David Thomas Dorer - Anytime Attorney

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Georgia Law – Negligence

car wreckNegligence, a very broad legal concept, is based on the simple principle that people have a right to be left alone, and when a person interferes with that right, when he or she shouldn’t have, the person who’s life has been affected should be entitled to compensation.  Usually, negligence is a factor in most wrongful death cases, personal injury casesslip and falls, property damage claims, and most commonly, car wrecks and trucking accidents.
 
The legal elements of a claim for negligence in the state of Georgia are (1) A legal duty to conform to a standard of conduct raised by the law for the protection of others against unreasonable risks of harm; (2) a breach of this standard; (3) a legally attributable causal connection between the conduct and the resulting injury; and (4) some loss or damage flowing to the plaintiff’s legally protected interest as a result of the alleged breach of the legal duty.
 
Usually, the legal duty of every person is to act “reasonably and prudently under the circumstances.” The duties of land owners to people that are injured by getting hurt on the land owner’s property vary based on what the relationship between the person injured and the land owner is (whether the person injured is a customer or a friend, for example). It is also possible to hold a person responsible to an escalated level of care if that person is a doctor, nurse, accountant, lawyer or other professional. Furthermore, if there is a regulatory statute in place (like speeding or following too closely), that is designed to prevent people like the Plaintiff from being injured by the type of conduct regulated, the Plaintiff can say that the Defendant is negligent per se for failing to follow the law.
 
People are said to have breached a duty when they fall below the standard of care. Some cases (usually product liability cases) speak for themselves (so to speak), and allow a Plaintiff to say that (1) the Defendant was in exclusive control of the harm-causing instrument), and that but for negligence, the injuries sustained by the Plaintiff usually would not have occurred. Generally though, this principle is very limited and the Plaintiff must show that some conduct of the Defendant fails to meet the standard we all expect of one another.
 
Finally, the Plaintiff has to show in a negligence case that the Defendant’s breach of duty actually and proximately caused the injuries the Plaintiff sustained. Actual causation is relatively simple: it’s the cause and effect we all know about. Proximate causation is an area of law that is heavily litigated by lawyers: whether or not the injuries sustained by the Plaintiff were foreseeable; or, whether it is fair to hold this Defendant accountable for this Plaintiff’s loss. This usually requires a jury to help make the decision.
 
It is important to know that you talk with a lawyer if you feel you have a negligence case. Call 478-227-3879 to ask David Dorer on Talking Law with David Dorer.

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