Slip and Fall Lawyer Atlanta
Slip and fall laws in Atlanta will hold a property owner accountable when they have failed to protect the safety of others. This means you may be entitled to compensation if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident. A slip and fall lawyer Atlanta can gather the evidence you need to build a solid, successful case, so you can focus on your recovery.
Premises Liability Laws in Atlanta
Premises liability laws will hold property managers and property owners accountable for the safety of others who visit their property. Both managers and owners have a duty to ensure their property is safe for people who visit, whether the person visiting is a customer or an invited guest to a private home. When the property owner fails to keep a visitor safe, they may be held responsible for any injuries that occur on the property.
For example, if a property owner has put off repairing a broken step for several months and an invited guest falls down the stairs because of the broken step, the property owner can be held accountable for the visitor’s accident and injuries.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property due to the property owner’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages.
Premises Liability Claims
An experienced slip and fall attorney in Atlanta will have the legal knowledge needed to handle a variety of slip and fall claims, including claims that result from:
Uneven floors, loose railings, and broken stairs can cause serious injuries to visitors and guests.
Additionally, property owners must ensure that their property is safe for others by removing or preventing hazards such as fallen tree branches, snow, and ice.
Businesses, swimming pools, and parking garages in areas that are prone to crime should have proper lighting and supervision to ensure the safety of customers and guests.
A maintenance company and property owner must post signs to warn people of dangerous or slick floors caused by spills, leaks, and cleaning.
An Atlanta slip and fall attorney can help you receive the compensation you need for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills, if you’ve fallen on private property or commercial property.
Proving a Slip and Fall Case
There are many factors that an attorney will need to prove in a slip and fall case, such as:
- The defendant resided on, leased, or owned the property where the accident occurred at the time it occurred.
- Property maintenance was neglected. This usually means that the property owner was aware of the poor conditions, or they should have been aware that their property was unsafe and did nothing to repair or remove the hazards while failing to warn visitors of the dangerous conditions.
- The plaintiff was harmed on the property
- The plaintiff’s injury wouldn’t have happened if the property owner had not been negligent
While premises liability cases are often referred to as accidents, they are usually the result of another person’s negligence. In a slip and fall case, the property owner can be held liable for your injuries because they failed to correct a dangerous condition, such as loose carpeting, a blocked aisle, or wet floors.
However, the plaintiff must prove that the property owner was aware of the dangerous conditions on their property and failed to correct the situation promptly. Proving negligence in a slip and fall case can be a complicated process. Not only does the victim have to prove they sustained injuries, but they also have to prove they were injured due to a hazard that existed on someone else’s property. The accident victim also has to show evidence to back the claim that the reason they were injured was due to the negligence of the property manager or property owner.
A property owner has the legal responsibility to ensure they maintain a safe property; however, several factors will go into determining the reasonable level of care standard. This includes how the property is intended to be used, whether or not the accident could have been foreseen, and the circumstances that led the accident victim to enter the property. In some cases, the jury may find that the accident victim was negligent as well as the property owner.
Duty of Care
In Atlanta, Georgia, all public and private property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their property safe. This is known as the duty of care. In a premises liability case, a claim can be filed against the property owner if they breach this duty.
Whether or not you will be able to recover damages, either through settlement negotiations or in court, will depend on whether the owner failed to properly take care of their property. An attorney must be able to show that the owner was the party responsible for ensuring the property was maintained and failed to maintain the standard of reasonable care, which led to the victim’s accident. The duty of care can be established by providing a copy of the lease or contract that lists the property owner as one of the parties responsible by citing common law standards.
Breach of Duty
Once the slip and fall attorney has established that the owner of the property had a duty of care, they will need to prove that the property owner failed to maintain that duty either because of negligence or carelessness. Carelessness can cover any type of action taken by the property owner that contributed to a dangerous situation. For example, a shop owner was fixing a broken sign outside of their store when they took a break but did not put their tools or ladder away and someone tripped and fell as a direct result of this carelessness.
Negligence can occur when the property owner was aware of a dangerous situation on their property but didn’t do anything to repair or fix it.
Breach of Duty Resulted in an Accident
The next step in the process is proving that the property owner’s breach of duty resulted in the accident. The attorney must be able to show the jury that since the property owner failed to provide a standard of reasonable care, the accident victim suffered an injury as a direct result.
The best way an attorney can prove this breach of duty is with witness testimony from people who may have seen the accident and experts, in addition to providing any physical evidence.
Evidence that can be used to prove negligence includes:
- Police or incident reports filled out at the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness statements from people who may have seen the accident or the situation that led up to the accident
Evidence that can be used to support your damages claim in this type of personal injury case can include doctor statements, medical records, income reports from an employer, pay stubs, and testimony from friends or family concerning the impact your injury has had on your quality of life or the level of care you now need.
Collecting all of this evidence on your own may seem very overwhelming. An experienced lawyer who understands how to win and present evidence in a slip and fall case can help you obtain the evidence you need. This can include speaking to relevant witnesses and hiring a private investigator to help gather evidence. The attorney can also find the right experts who can speak to your case and can compile and collect all the evidence needed to help you win your case.
Status of the Accident Victim
Under Georgia law, one of the first things that must be determined is the status of the accident victim in relation to the property owner and their land. The victim’s status can play a major role in helping them prove fault in a slip and fall case. The status of the accident victim can fall into one of three categories:
An invitee is a person who is either a business invitee or a public invitee. When a person shops at a mall or grocery store, or any type of business, they are an invitee.
A property owner is required to provide high standards of reasonable care for an invitee. For example, in a clothing store, the property owner must ensure that the parking lot and sidewalks have been salted after a winter storm, to prevent a fall.
Tradespeople, friends, family, or other types of guests are people that a property owner has granted permission to be on their property. This permission can be implied in some cases. For example, if the property owner’s father came over to visit, it can be assumed that the father has implied permission and does not require special permission to step foot on the property.
If the walkway on the owner’s property is uneven or a stone has come loose on a path leading up to their front door, the property owner is required to notify their friends and family of this dangerous condition, or any other type of hazard on their property. If the property owner fails to warn their friends or family members of any hazards, this is considered negligent and can be used as evidence of a breach of duty.
Trespassers don’t have the property owner’s permission to be on the property. A property owner doesn’t owe the trespasser a standard of reasonable care. If a person is injured on someone’s property while trespassing, it can be very challenging for them to win a slip and fall case.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule, if the property owner is aware that the trespasser frequently entered their property, they’re required to give a reasonable warning to prevent harm. For example, if someone used the property daily as a shortcut, the property owner must post a sign that warns the trespasser of a potential hazard.
A trespasser can also be viewed differently when it’s a child.
Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Claims
In the state of Georgia, the injured party will have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Failure to file the correct paperwork within this time frame will result in the claim being thrown out. You will also be unable to file the claim at a future time.
If you put off contacting a personal injury lawyer, you may lose your right to seek compensation. This is why you must speak to a slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip and fall accident can occur in a variety of situations. When this type of accident occurs, the damage suffered can be severe and can include ongoing medical expenses and weeks or months off work.
These injuries usually happen in public places, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and grocery stores. The following are some of the most common causes of a slip and fall claim:
- Slippery, wet floors due to condensation, spills, or mopping
- Defects in the floor’s surface or loose carpeting
- Obstructed or blocked hallways and aisles
- Missing or uneven stones on paths and walkways
- Lack of handrails on stairwells or floor risers
- Unprotected or unmarked areas that are under reconstruction or being refurbished
- Poor lighting
When this type of accident occurs, seeking medical attention immediately after the accident is crucial. You must get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you feel that your injuries are minor. It’s also important to notify the property owner, property manager, or a security guard, as soon as possible and insist on an accident report.
Many serious conditions have symptoms that may take several hours, days, or weeks to appear. Even a minor fall can result in severe injuries that can impact your quality of life.
Failing to get medical treatment or report the accident could jeopardize your claim.
In addition to proving negligence, the slip and fall victim must also prove that they suffered injuries and damages as the direct result of the accident. Damages are a type of compensation that is awarded by the court and can include the following:
Medical expenses can include rehabilitation costs, medication, doctor’s appointments, and the need for future medical treatment.
Damages for lost wages can include past, present, and future loss of income and benefits as the result of the accident.
Pain and Suffering
You can receive compensation for pain and suffering and mental anguish that’s caused as a direct result of the accident and your injuries. This can include disfigurement, scarring, and the loss of enjoyment of life if you’re no longer able to engage in the same activities you previously enjoyed before the accident.
Punitive damages can be awarded in a case where the property owner showed a blatant disregard for the safety of others.
Contact the Ferguson Law Group Today
The slip and fall lawyers Atlanta at the Ferguson Law group are aggressive litigators and skilled negotiators. If you have suffered an injury due to a slip and fall accident, our attorneys will fight for your right to receive substantial compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional losses. Don’t put off seeking legal help. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of the top personal injury lawyers in the state.
Tifton Office225 East 2nd Street, Tifton, GA 31794