Non-Economic Damages in Car Accidents: Understanding the Georgia Perspective

By Kevin Patrick|October 23, 2023|Articles

Car accidents can be devastating, not only causing physical injuries but also emotional and psychological trauma. In Georgia, as in many other states, car accident victims may seek compensation for their losses. While economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, are relatively straightforward to calculate, non-economic damages can be more complex to understand and quantify. In this post, we’ll explore non-economic damages in car accidents in Georgia, shedding light on how they are assessed and awarded.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, are the intangible losses that car accident victims suffer, which aren’t easily quantifiable in monetary terms. They encompass a range of emotional, physical, and psychological hardships, including:

  1. Pain and Suffering: This includes physical pain and discomfort experienced due to injuries sustained in the accident.
  2. Emotional Distress: Car accidents can lead to emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  3. Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Victims may lose the ability to participate in activities they once enjoyed, resulting in a reduced quality of life.
  4. Loss of Consortium: This refers to the impact of the accident on personal relationships and the ability to provide companionship and support to loved ones.
  5. Disfigurement: Serious injuries can lead to disfigurement, which can result in psychological distress and a negative impact on one’s self-esteem.

Georgia’s Approach to Non-Economic Damages

In Georgia, the assessment and award of non-economic damages in car accident cases are subject to specific regulations:

  1. No Statutory Cap: Unlike some states, Georgia does not have a statutory cap on non-economic damages. This means there is no legal limit to the amount a victim can be awarded for their pain and suffering.
  2. Jury Discretion: The assessment of non-economic damages is typically left to the discretion of the jury. The jury considers the facts of the case, the severity of injuries, and the impact on the victim’s life when determining an appropriate award.
  3. “VerdictProof” Rule: Georgia’s “verdict-proof” rule ensures that a victim must establish a strong case, providing ample evidence of pain and suffering, emotional distress, or other non-economic damages to be awarded compensation.
  4. Comparative Fault: Georgia follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that if the victim is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their award for non-economic damages may be reduced accordingly.

Non-economic damages in car accident cases can be challenging to quantify, as they involve the emotional and psychological toll on the victim’s life. In Georgia, there are no statutory caps on such damages, and their assessment depends on the jury’s discretion. Victims seeking compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, or other non-economic losses must build a strong case with convincing evidence.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Georgia, it’s essential to consult with an experienced attorney, like Kevin, who can help you navigate the legal complexities and work to ensure you receive fair compensation for all your damages, including non-economic ones. We can be reached at (404) 566-5880 or

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