What are the elements to determining liability where my Georgia car wreck is concerned?

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When someone is injured through no fault of their own, both Georgia state and federal laws put forth that there should be some sort of compensation by the responsible party to the injured one(s). Sometimes, though, determining responsibility for a car accident is not simple by applicable legal standards.

Before you’re able to receive monetary compensation for your injuries, treatment, and lost wages, you have to establish liability. In order to do this, you have to prove three things; those three things are duty, breach of that duty, and causation.

Duty deals with what behavior or amount of care a wrongdoer owed you before an incident. This may be an average public duty expected of people by society at large, or it could be a duty outlined by state law or city codes. At times the two overlap. Think of an average public duty as a combination of basic civility and common sense. For example, say you’ve recently changed a tire on your vehicle and you’ve not replaced the lug nuts on it yet. If you were to drive your car knowing that you had no lug nuts on your wheel, you are demonstrating a lack of ordinary and reasonable care. If, through that lack of car (say, for instance, your wheel goes flying off and this causes an automobile accident), a person is injured or killed, then he has a case against you for damages. This is because you could have prevented the destruction had you replaced those lug nuts before hitting the road.

When duty has been established, it’s time to move on to breach. It’s here that you have to establish the wrongdoer’s breach of duty. Say a person driving down the road is following the vehicle in front of him too closely. As a result, he rear-ends that driver in front of him when the driver’s brakes are applied suddenly. In this case, the driver following behind most definitely was in breach, as he was not exercising good driving practices; he had a duty to follow at a safe distance, and he did not.

So you can establish duty. You can also establish that the other guy breached it. However, the breach had to have caused any injury to you before the law can provide a judgment in your favor. In other words, the error on that other guy’s part has to be the primary reason for your injury before you can recover damages. That is causation. Let’s say that after a wreck you have a severe migraine. If you have no active history of migraines, then this one may have been caused by the accident. On the other hand, if you have a history of migraine headaches, then causation is in question; it will be harder to prove that the accident was responsible for your post-wreck headache.

If you have questions of liability where your Georgia car accident and personal injury are concerned, please contact us and we at Moebes Law, LLC will gladly go over the facts of your case.



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