Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in GA?
Pain and suffering are indeed valid damages to sue for in Georgia. The premise of pain and suffering is that it compensates victims of accidents for the potentially long-lasting and unquantifiable effects of their injuries. Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damage, so unlike hospital bills and property damage, there is no exact receipt to prove to the court the extent of the damages. This is why it is important to have a North Georgia accident attorney handling your case.
In Georgia, pain and suffering is sometimes referred to as human damages and includes a broad range of physical or emotional effects the accident has had on the victim, including:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of health & vigor
- Inability to continue working
- Shock to the victim regarding the severity of the injuries impact on their lives
- Fear or ongoing mental apprehension about the extent of the injury
Suing for Pain & Suffering
So, without an exact mathematical receipt to value damages, how is a pain and suffering claim’s value determined when brought forward in a legal cause of action? The answer varies. For insurance companies, they have a formula that exists that takes monetary damages like medical bills and lost wages and multiplies them by an arbitrary number) in order to provide a guess at a sufficient amount of damages for a pain and suffering claim.
Juries, should a case go to trial, take a vastly different approach. They are asked to consider what they would believe justifiably compensates the victim for pain and suffering by looking at a variety of factors. Juries are instructed to consider the following:
- The severity of the injury and pain it has caused
- The time it takes to treat and recover from the injury
- Medical bills and treatment involved with the injury
- Future medical procedures including surgeries
- Any permanent impairments or disabilities stemming from the injury
- Lost time from work in the past and future
- Degree of impaired earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life including hobbies and recreational activities
- The effect of the injury on your family and loved ones and your ability to interact and support them as you used to
Proving Pain & Suffering
In a case calling for damages for a victim’s pain and suffering, you must provide evidence of your losses. Evidence that can help prove pain and suffering includes:
- Medical records, particularly those showing complaints of pain or other side effects of the ongoing injury, or results of MRI imaging tests or X-rays that show pain is likely to be occurring within the victim
- Receipts for prescription pain medication or over-the-counter pain relief medicine
- Testimony from family, co-workers, or other familiar individuals regarding how the injuries have affected you
- Testimony from medical, vocational, or economic experts about the effects of your injuries.
All this and more can be used to prove to the court the extent of your pain and suffering, and that you have a right to be compensated for all pain and suffering - past, present, and future from your injury.
Learn How Our North Georgia Accident Attorneys Can Assist You
At Banks, Stubbs, & McFarland LLP, our North Georgia accident attorneys are dedicated to fight for you and to get the most complete financial recovery possible from your claim, including damages for pain and suffering. Contact us today for a consultation by either going online or calling (770) 887-1209.