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What damages can be recovered with a personal injury claim?

In the wake of a serious accident, whether it is a motor vehicle accident or a slip-and-fall accident, victims may not realize that they have the option to pursue compensation from the negligent or reckless party. This is truly unfortunate, as there could be a considerable amount of compensation available, depending on the types of damages involved.

Below, we look at what types of damages you could recover should you file a legal claim after an accident in Georgia.

Special damages

These are damages that reflect your economic loss, or losses that can be calculated fairly easily. Special damages cover things like:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • In-home care needs
  • Costs to repair damaged property

General damages

General damages, on the other hand, are more difficult to calculate. They are the intangible damages suffered as a result of an accident or injury. This can include:

  • Physical disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Punitive damages

In some cases, courts may award punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the negligent or reckless party for egregious wrongdoing.

What you stand to collect

The courts may award one type or all types of damages, depending on the details of a specific case. Unlike other states, Georgia does not impose a cap on damages, but awards are reduced if courts determine that a plaintiff was also negligent in an accident. In other words, you can still receive damages if you were at fault (as long as you are not 50 percent or more at fault), but your award will be decreased proportionally.

With all this in mind, accident victims should understand that there could be a lot on the line in terms of compensation following an accident. For this reason, it can be a good idea to consult an attorney if you or a loved one has recently been involved in a serious accident.