Car accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence on the streets and highways throughout Georgia, which often result in serious injuries or death for those involved. If you have suffered injuries due to a motor vehicle collision, you may consider seeking compensation for your associated losses. In order to help protect your rights, it is important to understand the types of damages you may seek.
Among the damages you may seek after a car wreck is compensation to cover your economic losses. This may include your associated medical expenses, lost wages while you are recovering from your injury, the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle, and the costs of renting a car while yours is out of commission.
Sometimes the toll injuries suffered as a result of car wrecks are not as tangible and easily measured. However, you may still be entitled to recover compensation for these non-economic losses, including your physical and emotional pain and suffering.
There is no cap on the compensatory damages you may recover following a car accident. You should keep in mind, however, that the state of Georgia has a modified comparative negligence law. As such, your percentage of fault for causing the crash cannot be greater than the other involved person or persons and your award may be reduced based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found 30% at fault for the wreck, you may only recover 70% of your associated damages.
Under some circumstances, the state of Georgia permits the awarding of punitive damages in auto accident claims. According to Georgia state law, punitive damages are not meant as compensation for you, but rather are intended to punish or penalize the defendant or act as a deterrent from repeating the behavior. For example, a driver who was intoxicated at the time of an accident that resulted in serious or catastrophic injuries may be ordered to pay punitive damages to the victim. Punitive damages are capped at $250,000.