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Back Injury Settlements and Determining Case Values in Georgia


April 04, 2018

Georgia Back Injuries — Value of the Case

Every person injured in a Georgia accident who suffers back injuries deserves to know how much their claim could be worth. The answer lies in the details of your case. Because every case is different from the next, one cannot compare their case to someone else' and conclude that they should receive the same type of settlement. While it would be ideal to provide a solution to this most pressing question with certainty, it is simply not possible. However, do not be deterred. Examining what goes into valuing your Georgia back injury case with a qualified personal injury attorney can help you understand why the answer is uncertain at the outset.

Determining Liability

In Georgia back injury cases, the claimant, known as the plaintiff, must prove who is responsible for their injuries. In some instances, like a car accident when the car that hits you first failed to stop at a stop sign, determining responsibility is relatively straightforward. Liability might be more challenging to prove in other instances.

In most cases like car wrecks and slip and fall cases, liability may be determined by application of the law of negligence in Georgia. The law of negligence in Georgia is clear. To successfully claim damages for back injuries in Georgia, the plaintiff must prove:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care,
  • The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff,
  • The defendant's breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's back injury, and
  • The plaintiff suffered damages from his or her injury.

Using the stop sign hypothetical from above will help illustrate how liability attaches in Georgia. Georgia law imposes a duty on every person who takes the wheel to drive carefully. A necessary component of driving carefully is obeying Georgia's traffic laws. A driver violates that duty of care by failing to stop at a stop sign. If the defendant causes an accident, the defendant is liable for the damages that naturally flow from his or her breach of the duty of care.  

Therefore, the defendant would be liable for:

  • Medical bills,
  • Future medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Loss of future economic opportunity,
  • Loss of enjoyment of life,
  • Value of the loss of use of a body part, and
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct rose to the level of gross negligence. 

Negligence is not the sole legal theory a plaintiff could use to recover damages for a back injury in Georgia. A plaintiff could rely upon strict liability if the instrumentality that caused the injury were a defective consumer product.

The defense has a chance to rebut your claims and lower your award. Insurance lawyers are highly skilled at arguing that you contributed to the accident or that your medical treatment was unnecessary, or that the injuries you claim occurred in another incident.  Our attorneys at Montlick and Associates fight hard on behalf out of clients every day against insurance companies and their counsel.

Assigning a Dollar Figure to Your Claim

Medical bills are normally easy to calculate. Future medical bills can be uncertain because the potential cost of future medical care depends on the severity of the injury. The future medical costs will be exponentially higher for a person who was paralyzed in a car crash than a person who suffers minor injuries. 

The severity of the back injury also determines the value of other damages as well. A person who suffered a severe spinal injury could be out of work for a significant amount of time. Georgia law allows back injury victims to recover more than their lost paychecks. It also permits compensation for missing out on promotions, raises, and the chance to pursue employment opportunities, taking into consideration the age, educational background, and industry in which the back injury patient works.

The value of your Georgia back injury case also depends on other factors which can be considered for pain and suffering compensation. Consideration must be given to whether you can return to work, the age of your children, the permanency of your injury, the medical intervention required to repair the damage, and how the injury affected you overall. One person could be laid up for a long time after suffering a back injury and never return to normal. That could cause a person to fall into a deep depression.

Thus, it is easy to understand why each case is different and valuing your Georgia back injury claim is more complicated than one would initially believe.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 36 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you have been injured in ANY type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 36 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at Montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour live chat.

Sources:

https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2016/title-51/chapter-12/article-1/
https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2016/title-51/chapter-1/
https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/spine-basics/
https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/Public/Facts%202016.pdf

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.