If you’re pursuing a personal injury claim, you’ve likely asked your car accident attorney about how much money you can expect. This is a normal and perfectly valid question. However, if your attorney has just started working on your case, they won’t be able to give you an accurate answer. They’re likely to tell you that it all depends on several factors. Rest assured that your attorney isn’t being evasive. Numerous things can impact your claim for compensation in Atlanta and elsewhere in Georgia.
Question Your Atlanta, Georgia Car Accident Attorney Will Consider
Your attorney will need to get a clear picture of your injuries and the circumstances which caused them. They will consider the facts of the case, similar precedents and their knowledge of how insurance companies and other attorneys operate.
Some of the questions they will consider include:
- Is there any dispute over who is at fault?
- What was the extent of your injuries?
- Did the injuries affect your ability to earn an income?
- Will you need long-term medical treatment?
- How much insurance does the at-fault party have?
- In which county is the case being heard?
- Which insurance company is involved?
- Who is the at-fault party’s lawyer?
Once your attorney investigates your claim and answers these questions, they can arrive at a fair settlement value.
How Personal Injury Attorneys in Atlanta Calculate Settlements
You will likely settle your personal injury case out of court. However, your lawyer will try to determine what a jury would award if it did go to trial. The at-fault party’s insurer will do the same thing. That because this is generally a good barometer by which to gauge a fair settlement. The types of damages you can recover will be based on the losses you suffered. If your case goes to trial, you may be able to get punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. However, this usually only occurs in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence.
Compensatory damages are intended to make up for the losses that the victim incurred. As far as is possible from a financial perspective, they are designed to make the victim whole again.
Types of Losses
Some of the things for which you can claim compensation include:
- Medical treatment. You may be able to get compensation for any treatment you need because of your injuries. This includes hospital visits, surgery, and physical therapy.
- Property damage. If your vehicle suffered damage, you should be entitled to the cost of repairs or the fair market value.
- Loss of income. If your injuries cause you to take time off work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or salaries.
- Reduced earning capacity. In some cases, victims can’t return to work or they can only do tasks that pay significantly less. If this is your situation, you should recover compensation for this permanent loss.
- Pain and suffering. If your injuries were severe and you had a long recovery period, you may get compensation for your suffering.
- Emotional distress. Accidents can be traumatic and life-changing. If you’re now dealing with insomnia, PTSD, anxiety or depression, you should get compensation.
You will need to submit proof of all the losses you’re claiming. Medical bills, doctors’ reports, and payslips from your employer can all help to prove your case. Your attorney will be instrumental in assigning a dollar value to pain and suffering and emotional distress which aren’t easily quantified. Your lawyer will also determine whether it makes sense to ask for punitive damages.
The Role of Contributory Negligence
Atlanta’s contributory negligence laws may influence your claim. You may be deemed partially responsible for your injuries. If so, your damages will be reduced by the percentage to which you were at fault. You can only recover compensation if you were less than 50 percent at fault. In this respect, Georgia differs from states which practice the pure comparative law. In these jurisdictions, you can still get compensation even if you were 99 percent at fault.
Contact A Car Accident Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia Today!
If you live in Atlanta or the surrounding areas and you were injured, Bethune Law Firm can help. We will investigate your case thoroughly so we can determine how much is fair compensation. We can’t promise you will get a certain amount, but we’ll work hard to ensure you get what you deserve. We are experienced personal injury attorneys who have successfully handled hundreds of claims. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. You don’t have to pay until we secure compensation on your behalf.