Negligence is the cause of most accidents and serious personal injuries in Georgia. When someone is negligent, many other people can suffer the consequences. Broken bones, traumatic head injuries, and internal organ damage are just some of the most common injuries involved in accidents in Atlanta. These serious injuries can wreak havoc on your life – including your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Luckily, financial recovery may be available for your pain and suffering in Georgia.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a common phrase used to refer to all noneconomic damages involved in a personal injury claim. While it specifically describes physical pain and emotional suffering, it encompasses many other types of intangible losses. Anything negative the victim experienced as an outcome of an accident or injury – other than economic damages – could constitute pain and suffering damages during an injury claim.
- Physical suffering or chronic pain
- Mental anguish
- Post-traumatic stress and other disorders
- Anxiety or depression
- Inconvenience or stress
- Humiliation or embarrassment
- Damage to reputation
- Lost quality of life
- Diminished enjoyment of living
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
Pain and suffering can refer to both past and future noneconomic/intangible losses related to a defendant’s negligence. In general, a victim will experience greater pain and suffering for more serious injuries. A catastrophic injury such as severe brain damage or a paralyzing spinal cord injury, for instance, would result in greater pain and suffering than a simple broken bone. The severity of your injury affects how much you should claim in pain and suffering damages.
Making the Case for Pain and Suffering
The civil courts in Atlanta allow plaintiffs to seek compensation specifically for noneconomic damages, not just economic losses. A pain and suffering award could equal or surpass the amount you receive in economic damages during an injury claim. It can be difficult, however, for you to make this case without help from a legal professional. Unlike physical injuries and medical bills, pain and suffering damages do not come with hard evidence.
In a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, a pain and suffering damage award could pay you for the intangible losses you suffered, such as being forced to change your career or lifestyle because of a permanent disability. How much to award in pain and suffering is a jury’s choice. The jury will determine whether to pay this type of damage award, as well as how much to give, after listening to the plaintiff’s testimony on how it affected his or her life.
Working with an attorney could make it easier to establish pain and suffering damages. You will not be able to prove your pain and suffering with a hospital bill or pay stub. Instead, you will have to demonstrate to a judge or jury how significantly the injury affected your life using personal demonstrations, such as an injury journal or testimony from your friends and loved ones.
How an Attorney Can Help
Whether to proceed with or without an attorney on a pain and suffering claim will depend on the facts of your case. The severity of your injuries can determine the need for an Atlanta injury lawyer. If you have catastrophic, disabling or permanent injuries from someone else’s negligence, hiring an attorney could allow you to recover greater compensation. The amount of evidence you have supporting your pain and suffering damage claim also matters. A lawyer can help you collect more proof of intangible losses, such as through hiring experts to testify on your behalf.
While you can make a claim to pain and suffering on your own, using an attorney could lead to a better financial outcome. Use a free consultation at Hilley & Frieder, P.C. in Atlanta to find out if your case could benefit from a personal injury attorney.