Claims for personal injuries are always based on the legal concepts of reasonable duty of care and negligence due to a breach of that particular care. Liability on the part of the respondent is by no means automatic in injury cases, as it is the responsibility of the plaintiff to prove both factors in a case. This is why it is imperative to have an experienced and effective personal injury attorney who understands how to craft a case that establishes the duty of care while also proving beyond a preponderance of the evidence that the injury indeed occurred to the plaintiff and was either the direct or indirect fault of the respondent.
Civil cases are different from criminal cases in this respect, as the personal injury lawyer functions as a prosecutor of sorts when filing an injury claim. The “preponderance” standard of proof is a lower bar than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal cases, but technicalities can still make a major difference in the final outcome. That is why it is so important to have an aggressive attorney who has experience before the courts arguing on behalf of injured parties.
Establishing Reasonable Duty of Care
Many personal injury cases fall under two categories, with those being premises liability and auto accidents. Medical malpractice suits are also common, and can often be very difficult cases to win without considerable evidence. Medical professionals are regularly given serious respect in the court system regarding duty of care. In an auto accident, each driver is required to maintain vehicular control while in transit, and any illegal driving maneuver or moving violation can be considered as failure to provide a reasonable duty of care for other motorists. In premises liability cases, duty of care is based on the material case factors and assumption of personal risk is a common defense for respondents, especially when an insurance company legal team is involved. An experienced personal injury attorney will understand what to expect from all respondents and be prepared for any defense the respondents may claim.
Savannah Personal Injury Lawyer: Proving Negligence
Proving negligence is the most important component of a personal injury claim. A defendant could have a reasonable duty of care, but still not necessarily be responsible for the injury in certain situations when the plaintiff’s level of personal contribution to the accident can be proven. Assumption of personal risk is the primary assessment in a premises liability case, especially when the injury occurs on private property and the plaintiff does not have authority to occupy the property. All drivers in an automobile accident are assessed for comparative negligence, with all damages for injuries claimed by the drivers being discounted by their personal percentage of negligence. Medical malpractice cases do not always require comparative negligence assessment. Medical professionals have significant latitude when explaining their actions regarding a claim and proving negligence can be more difficult in some instances.
Comparative Negligence in Georgia
All states use some form of comparative negligence law. In Georgia, the comparative negligence standard is a 50% bar, which means that any plaintiff who is at least 50% responsible for their own injuries cannot receive any financial damages for the injuries. Those who are found to have less than a 50% fault level for the injury will have their claim total reduced by the comparative negligence percentage as determined by a jury if the case is not settled out of court. It is not necessary for an attorney to prove negligence in a product liability case because product liability is assessed based on strict liability doctrine that requires manufacturers be responsible for their products after reaching market.
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