A car accident can be a major event in the life of a Georgia resident. Although some car accident victims may be able to walk away from their crashes without suffering harm, others may sustain life-threatening and life-altering injuries from which they may never fully recover. Living with the consequences of a violent car accident can be emotionally and financially devastating.
To get through an altered life after a vehicle collision, a victim may need financial help from the party or parties that caused their harm. Under the law this help is called damages, and damages can be sought through personal injury litigation. This post does not provide any legal advice to its readers, and any car accident victim who is interested in learning more about their legal options to sue for damages can contact their trusted car accident and personal injury attorneys for guidance.
Types of available damages in Georgia
Damages can cover both tangible and intangible losses. For example, a car accident victim may be able to clearly quantify certain losses related to their collision, including but not limited to:
- Accident-related medical bills
- Costs to repair their vehicle and rent one during the repair period
- Lost wages from being unable to work.
These tangible losses can be recovered by victims through personal injury lawsuits. However, victims can also seek the recovery of intangible, unquantifiable losses. The extraordinary pain and suffering a victim experiences due to their accident is also compensable. Their loved ones’ loss of a victim’s affection or companionship is also recoverable. A personal injury attorney can help a car accident victim understand how to identify and plead these tangible and intangible damages.
Limits on punitive damages in certain cases
One form of damages – punitive damages – are not tied to the victim’s losses at all. Punitive damages are solely meant to punish, penalize, or deter the wrongdoer. They may be recovered only in cases of willful misconduct, malice, fraud, or conscious indifference. Punitive damages are capped in Georgia at $250,000 except in product liability cases and cases where the wrongdoer intended to harm, or acted under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The amount must be sufficient to deter, penalize, or punish in light of the circumstances of the case
Not all car accident victims can get back on their feet shortly after their crashes. Some must live with lifelong injuries and suffering. Damages can be an effective source of financial support for those whose lives are impacted by the devastating outcomes of motor vehicle accidents.