How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Georgia?

April 17, 2020

We’re all familiar with the term “pain and suffering.” But what exactly does that mean? How is pain and suffering calculated in Georgia? First we must understand personal injury in terms of the legal system in Georgia, to better understand pain and suffering.

Tort Law

Compensation for a personal injury, including pain and suffering, is a major component of tort law. Simply put, tort law is an area of the law that addresses a wrongful act done to a person. Additionally, it provides relief from the wrongful acts, usually by awarding money for loss or injuries. Types of loss and injuries, or damages, can be broken down into two categories: compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are meant to pay the victim, restoring the victim’s financial status to the state it was in before the injury or accident. In other words, “Compensatory damages are paid to compensate the claimant for loss, injury, or harm suffered as a result of another’s breach of duty.” A major example of compensatory damages is pain and suffering.

Factors that Measure Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering can be defined as, “the legal term for the physical and emotional stress caused from an injury.” Sounds simple enough, but calculating these terms can be difficult. The experience of pain and suffering is subjective and there is no set standard of measurement. Meaning, juries are often asked to use their best judgment in deciding the amount of money awarded. Attorneys argue that certain factors are used to measure pain and suffering like:

  • Severity of the injury
  • Type of medical treatment received
  • The length of recovery time
  • Potential long-term consequences of the personal injuries
  • Emotional and psychological trauma

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Georgia?

Depending on the evidence presented in your case, a judge or jury will decide what is a reasonable amount (based on the factors listed above, as well as common sense). Georgia law uses the multiplier method. This method is a way to calculate the cost for pain and suffering. According to this website, “With this mathematical approach, the cost of one’s medical bills is calculated and then multiplied by a value between 1 and 5. The more severe and permanent the injury, the higher the multiplier.”

Furthermore, some states apply limits on the amount of money rewarded in a personal injury lawsuit. Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that the injured party was less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. Also, the amount of money rewarded can be reduced to the percent at fault.

Here is a simple example of modified comparative negligence:

If your pain and total damages were found to be $100,000, but you were 25% at fault, then you would only be eligible to receive $75,000.

How to Prove Pain and Suffering

If you are unsure how to quantify your pain and suffering, it’s best to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. They have experience documenting pain and suffering damages to an insurance company during settlement negotiations and to a jury at trial.

Moreover, personal injury attorneys have experience with the following factors that can help prove pain and suffering in court:

  • Medical records
  • Oral testimony
  • Friends and family testimonies
  • Video and photograph evidence

Do You Have Questions About Pain?

An accident attorney can help walk through compensation options. HS Law, specifically, can help with the aftermath. They’ve handled thousands of personal injury cases and helped victims recover damages. The consultation calls are absolutely free.

Related: Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Alpharetta and How to Avoid Them

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