How Georgia’s Impact Rule Works in Atlanta Personal Injury Cases

You might want to know how Georgia’s impact rule works in Atlanta personal injury cases? The Impact Rule in Georgia law requiring physical injury might be perplexing for persons who desire to make claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress. The Impact Rule might influence your ability to obtain compensation if someone else’s acts caused you mental distress.

“In a claim concerns negligent behavior, a recovery for emotional distress is permissible only if there is some impact on the plaintiff, and that impact must be a bodily injury,” according to the Impact Rule. 272 Ga. 583, 584 Lee v. State Farm Mut. Ins. Co. et al. (2000).

This article will look at the Impact Rule and how it works. Our attorneys at The Zox Law Firm can offer you the legal assistance and advice you require if you are seeking compensation for a personal injury. Please contact us now if you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation.


Personal Injury Cases in Atlanta

In a personal injury case, the victim, or plaintiff, files a lawsuit against the defendant who caused the harm. The plaintiff’s purpose is to obtain restitution for their losses. The plaintiff must demonstrate the following to win their injury case:

  • The defendant was required by law to exercise reasonable caution.
  • The defendant disregarded this duty of care.
  • Damages were awarded to the plaintiff.
  • The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s carelessness.

Consider the following elements in the context of an automobile accident:

The defendant, Driver A, runs a red light and collides with Driver B, who is crossing the junction. Driver B suffers damage to his vehicle and a personal injury that necessitates medical attention.

Driver A is responsible for respecting the road laws in this circumstance. However, A failed to do this obligation, and as a result, B was injured and his vehicle was damaged. Driver B will be able to sue A for reimbursement for his losses.

Personal Injury Damages

You can seek compensation for the following losses under Georgia personal injury law:

  • Medical bills incurred as a result of physical injuries
  • Wages that have been lost due to a handicap or inability to work.
  • Repair or replacement costs for damaged property
  • Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering
  • You may be eligible to seek compensation for emotional anguish in some instances. Georgia’s Impact Rule comes into play here.

Damages for Emotional Distress: The Impact Rule in Georgia

Emotional distress is the emotional suffering a person feels due to a stressful event. Following automobile accidents, assaults, dog attacks, and other occurrences, common psychological injuries include:

  • Anxiety that lasts a long time
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irrational fears
  • Embarrassment or shame
  • Guilt

According to the Georgia Impact Rule, a plaintiff can only seek compensation for mental distress if the following conditions are met:

  • During the incident, the plaintiff was physically harmed.
  • The plaintiff was injured as a result of the physical impact.
  • The plaintiff suffered emotional suffering as a result of his physical damage.
  • According to this law, only a person who has experienced physical harm can seek compensation for mental suffering.

Assume that Person A witnessed their spouse B suffering horrific injuries from a dog attack. As a result, anxiety, despair, and insomnia affect A and B.

However, under the impact law, only B is entitled to compensation from the dog’s owner for emotional distress. This is because B was the only one who was physically injured throughout the event.

Many think broadening the rule is vital to safeguard family members who witness heinous accidents. Even if the parent does not receive bodily damage, the Impact Rule makes an exemption for a parent’s sorrow upon witnessing their child’s suffering and death.

Oliver v. McDade: The Pecuniary Loss Rule

The Impact Rule is demonstrated in Georgia law in the case of Oliver v. McDade, 328 Ga. App. 368 (2014).

In this case, the plaintiff (McDade) and his buddy (Wood) pulled over to the side of the road to investigate an issue with their trailer. A tractor-trailer struck Wood just after he exited the truck, killing him instantly.

McDade was injured when the trailer-tractor collided with the truck. McDade was traumatized when Wood’s blood and skin tissue landed on him, creating anxiety, sadness, flashbacks, and suicidal thoughts.

According to the court, McDade was entitled to compensation for emotional anguish under the pecuniary loss rule. If a plaintiff’s emotional anguish results in medical expenses, they may be entitled to compensation under this rule. McDade sought medical help for depression in this case.

Claims for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress: Available Compensation

Do you wish to claim someone else for compensation? The amount you can recover is determined by several criteria, including the types of injuries you sustained and your financial losses.

Compensation for pain and suffering is more difficult to calculate because these damages have no monetary worth. Under Georgia personal injury law, however, there is no monetary limit on pain and suffering compensation claims.

We can assist you in determining the proper compensation amount for physical and emotional suffering at The Zox Law Firm. We’ll also provide the facts to the court or the insurance company to show why the amount you’re claiming is reasonable.

The Impact Rule in Georgia Law: Why Does it Exist?

Because emotional injuries are difficult to quantify, Georgia law uses the Impact Rule. The rule likewise prohibits fraudulent claims.

Bystanders are often drawn to catastrophic incidents. Georgia law prohibits members of the general public who witness an accident from seeking compensation from the defendant for emotional distress.

When Should I Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer

It can be difficult to navigate the personal injury claims process. Consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following the incident. Throughout the process, we can assist you in making informed decisions. If you are entitled to mental distress compensation, we can provide documentation to show that:

  • When did your mental suffering start and how long did it last?
  • Your psychological injury’s severity
  • Any physical symptoms you’re experiencing as a result of your emotional turmoil.
  • The main source of your emotional anguish
  • We’ll also ensure you have medical evidence to support your claim.

Partner With Reputable Personal Injury Attorneys

Get in touch with our legal experts at ZOX Law to learn more about Georgia’s Impact Rule and how it applies to your case. Our service regions include offices in the following cities:

Atlanta, Georgia

Toccoa, Georgia

Greenville, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Destin, Florida

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