Proving Negligence Actions in Georgia: Unreasonable Conduct
Proving Negligence Actions in Georgia: Unreasonable Conduct
When a person has been injured in an accident, she may be able to recover damages for her injuries if she can prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of another. In other words, if someone acted unreasonably and caused injury as a result, that person may be liable.
Proving negligence isn’t always easy. A plaintiff must show that 1) Defendant owed her a duty of care, 2) Defendant breached that duty of care, 3) the Defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff to be injured, and 4) Plaintiff suffered damages as a result.
In general, we all owe a duty of reasonable care to those around us. In other words, we should drive safely, look where we are going, and just exercise general common sense so that we don’t cause anyone else to be hurt by our actions. It is when we act unreasonably that we can get into trouble! If a plaintiff can prove unreasonable conduct, she can prove that Defendant breached his duty of reasonable care, which is often the hardest thing to prove in a negligence case. After all, reasonable minds may differ as to what is considered reasonable.
Luckily, courts have a method to help determine when Defendant’s conduct amounts to unreasonable conduct. It is called the “Learned Hand Test.” It is called this because it was first used by a judge named Learned Hand. It basically says that if the probability and gravity of harm outweigh the burden of protecting against the harm, the Defendant has acted unreasonably in failing to protect against the harm.
Think of it this way: Defendant has a swimming pool in her back yard. There is no fence around the pool or her yard and her neighborhood has lots of children in it. One of the neighborhood kids falls in the pool and drowns. The question becomes whether Defendant has breached her duty of care owed to that child by not installing a fence. When we apply the learned Hand Test, we first ask about the probability of harm. In this case, the probability of harm is high. There are lots of children in the neighborhood. Children are attracted to swimming pools. The probability of a child falling in and getting injured is very high.
Next, we look at the gravity of harm. If a child falls in a pool, he could drown. Therefore, the gravity of harm is great as the result could be death.
Finally, we look at the burden to protect against the harm and measure that against the probability and gravity of the harm. The cost of putting up a fence is very low compared to the risk of a child falling into the pool and drowning. Therefore, Defendant acted unreasonably by not putting up a fence and breached her duty of care to that child.
Of course, Plaintiff will also have to prove causation, which leaves us a topic for further discussion!
Products Liability Cases in Georgia
Products Liability Cases in Georgia
If a consumer is injured while using a defective product in Georgia, she may be able to recover for her personal injuries. There are several theories under which she may be able to win.
The first theory of recovery to consider when someone is injured by a product is negligence. To prove negligence, the customer must show that the manufacturer or retailer owed her a duty of care, that they breached that duty, and that the breach caused the injury.
A manufacturer must use reasonable care when designing and manufacturing its product. It is not required to anticipate unusual possibilities or make a completely safe product. It is also not required to ensure the product’s safety. It will not be liable if it designs and manufactures the product with due regard for the circumstances and purpose for which the product will be used.
The manufacturer’s failure to warn is generally the most frequently encountered in negligence cases. That does not mean it must warn of any and all possible dangers, no matter how remote. Rather, a manufacturer must warn against dangers that are foreseeable.
The failure of the manufacturer to warn of foreseeable dangers or to use due care in the design or manufacture of its product is a breach of their duty of care. If a consumer is then injured as a result of that failure, the manufacturer will be liable for damages.
Strict Products Liability
Strict products liability is another theory upon which an injured consumer can recover. Georgia Statute section 51-1-11 imposes liability upon the manufacturer of a defective new product regardless of the amount of care exercised by the manufacturer. Courts will hold a manufacturer liable if the product “was not merchantable and reasonably suited to the use intended,” or if the product is defective at the time it leaves the manufacturer’s hands.
A product defect exists when the product has not been properly designed, manufactured, packaged, or accompanied by adequate warnings. Whether a product is defective must be considered in the overall context of the design, function, and intended use. The danger must not be obvious and liability does not extend to unforeseeable misuse or abnormal use of the product. Georgia courts have also found strict liability in cases where there was no adequate warning.
Express and Implied Warranty
Consumers injured by a product in Georgia may also be able to recover under theories of breach of either express or implied warranties, or both. If the seller makes a statement of fact about the quality character or title to goods at the time of sale, it can be considered an express warranty. Statements of opinion are not susceptible to factual proof and are therefore not considered express warranties. Implied warranties, including the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and an implied warranty of merchantability accompany the sale of goods by law.
Georgia Slip and Fall Cases
Georgia Slip and Fall Cases
If an individual slips and falls in a store, the store may be liable for any personal injury suffered. This is commonly known as a slip and fall case. However, in Georgia, store owners are not required to insure the safety of their customers. Therefore, just because an individual can prove the occurrence of a fall in the store, that does not automatically mean that the customer will prevail in her slip and fall case against the store.
In Georgia, the business owner must exercise diligence towards making the promises safe in a way that a good business person would. Therefore, a person who wishes to recover for personal injuries caused by a slip and fall in a commercial establishment must show three things: (1) that the business had knowledge or constructive knowledge of the hazard or condition, (2) that the customer acted reasonably to ensure her own safety in light of the knowledge she had with regard to the hazard or condition, and (3) that the business’ failure to make the store safe was the cause of the customer’s slip and fall.
In essence, businesses make an implied promise to their customers that the store has been made ready and safe for their customers’ arrival. For the purpose of proving knowledge, the main issue hinges on the relative degree of knowledge possessed by each of the parties with regard to the danger. If the business has superior knowledge about a hazard or condition that might subject a customer to an unreasonable risk of harm and fails to protect against it, the business will be liable for the personal injuries of the customer.
The presence of a spill or rainwater in a store is one of the most typical circumstances that can lead to slips and falls. Georgia courts have found that it is common knowledge that some water will be present where shoppers pass into the store during rainy weather. Generally, a wet floor sign and periodic mopping at the store entrance is considered advisable and can help protect business owners from liability for slips and falls. However, the mere presence of a sign or equal knowledge with regard to weather conditions will not automatically bar recovery. For example, recovery was not automatically barred when a movie theater placed a “wet floor” sign over a spill and a customer, who was in a crowd of people, tripped over the sign as she exited the theater after the crowd had knocked the sign over.
With regard to the fault of the customer, under the current rule in Georgia, a customer is not required to look continuously and without interruption for defects. This is true whether the hazard is open and obvious or where the customer had some generalized knowledge of the hazard that was inferior to the store owner. The customer, however, can be expected to give some explanation of why she was not looking where she was going.
Georgia Nuisance Claims
Georgia Nuisance Claims
A nuisance occurs when someone uses their property in a way that interferes with the use and enjoyment of the property of others. A nuisance can be caused by many bothersome activities, including noise and noxious smells, or by more serious activities, such as the contamination of waterways and air pollution.
A nuisance can either be public or private. A private nuisance is a substantial and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of land while a public nuisance is an interference with a common right to the general public. Think of all of the problems that have been caused by the contaminated water source in Flint, Michigan recently. The residents of Flint have a common right to clean drinking water. Therefore, the contamination is certainly a public nuisance as many residents are affected by the contaminated drinking water.
Private Individuals can sue and get damages for personal injuries suffered as a result of a private nuisance. For example, if a person misdirects water onto the property of her neighbor, the neighbor can sue for damages. However, if the nuisance is considered a public nuisance, a private individual cannot bring suit. Rather, only public officials or public agencies may bring these types of nuisance actions. For example, if a person lives near a landfill that is burning garbage and it is releasing noxious odors, a public official must bring a claim against the landfill on behalf of the community. After all, we all have a common right to clean air.
However, there are some cases where a private individual can bring a claim for a public nuisance. In these cases, the private individual must show a “special injury” that is not suffered by other members of the public. This “special injury” may occur where the interference with the public right also impairs the use and enjoyment of a private interest in land or where a member of the public suffers an injury which differs markedly from the injuries of the public generally. For example, if the nuisance is the contamination of water in Flint, Michigan, and all residents have a common right to clean drinking water, it would be difficult for a private individual to recover in court unless she could prove a special injury as a result of the contamination that others did not generally suffer. If the private individual could prove that she suffered a particular illness as a result of the contamination that others did not also suffer, she would have a claim and could sue in a nuisance action.
Courts can and do differ with regard to how they interpret what constitutes a “special injury.” Therefore, attorneys representing clients in public nuisance actions must carefully how they can differentiate their clients’ injuries from injuries suffered by the public generally.
1 State Environmental L. § 3:1 (2016)
Attorney James Haug Speaks at CLE Seminar Regarding Punitive Damages in DUI Cases
If you would like to view his presentation, please click on the link below:
Five most common sources of Wrongful Death
Even though each family trusts that no member of the family will endure a wrongful demise because of a third party’s carelessness, the truth of the matter is that this kind of mishap are exceptionally regular in the US. Actually, the top five causes of untimely demise may affect a family whenever and wherever.
What does Wrongful Death mean?
Today, there are a wide range of actions that can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. Most of the time, wrongful death claim may have more than one defendant involved, particularly if an organization is involved.
Different from other form of accidents, a wrongful demise is recognized by the careless behavior. This implies that it has to be the negligent or careless attitude of the faulted party that directly caused the demise of the casualty.
Some illustrations of careless practices that can prompt a wrongful demise claim are:
- Working or driving while under alcohol or drug effects.
- Not posting dangerous zones
- Trading or utilizing deficient hardware.
- Failing to appropriately prepare staff and inhabitants on how to react to a working environment crisis.
The very popular causes include:
These days, there are several activities that can prompt a wrongful demise claim. By and large, a wrongful demise claim may include multiple defendants, particularly if the demise was because of the activities of a corporation or association.
A careless driver is usually present for this to happen. In most cases, he or she will be drunk on drugs. It could also be that he or she was calling or texting while driving. Considering that about 40,000 individuals passing on in vehicle mishaps consistently, its the most widely recognized of the top five reasons for wrongful demise.
Medicinal misbehavior claims result when demise is brought on because of the carelessness of a doctor, nurse or managing staff while the victim was still alive and receiving medical attention. The elderly are particularly prone to be casualties of medicinal misbehavior, particularly the individuals who reside in assisted living homes or eldercare.
Work environment Accidents
It is the responsibility of every employer to make sure his/her working place is kept free from hazards. However; lack of adequate training of the employee, improper safety guidelines or defective equipment usually results in many wrongful deaths.
Either as a result of inability to adhere strictly to the appropriate production process or as a result of defects in product design, defective products can lead to death of the operator or owner. For instance, the death of a child which happens as a result of unsafe toys and equipments for child care.
When a criminal activity results directly or indirectly to the death of a person, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the family of the victim. This lawsuit does not need a criminal court to find the defendant guilty; this wrongful death claim is a separate legal action.
Irrespective of which of the aforementioned five causes of wrongful death, there is a victim and if you wish to get the appropriate compensation, expert legal help is required. If you have suffered wrongful death of any of your family members, the Haug Law group can give you all the assistance you need to make sure that you are adequately compensated.
What Rights Do Whistleblowers Have in Atlanta Georgia?
At the point when an individual uncovers that his or her organization or association is involved in exploitative or unlawful conduct, that individual is known as a “whistleblower” and the law offers such person some level of protection. Then again, the bosses of such people often retaliate. At the point when this happens, it is essential to figure out what rights these whistleblowers have in a particular circumstance keeping in mind the end goal to make compelling legal action.
Legal Protection for Whistleblowers
The law pertaining to whistleblowers can be exceptionally unpredictable. Notwithstanding the vast range of government regulations securing them, several states have their own particular laws protecting them. It is critical that a person seeks legal help when facing retaliation from his/her employer. This is as a result of its complex nature. For instance, now and again the casualty’s lawyer may discover that their boss has gone against both the federal and the state whistleblower protection laws.
By and large, employer retaliation acts such as these may be compensated and that is what the law:
- Unfavorable performance reviews.
- Unofficial harassment, for example by isolating the employee from his or her coworkers.
- Attempting to intimidate the employee.
- Reducing the employee’s pay rate or number of work hours.
- Other actions that can establish a hostile working environment for the whistleblower.
In these instances, a specific amount is paid to the victim. This can incorporate the restoration of a fired worker and reimbursements for the losses accrued as well as for the emotional discomfort. At times, the court may assess punitive damages especially grievous conducts by the boss.
Whistleblower Law and the Statute of Limitations
When the whistleblowers are taking into account the protective rights at their disposal, it is vital that they understand that the statute of limitation which they have is quite short. For instance, only a period of 30 days is available for a whistleblower to stake a claim as a result of retaliation on the part of his/her boss, under the Clean Air Act. This implies that anyone who wishes to take legal action for harassment or intimidation from their boss must do so as fast as possible or forfeit the claim.
The ability of the whistleblower to prove that he/she was harassed by the employer will form the premise for the case. As expected, no employer will willing state that the harsh actions taken against the employer has anything to o with the employer’s whistleblowing. The legal adviser of the victim now has the responsibility to establish that it is related to the employee’s status as a whistleblower using the employers behavioral and work history. If the attorney can successfully establish that the conditions prior to the whistleblowing were favorable and there is no other reason for the drastic change, it become likely that the job performance of the employee might not have been the cause, instead, it is a retaliatory action.
The employer has the right to inform the regulatory agencies in situations where an establishment carries out actions that contradict the law without fear of retribution. The needed legal assistance needed by the employee can be obtained if he/she has a deep understanding of their rights as whistleblowers. Legal advice is offered by the law offices of Haug Law Group to those who believe they are facing retaliation.
Study Finds Young Females at Higher Risk of Car Accident Fatalities
The world has been made better through smartphones and other communication devices. It is also important to note that they are also a major cause of road accident. Research has shown that the young females have 26% more chances of getting involved in an accident as a result of texting and or calling while driving. This research was done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Why Young Women?
It is assumed that the female teens have larger social circle and are usually more active on social media than any other group. This implies that they are often tempted to pick up their phone to text, or call a friend, or colleague while driving.
Who Else is at Risk?
As far as texting accidents are concerned, no one is exempted. People of all ages and sex can fall victim. A quick peek at your phone may cause accident. So many people are used to texting already and as such they believe they can comfortably juggle texting and driving. This is extremely difficult especially if you get easily distracted while driving or if you are an inexperienced driver.
The Consequences of Texting and Driving
Driving and texting may lead to emotional and physical injuries, ranging depression, bruises and bumps to internal injuries and in severe cases coma and death. It is logical to assume that a person that is texting while driving will be distracted and will not have quick reaction of a driver who is completely focused on driving. Easy things such as applying breaks can effectively minimize the possible effect of the accident. However, this is difficult for drivers who are distracted and as a result, they may hit other vehicles or pedestrians and this can cause severe injuries to all parties.
If You’ve Been Injured
You are advised to contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible if you have been hit by a driver who was texting while driving. You might have a case that is worthy of significant compensation and if this is the case, the attorney can help you file your case. This attorney can also spell out the laws pertaining to the case and can also represent you in court to get you the appropriate compensation.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Atlanta, Georgia
Although every family trusts that not one of its members will suffer a wrongful death as a result of negligence of a third party, the fact is these types of accidents are extremely common in the United States. Actually, the 5 leading reasons for wrongful death may affect a family at any given time and location.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Unlike a usual accident, a wrongful death is differentiated by the at fault party acting in a sense that shows careless or negligent disregard for the safety of others. Therefore, it was the responsible party’s conduct that directly resulted in the death of the sufferer.
Examples of negligent behaviors that may result in a wrongful death litigation comprise the following:
— Failing to post areas that are hazardous.
— Selling or using gear that is faulty.
— Failing to adequately train in how to respond to a workplace crisis, workers and renters.
The Most Common Sources of Wrongful Deaths
Today, there are a wide selection of actions that may lead to a wrongful death litigation. Oftentimes, a wrongful death lawsuit may involve more than one defendant, particularly if the departure was because of the activities of a business or alternative organization.
Automobile accidents usually include a negligent driver, who’s in many cases driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, a rising number of accidents are the result of drivers who are texting or speaking on their mobile phone while driving.
Medical malpractice litigations result when a death is caused due to the neglect of the supervising staff, nurse or a surgeon during the course of the casualty’s medical treatment.
Every company has a legal duty to maintain a workplace that is safe. Nevertheless, many wrongful deaths happen due to avoidable injuries brought on improper security guidelines, by defective equipment or the lack of effective employee training policies.
Either due to flaws in the product’s design or the failure to abide by appropriate production procedures, defective goods, can lead to the death of the product’s owner or operator. This is especially true for childcare gear and dangerous toys, which can cause death or harm to the children of a family.
The wrongful death litigation is an independent legal action and will not demand that the defendant be found guilty by a criminal court.
No matter which one of the 5 leading reasons for wrongful death a family has been victimized by, by getting settlement that is effective in a wrongful death lawsuit, proficient legal assistance is required. A family which has suffered a wrongful death should immediately contact the law firm of Haug Law Group as a way to ensure that their case will receive the seasoned aid it deserves.
Slip and Fall Injuries and their Surroundings
Types of Working Surroundings Prone to Slip and Fall Injuries
Every employer has a legal duty to ensure the workplace is safe for their workers and customers alike. Nevertheless, many kinds of working environments prone to slip and fall accidents are not correctly maintained, resulting in the danger that customers workers, and visitors may suffer death or injury from an avoidable slip-and-fall accident. It is therefore vital that you comprehend what types of work environments pose the most dangers for these types of injuries.
The Essence of Slip and Fall Accidents
Based on the U.S. Department of Labor, slip and fall accidents account for over 16,000 fatalities every year. Non-fatal injuries coming from these mishaps include contusions, brain injuries and fractured and broken bones.
High Risk Working Environments
The most typical kinds of working environments prone to slip and fall injuries are those that require any kind of physical labour. Working in a warehouse, industrial plant or retail store can expose workers and customers to danger. One of the most typical reasons for a slip-and-fall accident are the following:
— Slick or wet surfaces, particularly floors and stairway.
— Improperly secured work equipment, including ladders and loading ramps.
— Insufficient lighting in work or walk areas.
— Improper training in safety procedures and equipment.
Retail markets, which range from supermarkets to warehouse design shops, pose a high risk of slip and fall injuries. Workers regularly fail to properly post warnings around hazards such as equipment that is unsecured or slippery floors. These institutions also have a large number of customers present, which can drastically raise the probability of an accident.
Industrial plants often have work areas that suffer from low lighting and high noise levels. This makes it very likely that workers may suffer from a slip-and-fall injury due to being unable hear warnings from their fellow workers or to see an obstacle. Moreover, many managers fail to ensure that that all workplace safety regulations are followed by their workers. Building Sites Construction sites can be especially prone to slip and fall injuries. In addition, many building sites are in regions with poor lighting and rough terrain, making these kinds of injuries even more likely.
Eventually, due to the number of person contractors working at most construction sites, the enforcement of national and state security regulations can be irregular. It’s important to immediately seek out powerful legal assistance, when a slip and fall accident happens. They can receive compensation for any injuries or other damages suffered due to the accident in case the injury was due to neglect on the part of supervisors or the employee’s coworkers.
The law firm of Haug Law Group is experienced in handling slip-and-fall cases. The firm’s attorneys can assist his or her legal alternatives are understood by the sufferer of this kind of injury. Anyone who has suffered a slip-and-fall injury should immediately contact the law offices of Haug Law Group for a consultation regarding their particular case.