Posted in Blog on June 6, 2019
Personal injury pain and suffering settlements vary greatly in Georgia, because no monetary cap exists on damages. Each state has its own rules establishing maximum damages for accident victims. The law in Georgia on pain and suffering (OCGA 9-10-184) states:
“In the trial of a civil action for personal injuries, counsel shall be allowed to argue the worth or monetary value of pain and suffering to the jury; provided, however, that any such argument shall conform to the evidence or reasonable deductions from the evidence in the case.”
This statute covers a broad range. It allows juries to determine damages based on the evidence they hear, with no monetary cap.
The pain and suffering category of financial compensation includes injuries in an accident and other damages such as medical bills. Pain and suffering covers both short and long-term harm from an injury due to an accident. Medical bills are the beginning. Georgia pain and suffering damages compensate injured parties for physical and psychological effects. The compensation covers the effect the accident has on the plaintiff, the disruption to daily life, and the impact on their family.
Legally, pain and suffering refer to a specific element of harm caused by someone else. Pain covers the actual injury and any physical discomfort suffered by the victim. This category includes whiplash, broken bones, any lacerations, and side effects of the surgeries required. Suffering covers psychological and emotional effects such as depression, anxiety or other mood disorders, despair because of physical limitations, plus loss of spousal consortium.
Pain and suffering mean more than harm felt immediately. The state of Georgia also takes into account future discomforts and any potential long-term mental anguish. These future considerations apply specifically for victims with particularly severe injuries.
In personal injury lawsuits, demonstrating physical and emotional harm is a vital element of the case.
Georgia categorizes compensation for personal injuries into two distinct categories. General damages are difficult to assign dollar values. General damages compensate for trauma in a general sense. For example, the trauma associated with losing a leg, or the death of a child fall into the general damages category. Pain and suffering falls into the general damages category, and so the compensation varies depending on the details of the case.
Special damages are a specific amount. Medical bills, and lost wages fall into the special damages category. The amounts are specific, and measurable.
Many factors contribute to pain and suffering awards. The judge or jury hears details of the accident’s impact in the victim’s life. The victim’s attorney presents information in order for the victim to receive the highest potential award.
Any of these factors is sufficient to receive pain and suffering compensation. The severity ultimately affects the total award amount. As an example, a mother no longer physically capable of caring for her child should recover more than someone bedridden for a short recovery time.
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