Georgia Personal Injury and Premises Liability Claims
The first category of damages is economic damages. These are damages from things you have lost or money you have paid out or failed to receive because of your injury.
If you are injured, your largest expense will probably be medical bills. These expenses can include medical supplies and ambulance services, as well as doctors' bills, hospitalization, and surgery costs. You may have already recovered from your injuries at the time you resolve your case, either by settlement or at trial. If so, the amount of your medical expenses will be clear. If you require ongoing care, medical expenses will be harder to estimate and expert witnesses might be required.
You may also recover money you spend paying others to do tasks you cannot do while injured. Household chores, child and pet care, and other day-to-day tasks are examples. You are also entitled to receive compensation if you need a personal attendant or have a car or home refitted to compensate for a disability.
Economic damages also include money you would have earned if you were not injured. If you have a job, the amount of lost wages is easy to figure out. If you are self-employed or your monthly income varies for some other reason, things become more complicated and experts might be required. Present wages - the wages lost up to the time the case is resolved - are easier to determine than long-term lost wages, particularly if the loss goes on for years. Again, the future earnings of someone with a steady work history are easier to determine than the future earnings of an entrepreneur. Future wages are paid in present value, which is an economic formula that courts use to account for interest rates, inflation, and investment risks.
The second category of damages are non-economic.
Pain and Suffering
Both physical and emotional or psychological pain will be compensated. The degree of physical pain is usually categorized as severe, moderate, or slight/minimal, and is either periodic or chronic. Emotional pain can take the form of depression or suffering over the injury and/or any changes it has made in the life of the injured person or family members. It will be up to the jury or the judge to determine how much pain or suffering is worth in terms of monetary damages.
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