.C. represents clients in the metro Atlanta area, including Smyrna, Vinings, Marietta, Mableton, Kennesaw,Douglasville, Cobb County, Villa Rica, Paulding County, Alpharetta, Fairburn,  Sandy Springs, Fulton County, Roswell, Decatur, DeKalb County, Lithonia, Druid Hills, Dunwoody, Tucker, Duluth, Acworth, Fayetteville, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Chamblee, Snellville, Woodstock, Gainesville, Morrow, Carrollton, College Park, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Newnan, Conyers, Covington, Canton, Milton, John's Creek, Stockbridge, McDonough, Buford, Cumming, Athens, and other cities and counties throughout the State of Georgia.