There are different car accident injuries, ranging from minor to fatal. If you’re involved in a car accident in Georgia and you sustain injuries, you might be wondering if it qualifies as a serious injury in Georgia. Our Atlanta auto accident lawyers can help you determine if your injury is severe and the compensation you can receive.
There is no firm definition for serious injury in Georgia car accidents. However, we believe an injury can be severe if it has a long-term effect or requires ongoing medical treatments. Sometimes, an injury that seems minor develops into a serious wound over time.
In this article, our car accident lawyers will explain what you can consider a severe injury in a car accident in Georgia.
What Is a Serious Injury by Georgia Laws?
Under Georgia laws, a driver can be found responsible for causing severe injuries if they engaged in reckless driving or were driving under the influence. In such a case; the wound can be considered ‘serious’ if it:
- Caused the victim to lose a member of their body
- Rendered the victim’s body unusable
- Severely disfigured a part or all of the victim’s body
- Caused brain damage that also rendered the victim’s body or a part of the body unusable
When a driver is convicted of serious injury in a car accident in Georgia, it’s a felony that could result in them spending 1-15 years in prison. However, the number of years a driver could spend in prison depends on the circumstances of the car accident. For example, a driver with a prior DUI conviction or higher blood alcohol levels is likelier to get more prison time.
A severe injury doesn’t need to happen by malice. This means that the at-fault party could still get charged to court even if they didn’t intend to cause an accident or drive recklessly. So, for example, if a passenger in their vehicle sustained severe injuries from the accident the driver caused, they could still be charged.
Different Types of Serious Injuries in a Car Accident in Georgia
Georgia laws don’t mention specific injuries that could be considered serious. However, the following are considered severe injuries in a car accident in Georgia.
The term ‘burn’ refers to more than just burning skin damage and covers severe skin damage that could cause affected skin cells to die. There are different degrees of burn, but third-degree burns are considered severe and could result in unbearable health consequences. Sometimes, severe burns can result in death.
This refers to the complete loss of an arm, leg, ankle joint, eye, or other body parts. It simply covers a complete severance of a limb or two. So, for example, if you lose a part of your body in a car accident in Georgia that wasn’t your fault, Atlanta auto accident lawyers can help you get compensation.
This is a severe scar, deformity, or blemish that limits the bodily function of the victim. In addition, it could cause impairment to the appearance of the victim, rendering them deformed or unsightly.
A bone fracture refers to a break in the continuity of a bone. For example, this could be caused by a high-force impact in a car accident in Georgia. The fracture could cause a change in your bone shape or split the bone in two, leaving it in pieces.
Loss of Consciousness
It is considered a severe injury if you lose consciousness in a car accident in Georgia. This occurs when there’s insufficient blood to the brain, causing you to lose awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Loss of consciousness can be due to extreme pain or severe shock.
Severe injuries in a car accident in Georgia don’t have to be permanent. But, even if they’re temporary, the law still considers them serious. Your medical record goes a long way in classifying your wound as minor or severe.
How a Serious Injury Affects Your Settlement in a Car Accident Claim
Georgia Law allows you to recover all the damages and costs incurred after an accident from the at-fault driver. These damages include:
- The cost of prescription medicine
- Car damage and repairs
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy and other forms of therapy
The more severe your injuries are, the higher your compensation will be. Therefore, a victim with serious wounds will recover more monetary settlement than someone with minor injuries.
Apart from general damages, you can also recover non-economic damages like physical pain and suffering, emotional suffering, loss of consortium, etc. The preceding are challenging to put a dollar value on. However, the higher your economic damages, the more money you will receive for non-economic damages.
Apart from compensation for your damages, your Atlanta auto accident lawyers can also get you a reward for punitive damages. Although punitive damages are not meant to be compensatory, you can still receive them.
They serve as a punishment for the at-fault driver’s gross negligence. If your Atlanta auto accident lawyer can prove the driver who caused your car accident in Georgia was egregiously negligent, you can ask the court for punitive damages.
How Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered severe injuries in a car accident in Georgia, a lawyer could help you in many ways. Some of the ways an Atlanta auto accident attorney can help you are by:
- Investigating the accident to determine the other driver’s liability
- Gather evidence to help you prove negligence and claim damages
- Provide legal advice on the best course of action for your claim
- Build a solid case to help you receive maximum compensation
- Communicate and effectively negotiate with the insurance company
Some car accident cases that involve severe injuries might be grounds for suing the at-fault driver. Your Atlanta auto accident lawyer will ensure you’re prepared for trial and build a solid defense to protect your rights every step of the way.
Talk to Our Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyers
If you’ve been in an accident where you sustained injuries, you might be wondering if your wounds qualify as severe injuries in Georgia. If your injury qualifies, you deserve compensation for the damages incurred. However, most victims don’t know the next step to take after a car accident in Georgia.
The Weinstein Firm has decades of experience helping car accident victims receive the compensation they deserve. Our personal injury lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia, will provide legal advice on the best course of action and inform you about your rights in a personal injury case. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case.