Early one fall morning my car was struck by an intoxicated driver on interstate 95. He was arrested on the spot & my car was deemed a total loss.
Several months later, I was driving straight on a busy city roadway. Just before I approached a major intersection with a green light, I was hit on the drivers side by a car, initially in left turn lane, but decided not to turn just before her light turned green. As a result, my suv rolled, landing upside down, perpendicular to traffic. I climbed out of the driver side window. My suv was a total loss. I have not been able to drive past that intersection in over a year. I go out of my way to find an alternate route daily as it is part of my m-f route home.
So sorry about what happened. That's awful. No, personal injury, including related to car accidents, is not just physical. You can recover damages for emotional harm (pain & suffering) caused as well, but you'll need an attorney versed & experienced in seeking those specific type of damages. Best wishes.
Sam Levine, Esq.
I agree with the 1st response you received. Also, assuming this happened in Georgia, you only have 2 years from the date of a collision to either settle your claim or file suit. If you wait too long, you lose your legal rights. I would recommend calling an attorney today and just ask for a free legal consultation. You can do it over the phone, it costs nothing, and you will get helpful information.
Attorney Pete Pearson
To answer a question on your first accident: Yes you can recover damages for physical and emotional distress as a result of an accident, even if your physical injuries were not severe. Because this is a DUI, you also can seek unlimited punitive damages against the intoxicated driver. It's possible punitive damages may even be covered by his insurance policy if he was insured, meaning you might be able to recover the full limits of his insurance just by the fact he was DUI.
As to the second collision the same applies regarding emotional distress damages. The fact you cannot even go by the spot is relevant to your pain and suffering damages. Make sure you are not hurt physically. Go to a doctor and get checked out. Lastly, you need to hire an experienced PI attorney for each of these accidents to guide you through this process and maximize your recovery. We are located in Savannah and would be happy to provide you a free consultation.
The answer to your first question is "yes," you need to be compensated for emotional distress, medical costs, and total vehicle loss. In Georgia, the measure of damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress is the enlightened conscience of an impartial jury. The measure of damages for medical costs is the actual cost. The measure of damages for the total vehicle loss is the value of the vehicle just before the collision less the value just after the collision.
The answer to your second question is "yes," but personal injury is also non-physical, which means past, present, and future mental suffering and anguish, among others. There is a third type of damages, called punitive damages, which may be available in cases involving an impaired driver. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish and deter the wrongdoer. In cases involving alcohol, such as your first wreck, there is no limit on the amount of punitive damages that may be awarded and recovered, although some liability policies exclude punitive damages from coverage.
Please protect your legal interests by retaining a lawyer that you can trust, as soon as possible. Otherwise, it is your responsibility to protect your interests. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at (877) 627-7452. Good luck.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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