Who Is Responsible for Compensating Injury Victims for Accidents Occurring at Retail Stores in Georgia?
Paying a visit to the grocery store or a clothing retailer is something we often do out of necessity. These visits can be on a daily or at least weekly basis. During these visits, nobody envisages sustaining an injury. Nonetheless, accidents and injuries do happen. Even in grocery stores. There are several ways that a person can get hurt while in a store. And one of the most common ways is by slipping and falling. Sustaining an injury can place you under a lot of physical, emotional, and financial strain. However, getting compensation can go a long way in reducing the burdens of this ugly experience. But who can you get this compensation from?
We’ll be discussing that in this article. But first, what are the common causes of retail store accidents in Georgia? And what should you do after one?
What Are the Common Causes of Retail Store Accidents and Injuries?
Several potential accidents could happen while in a retail space. And many times, they are a result of certain negligent acts by the store owners. Subsequently, these accidents may result in several types of injuries including broken bones, brain injuries, and so on.
Here are some of the common reasons for accidents in retail stores:
- Spilled liquids on store floors may lead to serious slip and fall accidents.
- Unsafe materials on the aisles can result in trip and fall accidents.
- Shelves and showcasing with sharp edges can pose cut hazards for invitees.
- Broken or missing handrails may lead to falls for invitees.
- Malfunctioning elevator and escalator can result in Invitees falling.
- Poor lighting in the premise may lead to invitees tripping and falling over unseen objects.
- Malfunctioning shopping carts can cause visitors to trip and fall.
- Improper maintenance of icy sidewalks may also lead to a significant amount of slip and fall accident cases.
What to Do after Sustaining an Injury in a Retail Store
It is necessary to know exactly what to do after sustaining an injury in a retail store. This knowledge will ensure that you do not miss out on any part of the compensation that can help cushion the effect of your injuries. These are the steps you should take after sustaining an injury in a retail store.
#1. Seek medical attention
After sustaining an injury in a retail store, your first line of action should be attending to your health and safety first. Also, you should ensure that whatever caused the accident is dealt with to avoid repetition of such. Furthermore, you must get a copy of the medical report for the injuries sustained and the expense of treatment. This report will be part of the evidence to corroborate your claim.
#2. Determine if it is the negligence of the retail store
After sustaining an injury, you should be able to determine if the retail store was at fault or not. To determine this, you will need to ask yourself the following questions:
Was the accident a result of dangerous conditions?
Does the retailer know about these conditions?
Could the retailer have done something to improve the conditions?
Answering these questions will help you conclude whether to file a compensation claim or not.
#4. Gather evidence
After deciding to pursue a compensation claim, you will need to gather evidence. You can gather evidence by taking pictures and videos of the scene. You can also get the contact of witnesses around. This will help to solidify your claim.
#5. Contact a personal injury lawyer
This is the most important step to take in seeking full compensation for the injuries you sustained. Pursuing a claim for compensation can be technical. That is why you need the assistance of an injury lawyer who is experienced in handling personal injury claims. This lawyer will help you to negotiate with the insurance company of the guilty party. And if negotiation does not work out, the personal injury lawyer can represent you in court.
Who Is Responsible for Paying Compensation after a Retail Store Accident in Georgia?
Store owners are also known as property owners. As such, they have the responsibility of keeping their premises safe for visitors at all times. According to the Georgia Supreme Court, keeping a property in safe condition involves:
– Maintenance of property to ensure that visitors are not exposed to unreasonable risks.
– Carrying out maintenance to make sure that visitors can use the property and remain safe.– Frequent inspection of property for potential dangers. This can include the inspection of sidewalks, stairs, parking lots, walkways e.t.c.
Failure to do the following can make the store owner responsible for the injury a customer may sustain. Consequently, the insurance company of the store owner will have to take up the responsibility of compensating the injured victim. Although, if a victim is to claim compensation, they will need to prove the negligence of the store owner.
How Can You Prove the Negligence of a Property Owner?
There are four elements involved in proving the negligence of the property owner. When you can establish the presence of these elements, you can pursue a compensation claim. These elements are:
According to the law, the word ‘duty’ carries a specific meaning. Duty refers to the type of care a property owner must exercise in keeping the visitors within their premises safe. The duty of the property owner towards a visitor depends on the reason why the visitor is on their property. Generally, there are three types of visitors: trespassers, licensees, and invitees.
- Trespassers: trespassers are those that are on a piece of property without permission from the owner. The duty of a landowner towards a trespasser is minimal.
- Licensee: licensees are individuals who have permission to be on a piece of property. These individuals are present for personal or social activities, for instance, a house party. The property owner has the duty of warning licensees about unsafe conditions on the property.
- Invitee: Invitees are people with permission to be around premises specifically for business reasons. For instance, this can be a customer in a retail store.
A landowner owes the invitees the highest form of care. And that is why the landowner must regularly inspect their premises and warn against defective conditions that may pose a threat to invitees. Alternatively, the landowner can correct those defects to keep the Invitees safe. In getting full compensation, you must be able to prove that a landowner owed you a duty of keeping you safe while on their property.
Secondly, you will have to establish a breach of that duty. In legal terms, a breach is the violation of a duty. After you have shown that the landowner had a duty, the next thing would be establishing that there was a breach of that duty.
Thirdly, causation is the next element, showing that the breach of duty led to your injuries. This aspect often results in serious contention during personal injury cases. Proving causation may require the witnesses of experts such as medical practitioners. It can also require that you employ advanced legal techniques.
Lastly, you will have to show the extent to which the injury affected you physically, emotionally, and financially. The extent of the damage will determine the amount of compensation you will likely receive.
The Types of Compensation You Can Receive for Injuries Sustained in a Retail Store
There are primarily four types of compensation you can file a claim for.
- Compensation for medical expenses incurred.
- Compensation for lost wages as a result of the injury you sustained.
- Compensation for out-of-pocket expenses such as transportation to and from medical appointments.
- Compensation for pain and suffering.
Determining the negligent party responsible for compensating you is the first step in pursuing a claim. After determining who the negligent party is, you will need an injury attorney. This attorney will have an in-depth knowledge of the Georgia liability law. They will be able to use this knowledge to assist you in navigating through the legal processes. Subsequently, this will help you get the compensation you deserve.