Georgia Negligence Laws

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Negligence is the legal basis for most personal injury cases. It's defined as the failure to exercise a certain degree of care to minimize risks of injury to others. For example, a homeowner who fails to fix a broken set of stairs leading to his front door could be held liable for negligence if a delivery person falls on the stairs and sustains an injury.

Under Georgia law, a tort is defined as "the unlawful violation of a private legal right." Negligence is a type of tort that happens when a person fails to exercise a required duty of care and another person is injured.

Understanding Contributory and Comparative Negligence

The negligence laws in some states recognize the idea of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence refers to situations where a plaintiff's conduct or actions contributed to the injuries they suffered. While some states bar recovery when the plaintiff contributed to the injuries, other states have adopted a "comparative negligence" approach instead.

There are two types of comparative negligence: pure and modified. If a state follows the pure comparative approach, the plaintiff's damages will be reduced by the percentage that they were at fault. In modified comparative approach, the plaintiff can only recover if they're less than 50% responsible for the injuries. Georgia follows the modified comparative negligence approach.

Georgia Negligence Laws at a Glance

Understanding the law is the first step in determining how it may apply to your situation. Below is a plain language description of certain key aspects of Georgia negligence laws to help guide your research.

Statute(s) Georgia Code, Title 51. Torts
Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery

Negligence on the part of the plaintiff doesn't prevent recovery of damages provided the plaintiff's fault is less than 50%. A plaintiff's damages will be reduced by an amount in proportion to their fault. (Section 51-11-7)

Contribution Among Tortfeasors

If more than one person is found negligent for causing injury to another, a defendant who pays the damages award is entitled to contribution from any other defendants proportionate to their amount of responsibility. (Section 51-12-32)

Related Statute(s)

Georgia Code, Title 9. Civil Practice

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Georgia Negligence Laws: Related Resources

For additional information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below.

Have Questions About How Georgia Negligence Laws Apply to Your Case? Ask a Lawyer

Georgia has a wide variety of tort and injury laws. Finding a local legal professional who understands Georgia's Title 51 and contributory negligence laws can maximize your recovery award. So, if you're dealing with a personal injury matter that merits compensation, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Georgia today to explain your situation and learn about your rights and options.

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