Whether due to a slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, or an auto accident, nearly every personal injury claim will be centered around the concept of negligence. Essentially, a party will be considered negligent if they did not act with the same caution that a normal person would use in the same circumstances. For example, if a person ran a red light and caused an accident, they could be considered negligent because ordinarily prudent people would not run the red light.
However, understanding negligence and actually proving it in court are two separate issues. In this blog, our Dalton auto accident attorneys discuss the elements of negligence as they relate to car, truck, and motorcycle crashes.
STEP 1: THE DEFENDANT HAD A DUTY
The very first step of proving negligence is actually the easiest. In Georgia, much like most other states, drivers have an implied duty to remain reasonably prudent while on the road. Their duty is to follow the rules of the road, which are set forth in the Georgia Drivers Manual. In our red light example, the driver had a duty to stop at the red light.
STEP 2: THE DEFENDANT VIOLATED THEIR DUTY
Once you’ve established what the driver’s duty actually is, you must then prove that they violated their duty. In some instances, like our red light example, this is fairly obvious. In other cases, such as when one driver merges into another, breach of duty can be much tougher to prove. For this reason, it’s crucial to retain an experienced Dalton personal injury lawyer when pursuing any type of injury claim.
STEP 3: YOU SUFFERED RECOVERABLE DAMAGES
Perhaps the most fundamental step of an auto accident claim is proving that the damages or losses you suffered are actually eligible for recovery. If you were struck by another car, but were not injured in the accident, you cannot pursue an injury claim. Likewise, you cannot pursue compensation for damage to your car if the car wasn’t damaged in the first place.
STEP 4: THE BREACH CAUSED OR LED TO YOUR INJURIES
After demonstrating that the defendant breached their duty to drive safely, you must then prove that the breach actually led to your injuries. Again, this is very easy to prove in some cases, and much more complex in others. In a whiplash claim where the driver struck your car from behind, you must prove that the whiplash was caused by the accident, and was not a preexisting condition. In some instances, however, an accident can aggravate a preexisting condition. Due to the complexity of this step, it’s important to seek representation from a skilled Dalton injury attorney.
Our firm is devoted to the rights of injury victims and their families. To pursue fair compensation for your injuries, call us today at (706) 956-2395.