How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in Georgia?

A party responsible for injuring you can be financially liable for the harm they cause. You can recover reimbursement for your economic damages. These include your financial losses, such as lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, property damage, and medical bills.

You can also receive a monetary award or settlement to compensate you for your non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. Insurance companies often downplay and dispute pain and suffering damages. Our experienced Georgia personal injury lawyers can help you seek just compensation.

What Is Included in Pain and Suffering Damages in a Georgia Personal Injury Claim?

The courts cannot undo the harm caused by a reckless or negligent party, nor can they take away your pain and suffering. However, they can impose damages to make you “whole” again after an accident or injury.

Damages are the remedy a civil court can offer an injured party. Pain and suffering damages represent the physical and emotional distress you experience because of the other party’s conduct. 

Examples of pain and suffering damages in a Georgia personal injury case include:

  • Disabilities and long-term impairments, including spinal cord injuries, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and cognitive changes
  • Physical pain and discomfort caused by the injuries and medical treatments
  • Scarring and disfigurement, including amputations, loss of limbs, and severe burns
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish, including psychological injuries and conditions such as PTSD, severe anxiety, and depression
  • Diminished quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life

Pain and suffering damages are subjective. Each person suffers differently from their injuries. Even if you sustain the same injuries as another person, your recovery will be different.

Proving pain and suffering damages can be difficult. You can improve your case by keeping a pain and suffering journal.

In your journal, make notes about your recovery. What is your daily pain level, the activities you cannot enjoy, and your emotional state throughout the recovery? The more details you provide, the better an insurance adjuster, judge, or juror can “feel” your pain and suffering.

What Types of Personal Injury Cases Can Include Pain and Suffering Damages?

Non-economic damages can be awarded in all types of personal injury cases. 

Claims arising from negligence, intentional torts, and other wrongful conduct include:

Immediate medical treatment after an accident or injury improves your chances of making a full recovery. It also supports your personal injury claim. Medical records documenting your injuries are essential for proving pain and suffering damages.

What Is the Value of My Pain and Suffering Claim in Georgia?

Because there is no standard method of putting a price on pain and suffering, calculating how much your non-economic damages are worth can be challenging. We will analyze various factors in your case to determine how they impact your life. 

Factors that can affect how much pain and suffering damages are worth include:

  • The type of injuries you sustain
  • The medical treatments you receive for your injuries
  • The duration of your recovery period
  • The severity of scarring and disfigurement
  • Whether you sustain a permanent impairment or disability, and the extent of the disability or impairment
  • Whether you are partially responsible for causing your injuries (i.e., comparative fault)
  • The evidence proving causation, fault, and liability

Comparative negligence or a lack of evidence could reduce the value of a personal injury claim. However, other factors could increase how much your pain and suffering damages are worth. Generally, as the severity of your injuries and impairments increases, the value of damages increases.

Methods for Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages in a Georgia Personal Injury Case

Georgia does not have a standard formula it requires parties to use to calculate how much their pain and suffering damages are worth. Instead, two methods are commonly used to calculate the value of pain and suffering damages.

The Multiplier Method

The parties agree to a multiplier between 1.5 and five based on the facts of the case. We analyze factors like those discussed above. Generally, the more severe the injuries and impact on the victim’s life, the higher the multiplier.

For example, a person who sustains a traumatic brain injury that results in permanent cognitive impairments might use a multiplier between four and five. However, a person who breaks a bone that heals entirely in a few months might use a multiplier of 1.5 to 2.5.

We’ll multiply the total of your economic damages by the multiplier. The result is the value of your pain and suffering damages. Because we use your economic damages in the calculation, we must ensure that all financial losses are included in the total to maximize the value of non-economic damages.

The Per Diem Method

In some situations, the per diem method may be appropriate to use. We assign a daily value for pain and suffering damages based on the facts of the case.

Then, we multiply the per diem value by the number of days it took for you to recover from your injuries. The recovery period is calculated from the day of your injury through the day your doctor releases you from treatment.

What Is the Deadline to File a Claim for Pain and Suffering Damages in Georgia?

Most personal injury claims have a two-year statute of limitations in Georgia. The deadline begins on the date of your accident or injury. If you do not file a lawsuit before the deadline, you lose the right to pursue a legal claim for pain and suffering damages.

The facts of your case and exceptions to the statute of limitations could mean you have a different deadline to file a lawsuit. The best way to protect your right to sue a party for causing your injuries is to consult an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you were hurt.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Pain and Suffering and Other Damages

At Hammers Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers, our legal team will work with you to get the money you need and deserve after an injury or accident. Call our law firm today at (770) 900-9000 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Georgia personal injury attorneys. We’ll fight to protect your rights and best interests during the personal injury claims process.