All personal injury lawsuits revolve around compensatory damages. Under Georgia law, when you suffer a loss because of the careless or reckless behavior of someone else, you have a right to receive money from them. Compensatory damages are simply a formal, legal term for this money. Its purpose is to offset your loss.
Compensatory damages can include:
- The cost of car repairs in a car accident claim
- Money for missed wages if your accident kept you from working
- Money for medical costs in a slip and fall accident, defective medical device case, or any type of personal injury claim
Many other types of losses can be covered as well. All of these damages are different than punitive damages, which are paid to punish a wrongdoer for their actions.
Why do courts order compensatory damages?
The goal of all compensatory damages is to “make whole” the person or people who were injured. This doesn’t just mean getting them back to the same health level they were at before the accident (indeed, in many cases this is impossible). It also means getting their entire life or financial state back to where it was. That’s why compensatory damages pay for a lot more than just the dollar cost of medical bills.
For example, imagine someone who suffered terrible burns in a car accident. The compensatory damages would include not just the cost of their treatment, but quite possibly additional money for physical pain and suffering. Spending months recovering from burns is painful and affects the individual’s quality of life. The extra money is meant to offset the intangible harm they suffered.
What about losses that can never be replaced?
This is the hardest part of being a personal injury attorney. Every week we talk to people who have lost something they will never get back, or even families who have lost a loved one. No amount of money can ever make up for this.
But the victims have a right to a financial recovery regardless. The money will not make them feel better, and it can’t replace what was taken from them. Its purpose is to mitigate the difficulties they now face as they struggle to move forward. It can help prevent financial woes from piling up on top of personal pain.
That is why very large damages are sometimes paid for:
- A permanent disability
- Physical suffering
- Serious psychological trauma
- An injury that prevents you from returning to your career
- Loss of a loved one
How much is typically paid out for compensatory damages?
It depends on your case and the extent of your injuries or losses. Some personal injury cases will win just $5,000-10,000 or less in damages. Others can be worth $100,000 or even millions. The best way to find out what your claim might be worth is to speak to a lawyer.
Have you been injured? John Foy & Associates offers a free consultation with some of the most experienced and respected personal injury lawyers in Georgia. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.