Can I Be Compensated for Pain and Suffering After a Georgia Car Accident?

Car Accident Lawyer in Brookhaven, GA

Car accident victims are entitled to pursue compensation when they are injured by negligent drivers. A negligent driver is one who drives carelessly.

Compensation covers losses caused by an accident. It reimburses injury victims for their medical bills. It gives victims the funds they will need to pay for future treatment. It covers lost wages and the loss of future earning ability.

When an injury is disabling, compensation pays for the expense of coping with the disability. For example, compensation might be used to pay for a wheelchair-accessible van or an artificial knee implant.

Pain is a different kind of loss. Pain limits an accident victim’s activities. Suffering reduces the quality of an accident victim’s life. While pain results from physical injuries, it often causes emotional injuries.

Georgia law recognizes that injury victims are entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, and emotional distress. In fact, the largest component of most injury settlements consists of compensation for pain and suffering.

Measuring Pain and Suffering Compensation in Georgia Car Accident Cases

Lost wages, medical expenses, and the expense of coping with a disability can be calculated with some precision. Expenses that an injury victim has already occurred are added together, while the expense of future medical procedures, loss of earnings, and costs of coping with a disability can be estimated with the assistance of expert witnesses.

There is no formula, however, for calculating pain and suffering. Every case is different. Similar injuries can have different impacts on different accident victims. An injury that produces intermittent pain for one accident victim might cause constant pain for a different victim.

Medical expenses and the amount of time an injury victim misses work are rough guides to the severity of pain and suffering. Still, sometimes a small, nagging injury that cannot be treated causes a lifetime of pain. Medical bills are therefore only a rough gauge of pain and suffering.

Ultimately, Georgia car accident lawyers rely on their experience to place a value on pain and suffering. Lawyers decide whether witnesses, as well as the accident victim, will be able to convey the depth of the victim’s suffering to a jury. Lawyers also compare an accident victim’s case to the verdicts that local juries have returned for pain and suffering in similar cases.

Measuring Emotional Distress Compensation in Georgia Car Accident Cases

Georgia law allows compensation for emotional distress to be awarded when the emotional harm is accompanied by a physical injury. Emotional distress includes mental anguish, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, impairment of self-esteem, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Emotional distress can be more devastating as physical pain. Pain caused by lifting an object might be managed by avoiding certain chores, but the inability to lift a child produces the kind of sorrow that cannot be managed. People who take pride in their work feel a diminished sense of self-worth when pain prevents them from doing their jobs.

When pain makes it impossible to pursue a passion — gardening, dancing, or playing golf — emotional pain can be the most significant consequence of an injury. The inability to travel to a wedding or to get a good night’s sleep can rob life of its pleasure.

In some cases, injury victims need mental health counseling or therapy to recover from emotional injuries. The expense of treating an emotional injury is one component of compensation.

Money cannot make emotional pain disappear, but it can be used to offset mental anguish by improving the quality of an accident victim’s life. A car accident lawyer in Brookhaven, GA will use their experience to help accident victims receive the compensation they deserve for being made to endure emotional distress.

Contact the Butler Law Firm for their insight into personal injury cases and compensation for pain and suffering after a car accident.