When another driver is at fault, and this is proven, Georgia law allows you to recover or be awarded damages. These fall into three broad categories known as (1) Special, (2) general and (3) punitive damages.
Special damages are intended to cover your financial (also known as “economic” harms and losses), which may cover past, present and — in some cases — future medical costs and bills, final expenses (as in a wrongful death case) and lost pay from the past or into the future.
General damages are usually what most people think of as being for your suffering, emotional distress, pain, disfigurement, the loss of your quality of life, and can also include and loss of consortium, which means the harm to your relationship with your spouse. O.C.G.A. 51-12-4.
Punitive damages are a particular type of damage award that is made only when there is evidence of willful, callous, wanton or reckless conduct. These damages are given to punish or deter a defendant and others from doing the same thing again in the future. O.C.G.A. 51-12-5.1.
To learn more about what can be recovered, please see our page on Car Accidents.