Law Offices of Jon R. Hawk
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Jon R.Hawk

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What your lawyer will need to prove to win your Georgia personal injury case

If you have experienced a serious personal injury as a result of negligence and are looking to take the next step in filing a claim or lawsuit to receive compensation, your case must meet these four criteria.

Was the party actually negligent?

This is defined as the mode of conduct that a reasonable person would exercise in any given situation that considers the well-being of others. In order for your case for negligence to be proven , you need to establish that the at fault party did not take the necessary steps to avoid unnecessary risk or injury.

A frequent example is if you're driving and a negligent party fails to obey a traffic law causing you to suffer an injury or damage. They did not take the necessary care expected of them to protect the safety of others, meaning they failed in their duty of care.

Did the property owner have a DUTY to care about meeting those standards?

In premises liability cases you show that the owner or occupier of land failed to care about meeting expected safety standards.

This is slightly different than the standard for due care. Your Georgia personal injury attorney will have to prove that the property owner or occupier had a responsibility to care about meeting the standards of safety toward the public.

For example, the owner of a locked building on posted private property may not have to prove he had a duty to a trespasser who entered the property illegally and fell through an unsafe roof.

A business owner, however, will be faced with a duty to exercise reasonable care if a customer gets injured on the property because the customer is an invitee. For example, if you're shopping and slip and fall because the store failed to put out a sign warning of wet floors, then that property owner or manager may have been negligent. In any event, it is critically important to consult an experienced attorney if you have been injured. You may lose important rights if you do not act promptly.

Companies, private homeowners and local governments such as counties and cities in Georgia specifically have safety standards to ensure people are not needlessly injured. We all want our families and friends to be reasonably safe from risk of injury. The word "reasonable" is often the hotly-debated issue in any negligence case in Georgia.

Can you prove your injures were the direct result of the negligence?

In a case of negligence, you must prove that the defendant's negligence was the cause of your injuries. That sounds reasonable, until you consider that not all injuries you suffered may be directly a result of the other driver's negligence. In other words, if some of your injuries were made worse because your airbag failed to deploy, you may have a valid lawsuit against the airbag manufacturer or the automaker.

In another example, if you suffered a severe cut or amputation because the blade on a power saw malfunctioned, you may be able to prove manufacturer's design or negligence caused the injury.

Can you prove your injuries caused "compensable" damages

The losses you experience from negligence aren't solely physical injury or damage to property. You can suffer other forms of damages, such as medical expenses to treat injuries or lost wages from missing work during your recovery. The more documentation you have of your related the expenses, the more credible your claim will be when negotiating a settlement with the insurance company, or taking your case to trial. You must have proof. That takes the experience and hard work that is needed to build a case.

Again, in order for you to recover these damages in your case, you must be able to prove that you have suffered harm or loss because of the negligent party.

Your best option is to hire an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer

It's always wise to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation to gain more knowledge about how to proceed and to present your case. Even if the facts are on your side, having the expertise of a lawyer is an invaluable asset and could be the difference between winning and losing your case.

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