If you've suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one, an Atlanta injury lawyer can help answer your questions on how to win your personal injury claim in a Georgia personal injury court!
At S. Burke Law we are here to help give answers to these important questions. Our Frequently Asked Question database covers the common questions you may have regarding what to do after a serious accident, how to file a claim in personal injury court, and tips on how to win your personal injury claim. When researching information on the legal process following a serious accident you want legitimate advice from a source you can trust.
When you’ve suffered serious losses and damages from an accident due to the negligence of another you aren’t alone. An Atlanta injury lawyer from our office is always available to answer additional questions not addressed on our page. Contact us for a FREE consultation and get the answers you need to seek compensation for your losses!
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Can I Get Compensation for a Permanent Scar From a Motorcycle Accident?
Yes, it is possible to get compensation for a permanent scar from a motorcycle accident, but each case is different. When we talk with you about your case, we will gather information to evaluate some of the factors that will determine how much compensation you might receive. These factors include:
The Location of Your Permanent Scar
The location of your scar will affect the compensation you can collect. By way of example, a mark left on your face will have a higher settlement value than an identical one on your lower back.
The visibility of your scar is an essential element of your damages. Noticeable skin damage is more disfiguring than hidden scars. Ask yourself whether the scar is in a location that could cause strangers to stare if you go in public under ordinary circumstances.
Internal vs. External Scars
Another component of the scar location factor is whether your scars are internal or external. While an internal scar is not noticeable to the public, internal scars can cause extreme pain and significant health issues. You can develop internal scar tissue from the original injury or from the surgical repair of your injuries.
If you have internal scar tissue, you have tough bands of tissue that grew between the organs and tissues inside your body. These fibrous bands can “cement” your organs to each other, resulting in organ malfunction and excruciating pain.
The Severity of Your Scar Affects the Settlement Value
Scars from motorcycle accidents can come in many different sizes, shapes, and forms. Here are some examples of how the scar’s presentation can impact the amount of compensation a person can collect:
Lower Compensation Higher Compensation
Small scar Massive scar
Heals to skin tone of the area Color changes
Painless after healing Causes lasting discomfort
Smooth and flat Lumpy or raised
Laceration Burns from a motorcycle accident
How the Scar Affects Your Life
In addition to cosmetic issues, scars can cause other long-term consequences that can impact your life on a daily basis. The level of impairment and discomfort you experience will be a factor in the amount of damages you might collect. Two of the more common types of severe scars include:
If your body grows keloid tissue in response to injuries, you can suffer both pain and loss of function. Keloids happen when your body produces more scar tissue than it needs to repair the damage. The excess scar tissue can build up and become lumpy and raised.
Adhesions happen when excess scar tissue “welds” two organs or two other areas of the body to each other.
Both keloid tissue and adhesions can restrict a person’s movement and cause pain when the person tries to move his body in everyday situations. The scar tissue can prevent the organs from performing their intended functions, which can create a medical crisis. Excess scar tissue can be particularly hard to treat, since surgically cutting the scar tissue can cause more scar tissue to grow, making the problem worse than before.
Some Scars Cause Pain
Some scar tissue lacks functioning sensory nerves, causing a loss of sensation in the area. In other situations, the scar tissue hurts.
Your Other Injuries
In a motorcycle accident that caused permanent scars you probably suffered multiple injuries. For example, if you sustained permanent facial scars, you might have also experienced a traumatic brain injury. Your total settlement will consider all of your injuries, not just your permanent scars.
We can evaluate your medical records and the police report to compile a list of all of your injuries. We can gather the evidence to build your claim and prove all of the damages you suffered. If your scar is small but you have significant other injuries, the value of your motorcycle accident settlement can be much higher.
Also, if you lost time from work because of the crash and your recuperation, we can add your lost wages to the damages. Your pain and suffering for the scars and your other injuries will be another component. Your spouse might have a claim for loss of consortium if the injuries harmed your relationship.
Getting Legal Help for Permanent Scars from a Motorcycle Accident
We can review your medical records and the police report to determine if you might be eligible for compensation for your scars and other injuries from a motorcycle accident. You can call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation. There is no obligation, and we do not charge legal fees until you get a settlement or award of damages.
How Much Is a Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident?
There is no set value for a motorcycle accident claim. Several factors can affect how much a settlement for a motorcycle accident is worth.
Factors That Affect a Motorcycle Accident Settlement’s Worth
How much a settlement for a motorcycle accident is worth depends on:
The Severity of Your Injuries
The more severe your injuries, the higher your settlement. For example, you will likely be entitled to more compensation for a traumatic brain injury than you would be for a broken arm and leg.
How Long They Affect You
The longer your injuries affect you, the more compensation you may be eligible to recover. For example, you will be entitled to higher amounts of compensation for an injury that affects you for your life than one that affects you for eight months.
Whether They Keep You Out Of Work
If your injuries keep you out of work, you can recover compensation for the wages you lost. If your injuries cause you to take a lesser-paying job or retire, you can also recover compensation for those losses.
Whether You Contributed to the Accident
Per Georgia’s comparative negligence law, any liability on your part will decrease your settlement. Say you were traveling through an intersection when a car turned left in front of you. The investigation found the driver 90 percent liable for the accident. However, the investigation determined you were speeding, so you received 10 percent of the blame. You would be eligible to recover 90 percent of your demand (e.g., $45,000 of $50,000).
Recoverable Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Potential damages recoverable in a motorcycle accident claim include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Compensation for pain and suffering
Medical expenses include both current and future medical expenses. You can also recover the costs of medication and rehabilitation.
You can recover compensation for the wages you lost while recovering. This can also include any time you needed to take off to attend doctor’s appointments.
Compensation for Lost Earning Capacity
If your injuries caused you to take a lesser-paying job, work fewer hours, or retire, you can recover compensation for the wages you should be earning. We can work with economists to determine what you should currently be earning.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
You may be entitled to recover compensation for pain and suffering. You can recover compensation for both physical and mental pain, such as fear, worry, the loss of enjoyment of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder from your motorcycle accident. You can help your case by keeping a diary of the duration or frequency of your pain.
There Are Different Ways to Calculate Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering can be difficult to value as there are no receipts to reference; however, it can be the largest portion of your settlement. As such, it is important to know the different methods used to calculate the value:
Some attorneys who represent clients injured in a motorcycle accident use the multiplier method to place a value on pain and suffering. The attorney multiplies the injured person's economic damages—medical bills and lost wages—by a number between one and five depending on the severity of the injury.
For example, you suffered a traumatic brain injury that will cause you pain for the rest of your life. The attorney uses a 4.5 multiplier. Your economic damages total $150,000. Your pain and suffering is worth $675,000.
Per Diem Method
Other attorneys use a per diem (or per day) approach. The attorney assigns a dollar amount (typically your daily wages) and then multiplies it by the number of days you had to deal with the pain and inconvenience of your accident.
For example, you make $400 a day. You are in pain for 90 days. You are entitled to $36,000 in pain and suffering.
Insurance Companies Can Value Pain and Suffering Differently
Insurance companies are not required to use the multiplier method or the per diem method. Some insurance companies use a computer program to place a value on pain and suffering. The program takes into account the type of injury, the type of medical treatment the injured person sought, and the duration of the treatment.
Do Not Accept the First Settlement Without Running It By a Lawyer
An insurance company may offer a settlement shortly after an accident. Accepting a settlement too quickly could spell trouble. Settlements are usually binding. Some injuries, like post-traumatic stress disorder, do not surface immediately. An injury lawyer can look over a settlement before you sign, discuss the pros and cons, and negotiate with the insurance company for a higher amount.
Discuss Your Case with an Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer TodayDid you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident? Call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine a value for your claim and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Can a Motorcycle Accident Cause PTSD?
Yes, a motorcycle accident can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying or horrific event. The motorcyclist can have a severe emotional response following an accident. PTSD is more than normal feelings of guilt or anger. It is an emotional response that affects the daily life of the motorcyclist.
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD After an Accident
Symptoms of PTSD may occur within a month of the motorcycle accident, or they may not appear until years after the crash. A person with PTSD may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Ongoing general anxiety or anxiety triggered by seeing or getting onto a motorcycle
- Refusal of medical tests or procedures
- Nightmares and difficulty sleeping
- Excessive worry or unreasonable anger
- Inability to connect with people
- Suicidal thoughts
The critical distinction between PTSD and normal reactions following a motorcycle wreck is the impact of PTSD on the motorcyclist's day-to-day activities. The motorcyclist re-enacts the crash in his or her mind, becomes easily stressed, and avoids situations that trigger memories of the collision.
Recovering Compensation for PTSD After a Motorcycle Accident
In some circumstances, you may be eligible to file a claim to recover compensation for a mental injury, such as PTSD. However, there are several things our injury firm must do:
Provide Proof to Recover Compensation for PTSD After a Motorcycle Accident
We must prove that a doctor diagnosed your PTSD. We must also show the relationship between the PTSD and the accident. Even if the PTSD diagnosis preceded the accident, you may still be able to recover some compensation if the accident made the PTSD worse.
Proving the Other Party Caused or Contributed to the Motorcycle Accident
We must prove that the negligence or reckless conduct of the other driver caused the accident. This might include behavior such as distracted driving, driving over the speed limit, or disobeying a red light.
Reduction or Bar to Recovery If Your Conduct Caused the Accident
Georgia’s comparative fault law can reduce your potential recovery or bar you from obtaining compensation entirely. For example, say an investigation found the other driver to be 80 percent at fault and you to be 20 percent at fault. You would be entitled to 80 percent of your demand. If you demanded $20,000, you would be able to recover $16,000.
The comparative negligence law can also bar you from recovering compensation. Georgia follows a 50 percent bar rule which means the state will bar you from recovering compensation if you contributed 50 percent or more to the cause of the accident.
When to File a Claim to Recover Compensation for PTSD
We must file a lawsuit for physical injuries arising out of the accident within a certain time of the accident. The time varies from state to state. Georgia imposes a two-year time limit. If you fail to file suit within those two years, Georgia will throw out your lawsuit.
Proving That the Motorcyclist Suffers PTSD from the Accident
To prove you have PTSD caused by the accident, a doctor must give an opinion that the accident caused the PTSD. An expert witness can explain in an affidavit, a deposition, or in court the causal connection between the accident and the PTSD.
Other witnesses will also be valuable in proving your PTSD. These witnesses may be a spouse, a friend, or a co-worker who has daily interaction with you. They can support your case in several ways:
- Relate how your conduct changed after the accident.
- Give examples of episodes they observed.
- Explain the impact of PTSD on your daily activities.
We will determine what witnesses might be helpful in your case.
Receiving Compensation for PTSD
The compensation for PTSD might include the following:
- Medical expenses from psychologists and psychiatrists
- Costs of prescriptions
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Compensation for mental anguish
You can take action that will help us when negotiating a settlement or trying your case in court:
- Keep records of your prescriptions and any medical bills you receive
- Keep track of missed days of work
- Jot down notes of nightmares, bouts with depression, and feelings of anxiety
How S. Burke Law Can Help
The S. Burke Law motorcycle accident team will negotiate with the insurance company to get you a settlement for your PTSD. If negotiations do not yield a reasonable settlement, we can gather evidence, interview witnesses, hire experts, and present your case in court.If you have questions, call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838.