When our Lawrenceville car accident lawyers first meet with a new client, the first thing they want to know is how much their case is worth. This is only natural. We understand that the only reason you hire an accident attorney in Georgia is so that they can sue and get you damages. However, the types of damages they can demand on your behalf are limited. If you can’t prove each type of damages listed on your civil complaint, you will not be paid.
What we like to do is meet with a new client before we make any decisions about their case. We offer them free, initial consultations so they can sit down with us and let us review their file. Here, we will talk about the types of damages you may be entitled to, including punitive damages.
You Won’t Receive Any Damages Unless Your Accident Attorney in Georgia Can Prove Fault
Before you get ahead of yourself by thinking about the types of damages you can collect, one very important thing must happen. Your Lawrenceville car accident lawyer must first prove that the defendant was actually responsible for the crash. In order to do this, they must prove negligence.
Negligence involves the following four elements:
- The first thing your accident attorney in Georgia must prove is that the defendant owed you a duty of care. It’s not hard to do this. All drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists.
- Next, your attorney must show that the defendant breached their duty of care. They can do this by submitting proof that the other driver was arrested for speeding or drunk driving at the accident scene.
- The third thing you need to prove is that you were injured. This can be a physical, mental, or financial injury. Whatever these injuries are, that’s what your Lawrenceville car accident lawyer is pushing to get you compensation for.
- Finally, once you show that you were indeed hurt, your accident attorney in Georgia needs to prove that your injuries were directly caused by the defendant’s behavior.
If you can prove all 4 elements of negligence, there’s a good chance that you’ll receive compensation for your injuries. However, if your accident attorney in Georgia is unable to do this, you may walk away with nothing at all. Knowing this, you need to remind yourself that you’re guaranteed nothing when you sue somebody after a car accident. Furthermore, even if you do prove fault, you probably won’t walk away with punitive damages.
Typically, Car Accident Victims Are Entitled to Two Types of Damages
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are two types of damages your Lawrenceville car accident lawyer can demand. The first type is economic damages. This includes things like reimbursement of medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Then there are non-economic damages. This includes, for the most part, pain and suffering. In order to receive any damages at all, of course, your accident attorney in Georgia will need to demonstrate that the other driver caused your crash. If they’re able to do that, you may be entitled to some or all of the following:
- Medical bills and future medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
As you’ll notice, punitive damages is not included in this list. This is because very rarely are punitive damages allowed in a car accident case.
Punitive Damages Are Reserved for Very Specific Situations
It is very rare that a civil judge will order punitive damages in a car accident lawsuit. These damages are reserved for cases in which the judge wants to send a strong message to the defendant. Punitive damages are also a way for the court to deter the public from behaving in reckless and malicious ways. For example, when the court issues punitive damages in a dangerous drug case, it’s for two reasons. The first reason is that the judge wants to make sure the defendant never behaves in the same way in the future. The second reason is that the court wants to let other drug manufacturers know that they are on notice too.
Unless your accident attorney in Georgia can prove that the other driver was drunk or running from the police at the time of the crash, it’ll be hard to get punitive damages. The judge doesn’t want to set a precedent where other people start to demand punitive damages in their personal injury cases as well.
Your Lawrenceville Car Accident Lawyer Will Fight to Get You as Much Money as Possible
We understand that your primary concern when you hire a Lawrenceville car accident lawyer is to get paid for your injuries. As much as our clients say they want justice, what they really want is money. In order for us to make that happen, our accident attorneys in Georgia must be able to prove that the other driver caused your crash. Sometimes, this is relatively easy. For example, if the other driver is arrested for DUI at the crash scene, we have sufficient proof that they were negligent. Other times, however, it is not nearly that easy.
Depending on the facts surrounding your case, your Lawrenceville car accident lawyer may not be able to get you damages. For example, if there is overwhelming evidence that you caused the accident, there isn’t much we can do. Or you may have waited too long to hire an accident attorney in Georgia and missed the statute of limitations deadline. However, most of the time, our associates can get our clients compensation for their injuries.
We do offer new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you the chance to sit down with a seasoned attorney and have them review your case. They can answer any questions you may have and give you an idea of what your case is worth. Since this consultation is free, you have nothing to lose.