Those not familiar with personal injury law might still be aware that plaintiffs can recover damages in the form of medical expenses and lost wages. These types of damages are considered economic, but many injured victims might not be aware of the non-economic damages they could recover in a successful lawsuit.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for the harm you have experienced due to your injuries. Thus, non-economic damages are a type of compensatory damages. Unlike economic damages, which are typically calculated to the exact dollar amount through medical bills and wage reports, non-economic damages are much more challenging to calculate. The subjectiveness of non-economic damages means that you will generally need to testify how your injuries have affected your life since the accident.
To learn more about what damages might be available in your personal injury case, speak with our Georgia personal injury lawyers today for a free case review. Contact Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
The Difference Between Economic and Non-Economic Damages in a Georgia Injury Case
Two types of compensatory damages can be awarded in a Georgia personal injury lawsuit, economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are intended to compensate you for the financial harm you suffered due to your injuries. An award for economic damages typically includes medical expenses for treatment, which can be proved with medical bills and invoices.
Lost income can also be compensated if the victim misses work. Lost wages will be awarded if the plaintiff can show with pay stubs and tax records the wages they would have made if they had not been injured.
Property damage in an accident can also be claimed as economic damages. Replacement costs, repair bills, and estimates can show how much the victim spent to repair or replace their property.
Unlike economic damages, which can be calculated using bills and invoices, non-economic damages do not have a set amount that can be easily determined. Non-economic damages are based on your subjective experiences following the accident. This can include the physical pain you have had to live with and the emotional suffering your injuries have caused.
Testimony from the victim and others close to them is usually necessary to prove non-economic damages. After hearing from the victim and any witnesses testifying in their injury case, the judge or jury will consider several factors to decide the amount of your non-economic damages if your injury lawsuit prevails. Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers can help explain the difference in the types of compensatory damages that might be available in your case.
Types of Non-Economic Damages You Can Claim in a Georgia Injury Case
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate the victim of a personal injury for their pain, suffering, and emotional distress. The subjective experience of your injuries can take many forms that the court will consider when deciding on a non-economic award.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages result from the pain and suffering you experience after your injury. The pain you experience during treatment, through recovery, and after will be considered when evaluating the level of suffering you have gone through.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Life might not have the same quality as it did before your injuries. Things like hobbies and spending time with family might be activities you used to enjoy, but your injuries prevent you from enjoying them now.
Humiliation and Emotional Anguish
Victims with scars or some other noticeable impairment might understandably have emotional distress because of their accident. Those who have injuries that they feel humiliate them can be compensated for their embarrassment.
Chronic Pain, Suffering, or Damage
The pain from many injuries does not stop simply because treatment is completed. Chronic pain is typically considered untreatable and something that the victim of a personal injury might have to live with for the duration of their life. Chronic pain and suffering from your injuries can be compensated in a non-economic damages award.
Loss of Consortium
The spouse and children of a personal injury victim may also make a claim for their loss of enjoyment with the victim. Loss of consortium can include loss of intimacy or ability to contribute to household chores. Family members deprived of their companionship and prior-existing relationship with the victim could be entitled to non-economic damages. Our Macon personal injury lawyers can help you understand the different non-economic damages that could be awarded to you and your loved ones.
What Factors are Considered When Determining Non-Economic Damages in a Georgia Injury Case?
Non-economic damages are subjective. Therefore, the judge or jury will consider several factors when deciding how much your pain and suffering are worth. The following are the most common factors considered when determining a victim’s non-economic damages in a Georgia injury case:
- The severity of the victim’s injuries
- Length of treatment
- Impact on the victim’s physical appearance
- The effect on the victim’s daily life
- How the victim’s life has been affected compared to their life before the accident
- How the victim’s injuries have altered their life or caused major changes
Many other factors could be considered when calculating non-economic damages. Our Savannah personal injury lawyers can review the facts of your case to determine how your injuries have impacted you and your loved ones.
Will The Court Cap My Non-Economic Damages Award in a Georgia Injury Case?
Fortunately, there is no cap in Georgia on the amount of non-economic damages you could be awarded in a successful lawsuit. In 2010, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down a law that capped non-economic damages as it violated a plaintiff’s right to a jury trial under the Georgia Constitution. Thus, a victim in a personal injury case will not be prevented from recovering the full amount of non-economic damages that the court feels they deserve. Our Alpharetta personal injury lawyers are ready to help you build a strong case to recover the non-economic damages you are owed.
Our Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, our experienced Warner Robbins personal injury lawyers can help you understand the potential damages you could recover in a lawsuit. Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 for a free case assessment.