When you file a Georgia lawsuit based on a car accident, you must prove two major points to succeed: 1) the other driver was at fault and caused the accident, and 2) you sustained damages. Calculating the likely amount of damages you could get is essential at various stages of your case.

In the beginning, your lawyer reviews available documentation, including medical records, the police report, invoices for car repair and your insurer’s evaluation. This can create a good idea of what your case is worth and allows your attorney to weed out lowball settlement offers. The initial damage estimation can change as the case progresses and more evidence becomes available.

Economic damages are damages from specific financial losses. Medical treatments, car repair or replacement, and lost wages are all examples of losses you can easily show by presenting your bills and pay stubs. In many cases, however, plaintiffs need to recover for future damages, not just losses they have already suffered. You may need treatments or prescription medications for years to come or maybe even the rest of your life. You may be unable to work at all or you may have to reduce your hours or change your occupation. Expert reports and testimony projecting future economic damages and explaining them can help you bolster your demand.

In some cases, a plaintiff may also recover for pain and suffering. This type of compensation focuses on the detriment to general quality of life, including both physical and emotional pain. Plaintiffs often run into difficulties proving specific dollar amounts for pain and suffering, so you need an experienced attorney to come up with a fair and convincing case for this kind of recovery.

In Georgia, you may also recover punitive damages if the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. The law provides this recourse to punish extremely dangerous behavior, not to compensate you.

Defendants often counter damages amounts by claiming that the car accident did not cause them or that future projections exaggerate anticipated losses. Taking your case to a qualified attorney can set you on the road to obtaining fair compensation.