Types Of Damages Available To Georgia Car Accident Victims: Part One
Here’s a broad overview of the damages potentially available for Georgia car accident victims. (In our next post in this series, we will explore the types of compensation in more granular detail.)
Georgia is what’s known as an “at-fault” state. What that means is that our state’s tort system allows victims to pursue personal injury lawsuits to obtain compensation for damages caused by car accidents — especially if driver negligence or carelessness contributed to the crash.
Sometimes referred to as general damages, compensatory damages reimburse victims for financial and emotional harm inflicted by the crash. For example, the victim can get paid back for ongoing medical bills not covered by insurance. These damages also attempt to quantify the pain, suffering, and emotional duress experienced – in other words, to attach a monetary amount to that loss.
As the name indicates, punitive damages are designed to punish the responsible person or other party, such as a negligent trucking company that hired a driver with a checkered driving history, who then rammed your car with his 18 wheeler. The court awards these damages infrequently and generally reserves them for cases involving malice or gross negligence. An example of this occurred in Dagne v. Schroeder, in which the defendant drove on the opposite side of the road and crashed into the plaintiff’s vehicle. The court eventually determined that the defendant had not been impaired at the time of the accident, but it still awarded punitive damages.
Contact Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP to learn more about damages available to car accident victims in Georgia.