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Calculate Damages in Personal Injury Claims With The Help Of A Personal Injury Lawyer in Gwinnett County, Georgia

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Understanding How Damages Are Calculated in Georgia Personal Injury Claims

You may not often think about it, but every time you get in a vehicle, you are on the road with other drivers who may be impaired or just not paying attention. In fact, Dacula, located in Gwinnett County, had the highest rate of drivers with at least one previous at-fault accident in the state. More than 14 percent of drivers met this criterion, which is a rate that’s 1.25 times greater than the average for Georgia as a whole.

After you’ve been injured in an accident, you’re left picking up the pieces — and paying the bills. But if the incident was the fault of someone else, such as a car accident where someone hits your vehicle from behind, they could be liable for any expenses that you incur.

Economic Damages

To be able to file a personal injury lawsuit, you have to show that you suffered damages as a result of the other person’s negligence. In many cases, a large part of those damages will be financial, also known as economic damages. Anything that can be totaled up through calculations or that a receipt or bill attached to it is likely to fall into this category.

Expenses Related to Medical Treatment

Any expenses you incur due to your medical treatment should be part of your personal injury case. It’s important to ensure that you understand the full extent — and expense — of your injuries before you determine how much you want to pursue in damages. While your immediate expenses, such as ambulance transportation and emergency room care, may already be high, you want to make sure you include the entire cost of treatment, which might add on surgeries, ongoing physical therapy, or assistive medical devices. Keep a file with all of your bills to ensure that you include everything from the hospital, the different medical providers, and labs — all of which are likely to bill you separately.

Lost Wages and Diminished Earning Potential

Another part of financial damages in a personal injury case is lost wages. Even if you didn’t suffer catastrophic injuries, you’re likely to need some time off of work to recover and recuperate — especially if you work a manual labor job or are on your feet all day. And for the many jobs that don’t have paid time off — or enough days to cover your recovery — this can mean you take a hit on your income. Less money coming in is the last thing you need when medical bills and expenses are mounting, but your lost wages can be added as part of your economic damages.

If you suffered an injury that means that you won’t be able to return to your line of work, you can also include diminished earning potential in your claim. For example, if you’re a surgeon and you broke your hand in the accident, it’s likely that you won’t be able to go back to operating and may have to take a lower-paying job in your field. Calculating diminished earning potential can be challenging, but an attorney can help you pull together figures and possibly even testimony from expert witnesses to demonstrate your losses in this area.

Noneconomic Damages

Not all of the damages that you incur as the result of an accident are easy to assign a number to. These are referred to as your noneconomic damages and include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life. In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, it could include loss of companionship and consortium for a spouse or loss of love and guidance for a child left behind.

When you think about the love you have for your spouse or how difficult it would be to have your entire quality of life changed for the negative in a matter of seconds, you can see how difficult it is to put a price tag on these types of damages. There are two main ways that an attorney will help you come up with a number for these aspects of your case.

The first is the per-diem method. This puts a certain value on the level of pain and suffering or other noneconomic losses and multiplies it by the total days of your recovery to come up with a final number. However, this has some limitations in that if the issue is something you will deal with for the rest of your life, it’s difficult to come up with an accurate calculation.

For this reason, the multiplier method is more widely used. To calculate your noneconomic damages, your attorney will multiply your economic damages by a number — usually between 2 and 5, depending on severity — to determine the value of your pain and suffering.

How Modified Comparative Negligence Affects the Amount of Compensation

Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state when it comes to personal injury claims, which means that your compensation could be lowered if you were partially at fault for the accident. You are still able to file a lawsuit against the other party as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault, but your damages are generally lowered by your fault percentage. Determining how much you were at fault and how it might affect your award can be complicated, so it’s best to go over these calculations with an attorney.

To discuss how much your case may be worth and how you can maximize your compensation, call The Scott Pryor Law Group at 678-325-3434.

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