| Read Time: 5 minutes | Personal Injury
Georgia negligence law

Georgia negligence law comes into play anytime someone suffers damages due to another person’s wrongful or careless actions.

Legal claims that may involve a negligence analysis include:

If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries in Georgia, contact an attorney with MG Law to discuss the details of your case. Our team of experienced injury attorneys will determine if you qualify to file a lawsuit. For a free consultation, please contact us online or call (770) 988-5252 today.

What Is Georgia’s Negligence Law?

Negligence is a legal concept that describes the failure to act with the level of care that a reasonable person would have shown in the same or similar circumstances.

If someone else’s negligence causes an accident that results in your injuries, you may qualify to recover losses from the responsible party by filing a personal injury claim. The person who files the claim is referred to as the plaintiff, and the person accused of negligently causing harm is referred to as the defendant. 

An attorney at MG Law can walk you through the process of filing your claim and compiling information to hand over to our team. 

Elements of Negligence

The basic elements of a negligence claim include: 

  • Duty of care,
  • Breach of duty, 
  • Causation, and 
  • Damages. 

You must prove all four elements to prevail in a negligence case. Even the most experienced lawyers can struggle to successfully prove someone was negligent. Do not leave your financial recovery in the hands of someone who cannot prove your case.

Our team at MG Law has extensive experience navigating the Georgia negligence statute and securing recovery on behalf of our clients.

Duty of Care

The first element of a negligence claim requires proof that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. A duty is typically imposed by law or by virtue of the relationship between two parties. For instance, motorists using public roads owe other drivers a duty to act in a reasonably safe manner.

Operating a vehicle in a reasonably safe manner includes acts like driving the speed limit and observing all traffic signs. Another example is the duty imposed on property owners who owe visitors and invitees a duty to keep their property free of hazardous conditions or provide adequate warnings.

Finally, a doctor-patient relationship imposes a duty on the physician to act as a similarly trained physician would in the same situation. 

Breach of Duty

Duty and breach typically go hand in hand. After you determine that the defendant owed you a duty of care, you must prove that they breached their duty. You can show someone breached their duty by demonstrating that they failed to act as a reasonable person would have acted in the same or similar circumstances. 

For example, committing a traffic violation can constitute a breach of a motorist’s duty of care to operate their vehicle as a reasonable person would. Alternatively, a property owner can breach their duty by failing to warn visitors of obvious dangers.

Causation

To recover in a personal injury claim, you need to link the at-fault party’s breach of their duty to the accident and your resulting injuries. You need to prove that but for the defendant’s negligence, the accident and your subsequent injuries would not have occurred.

Additionally, you must show that the defendant could have foreseen or anticipated the consequences of their actions. For example, causing a car accident is a foreseeable risk of speeding. If multiple parties contributed to your accident, you can seek compensation from all of them.

Damages

Finally, you cannot recover under Georgia negligence law if you do not suffer losses due to the defendant’s negligence.

Examples of damages you can recover include:

  • Loss of future earning capacity,
  • Medical bills,
  • Lost wages,
  • Rehabilitation expenses,
  • Vehicle repair costs,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of quality of life,
  • Emotional distress, and
  • Mental anguish.

Failing to demonstrate damages can invalidate your entire personal injury claim. A personal injury attorney can compile documentation to demonstrate the extent of your losses.

What Might Prevent You from Recovering Damages?

Even if you are able to prove negligence, there are some situations where your recovery might be limited or even barred.

For example, the defendant might demonstrate that your negligence contributed to your injury or that you assumed the risk of accident. An experienced attorney can look at the facts of your case and tell you if such a defense might be used in your situation.

Georgia Modified Comparative Negligence Rules

In many personal injury accidents, the involved parties share responsibility for the injuries. In Georgia, a party may seek compensation as long as they were less than 50% responsible for the accident. This is known as modified comparative negligence.

Consider that a grocery store owner negligently fails to clean up a puddle of water inside the store in a timely manner. Then, a shopper who is looking at their cell phone slips in the puddle and suffers a devastating head injury. A judge or jury may assign blame to both the store owner and the shopper in such a situation.

In that case, the shopper may recover only if they were less than 50% at fault for the accident, and their recovery will be reduced by their percentage of fault. Unlike Georgia, some states use the contributory negligence standard, which prevents an injured victim from recovering any compensation if they share some blame for the accident. 

Assumption of the Risk

Under Georgia law, there are some instances in which you may not be able to recover damages if you were aware of the danger.

Under the assumption of the risk doctrine, a plaintiff may be barred from recovery if they had knowledge of the danger that caused their damages, understood the risks associated with that danger, and chose to expose themself to the danger anyway. The defendant has the burden of proving these elements as a defense to a negligence claim. 

Do You Have Questions About Georgia Negligence Law? Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at MG Law

If you suffered injuries in a Georgia personal injury accident, you should seek the advice of an attorney right away.

Our founding attorney, Michael Geoffroy, focuses primarily on car accident cases, premises liability claims, wrongful death cases, and catastrophic injury matters. Michael is dedicated to obtaining the compensation his clients deserve and holding the at-fault party responsible for the harm they caused. 

At MG Law, we limit our representation to personal injury matters so we can focus on recovering for those who suffered injuries through no fault of their own.

An experienced attorney will sit down with you to discuss the facts of your case and evaluate the extent of your losses. Our extensive knowledge of personal injury matters makes our team especially equipped to secure a favorable outcome in your case. 

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in Georgia due to another person’s negligence, contact MG Law online or call (770) 988-5252 today to speak with a member of our legal team.

Author Photo

Michael Geoffroy’s law practice focuses on auto collisions, premises liability, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury, and he stands up for the cause of justice throughout Georgia and on behalf of his clients every day. He is a leader in both the courtroom and the community, having been recognized numerous times for his involvement in each.