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Georgia Court Affirms Personal Injury Award Against Pizza Hut

What is my motor vehicle accident case worth in Georgia?

A Savannah, Georgia trial court recently affirmed a jury verdict in the amount of $1,480,778 for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident involving a Pizza Hut delivery driver.  The jury verdict was unanimous, but Pizza Hut motioned for a new trial, urging that the amount of damages outweighed the injuries and the court made several errors of law.  In denying Pizza Hut’s motion, the trial court took into account the substantial losses suffered by the plaintiff and the ongoing losses to come.  The case offers an important look at how damages are calculated in a car accident action in Georgia.

Facts of the Case

In case number STCV1102191SA, the plaintiff, Mr. Winnie, was riding his moped when a Pizza Hut driver suddenly ran a stop sign and drove into his path.  Winnie crashed into the delivery van, smashing his right shoulder.  The force of the accident fractured his clavicle and injured several joints.  Winnie required surgery and still experiences pain, as well as limited functionality in his right arm. Winnie sought damages for his medical expenses, lost past income, and lost future earning capacity.

Calculating Lost Earning Capacity

Damages calculations can be quite complex.  While some damages, like medical bills, are fairly easy to total, other calculations, like lost earning capacity and pain and suffering, will require extrapolation.  To determine a plaintiff’s lost earning capacity, it is necessary to examine the injured plaintiff’s job and career path.  In the Savannah case discussed, Mr. Winnie was an artist.  He painted with his right arm, which was the arm that sustained the most extensive injuries in the accident.  

Witness accounts proved important in assisting the jury in calculating the true extent of Winnie’s lost future earning capacity.  Relevant witnesses to testify in court included a successful commercial fine artist, an art journalist, art appraiser, and vocational rehabilitation expert.  The host of witnesses and evidence required to substantiate the plaintiff’s lost earning capacity demonstrates just how complex the issue of damages can be.  Injured Georgia plaintiffs are urged to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to find out more about their legal rights.

Posted in: Automobile Wrecks