Understanding Damages in a Tifton Personal Injury Lawsuit
“Damages” is a legal term used to describe the types of harm a person suffers because of injuries associated with some type of accident. Whether a personal injury lawsuit involves a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice, or workers’ compensation, among other claims, damages are similarly measured.
Because there is no way to turn back time to prevent an accident or incident from happening, the only way to make an injury victim “whole” is to provide a means for the injury victim to pursue legal action and recover compensation. The court system is the path injury victims take to allege that they have been harmed by another’s negligent conduct.
What Types of Damages Can You Get in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Damages that are often alleged in Georgia personal injury lawsuits include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Emotional pain and suffering;
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages (present and future);
- Funeral expenses (in the event a person suffers fatal injuries); and
- Punitive damages, which will be further explained below.
Damages will vary from case to case based on the severity of a victim’s injuries as well as the victim’s age, whether the victim was employed, and whether the victim has any chance of making a full recovery.
When a Tifton personal injury lawyer evaluates a potential legal claim, he or she will determine what type of damages exist in a particular case and whether those damages may be recoverable by pursuing legal action.
Alleging Punitive Damages in Georgia
Punitive damages are awarded in some personal injury lawsuits that involve egregious conduct that caused or contributed to cause a person’s injuries. Although punitive damages are awarded to the plaintiff in the form of compensation, such damages are intended to punish the defendant wrongdoer rather than to compensate the plaintiff.
Under Georgia Code Section 51-12-5.1, an injured victim can only recover punitive damages at trial when “it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s actions showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.”
An example of when punitive damages may be awarded in a personal injury trial is when the defendant in the case was driving drunk and caused an accident that resulted in catastrophic injuries or death. A jury may believe that a defendant’s conduct in willfully getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is grounds to punish the defendant by awarding the plaintiff punitive damages.
Are There Caps on Damages in Georgia?
At one point, Georgia instituted caps on damages that limited the amount of compensation an injury victim could recover. However, the Georgia supreme court ruled that Georgia’s statute concerning caps on damages was unconstitutional, as it undercuts a jury’s ability to reach a verdict it believes is fair and reasonable.
Now that Georgia no longer has caps on damages, personal injury victims have a better opportunity to recover what they deserve by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit with the assistance of a qualified Tifton personal injury lawyer.
Consult with a Tifton Personal Injury Lawyer by Contacting Hudson Injury Firm Today
If you have suffered personal injuries in any type of accident, such as an auto accident, slip and fall accident, dog bite incident, nursing home abuse and neglect, medical malpractice, or workers’ compensation, among others, you have limited time to reach out to a Tifton personal injury lawyer.
At Hudson Injury Firm, we handle a wide variety of personal injury matters. To find out whether you have a potential legal claim, contact our firm today to receive your free case evaluation by calling (229) 396-5845 or by submitting a form on our contact us page.