Many accident victims know that they are entitled to compensation but underestimate the value of their claim. As a result, they wind up accepting the insurance company’s lowball settlement offer and find themselves with uncompensated losses long after their case has settled.
The Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can help you understand the real value of your claim. We then fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured and are worried about your unpaid bills, call us at 888-474-9616 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation and claim evaluation.
Damage to Your Vehicle
If you have been in an accident, you can first be compensated for the damage to your vehicle. This includes any cost of repair or even replacement if it has been totaled, less your deductible. Vehicle damage is rarely at issue in car accident cases and is typically handled by the insurance companies with very little delay.
You are also entitled to be compensated for your medical expenses for any injuries that you may have suffered as a result of the accident. Even if you have health insurance, be sure to keep copies of any bills, and be especially careful to track any out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles and copays.
Lost Wages or Other Income
You may be unable to work as a result of your injuries, maybe for a few days, weeks, or even longer if you have been seriously injured. Be sure to document any lost wages, even if you used paid medical leave. Your claim for lost wages can include time off for doctors’ appointments or physical therapy.
Pain and Suffering
Georgia law allows injury victims to seek compensation for the pain and suffering they endure as a result of their injuries. Pain and suffering can be a significant portion of your claim, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, you need to know how to prove pain and suffering in order to be successfully compensated. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to assert your claim and how to prove that you are entitled to these damages.
The Question of Punitive Damages
The phrase “punitive damages” is a legal term that refers to a monetary award that is intended to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. By contrast, all other damages we have discussed up to this point are considered “compensatory damages” in that they are intended to reimburse you for some loss. Under Georgia law, punitive damages are available only in cases where there was willful misconduct or conscious indifference to the safety of others. Punitive damages are not available in cases where the accident was the result of simple negligence. In addition, you must prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that punitive damages should be awarded. This is a higher standard of proof that is typically imposed in a car accident case, roughly analogous to the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” used in criminal cases.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Understanding the potential value of your claim is only the first step to successfully recovering compensation. You also need to be able to negotiate the challenges of the claim process and our legal system. Fortunately, the Georgia personal injury attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can help you get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact us at 888-474-9616 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.