Most people have a legal duty of reasonable care to avoid injuring others as they interact with them in various roles. From drivers to product manufacturers, property owners, and dog owners, you rely on others, at least to some degree, to keep you safe from harm. When other people act negligently, and you suffer injuries as a result, you may need to consult a Smyrna personal injury lawyer for legal guidance.
Careless, reckless, and intentional actions that cause you severe injuries may give rise to personal injury claims. The claims process may allow you to both hold negligent parties responsible for their actions and receive damages to compensate you for your losses. A skilled attorney can be vital in preparing and pursuing the damages to which you are entitled from all potentially liable parties.
Accidents that May Result in Personal Injury Claims
Various situations can lead to accidents that cause personal injuries. For instance, when drivers cause an accident that results in property damage, you have a right to hold them liable for your losses. Through a personal injury claim, you may be able to prove that the driver was negligent in causing the accident, such as by speeding, texting while driving, or driving while impaired.
Likewise, dog owners may be liable for any bites or attacks by their dogs that harm others, since they are responsible for restraining their dogs and preventing them from injuring others. Companies that manufacture consumer products have an absolute duty to avoid injuring consumers who use their products. Medical providers must use reasonable care in treating their patients according to the standards set by their professions.
Other examples of accidents that may lead to personal injury claims include bicycle accidents, motorcycle crashes, slip and falls on the property of others, and pedestrian accidents. Any of these situations may give rise to a personal injury claim with the help of a trusted local attorney.
Proving Negligence in Personal Injury Claims
Negligence is the legal theory that serves as the foundation of many personal injury claims. According to this theory, you must provide evidence of each element to prove that another party was negligent in causing the accident at issue. Negligence consists of four required components, including the following:
- Existence of a legal duty to avoid harming others
- Behavior that breaches the legal duty of care
- The violation of the legal duty leads to injuries to others
- The injured parties suffer damages as a result of their injuries
The standard of care by which negligence is measured can vary based on the circumstances of each case and how a reasonable person would act in the same or similar situation. For instance, a doctor would owe a duty of care based on the standards of his medical specialty in a similar scenario. A personal injury attorney can also be vital to establishing the duty owed to a specific case and how the actor failed to meet those standards reasonably.
In some cases, you may bear some fault for an accident that injures them. Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, if your percentage of responsibility for an accident is less than 50 percent, you may still pursue other negligent parties for damages. However, you will only be able to seek a reduced amount of damages directly proportional to the percentage of fault attributable to other parties for causing the accident.
Personal Injury Cases and the Statute of Limitation
All lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations under state law, or a deadline to file a lawsuit in court. Under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you have no more than two years from the date of their accidents to file their personal injury claims in court. Failure to follow the statute of limitations can result in the court dismissing their claims, leaving them with no other means of recourse.
Although state law may provide for some exceptions to this general rule, you should be mindful of this deadline. As a result, seeking legal advice right away can be crucial to your ability to maintain a successful personal injury claim.
Call a Smyrna Personal Injury Attorney for Advice
Working with a Smyrna personal injury lawyer can be the most effective way of ensuring that you get compensation for your losses after an accident. The personal injury claims process can help you with financial support while you recover from your injuries.
While you work toward recovery from your injuries, your legal counsel can focus on your claim for compensation. Obtaining damages to compensate you for your losses can be vital to your ability to move forward with your life.