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Negligence Under Georgia Law

Negligence Under Georgia Law

When a personal injury happens to you or a loved one, you want to do everything in your power to prove that the at-fault party was negligent. However, often times those injured don’t understand what is required to prove negligence or the definition of negligence under Georgia law. Therefore, to better understand how the system works, and help you determine if your case involves negligence, we’ve put together the following explanation which we call, “Negligence 101.”

Negligence is the most common basis for personal injury lawsuits. It describes a situation in which a person acts in a careless (or negligent) manner, which results in someone else being injured hurt or property being damaged.

The Elements of Negligence

A personal injury lawsuit isn’t straight forward. There are several elements required in order to prove negligence: Duty, Breach of Duty, Causation and Damages.

 Duty: Did the defendant owe a legal obligation to the plaintiff? This is the first question that needs to be answered in order to prove whether there was a relationship between the 2 parties – resulting in the defendant owing a “duty of care” to the plaintiff.  As an example, the rules of the road dictate that drivers owe one another a duty to keep a safe distance between their cars.

 Breach of Duty: A defendant is liable for negligence when the defendant breaches the duty that the defendant owed to the plaintiff. When failing to exercise reasonable care in fulfilling the duty, the defendant has breached this duty.  Using the prior example, if a driver fails to maintain a safe distance between their car and the car ahead of them by rear-ending that car, they breach their duty (i.e., following too closely).

 Causation: Georgia law recognizes 2 types of causation,

  • Cause in Fact: A plaintiff must prove that due to the defendant’s actions, the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Often times we employ the “but for” test – “but for” the defendant’s negligent acts, the plaintiff would not have been injured.
  •  Proximate Cause: This refers to the responsibility of the defendant. The responsibility lies only for those “harms” that the defendant could have foreseen through his or her actions. Anything outside the scope (injury that happens in a separate instance to the plaintiff) is not the responsibility of the defendant.

 Damages: Lastly, a plaintiff in a negligence case must prove a “legally” recognized harm. This is shown through physical bodily injury or property damage. The failure to exercise reasonable care must result in actual damages to a plaintiff to whom the defendant owed a duty of care.

While seemingly straightforward, all of these elements a required in order to lay the ground work for a negligence claim. If you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, we ask you to contact our office immediately. Do not allow someone else’s failure to exercise reasonable care be a reason for life-long suffering. Contact us today!

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  • "I was involved in an auto-accident with a drunk driver and after several weeks of frustrating interactions with their insurance company, I decided to contact Evan Kaine. He was upfront and honest about how the process works and never made any promises or raised my expectations. Evan understood that my first priority was to take care of the medical expenses that I incurred and he completely delivered. Communication is essential and I spoke directly with him and was never pawned off to another person. Bottom line - Evan Kaine gives lawyers a good name." - M.T. Atlanta, GA

  • "Evan Kaine is a great attorney who kept me informed on all activity regarding my case. Always willing to go the extra mile to put me at ease. Very knowledgeable and thorough, always examining my case from every angle. I have recommended him to several friends and will continue to do so. Overall great legal service." - B.S. Roswell, GA

  • "My boyfriend Michael was hit by a drunk driver while he was driving my car. Even though I wasn't involved in the accident, Evan made every effort to make the process of getting my new car painless for me. He worked with my insurance company, kept in touch with me personally, and made me aware that he was working on my case around the clock. He also helped Michael get his medical bills paid ASAP. I would highly recommend Evan Kaine! " - B.D. Atlanta, GA

  • "I was in a minor car accident and wasn’t sure that I even had a case. I met with Evan and he explained the law in terms I could understand. I immediately hired him and Evan turned my questionable case into more than $50,000.00! Evan is upfront, honest and expects the same from his clients – and he doesn’t take half of your money! I highly recommend Attorney Evan Kaine." - G.S., Smyrna, Georgia

  • "To everyone LIKE ME who has had to deal with attorneys AND has that bad taste in their mouth because they have been taken advantage of because their lawyers are more interested in making money and not caring about YOU, well please allow me to introduce you to Evan Kaine. I was in a very tight position and Evan could not have been more professional, courteous or kind and, again, HONEST! Once more, as a person who has been through the trials and tribulations with lawyers, good, bad or indifferent, if you have an issue, PLEASE contact Evan and I mean this from the heart! " - R.K., Suwanee, Georgia and Palm Beach, Florida

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