What Do You Have to Prove in Order to Win a Personal Injury Lawsuit in GA?
- posted: Apr. 02, 2012
- Daniel C. Jason
In order to win a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, you—as the injured party or plaintiff—have the burden of proving each element of your case by a preponderance of evidence, or by evidence that is more credible than that which is opposed to it.
The first element you must prove is that another person or entity was negligent or careless toward you. You need to show that the defendant owed a duty of care to you and that the defendant breached that duty by not adhering to the standards of a reasonable person. For instance, all motorists have a duty to operate a car as a reasonably prudent driver would under similar circumstances. A reasonably prudent driver would not run a stop light or travel 70 mph in a blinding snowstorm. Eyewitnesses, admissions, circumstances of the event, or accident experts may be needed to offer sufficient proof of negligence.
Next, you must show that the breach led to reasonably foreseeable injuries, such as the fact that a failure to repair a car’s brakes caused a car to fail to stop, which caused it to hit a pedestrian who suffered brain injuries as a result.
Finally, the element of damages must be proved, which means that your special damages or economic losses must be fair and reasonable. Auto damage can be proved by an estimate from a body shop or testimony from a mechanic. Medical treatment and costs must be necessary and reasonable. A physician who treated you, or one who is familiar with similar care, can offer testimony regarding the necessity and value of your medical care and bills along with your certified medical records and bills.
If you have an income loss, you must produce your employment records and your physician’s testimony or documentation that your injuries prevented you from working at your job. An economist might have to testify as to the value of your loss of future earnings.
Another aspect of damages are general damages—or pain and suffering—which you can prove by your own direct testimony as to your symptoms, medications taken, and inability to engage in your normal, daily routine and recreational activities. Corroboration from family members and from your medical providers can nearly always provide adequate proof.
Get personal assistance with your Georgia injury claim. You deserve individual attention and efficient service when you have suffered injuries. Our fee is a portion of your recovery—if we do not win, you do not pay. To schedule a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney, contact Jason & Bradley, LLC.