Are you suffering serious injuries after an accident caused by someone else? If so, you may be eligible to receive compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our compassionate legal staff and start exploring your options today.
As premier personal injury lawyers in Georgia, we see it all the time: Injury victims who are eligible to pursue compensation through a lawsuit but fail to do so. Unfortunately, they’re hurting themselves more than they may realize.
The thing about suffering a serious injury is that you rarely know the full extent of it at the onset. Suppose you slipped on an oily floor at a restaurant and fractured your hip. Your recovery may be as simple as resting for several weeks (although you will have to miss work), or it may be more involved. You may need surgery and physical therapy; you may lose your job altogether.
Who’s going to pay for your treatment? You can’t afford it, and your insurance doesn’t cover the treatments you need. This scenario is exactly why personal injury lawsuits exist: to protect injury victims from bearing the brunt of someone else’s mistakes.
If you’ve suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident caused by someone else, you deserve compensation. This article will explore the concept of premises liability, why slip and fall accidents occur and how Joseph Williams Law can help protect your future.
Need assistance now? Our legal team is standing by to help. Getting started with us is as easy as contacting us online or giving us a call at (912) 259-6548 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Slip and Fall Accidents & Premises Liability
Most people don’t realize that property owners (and non-owner residents) have a legal obligation to maintain a reasonably safe environment so that their visitors don’t suffer injuries.
This responsibility is called premises liability, and it holds owners and residents liable for accidents that occur on their property. Premises liability lawsuits can address a wide range of cases, from dog bites to swimming pool accidents to injuries resulting from negligent security. However, slip and fall cases are among the most common.
In Georgia, slip and fall victims can bring a premises liability lawsuit against a homeowner, property manager, landlord, government entity, business franchise or retailer. In order to win, they must prove that one of these parties failed to keep a space reasonably safe, and that a tenant, customer or other invited guest was injured as a result.
Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents
If this is your introduction to slip and fall lawsuits, you may be wondering: What’s the big deal? Everyone falls down sometimes; is it really worth suing over?
Here’s what you need to understand: When we talk about slip and fall injuries, we’re not talking about a skinned knee. We’re talking about serious, potentially life-altering occurrences, like fractures, deep lacerations, spinal injuries, brain damage and paralysis. Many of these injury victims don’t want to pursue a lawsuit— they need to for their very survival.
Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are many different types of slip and fall accidents, and not all of them involve a wet floor. Here are some of the most common scenarios leading to a slip and fall injury:
- Wet, slippery floors. When people hear about slip and fall injuries, this is typically the scenario they imagine. An excessively slick surface resulting from someone’s failure to clean, a leaky or busted pipe, rain, snow or by a naturally slippery floor material like glass or polished stone.
- Uneven walking surfaces. An uneven walkway can present unseen dangers for visitors and guests. They may become injured as a result of holes, uneven brick, broken tiles, broken concrete and similarly unmaintained surroundings.
- Cluttered walkways and hallways. When a guest visits a business, public space or residential property, they’re ill-equipped to navigate clutter and messes. They can easily trip on boxes, equipment, trash and other objects left in their paths.
- Poorly maintained staircases and ramps. Broken or loose boards, lack of lighting and absence of necessary handrails can all result in serious falls on stairs and other elevated walkways.
Each of these examples represents a failure to ensure a safe, hazard-free environment. Although guests can sustain slip and fall injuries practically anywhere, they are most likely to encounter them in grocery stores, department stores, restaurants, gas stations, entertainment arenas, parking lots, construction sites and business offices, as well as on public sidewalks.
Who Is Responsible for My Slip and Fall Accident?
n order to win your slip and fall injury claim, you will need to establish liability and negligence. Specifically, you’ll need to prove that a property’s owner, manager or resident owed you a duty of care, and their breach of duty resulted in your injuries.
After you partner with a slip and fall lawyer, you’ll work together to prove the following:
- There was a hazardous condition on the property that posed an unreasonable risk of harm to visitors.
- The owner or steward of the property either knew about or should have known about the hazardous condition and the risk it posed to visitors.
- The owner or steward of the property acted negligently, either by creating the hazardous condition or by failing to remedy it.
- As a result of their negligence, you suffered serious injuries on the property.
Establishing negligence and liability isn’t always easy, but it’s doable with help from a skilled personal injury lawyer. Through a thorough investigation of your accident, they’ll be able to pinpoint the at-fault party and the circumstances precipitating your injury.
Remember: Just because you slipped and fell and suffered injuries as a result doesn’t imply negligence. Proving negligence requires investigating the specific circumstances of your case. To do so, your lawyer will need to answer several critical questions, including the following:
- Did the property owner, resident or steward do anything to warn you about the hazardous condition?
- Did the property undergo regular inspections, cleanings or maintenance?
- How long did the hazard exist on the property?
- Were there any safety devices installed on the property to mitigate your risk for injury?
- Was there a legitimate reason for the hazard to exist and continue?
The answers to these questions will go a long way in helping your slip and fall attorney establish negligence. For example, if your attorney determines that there were sufficient warning signs to prevent a serious injury, your case may not be as strong as if there were no obvious warnings.
How Can a Slip and Fall Lawyer Help Me?
Simply put, a slip and fall lawyer can offer your best chance for securing the compensation you need and deserve to recover. Depending on the circumstances of your case, they may be able to help you secure a settlement that includes both economic and non-economic damages.
Whereas economic damages refer to calculable financial losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, etc., non-economic damages are intangible losses. These may include losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life and more.
Slip and Fall Lawyer FAQ
As with most types of personal injury cases, slip and fall accidents involve a number of complexities. The best way to find answers is by consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer in Georgia. In the meantime, read through some of our most frequently asked questions.
• What is the statute of limitations for slip and fall injuries in Georgia?
According to Georgia Code, Section 9-3-33, injury victims have two years from the time of their injury to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, this does not apply to injuries to reputation, for which victims only have one year from the date of injury to bring a claim.
• What are some common mistakes people make after slip and fall accidents?
Directly after suffering a slip and fall accident, injury victims tend to make a few common mistakes. Perhaps the largest is failing to document the scene by taking pictures, speaking to witnesses and gathering contact information. Other common mistakes include failing to get an incident report and neglecting to seek immediate medical attention.
• How long do slip and fall cases take?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount of time it takes to settle your slip and fall case will depend on numerous factors, including the complexity of your case, the strength of your evidence, the quality of your attorney and the other party’s willingness to settle.
• If there was a wet floor sign near where I slipped, do I still have a case?
If you notice a wet floor sign after suffering a slip and fall injury, you may think your chance for securing compensation is shot. However, that’s not necessarily the case, especially if the wet floor sign wasn’t easily visible. Even if you doubt your eligibility to pursue a case, it’s a good idea to speak with a legal professional so that you don’t miss out on potential compensation.
Joseph Williams Law: Top Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Georgia
Any Georgian understands the importance of courtesy in southern culture—we go out of our way to treat other people the way we want to be treated. However, sometimes we forget to think about our own wellbeing in the process.
As top slip and fall lawyers in Georgia, the legal professionals at Joseph Williams Law understand that it isn’t always comfortable to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. However, it may be your best—or only—option to hold the negligent party accountable, dissuade dangerous behavior in the future and secure the settlement you need to recover.
Ready to protect your future? Getting started with us is easy. Simply contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation or give us a call at (912) 259-6548.
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