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How Are Damages for “Pain and Suffering” Calculated in Georgia?

Posted on - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 under General

In a Georgia personal injury lawsuit, proving how much your medical expenses or lost wages have been and will be in the future can to a large degree be done with hospital bills, pay stubs or other documents which reflect the “economic losses” you’ve suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence.

But the pain that colors almost every moment of every day, limited mobility, the inability to play with your kids or other dramatic changes that have made your life much more difficult and challenging than it was before aren’t so easily shown on paper. The law allows you to recover damages for the “pain and suffering” you experience, but how does a jury put a dollar value on such abstract but very real injuries?

How Pain and Suffering Damages Are Calculated

Juries look at a number of factors in determining how much to award a plaintiff for pain and suffering. A 1995 decision by a Georgia appellate court, Food Lion v. Williams, 219 Ga. App. 352 (1995), listed the elements that can be taken into consideration, including:

  • interference with normal living
  • interference with enjoyment of life
  • loss of capacity to labor and earn money
  • impairment of bodily health and vigor
  • the fear of extent of injury
  • shock of impact
  • actual pain and suffering, past and future
  • mental anguish, past and future

Evidence to Prove Pain and Suffering Damages

There is no mathematical formula that is applied to arrive at a dollar figure for pain and suffering, but like every other aspect of damages, evidence must be presented to prove the existence and extent of such damages.

Types of evidence that can be effective in proving pain and suffering damages include:

  • pictures of the plaintiff before and after the injury
  • journals, essays, or diaries that contemporaneously describe the victim’s physical and emotional state
  • Letters or testimony from friends and family explaining the negative impact the injury has had on the plaintiff
  • Records or testimony reflecting mental health treatment

A serious injury can completely upend your life. The havoc caused by someone else’s negligence and reckless conduct can take many forms, and the pain, suffering, and anguish you may be going through is part of that. You deserve to be compensated for those losses.

At The Parian Law Firm in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we represent injury victims exclusively and are committed to getting justice and compensation for our clients. Please contact us at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.