Crawford County is one of Georgia's least populated counties. With a population set at under 13,000 people, it's a county the size of a small town. For being small in population size in comparison to its neighboring counties, the county makes up for it through its economy. According to the most recent available data, wages are higher than the wages received in the Macon metro area and the Middle Georgia Regional Commission. The two biggest employment industries are education and healthcare. Though wages are relatively strong, this community is an older population with the average age in the lower-mid 40 range. Poverty, too, remains high at a rate slightly over 17 percent, and the number of employees has been decreasing annually.
If an accident happens and injuries are sustained, then it can be extremely stressful physically, emotionally, and financially for someone in this community. Some personal injuries do not involve legal blame, but many do. When someone is liable for your personal injuries, you have a right to file a claim, if applicable, or a lawsuit to recover monetary damages.
Causes of Personal Injuries & Legal Culpability in Crawford County
The causes of personal injuries in Crawford County are the same as anywhere else in Georgia or the United States. The causes of personal injuries that most often involve legal culpability include the following:
- Work-related Incidents. Worker's compensation usually covers monetary damages for personal injuries or wrongful death cases that occur at work; however, some cases warrant a claim or lawsuit to help victims recover additional damages that they deserve.
- Medical Malpractice. These types of cases can be especially demoralizing because the harm is committed by a professional whom the injured party relied on and trusted. With the healthcare industry relatively large in Crawford County, medical malpractice cases would not be unexpected.
- Dog Bites. Dogs bites can cause serious injuries and even death; in fact, according to Georgia's Department of Public Health, approximately 800,000 dog bite injuries require medical attention each year in the U.S.. Fortunately, in Crawford County, dog bite incidents requiring medical attention appear to be fairly rare.
- Slip and Falls. Between 2006-2010 in Crawford County, slip and fall injuries sent 1,877 persons, including more than 300 children under the age of 19, to the Emergency Department for treatment. These types of accidents are statistically on par with car accidents, though the rate of culpability varies greatly with slip and falls while there is often a culpable party causing a car accident.
- Assaults. Assaults have both criminal and civil consequences. The victim may have a right to sue for damages, even if the accused is found not guilty. Fortunately, in Crawford County, the crime rate is low, and assault rates are even lower; the number of reported assaults average around 20 cases a year in Crawford County.
- Car Accidents. These types of accidents spur the most personal injury and wrongful death cases in Crawford County as elsewhere throughout Georgia and the United States. In fact, the most recent data, taken from 2014, indicates that nearly 3 percent of Crawford County's population was involved in car accidents resulting in serious personal injuries while another roughly 1 percent died from injuries caused by car accidents.
To be legally culpable for another person's injuries, 4 elements generally must be proven: (1) the person or entity had a duty of care; (2) the person or entity breached that duty; (3) the breach caused injuries; and (4) those injuries have a monetary value.
Factors that Help Determine Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are calculated various ways. Compensatory damages include economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include but are not limited to medical bills, past and future lost wages, property damage repairs, funeral costs. Economic damages already have a monetary value directly or indirectly attached to it. Calculations of these damages are relatively straightforward. Non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment, do not have a monetary value readily available but obviously can have enormous value nonetheless. Calculations of these damages take some thought and effort to determine a proper and fair value.
There are factors that go into the overall calculation of a compensatory package. These same factors are considered by insurance companies when determining a settlement for a claim, and by juries when determining an award for damages. A list of factors includes but are not limited to:
- Proof of liability;
- Venue, or place of the accident;
- Percentage of comparative fault (generally, if injured party is 50 percent or more at fault, he or she may be barred from recovering compensation in 2 party cases);
- Insurance policy limits;
- Whether medical treatments received were “reasonable and necessary”;
- Whether injuries are permanent;
- Whether medical treatment will be required in the future;
- Whether there is any scarring; and/or
- How quality of life has changed for the worse for the injured party but for the personal injury.
Economic damages are meant to reimburse an injured party for all financial expenses spent while noneconomic damages are meant to help an injured party cope with the pain and suffering and overall change in his or her quality of life.
In addition to compensatory damages, punitive damages may also be awarded. These damages, however, are only awarded in cases where the tortfeasor acted intentionally, wantonly, recklessly, fraudulently, or overall egregiously. Punitive damages are meant to set and example and punish the wrongdoer to prevent future acts of the same.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you are a victim of a personal injury in Crawford County, Georgia, you may have the right to file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party(s). Gautreaux Law can help. We pursue personal injury and wrongful death claims and lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing. If we recover compensation for you, only then do we get paid, but payment comes directly from the settlement or damages award. If you are struggling and are worried about contacting an attorney because of money, don't be worried. The only thing you should be worried about is your recovery. Contact Gautreaux Law at (478) 238-9758 for a free consultation today.