When you must file a claim with a negligent business’ or property owner’s insurance company after being hurt in a premises liability accident, you may have many questions—especially if you have never needed to file a claim before. One of your first questions may be what compensation you could be entitled to. Understanding the types of damages you could receive will give you a better sense of what your case is worth and whether the insurance company’s settlement offer is fair.
What Compensation Could You Receive When Making a Premises Liability Claim?
The amount of compensation you receive in a settlement will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, such as how serious your injuries were and whether you were partially at fault in causing your accident. However, there are certain types of damages that are awarded in premises liability cases—assuming the victim proves that he is entitled to them. These include the following:
- Medical expenses. You are entitled to be reimbursed for your doctor bills, medications, physical therapy, and other medical or psychological treatments you need because of your injuries. Modifications to your home, assistive tools, travel expenses to receive care, and home health care may also be included in what you are owed. You want to be certain that your medical care is completed or you receive a final prognosis from your doctor so that all these future expenses are included in your settlement.
- Lost Wages. The lost wages portion of your claim includes both past and future wages that you will lose while you are off work recovering from your injuries. This includes more than just the amount you receive in your paycheck. You also want to ask for any commissions, bonuses, benefits, and promotions you lost. In addition, if you must make a career change or become disabled due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering. Compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering that you experienced can be a large part of the damages you receive. This amount can be harder to calculate because it is not based on out-of-pocket expenses. An experienced premises liability attorney will know the value of this portion of your claim based on his experience settling cases similar to yours.
- Loss of consortium. If you are married, your spouse may be entitled to damages for the loss of companionship and services suffered due to your injuries.
- Wrongful death. When the victim of a premises liability accident dies, his dependents—often his spouse and children—can file a wrongful death action. Compensation in these actions includes funeral expenses, medical bills, lost wages, and loss of the companionship, support, and affection of their loved one.
- Punitive Damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the negligent party, not to reimburse you. In Georgia, you must present evidence of willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, or oppression to be entitled to these damages. While this is difficult to prove, in some cases, punitive damages are awarded when the negligent party’s actions are especially outrageous.
Is There a Cap on the Amount of Damages You Can Receive?
Unlike other states, Georgia does not place a cap on the amount of compensation you can receive for your compensatory damages—such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, there is a cap on the amount punitive damages you could receive. This amount is $250,000 unless you can prove that the business or property owner had a clear intent to cause harm.
If you or a family member became injured in a premises liability incident, you need an experienced attorney to help you prove the business or property owner’s negligence, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Brauns Law is here to assist you in holding the negligent party responsible for your accident and in obtaining the damages you deserve. Start an online chat or call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation.