What Is a "Personal Injury" Case?
Personal injury law ( which is also called "tort" law) allows a person who is injured to get compensated when another person's conduct (intentional or negligent act) causes harm. There are a myriad of situations that can give rise to a valid personal injury claim, but an injury doesn't always automatically result in legal liability. Here are some of the most common kinds of personal injury cases.
Slip and Fall Cases
Slip and fall claims are a common type of personal injury case. Property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe and absent of hazards, so that those on their property do not become injured or hurt. This is not to say that all injuries that occur on the property will lead to liability, but if there is negligence on the property owner's part, there may be. The landowner's legal obligation will vary based on the situation and Georgia laws.
Car Accident Cases
Car accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, and often create the most personal injury cases in the US. A careless driver can be held financially responsible for injuries initiated from a car accident. Obtaining representation immediately is paramount after seeking medical care; ensuring protection from the at fault's insurance company is also very important, as they seek to compensate as little as possible.
In most cases, the owners of a dog are financially responsible for any injuries caused by a bite or attack from their dog. In Georgia, you have two years after the date of a dog bite to bring a case to court. Georgia's dog bite statute can be found at O.C.G.A. 51-2-7 in the state's code of laws. In order to prove that an animal's owner is liable, the injured person must show that:
(1) the owner was careless with the animal or let it roam freely off of a leash, (2) the animal is vicious or a danger, which caused the injury, and that (3)the person who is injured did not provoke the animal in any way.
A medical malpractice case can happen when a doctor/health care professional provides treatment that falls below the appropriate medical standard of care, and a patient is injured as a result. But it's important to keep in mind that getting a bad result in the treatment setting doesn't mean malpractice occurred.
Defamation: Libel and Slander
Defamation in the form of libel or slander refers to an injury to a person's reputation as a result of statements made that are not true. The average person usually just needs to prove that an untrue negative statement was made and that actual harm (financial loss) came from that statement. Celebrities/public figures need to prove "actual malice." This means they need to prove that the untrue statement was made either intentionally/with reckless disregard to the truth of the statement.