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How to Know if It's Negligence

by Matthew Hennesy on Mar. 07, 2017

Accident & Injury Personal Injury Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Car Accident 

Summary: If you get hurt during an accident, you have a right to try to get a legal remedy for your injuries. To get that remedy, you need to prove that your injury was someone else's fault.

When you get hurt during an accident, you have a right to try to get a legal remedy for your injuries. To get that remedy, though, you need to prove that your injury was someone else's fault. That standard, called negligence, is what courts base their decision for or against financial compensation upon.

In the eyes of the law, negligence is a person's actions that put another person at unreasonable risk. All personal injury cases base their merits on proving negligence. Because it is often difficult to get to the bottom of what caused an accident, a negligence case can become complex, involving hours of research and medical testimony. Here's an overview of what goes into a negligence case—and why you need a competent attorney to navigate all of the issues that may come up.

What is Duty of Care?


Duty of care is an important factor in negligence cases. In tort law, duty of care is each person's requirement, in their daily activities, to conduct himself or herself in a reasonable manner at all times.

Duty of care varies with the situation. For instance, taxi drivers owes their passengers diligence in keeping them safe by driving carefully and thus avoiding accidents. Business owners need to provide a work environment that is free from preventable risks. Water on the floor, for instance, needs cleaned immediately to prevent falls. A host needs to make sure that her or his home is in in good enough repair not to cause injury to guests.

Bottom line: each of us owes everyone else a responsibility not to hurt others, and therefore to avoid actions (or lack of actions) that can cause harm. No matter if it is carelessness or deliberate harm, people are culpable for their actions that cause others harm.

To Prove Negligence, an Attorney Needs Five Things


To demonstrate that someone has been negligent, the plaintiff's attorney needs to show that the following have occurred:
  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
  2. The defendant violated her or his duty of care.
  3. There must have been a direct relationship between the defendant's behavior and the harm the plaintiff suffered. The negligent behavior must have caused the injury.
  4. The harm done must have been avoidable. In other words, the defendant could have foreseen that harm might have come from the action. This is called "proximate cause" in legal terms.
  5. Damages must have come from the plaintiff's injuries and the accident.  

How to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney


Because proving negligence can be difficult, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to steer you through all of the roadblocks that come up in such cases. If at all possible, find an attorney that specializes in your type of injury. Don't hire an automobile accident specialist, for example, to handle a case of workplace negligence. Hire an expert attorney, and you'll be in good hands.

To find expert attorneys with experience in a variety of negligence cases, call the injury professionals at Farrar, Hennesy and Tanner today. With over 68 years of experience protecting injured people in the state of Georgia, they can handle your negligence case with expertise.

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