What is a Tort?
A tort is a civil wrong (an action that violates another person’s rights) that a defendant commits. Georgia law recognizes three different types of torts:
- Negligence (e.g., car accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, dog bites)
- Intentional torts (e.g., defamation, assault)
- Strict liability (e.g., product liability, dog bites)
How does Georgia law remedy torts?
In Georgia, victims can hold defendants, called “tortfeasors,” accountable for their negligence if that negligence led to the victim’s injuries. In other words, if you can prove that another person’s action or inaction led to your injuries, you can file a personal injury suit against that person and recover compensation for your injuries.
In one example, an Atlanta court found an Atlanta hotel partially liable for a man’s injuries after he was shot in their parking lot. While hotel management broke no laws, courts found they were 32 percent responsible for his injuries because they failed to provide adequate security for guests. Criminal action was taken against the shooter, while the victim received $1.17 million in damages for his injuries from the hotel.
What evidence is necessary to prove a tort?
In a tort based on negligence or an intentional tort, there are several aspects you must prove if you want to receive compensation for your damages. These include:
- Showing that the other party had an obligation or responsibility to take a certain action, or not take a certain action
- Proving they did not uphold this obligation or responsibility
- That their breach of this duty contributed to or caused your injuries
- That the incident cost you financial losses, and/or pain and suffering
Strict liability torts are somewhat different, in that consumers do not have to prove negligence to hold manufacturers and sellers of products to the general public liable for defective products.
What types of damages are collected in a tort claim?
Courts commonly award two types of damages in Georgia tort claims: special damages and general damages. In rare cases where the negligence was extreme or intentional, the court may award punitive damages as well.
You can calculate special, or economic, damages using receipts, pay stubs, and other bills. These damages include:
- Medical bills
- Cost of rehabilitation
- Lost wages
General, or noneconomic, damages are more difficult to calculate as a mathematical formula cannot truly take into account the harms a victim suffers. Noneconomic damages may include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
Punitive damages punish the negligent party, in part to dissuade further careless behavior and prevent further injuries. These damages are often substantial, and depend heavily on the wealth of the individual or size of the corporation liable for the tort. Georgia has statutes limit and detail punitive damages awarded in civil suits.
Can David Brauns Law, PC help me file a tort claim?
The personal injury attorneys at Brauns Law, PC represent the victims of personal injuries and other torts in Georgia. If another party’s negligence caused your injuries, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 404-348-0889 to schedule an appointment.