Catastrophic Injuries in Georgia
Catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, loss of limbs and severe burns can change your life forever. These injuries can arise from car wrecks, hidden dangers on real property, workplace incidents, involvement in recreational activities and many other situations. You may have limitations you never imagined before your incident and your family’s lifestyle may be drastically changed. If somebody else caused your catastrophic injuries through negligent or reckless conduct. Atlanta personal injury attorney, Michael Braun, can offer you sound advice and aggressive representation. We can help you recover your losses in the Atlanta area..
Pursuing Multiple Parties
Catastrophic injuries may not only require medical costs, but also lifelong care. After a catastrophic injury you may not be able to work at the same job or at all. If you can show negligence, recklessness or intentionally wrongful conduct on the part of a defendant you may be able to recover damages including: past, present and future wage loss; past, present and future medical care; out-of-pocket expenses; training for a new job; household care, and pain and suffering. However, actually recovering the full compensation needed after a catastrophic injury may require pursuit of multiple at-fault parties.
Georgia does not follow the doctrine of joint and several liability. What this means is that when there are multiple parties at-fault, each party is only responsible for paying damages in the amount of his or her percentage of fault. Accordingly, it is crucial for those who have been seriously injured to retain local attorneys that work strategically to recover from all possible parties.
In Georgia, automobile drivers are required to have liability insurance to help pay for injuries or deaths they cause as a result of negligent driving. The required bodily injury liability limit is $25,000 for each person or $50,000 for multiple people in an incident. These sums may not be enough in a catastrophic injury. Savvy attorneys look at the totality of circumstances, paying attention to all possible theories of liability to make sure that clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries recover from all parties that should be held responsible.
Punitive damages are awarded under Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) § 51-12-5.1 in order to punish an at-fault party and to act as a deterrent against similar conduct. They are not awarded in a typical case. In order for punitive damages to be awarded, a defendant’s conduct must be more than negligent. A plaintiff must show the defendant’s malice, willful misconduct, fraud or other conscious disregard by “clear and convincing evidence.” This is a high standard, but it may be met in cases involving serious injuries as a result of a defendant’s conduct after consuming drugs or alcohol.
Generally punitive damages are capped at $250,000 in Georgia, but there is an exception to the cap when at-fault party is impaired by drugs or alcohol. Similarly, there is no cap on punitive damages in a product liability case. However in products liability cases only one punitive damages award can be recovered from a defendant for an act or omission in a product liability case regardless of how many lawsuits are brought.
Recovering the Costs of Lifetime Care
It can be stressful to come face-to-face with the need for expensive long-term care as a result of catastrophic injuries. It is important to retain strategic Atlanta catastrophic injury lawyer to help pursue all responsible parties and the best theories of liability. We have over four decades of combined experience helping those who have suffered serious or catastrophic injuries. Contact us at (770) 421-6888 or via our online form. Michael Braun serves seriously injured clients in DeKalb County, Clayton County, Cobb County, and Fulton County, as well as elsewhere in Georgia.