Personal Injury Settlements in Georgia
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another in Georgia, you are entitled to pursue compensation for your damages. Georgia law holds that any reckless or negligent person harming another through their careless acts becomes financially liable to the person injured. By bringing what is called a “tort” action or a “personal injury” action, the injured person can compel the individual causing the damage to pay for their misdeeds.
Damages on Personal Injury
Three sorts of damages are available to injured individuals seeking to be made whole for their losses.
- Lost income. If you have been harmed and cannot go to work or perform your occupation or craft, you are entitled to recover compensation for your lost wages or revenue to the extent those losses were caused by the negligent acts of the defendant.
- Medical expenses. If you were hospitalized or were under a doctor’s care because of the accident, you are entitled to recover the amount it cost you.
- Pain and suffering. While the previous two categories are usually cut and dried and fairly easily determined by reference to financial records, pain and suffering is a more flexible category of damages. It is an award to the plaintiff for the agony of the injury, given at the discretion of the jury or judge trying the case. Similar damages can be awarded for wrongful death and the loss of companionship of a spouse or parent.3
Unlike many states, there is no general cap on pain and suffering damages. Georgia allows juries to award damages according to their consciences.
Settlement awards for personal injury can also be limited by practical considerations. If you are injured in an automobile accident, the practical limit that can be recovered is the amount insured on the defendant’s auto insurance policy. Most people actually carry only the statutory minimum auto insurance policy, which allows for even less recovery.
Other personal injury recoveries are limited either by other kinds of insurance policies, like homeowners or commercial liability policies, or the assets belonging to the defendant.
Statute of Limitations
Statute of limitations can also affect recoveries and personal injury settlements. The general statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury suit in Georgia is two years from the date of the incident. That means that if the injured person does not pursue the claim and file a case within two years, the chance to do so is permanently lost under the statute of limitations.
There are some exceptions to the general statute. The statute begins to run on the date that the injured person knew or should reasonably have known about the injury. In some cases, like medical malpractice, it may take some time before the damage from the injury becomes obvious. Once it does, the statute begins to run. In other cases, like slip and fall cases or auto accidents, the injury becomes obvious at once, on the date of the fall or the date of the car crash.
Another exception is that minors have until they reach the age of majority to begin the statute of limitations.
Get Your Personal Injury Settlements With the Help of Blairsville GA Attorneys
The Law Office of Daniel R. Duello has helped many clients in Northern Georgia with their legal needs, including negotiation and litigation of personal injury claims. He understands that a personal injury can be a traumatic experience, and he treats all of our clients with care and compassion and works to give them our very best professional representation.
Daniel Duello will explore every legitimate path to gain the fullest possible settlement of your personal injury claim. If negotiations fail, he will not hesitate to aggressively represent you in court. If you have been hurt in an accident and require the assistance of a Blairsville personal injury attorney, call today for a consultation.