Terms to Know In A Georgia Personal Injury Case, A-L

Terms to Know In A Georgia Personal Injury Case, A-L

Terms to Know In A Georgia Personal Injury Case, A-L

Where do you turn once you’ve been involved in an accident? An experienced personal injury attorney like Lehman Franklin or Kimberly Ward may offer the assistance necessary at this stressful, difficult time. A zealous personal injury attorney like Lehman Franklin or Kimberly Ward may accomplish all of the hard work necessary to establish the rightful recovery of your losses in full.

Today’s blog is the first part of a listing of the important terms that any individual should know if he or she is involved in a personal injury case. Stay tuned for the second part of this series.

Answer: Defendants formally file an answer to the complaint serving as a response to the allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint. An answer sets forth the defendant’s defenses and counterclaims.

Assumption of the Risk: Individuals that act despite an obvious, known and present danger assume the risk. This typically acts a defense to negligence.

Burden of Proof: This term refers to the plaintiff’s burden of proving the allegations of the complaint based on a required threshold. However, there are several different thresholds of proof that may apply to a personal injury case. The assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney may be necessary to correctly review the facts and ascertain the correct threshold. In personal injury cases, the burden of proof is a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the personal injury plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions more likely than not caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

Claim: A civil action is considered a claim for damages based on the physical or mental harm caused by the defendant to the plaintiff, because of the negligent or otherwise wrongful act of the defendant.

Comparative Fault/Negligence: For determining a damages award in a personal injury case, the plaintiff’s fault in causing the accident is compared to the defendant’s negligence. Georgia observes a modified comparative fault system whereby a plaintiff may only recover compensation if his or her negligence is less than that of the defendant. Georgia allows plaintiffs to recover damages even if they were partially at fault, but parties who are 50 percent or more at fault may not recover any damages. When a Georgia personal injury plaintiff is 49% or less at fault, his or her total damages are reduced by the proportion of their fault. If damages are $100,000 and a plaintiff is 30% at fault, damages will be reduced by $30,000 to $70,000.

Complaint: Plaintiffs initiate lawsuits by filing a complaint that contains allegations that theoretically entitle them to compensation under a statute or common law.

Damages: Typically made in the form of cash or money, damages are recovered in a civil case for an injury or loss caused by the negligent or otherwise wrongful act of another. Their purpose may be to compensate (compensatory) the plaintiff or punish (punitive) the defendant. Both are available in civil cases involving allegations of personal injuries.

Defendant: This is the party to which the plaintiff’s complaint is directed. The defendant is served with the complaint and given notice of a lawsuit based on the allegations that it has caused some injury to the plaintiff.

Duty: In negligence cases, this term refers to an individual’s obligation to meet a certain standard of care, the failure of which is negligence, which gives rise to a legal action for any ensuing injury or harm.

Expert Witness: A witness whose testimony is based on a special knowledge relevant to the matter at hand.

Gross Negligence: This more egregious form of negligence involves a reckless disregard of a risk to person or property.

Lawsuit: A legal or court action brought by a plaintiff against a defendant seeking compensation for some injury or harm.

Liability: A responsibility or obligation binding an individual to some act, usually the payment of money damages.

Litigation: The process of taking filing a lawsuit or taking legal or court action.

Lehman Franklin, P.C. is located at 127 North Main Street in Statesboro, GA (30458). We proudly serve Bulloch County, as well as the surrounding counties of Candler, Evans, Bryan, Effingham, Screven, and Jenkins. Contact our office by telephone at 912-764-9616, by email at info@hlfranklin.com, or check us out online. We’re available to meet your legal needs Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.