No one ever expects to be the victim of a personal injury case. If it happens to you or a loved one, you’re probably overwhelmed and wondering where to turn for legal and financial help.
The first step is to meet with a personal injury lawyer in Augusta to determine if you have the grounds for a lawsuit against the person or business that assaulted you.
To learn the proper basis for a case in personal injury law, read below.
There are certain behaviors that businesses must take to keep their clients safe. Liability waivers don’t always protect businesses from basic negligence, as the waiver says that the act or product is inherently dangerous, not the business practices themselves.
Slip and fall cases are often the result of negligence.
Examples of Negligence:
While it wouldn’t lead to a personal injury case, the best example of negligence for those who have never heard of it before is to think about a bench with wet paint on it. Anyone who paints a bench with paint and then leaves it to dry should do what to make sure no one sits on it? Put up a wet paint sign, at the very least.
Not doing the bare minimum in terms of keeping people safe (or pants, in this case) is an example of negligence.
If you’re at a gym, taking a group fitness class, and the instructor leaves a bunch of equipment out in the way where you can trip on it, that’s negligence. It’s part of their job to make sure the environment is safe for you to work out in.
Medical clinics and hospitals are high-risk environments. There are sharps, medications, and biohazards that need to be stored appropriately and administered. If a nurse was to leave used sharps out and someone got hurt, that would be an example of medical job-related negligence.
The Definition of Negligence
The legal definition of negligence is “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” In other words, negligence is basic safety or common sense practices that any trained professional would take in that situation.
If you got hurt because of someone’s negligence, you may have the grounds for a personal injury case. The strength and validity of your case depend on other factors, including liability waivers and insurance.
Another way you can establish a personal injury lawsuit is by proving (or claiming) strict liability. The definition of strict liability is: “when a defendant is liable for committing an action, regardless of what his/her intent or mental state was when committing the action.”
The most common personal injury case in this category is dog bites.
Dog Bite Laws in Georgia
Dog bites are a large point of legal contention. Different states have different laws regarding the outcome of dog bite litigations. In Georgia, dogs are innocent until proven violent. This means that no singular dog breed is automatically guilty, like in some other states.
In general, Georgia has a “one-bite” law. If you’re the victim of a dog bite or attack, you can only press charges if that dog has bitten or attacked before. If they’ve never been violent, then Georgia law gives their owner the benefit of the doubt. Another way to think about it is that there’s no way a dog owner could know that their dog is potentially violent without prior proof.
However, if there is evidence that the dog that bit you has bitten or attacked someone before, you have grounds for a dog bite case.
Limitations of the Dog Bite Law
If the dog bit you or attacked you while trespassing, abusing the dog, or abusing its owner, you do not have grounds for a dog bite case. The dog is “protecting” its property or owner in these circumstances, something wired into their DNA.
You can learn more about dog bite legal code in Georgia’s Responsible Dog Ownership law or by talking to a dog bite personal injury attorney.
How to Prove a Dog Bite Case in Georgia and What to Do After a Dog Bite
If a dog ever bites you, get immediate medical help. Even if you’re not gravely injured, you may need rabies treatment. Getting medical treatment for a dog bite
If the dog bite is severe, get the information from the dog owner while you’re waiting for medical help. If you’re unable, have someone you’re with do this for you.
There are three ways you can report a dog bite to the authorities (which is especially important if this is the dog’s first offense). The doctor can help you file it, call the police, or call animal control and give them details about the accident.
Getting this kind of evidence on the day of the accident will set you up for building a case, if you can prove this is a previously-violent dog. Doing your due diligence will improve your chances of getting a dog bite settlement.
Once all that is done, you should get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to build your grounds for a lawsuit against the dog owner.
If someone hurts you purposefully, you can file both a criminal and civil case against them. Criminal and Civil courts operate on two different systems, so you’re not charging them with the same thing twice (at least, not in the same court).
The most challenging thing about intentional conduct is proving someone else’s intent and showing your innocence.
That’s why it’s so important to get a personal injury lawyer: it’s what they’re trained to do. Plus, if you’re going after both criminal and civil charges, they can help you build the proper bases for each case.
Your Personal Injury Case, Represented
There are no pleasant situations when it comes to personal injury cases. You’re likely dealing with both physical and emotional consequences of someone else’s actions while trying to rebuild your life.
While the event wasn’t pleasant, we try to make the litigation process enjoyable and easy. You’ve suffered enough.
Contact us so we can build a solid case and take it from here.