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Legal Basis of Augusta Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits

July 29, 2022Personal Injury

Spinal cord injuries can occur in many types of accidents, including car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and medical procedures gone wrong. Georgia law allows victims of spinal cord injuries to file legal claims against the person or entity who caused their injuries.

If you are pursuing an Augusta spinal cord injury lawsuit, it is important to know what you need to prove in order to win in your case. Most spinal cord injury lawsuits are based on negligence, or a party’s failure to uphold a certain duty of care.

The Top Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) collects data on spinal cord injuries across the United States every year. According to its 2020 report, an estimated 294,000 Americans live with this injury. 

The NSCISC lists the following factors as the most common causes of spinal cord injury cases since 2015:

  • 38.6% of cases occurred because of a motor vehicle accident
  • 32.2% of cases occurred because of a fall
  • 14% of cases were caused by acts of violence, particularly gunshot wounds
  • 7.8% of cases were caused by sports and recreation activities
  • 4.2% of cases occurred due to medical and surgical events

Proving a Negligence-Based Lawsuit in Georgia

Negligence is a legal theory that refers to a person or entity’s failure to uphold a certain standard of care. Personal injury lawsuits arise when someone’s negligence or wrongful act harms another person. Many spinal cord injury lawsuits fall under the umbrella of personal injury.

To win a negligence-based lawsuit in Georgia, you will need to gather enough evidence to prove four important facts: duty of care; breach of duty; causation; and damages.

  • Duty of Care: The defendant in your case owed you a duty of care. For example, drivers have a duty to follow the law and drive safely. Property owners have a duty to keep their premises in safe condition.
  • Breach of Duty: The defendant breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act. For example, a driver who runs a red light, drives while intoxicated, or fails to yield the right of way breaches his or her duty.
  • Causation: The defendant’s actions caused your spinal cord injury. You will need to prove that your injury would not have occurred if the defendant had acted reasonably and followed his or her duty. 
  • Damages: You suffered damages as a result of your spinal cord injury that you can collect in your lawsuit. You can recover damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

What Evidence Do You Need to Prove a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?

There are several pieces of evidence that you could leverage to prove negligence. For example, your medical records can establish the nature and extent of your injury. Photographs, surveillance footage, witness testimony, and documents like police reports and incident records can all strengthen your case. You may also need expert witnesses who can testify about complex parts of your case.

A Georgia spinal cord injury lawyer can help you gather all relevant pieces of evidence and craft a compelling case for your right to compensation. As soon as possible following your injury, contact an attorney who can represent your case and take your first step toward filing your personal injury lawsuit.