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Elements of Negligence Your Injury Lawyer in Atlanta Must Prove in a Personal Injury Claim (Part A)

If inured in a wreck, you may need an injury lawyer in Atlanta. These incidents may wreak financial, emotional and physical havoc on your life. You may experience pain and suffering, face high medical bills and expensive treatments, and lose income and the ability to support your family. That’s why many victims choose to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. However, in order to prove the driver is liable, you must first prove that they were negligent and that this negligence caused the injury. 

In Georgia, there are five parts to proving negligence: 

  • duty of care;
  • breach of duty;
  • cause in fact;
  • proximate cause; and
  • damages. 

Duty of Care 

In order to prove negligence in a personal injury claim, you must first establish that there was a duty of care owed to the victim. This means that the defendant had a duty to execute reasonable care and caution toward the victim and the public in general. Specifically, they had a responsibility to act and behave as any reasonable person in his position would. 

A driver, for example, has a duty of care to others on the road when operating their vehicle. They are expected to drive their car safely and follow all traffic laws, as any other driver is expected to do. 

Breach of Duty 

Once you have established that there is, in fact, a duty of care, you must prove that this duty has been breached or violated. If the defendant, who in this case is the other driver, failed to act according to the duty of care and did not behave as any reasonable person in his position would, this could be considered a breach of duty and may lead to a negligence claim. 

As an example: if a driver failed to use a turn signal while changing lanes, causing you to spin off the road and crash. This would be considered a breach of duty, as a reasonable driver is expected to use a turn signal when making a lane change. 

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Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia