Accidents are a top cause of death and disability in Georgia and throughout the US, but you might not appreciate the risks of being injured until you take a close look at the statistics. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that accidents are the #4 cause of death in America, claiming the lives of almost 201,000 people every year. Plus, around 24.8 million individuals head to their physician’s office for treatment of unintentional injuries, and another 98 million visit the ER for care after an accident. While the physical pain can be extreme, other financial and emotional consequences can hit victims hard.
If you were hurt in an accident that was not your fault, Georgia law allows you to seek damages for these devastating losses. Whether you were involved in a car or truck crash, motorcycle collision, slip and fall accident, or another incident, you can pursue the negligent party for compensation. It is wise to rely on an Atlanta personal injury attorney for assistance with the legal process, but an overview is useful.
Types of Damages in Accident Claims
Compensation in a personal injury case aims to put victims in the same position they would be had the accident never happened, at least to the greatest extent possible. In most cases, there are two categories of financial recovery:
1. Economic Damages: This class of compensation includes the tangible, quantifiable losses that you sustain because of your injuries. You may be eligible to recover economic damages for the costs of medical care, the wages you lost from missing work, and the out-of-pocket expenses related to the treatment of your injuries.
2. Noneconomic Damages: Some losses are difficult to assign a dollar value, though you most certainly suffer hardship and diminished quality of life after being injured. This category is often termed “pain and suffering,” but noneconomic damages may also include:
- Emotional distress and anguish;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Lost future earning capacity; and
- Losses are based on how your injuries affect personal relationships.
Legal Process for Recovering Compensation
Whether you were hurt in a motor vehicle crash, slipped and fell, or suffered injuries because of medical malpractice, you will typically be dealing with an insurance company. Motorists, business and property owners, professionals, and many others carry a policy to protect their interests from liability. Therefore, your first step in the legal process is filing an insurance claim. The company may be amenable to settling, but keep in mind that these are for-profit businesses. Your claim represents a loss, so the insurer will try to find ways to deny it or justify a lowball amount.
If the insurance company refuses to pay fair compensation, your next step is to file a lawsuit in court. Under Georgia’s statute of limitations, you must do so within two years after the accident.
Trust an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer to Guide You Through the Process
To learn more about how damages work in a Georgia accident claim, please call (404) 888-4444 or go online to reach Wetherington Law Firm, P.C. We can set up a no-cost case review with an Atlanta personal injury attorney who will provide additional details.