Serious car crashes happen daily in our region. The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that motor vehicle collisions are the second-leading cause of emergency room visits in the state. Following a major crash, you need full and fair financial compensation to pay your medical bills. Additionally, you may also be entitled to money damages for the pain and suffering you endured.
This raises an important question: How is the value of pain and suffering determined in a personal injury case? The short answer is that courts will look at a victim’s economic damages and the specific nature of their injury. Here, our Atlanta auto accident lawyer provides a more detailed overview of how pain and suffering are calculated after a motor vehicle collision in Georgia.
Pain and Suffering: Defined
A car accident is traumatic. Not only can a collision cause severe injuries, but victims often endure significant physical, psychological, and emotional trauma in the accident. From a legal perspective, pain and suffering are broadly defined as the physical discomfort and emotional distress associated with an accident. In Georgia, car accident victims have the right to pursue financial compensation for pain and suffering.
Economic Damages (Medical Bills, Lost Wages) Form the Basis of a Calculation
Pain and suffering in non-economic (intangible) damage. By definition, this means that there is no specific piece of documentation that a plaintiff can produce to demonstrate the value of their pain and suffering. Still, that fact does not make the pain and suffering any less worthy of compensation.
It merely makes pain and suffering more difficult to value. Georgia courts tend to use a basic legal formula called the “multiplier method” to determine the value of pain and suffering damages. In effect, pain and suffering damages are valued at a “multiple” of economic losses.
For example, if you suffered $10,000 in medical bills and $2,000 in lost wages in an accident, you would have $12,000 in economic damages. With a multiplier of “2”, your pain and suffering would be valued at $24,000. The multiplier a court chooses will depend on the specific nature of the injury.
Insurance Companies Often Try to Undervalue Pain and Suffering Damages
Sadly, the big insurance companies that handle most car accident injury claims in Georgia are notorious for undervaluing pain and suffering damages. They may try to offer you far less than you truly deserve in a settlement. It is imperative that your medical bills, lost wages, and the total effect of the impact are well-documented. An Atlanta, GA car accident lawyer can help you maximize your recovery for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Auto Accident Attorney in Atlanta
At Ponton Law, our Atlanta car accident lawyer is devoted to providing the highest level of personalized representation to injured victims. We will maximize your recovery after a crash, including for your pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation review of your personal injury case. With an office in Atlanta, our law firm provides car accident representation throughout the region, including in Fulton County, DeKalb County, and Cobb County.