Non-Economic Damages

Atlanta residents who were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence may be able to recover damages to compensate them for their injuries. 

Non-economic damages are one main type of damages available to personal injury victims. It’s important to understand the various types of damages and the requirements for recovering compensation in Georgia.

What Are Non-Economic Damages in Georgia?

What are non-economic damages in Georgia?

If you pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you may recover two key types of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages, as you may guess from the name, are the financial costs you incurred or will incur because of the accident. This includes medical bills, rehabilitation costs, vehicle damage, and lost wages. Most economic damages relate to a specific transaction and can be calculated by tallying your actual costs.

Non-economic damages, however, relate to the psychological or subjective costs of the accident. They include emotional anguish, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of quality of life, and scarring or disfigurement. 

Non-economic damages usually do not relate to specific transactions, and they are more difficult to calculate than economic damages. One common formula for calculating non-economic damages is to multiply the value of economic damages by a factor of 1 to 3. This means non-economic damages could be a significant portion of your ultimate settlement award.

Here are common types of non-economic damages available to injured victims in Georgia:

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering damages aim to compensate victims for the physical and emotional pain caused by their injuries.

Mental Anguish

Mental anguish, which is sometimes referred to as emotional anguish, concerns the fear, anxiety, depression, and trauma that is experienced due to an accident or injury.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Loss of enjoyment of life damages refers to the significant lifestyle changes that one may experience after an accident. Sadly, the physical and mental consequences of an injury may prevent one from participating in and enjoying the activities they once did. This may include playing sports, engaging in hobbies, attending social events, or other activities.

Loss of Consortium

A claim for loss of consortium arises when one’s injuries deprive their loved ones of the support, companionship, affection, or sexual relations that once existed. Essentially, loss of consortium concerns what a loved one can no longer provide due to an injury.

Is There a Limit on Non-Economic Damages in Georgia?

Some states place limits on the amount of non-economic damages one can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. That’s not the case in Georgia. 

In Georgia, there is no limit to the amount of non-economic damages one can recover. Non-economic damages are often a large part of a settlement award.

Who Is Eligible To Receive Non-Economic Damages in Georgia?

To recover non-economic damages in Atlanta, GA, you often must prove someone else’s negligence caused your accident or injuries. 

To prove negligence, you must prove the following four elements:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty of care
  • You incurred damages
  • Your damages were caused by the at-fault party

You must prove each of these four elements by a preponderance of the evidence. That means you must show that it is more likely than not that the allegations against the defendant are true.

Other factors may impact whether you can recover non-economic damages. For example, Georgia has a modified comparative negligence law that prohibits a plaintiff from recovering damages if they are found to be 50% or more at fault in the accident.

Is There a Deadline for Pursuing Non-Economic Damages?

In Georgia, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. If you do not file your case before the statute of limitations expires, then you will not be able to seek compensation in court.

How an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Recover Non-Economic Damages

A personal injury lawyer can be especially helpful if you’ve incurred non-economic damages. These damages may require hiring expert witnesses to prove them in court. A skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer can do this for you.

Your attorney can also help you negotiate with the big insurance companies and prevent the company from using bad faith tactics. And one of the best benefits is that they can manage your case while you focus on your health.
If you were injured in a car accident, a truck accident, or another type of accident, an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries.