When you’re injured because of another person’s negligence, it’s common to feel irrationally annoyed and even angry at the entire situation. Because of one person’s choice to text and drive, leave a rickety staircase up at their place of business, or unleash their aggressive dog, you’re left with medical bills, lost wages, and mental trauma. Fortunately, you have legal options—with a personal injury claim, you can hold the liable party accountable and demand compensation.
A big part of a personal injury claim is proving negligence. Find out what it takes to prove negligence successfully, and when you’re ready to start your claim with The Stein Firm, call us at 770-824-3107.
Elements of Negligence in Georgia
There are several elements of negligence that must be present for you to prove the other party’s liability. We’ll break those down here and give examples of how these elements look in different types of claims:
- Duty of care: For a person to be negligent, they must have a duty of care to you—some sort of obligation toward you. In a car accident, this is straightforward. All drivers have a duty of care to other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Dog owners have a duty to keep their dogs under their control at all times, either via a fence or leash. Property owners have an obligation to keep their property safe and well-maintained for visitors.
- Breach of the duty of care: The other party must have breached that duty of care in some way. A driver may breach their duty by driving too fast for weather conditions or driving while impaired. A property owner may fail in their duty when they allow their building to fall into disrepair. A dog owner could breach their duty of care by allowing their dog to walk unleashed next to them.
- Causation: The other party’s breach of duty of care must be a direct cause of the accident that injured you. The impaired driver hit you and caused your injuries as a result of their impairment. The dog owner’s pet was able to chase you down and bite you because the sound of your skateboard scared them. The property owner’s negligence caused you to fall and break a bone on their rickety staircase.
- Measurable damages: Finally, you must have measurable damages. This means that you must have suffered actual injuries and losses as a result of the other party’s negligence. If someone is texting and driving and almost hits you, you can’t file a claim just because they could have hurt you. If a dog owner catches up to their dog at the last second and pulls them back before they can bite you, you don’t have measurable damages.
Evidence to Support Negligence Claims
There are many ways you can support your claims of negligence. Physical visual evidence is perhaps one of the most important pieces of documentation you can provide to your personal injury attorney. Photographs and video footage can show what happened, how it affected you and your property, and what role the other party played in the accident. Eyewitness testimony is also very useful—a neutral third party’s perspective can add credibility to your claim and provide additional insight.
You should also keep track of any paperwork or documentation you get throughout this process. This includes police reports, medical bills, medical reports, repair estimates, lost income documentation, and receipts for accident-related expenses.
In some cases, expert witness testimony may be necessary. This type of evidence can help you prove negligence if it’s unclear what happened during the incident, the other person’s role in what happened, or the impact of the other person’s actions. Expert witnesses that may assist in personal injury claims include accident reconstruction specialists, economic specialists, vocational rehabilitation experts, and medical care providers. They provide testimony based on their background and interpretation of the evidence.
Start Your Personal Injury Claim with The Stein Firm
The sooner you begin a personal injury claim after an accident, the sooner we can start building your case. Let’s start by setting up a time to talk about your accident and injuries. Schedule a consultation with our Morrow personal injury lawyers now by calling us at 770-824-3107 or sending us a message online.