As a personal injury lawyer, I represent people who have been injured because of the carelessness of others. Personal injury cases usually focus on a single incident during which a person or institution was negligent, resulting in another person being injured. By representing the injured, I bring my extensive history as a registered nurse and my nearly 30 years of experience as a personal injury lawyer to bring you the fairest compensation for what happened to you.

One of the most common questions I get is “how much is my case worth?” This question may also come in the form of, “The insurance company is offering me a settlement. How do I know if it’s fair?” The first thing you should do is calculate the damages that directly resulted from the incident. There are lots of types of damages, so I’ve written out a brief description and examples of each type below. Once you understand what the law considers damages, you can begin to add up the costs and get an idea of what’s fair.

Property Damages

The costs needed to repair property damaged during the incident at the center of your case. Examples of property that may have been damaged but not destroyed include a broken car door, a shattered window, or a cracked cell phone screen.

Property Loss

The costs needed to replace property that was destroyed or damaged beyond repair during the incident. Examples include a destroyed fence, a totaled vehicle, or a broken iPad. If you were in a car wreck, these damages are usually pretty easy to calculate once your vehicle has been evaluated.

Medical Treatments

The costs incurred to treat the injuries that directly resulted from the incident. Costs should cover all medical bills, including for surgeries, hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, transportation to appointments or by ambulance, over-the-counter and prescription medications, and the purchase of needed medical equipment like lifts or wheelchairs, as well as supplies like medical tape and gloves.

Future Medical Treatments

The costs that can be reasonably expected in the future as a direct result of your injuries. These expected costs may include future surgeries, appointments with specialists, medications that will be required, physical therapy, speech therapy, mental health treatment, and medical equipment and supplies.

Disability

The compensation associated with a person suffering an injury that leaves them permanently or temporarily disabled. Disabilities may include the inability or inhibited ability to walk, the loss of a limb, the loss of some of all vision or hearing, PTSD, chronic migraines, a traumatic brain injury, or the consequences of a stroke or hypoxia. Unlike some other forms of damages, these can be difficult to calculate without an experienced attorney’s help.

Disability Adaptation Costs

The costs necessary to adapt the person’s home and lifestyle to their incurred disability. Examples of needed changes include the widening of doorways to accommodate a wheelchair or lift, the installation of handrails and ramps, the purchase of an electric wheelchair or handicap accessible vehicle, the closing costs or fees associated with a more accessible home, moving costs, the creation and fitting of a prosthetic, the purchase and training of a service animal, and travel costs to specialists, treatments, and adaptive trainings.

Disfigurement

The compensation associated with the negative changes to a person’s body and appearance as a result of their injuries. As with disabilities, the fact that a person is no longer able-bodied and of an expected appearance due to the incident should result in financial compensation. The greater and more apparent the changes, the greater the compensation should be.

Loss of Wages/Income

The loss of income, temporarily or long-term, resulting from the incident. The person could be unable to attend shifts because of their medical treatments or injuries, or they may have to miss work to replace their totaled vehicle or while it was being repaired. They could also be put on light duty for a time as a result of their injuries, resulting in less pay.

Loss of Future Wages

The loss of income expected in the future because of the person’s injuries. For example, if the person won’t be eligible to return to full duty or to receive an expected promotion, they won’t earn as much money in the future as they would have if the incident had not occurred or if they hadn’t been injured. They may also have to stop working or switch to a less profitable career. They may also have to miss work in the future for expected surgeries, doctor’s appointments, and other medical treatments.

Emotional Distress

The emotional discomfort brought on by the incident, including mental health challenges such as PTSD, depression, and depression, as well as more general distress resulting from the shock, fear, and anxiety now afflicting the person’s life. The distress could result in your inability to drive again, return to work, or even leave your home comfortably.

Pain and Suffering

The emotional and physical discomfort a person endured because of someone else’s actions or neglect. Examples covered by Georgia law include interference with normal life, shock, mental anguish, and fear regarding the extent or long-term effects of the injuries.

Loss of Enjoyment

The lack of enjoyment that a person feels about their life and usual activities because of the injuries they suffered. Examples of loss of enjoyment could include the inability to partake in a favorite hobby, no longer being able to physically pick up their grandchild, inability to drive to a child’s softball games, major depression, or their inability to eat solid foods.

Personal Care Costs

The costs incurred to provide safe, hygienic care for a person who, because of their injuries, can no longer care for themselves. These costs may be one-time but are usually ongoing, and can include visits by in-home nurses or aids, cleaning or laundry services, grocery delivery costs, or the purchase of shower chairs and other needed equipment.

Gathering bills and doing the math can feel intimidating, but I know the hardest part is determining how much would be fair for the damages that don’t come with a bill. In my article about calculating damages, I give additional calculation tips, but my best advice is to gather all your bills and documentation and make an appointment to meet with me for a free consultation. I have nearly 30 years of experience with personal injury cases and, from your unique story, I can give you a good indication of what would be fair for your specific situation.

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Client Testimonial

We feel she made our future brighter despite what had happened. We cannot thank Tracey enough for representing us during this life changing ordeal. WE would highly recommend her to anyone. She and her staff are not just our lawyers, but they are our friends.
– Janice C.

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Tracey L. Dellacona

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