In the city of Atlanta, there are two general types of damages in a personal injury case: compensatory and punitive. Damages are awarded to a plaintiff to help compensate for financial loss as well as, in some cases, to attempt to deter the at-fault party from committing the same actions in the future.
Compensatory damages are those that are awarded to make up for a financial loss incurred by the victim. For example, damages may be awarded to cover the costs of medical bills that have already been incurred. A judge may award compensatory damages to make up for wages that have been lost because the victim was unable to work due to their injury.
Types of compensatory damages include:
- Medical treatment
- Lost wages or income
- Property loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are rarely awarded in all but the most serious of cases. That is because these damages are meant to punish the at-fault party financially. The thought is that when punitive damages are awarded, the at-fault party will not be so negligent in the future. In Georgia, the maximum amount of punitive damages a judge can award is $250,000. There are no caps, however, in cases of product liability.
Any person who is injured in an accident should contact an attorney experienced in personal injury law to determine the types and amount of compensation they may be entitled to.