Economic Damages

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident in Georgia, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. In these cases, the victim of an accident can pursue damages from the person or entity responsible for their injuries. 

Damages in a Georgia personal injury case generally fall into three categories: 

  • Economic damages, which include medical bills, lost wages, and other costs
  • Non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other intangible costs
  • Punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant when their conduct was intentional or malicious. 

A Georgia personal injury lawyer will be able to evaluate your claim and potential for all types of damages. 

Courts will award economic damages as a way to help victims cover the costs of medical treatment and other issues after an accident. Generally, economic damages are tangible – meaning they can be viewed and broken down into exact dollar figures. Insurance companies, judges, and juries will examine the invoices and bills associated with a victim’s damages. Georgia law allows plaintiffs to bring claims for economic damages even when some damages might be difficult to calculate or predict. 

Initial Medical Expenses 

Initial Medical Expenses

These expenses can include ambulance services, emergency treatment, inpatient treatment at a hospital, and follow-up appointments soon after an accident. They can also include the costs of medical equipment, supplies, and prescription drugs. If you sustain a catastrophic injury, your medical expenses may be more extensive. Since a patient will receive invoices or insurance statements regarding these services, they are not usually difficult to calculate. 

Future Medical Expenses 

Future medical expenses are more challenging to calculate because they involve estimates and predictions about future needs. Georgia law requires that future medical expenses in a personal injury case must be supported by “competent evidence,” not just mere “conjecture and speculation.” Some future medical expenses can include therapy, counseling, medication, and assisted living services. 

An accident victim only has one chance to pursue their personal injury claim; however, there is pressure to calculate future expenses accurately before they arrive. This is where an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with experience in this area can help. 

Rehabilitation and Therapy Costs

Recovering from injuries due to an accident can sometimes involve extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy. If these costs are known at the time of a claim or before trial, they can be included in the calculation for economic damages. If therapy or rehab will be required in the future, these services can be included as well. 

Property Damage 

An accident caused by someone else will often involve damage to a vehicle, home, or other property. Physical evidence, repair estimates, and costs to replace parts can all be used to assess the property damage involved in an accident. The victim is entitled to recover these costs as economic damages in a personal injury claim. 

Lost Income 

Under Georgia law, a plaintiff can collect for past lost wages and future lost wages as part of their economic damages in a personal injury case. To collect, a plaintiff must usually be employed at the time of the accident. Courts will look at wages lost due to missed work from the accident. These can be straightforward to calculate. For example, if you earn $1,000 weekly and miss eight weeks of work, you could collect $8,000 as past lost wages. 

However, if you are self-employed or your income fluctuates during the year, calculating lost wages can be more complex. Personal injury lawyers with experience addressing economic damages can help you reach a fair settlement reflecting your lost income. 

Calculating future lost wages in a Georgia personal injury case will depend on several factors, including: 

  • Your age. If you are younger, the amount of future lost wages will be higher than if you are close to retirement age. 
  • The type of industry you are involved in. If you are in a dynamic industry with a strong potential for growth and profit, this will affect your future lost income if your career is diminished by an accident. 
  • Your career track and potential for promotion. If you were on track for promotions or partnership in a business before an accident, this will also play into your future lost wages and overall economic damages. 

Miscellaneous Expenses 

Any other expenses that can be attributed to the accident and shown on a balance sheet could be included as economic damages in a personal injury case. These can include funeral expenses after the loss of a loved one or legal fees if a jury finds the defendant acted in bad faith. 

Is There a Limit to Economic Damages in a Georgia Personal Injury Case? 

Some states have laws limiting the amount that a personal injury can collect in their case. Fortunately, there is no cap to economic damages in a Georgia personal injury case. This means that a claimant can pursue all expenses associated with the accident if they have numbers and estimates available. 

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Collect Economic Damages? 

Calculating damages in a personal injury case can be complex and time-consuming. An experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer will not only be able to assemble the information you need to collect economic damages but will use evidence and expert analysis to maximize your potential claim for damages. Lawyers can fight aggressively for you through the insurance claims process and all the way to trial if your case goes to court. 

Contact an Experienced Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer to Pursue Economic Damages 

If you’ve been injured in an accident in the Atlanta, GA, area, there is no time to waste. Your recovery – physically and financially – is critical. Call our experienced legal team to schedule a free consultation and start your claim today.