A plaintiff in Georgia can recover two types of compensation in a personal injury case: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages encompass objective monetary losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other quantifiable costs. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, serve as restitution for subjective and intangible losses, like pain and suffering.
The legal concept of pain and suffering covers mental and emotional distress, depression, loss of enjoyment in life, and other abstract hardships. It should come as no surprise that it’s extremely difficult to negotiate for non-economic damages when insurance companies are involved. For this reason, you need to retain the services of an experienced and qualified personal injury attorney.
Damages for the Aggravation of Preexisting Injuries
A serious accident or injurious event can have a devastating impact on a survivor’s preexisting medical conditions. Fortunately, a person’s physical condition, however frail, cannot be used against them when it comes to filing a personal injury claim. However, there must be a causal connection between the negligence event and the injury, as a claimant cannot recover compensation for unrelated injuries and disabilities.
Unfortunately, a claimant cannot pursue damages for mental anguish unless they have also sustained physical injuries. Mental pain and suffering covers a variety of psychological conditions – including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – that can impact a claimant’s capacity to work or labor.
Elements of Pain & Suffering
The court needs to evaluate the following factors before awarding damages based on pain and suffering:
- Is the claimant suffering actual physical pain and suffering? Is it chronic?
- Is the claimant unable to perform daily activities due to their condition?
- Does the claimant’s condition impact their ability to hold gainful employment?
- Is the claimant unable to enjoy their prior lifestyle or quality of living?
- Does the claimant’s condition inspire feelings of humiliation or shame?
- Is there a potential for confinement now or in the future?
- Is the claimant suffering mental anguish? Is it an ongoing condition?
If a claimant’s condition is expected to last, the court may also award damages for future pain and suffering.
Discuss Your Legal Options with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Contact The Castro Law Firm if you require personal injury representation. Our trial attorney, Mark A. Casto, has civil litigation experience in cases involving motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice incidents, nursing home abuse claims, and more. If you’re ready to take legal action, contact a lawyer with the skills, experience, and resources to help you secure a favorable case outcome.