What Is a Personal Injury Case?


January 07, 2011

Even if we are very cautious in our daily activities, there is an inherent risk that we may be injured by the careless or intentional conduct of another. When this occurs, the legal system allows the injury victim to seek compensation for his or her injuries. The injury victim must establish that the careless or intentional conduct of another was the cause of one's injuries and that someone suffered damages in the form of physical or mental harm and/or property damage.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing clients injured by the actions of others throughout Georgia and the Southeast for over a quarter of a century. We have provided this overview to explain the basics of personal injury cases and the role of personal injury attorneys.

There are many types of personal injury cases, but they can generally be classified into negligence cases and intentional tort cases. A negligence case involves careless conduct that does not meet the standard of reasonable care to avoid injury to another person. An intentional tort is where the responsible party engages in conduct that is intended to cause injury to the victim, such as an assault. Common types of negligence cases include the following:

• Motor Vehicle Accidents: A motor vehicle negligence case may involve a single car accident, multi-car accident, tractor-trailer accident, SUV rollover accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident or pedestrian accident.

• Construction Accidents: Construction sites are filled with hazards but common types of construction injury cases include falls from ladders and scaffoldings, injuries from heavy machinery, electrocution and collisions with vehicles.

• Premises Liability: If a property owner fails to warn of dangerous conditions they know or should know of on their property or fails to make their property safe, the owner can be liable for injuries to visitors based on their reason for being on the premises.

• Product Liability: Any entity that designs, manufactures or sells a dangerous or defective product that causes injury to someone may be liable for the injures caused by the product.

• Medical Malpractice: A medical professional may be liable for injuries to a patient where the professional's degree of care does not meet professional standards for similar medical professionals.

• Nursing Home Abuse: A nursing home facility must provide adequate care for their residents. A nursing home that engages in abuse or neglect may be liable for resulting injuries.

A personal injury case refers to a legal process designed to hold a person accountable when a person suffers injuries in an accident like those mentioned above, by having the responsible party pay financial compensation. A personal injury case most commonly involves an informal settlement process where the parties agree to a fixed amount of compensation for the victim's injuries without court proceedings. A settlement is reached after negotiation wherein both sides enter into a resolution of the claim and agree not to proceed with a court proceeding and instead resolve the matter through payment of an agreeable amount of money.

If the parties are not able to reach an agreement, then the injury victim may file a complaint in court, which initiates a lawsuit. The complaint will provide the legal theories and factual basis that the injured party claims led to one's injuries. Both parties will engage in a process called discovery where information and documents are obtained from the other side. A judge or jury will ultimately consider the evidence provided and issue a judgment and assess damages if appropriate.

To establish a negligence claim, a person must establish the following elements:

• Duty: The injured party must show that the defendant owed a duty of care toward the victim. Typically, if someone injures another, they owe a duty of reasonable care.

• Breach: The injured party needs to show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care to avoid injury to the victim.

• Causation: The injured party must show that the conduct of the defendant caused the victim's injuries.

• Damages: The victim must show that they actually suffered damages to recover compensation from the defendant.

At Montlick & Associates, our Georgia personal injury attorneys will investigate the circumstances of the accident and use the discovery process to help obtain compensation for an injury victim. The personal injury attorney will attempt to negotiate with the other party's attorney or the other party's insurance company. If the case is not settled, a personal injury attorney will file a lawsuit and use the legal process to obtain compensation for the accident victim's injuries. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed by the negligent or intentional conduct of another, contact Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law to learn how we can help. Our Georgia personal injury attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.