How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated in Georgia?
Car accidents are traumatic experiences. You may be injured and your car may be damaged. If you were harmed due to the negligence of another driver, you deserve to recover compensation for your losses, such as your pain and suffering, your lost wages, medical bills, alternative transportation expenses, car repairs, and the diminished value of your vehicle.
You are probably wondering: How are car accident settlements calculated in Georgia?
The Atlanta car accident attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, can answer any of your questions regarding car accident settlements. Our trial attorneys have recovered tens of millions of dollars for car accident victims. We know how to calculate the expected settlement value of any given car accident case, as well as the potential value of your case if it did not settle and went to trial. Once we evaluate the potential value of your case, we will help you achieve complete compensation for your losses. Start the process to recoup your losses by calling our attorneys at (404) 419-6674 or use our online contact form for a free consultation.
Calculating Damages After a Car Accident
There are three types of damages that are typically factored into a car accident settlement: economic damages (also called “special damages”); non-economic damages (known as “general damages”); and punitive damages (damages to punish egregious misconduct). Our personal injury attorneys understand how to effectively prove each category of damages.
Economic damages cover losses such as medical bills, lost income, property damage or lost property, and other out-of-pocket expenses caused by the car accident. For example, you may need to pay for alternative transportation or additional childcare so that you can attend your doctor appointments. You may have to replace of items that were in your car at the time of the crash, such as your cell phone. Make sure that you keep your receipts and an expense log. That will make it much easier to calculate your car accident settlement when it is time to resolve your case.
You are also entitled to recover general damages for your pain and suffering that was caused by the car crash. There are two methods that are often used in the state of Georgia to calculate these non-economic damages.
Pain and Suffering Multiplier. This method multiplies your economic damages (car repairs, medical bills, lost wages, etc.) by a number between two and ten . The multiplier is determined by the seriousness of your injuries. For example, let’s say that you were injured from a fender-bender at the intersection of Memorial Drive and North Hairston Road in Stone Mountain. If your economic damages totaled $8,000, a 2x multiplier for your pain and suffering might be fair. Multiply the economic damages of $8,000 by 2, and the pain and suffering damages are $16,000. If you were seriously injured in a car accident and your medical bills totaled $100,000, a 10x multiplier might be appropriate because you may have to undergo surgery, you may have permanent injuries, and you may have to pay for future medical treatment. Multiply the economic damages of $100,000 by 10, and the pain and suffering damages are $1,000,000.
Per Diem Approach. Per diem means “each day.” According to this method, you are allotted a certain amount of money for pain and suffering each day for a specified period. This method is particularly helpful when you’re experiencing permanent injuries and a lifetime of future medical treatment. Our skilled car accident attorneys can negotiate a figure for you to receive each day until you are made whole for all of your losses.
If you owned the vehicle you were driving when you were injured, you can also recover compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle. Diminished value damages can be measured in several ways, but the simplest way to evaluate them is to compare the difference between the value of the car before the accident and the vehicle right after the accident, prior to the time it is repaired.
Diminished value claims are tricky. That’s one of the reasons why you should hire the car accident attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC. They will determine if your vehicle qualifies for diminished value compensation. If your car does qualify for diminished value compensation, the insurance company must fairly compensate you for it.
Fault and Car Accident Settlements
Some states are “no fault” states meaning that the other driver’s insurance company will pay you for your losses regardless of whether you were at fault. Georgia, by contrast, is a “fault” state, meaning that the other driver’s insurance company will typically only pay you for your losses if the other driver was at fault.
However, in Georgia, drivers are subject to the modified comparative negligence rule, which allows for apportionment of fault. Under that rule, you can still recover damages from the other driver’s insurance company – even if you were partially at fault – so long as you were not at least 50% at fault. As an example, if a jury awarded you $100,000 for your losses, but it also determined that you were 49% at fault, your award would be reduced by $49,000. However, if a jury awarded you $100,000 for your losses, but it also determined that you were 50% at fault, your award would be reduced to $0.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
It is difficult to recover from a car accident. Your health should be your top priority. But, you also have bills that must be paid. Contact our Atlanta car accident attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, for a free consultation at (404) 419-6674 or use our online contact form so we can help calculate your car accident settlement. That way, you can concentrate on healing from your injuries while we concentrate on fighting for you to recover complete compensation for your losses.