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How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Negligence in Georgia

For you to be able to prove negligence you have to prove that the company or person you are accusing is legally responsible for the harm that you have suffered. When you have suffered an accident and have an injury in either a car accident or a slip and fall case you are required to prove negligence. To do this you may need the help of a personal injury lawyer. So, how can a personal injury lawyer prove negligence in Georgia? When you go to court for an injury claim your personal injury attorney needs to prove four things: the damages or harm caused, duty of care, breach, and causation.

In a situation where an individual's careless actions cause harm to another individual when the case is defined under the legal principle of negligence, the individual will be liable for any damages incurred as a result. In most disputes that involve an accident or an injury this basis for assessing and determining the fault of an individual will be used while trying to resolve a personal injury claim during informal settlement talks and trials.

How is Negligence Legally Defined?

In most personal injury cases negligence is used as a legal basis. Negligence is defined as the lack or failure to implement a certain degree of care in order to reduce the risk of others getting injured. If for example a company’s elevators are under maintenance and the company fails to place a notice informing their clients or customers that the lifts are under maintenance if an accident occurs and the individual sustains an injury then the company will be held liable for negligence.

In Georgia, negligence is classified as a tort. A tort is the unlawful violation of a private legal right. As a tort Negligence occurs when an individual fails to exercise the required duty of care and as a result, another individual gets injured.

In some states, the negligence laws will recognize contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is a situation whereby the actions or conduct of an individual or a plaintiff have contributed to the harm or injuries that they have suffered.  In some states, recovery can be barred if the plaintiff contributed to the injury in some way. Other states have instead adopted a comparative negligence approach.

Comparative negligence is divided into two that is modified and pure. When a state is following a pure comparative approach it means that damages of the plaintiff will be reduced by the percentage of fault that the individual had. A modified comparative approach on the other hand means that an individual will only be able to recover compensation if they are 50% less responsible for the injuries. In Georgia, the modified comparative negligence is used to determine compensation.

Elements of a Negligence Claim

Personal injury lawsuits are not always straightforward. In order to establish proof of negligence, there are four elements that need to be seen. These elements include causation, damages, duty of care, and breach of duty

Duty of Care

One of the most important questions that need an answer is whether the injured party was owed a legal duty of care. This way it will be easier to prove the relationship between the involved parties. For example, according to the rules of the road drivers owe one another a duty of care.

They should keep a safe distance between cars. Also, it is the responsibility of a property owner to keep their business premises free from hazards that could harm those coming to their premises.

Breach of Duty

In order to show that duty of care towards the plaintiff was breached you have to show that the defendant was negligent. When the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in the duty that they were supposed to fulfill they breach the duty.

an injured woman discussing a claim with an attorney.

A driver can be distracted on the road and fail to keep a safe distance due to texting and driving. Hence negligence occurs due to a breach of their legal duty.

Causation

When causation occurs you should link the other individual’s breach of duty to the accident and the injuries that occur as a result. In Georgia, the law recognizes two types of causation.

Cause In Fact

It is necessary for the plaintiff to prove that as a result of the defendant’s actions the plaintiff incurred injuries.

Proximate Cause

In this case, the responsibility of the defendant lies only on the harms that they could have foreseen through their actions. Anything that is outside that scope is not seen to be the responsibility of the defendant. It includes an injury that occurs in a separate instance to the plaintiff.

Damages

Lastly, a plaintiff in a negligence case must prove a “legally” recognized harm, shown through economic and non-damages. Examples of damages you might suffer in an accident include:

As a result of the negligence, it is necessary to show that harm occurred. Harm can be shown through non-economical and economical damages. Examples of the damages that you are likely to suffer as a result of the accident are:

  • Property damage
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Future lost earning potential
  • Lost wages, benefits, commissions
  • Medical bills incurred and future medical bills as a result of the accident or/and injuries
  • Wrongful death

For a negligence claim to move forward it is important for all of these four elements to be present.

How Negligence Affects Liability in an Injury Claim

When most accidents occur the person that is responsible for the accident is normally covered by an insurance company. The insurance company on the other hand fights in order to make sure that they pay as little as they can in terms of compensation. For you to get compensation it is necessary for you to prove that another party was responsible or liable.

If you can prove the other person's negligent actions then you will be able to prove that they are responsible or liable for the losses. Even so, in some instances, there are situations where the individual could have acted intentionally to cause you harm. In this case, punitive damages will be awarded. Also, if an individual is partly responsible for their own injuries the defendant will pay compensation depending on the percentage in which they caused the damage.

If you have been injured by another party call our firm today to schedule a free consultation with a skilled attorney, discuss your case, and learn how we can help you get a fair settlement.

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