What Do You Have to Prove in a Slip and Fall Claim?

In Georgia, just because you slip and fall does not mean you are automatically entitled to compensation. To file a legal claim, you must have suffered an injury. You will need to receive medical treatment to prove that you were injured. It’s crucial to see a medical professional immediately after your accident.

When it comes to slip and fall injury claims, the legal argument for compensation is based on a simple fact. Property owners have a duty of care to maintain safe premises. According to Georgia state law, if they fail in that duty, and an individual is hurt as a result, the property owner is liable for damages. This type of legal claim is called premises liability. To seek damages for a trip and fall accident, your attorney must prove that the owner or occupier of the property was negligent.

To prove property owner liability or that a business was negligent, you and your lawyer must show that:

  • The property owner or business failed to fix or remove the dangerous condition that caused your accident when they should have done so; OR
  • The property owner or business caused the dangerous condition that resulted in your accident.

Under Georgia law, you must also demonstrate that a reasonable property or business owner would have noticed the hazard and had enough time to address it before your slip and fall occurred.

    slip and fall accident

    How Our Georgia Slip and Fall Attorney Can Make a Difference for You

    A skilled Georgia slip and fall lawyer can negotiate with the insurance companies. The goal is to reach a full and fair settlement that covers all of your expenses or, if necessary, win your case in court. An experienced lawyer will investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding your slip and fall accident. The lawyer can interview witnesses and take other steps to build the strongest case possible. If your case goes to court, a trial attorney can file the necessary motions then argue before a jury and judge, and present persuasive evidence during the trial.

    Recovering compensation after a slip and fall can be challenging without the help of an experienced lawyer. Navigating the legal procedures and building a convincing case can be very difficult. That’s why it’s advisable to have a legal professional in your corner. A Georgia slip and fall attorney will be able to handle the legal complexities so that you can focus on your recovery.

    The important tasks our Georgia slip and fall lawyers at Butler Law Firm can help you with include:

    • Determining how your slip and fall accident happened
    • Interviewing witnesses
    • Proving the property owner knew of the hazardous condition or should have known about it
    • Proving the property owner did not act in a timely manner to fix the dangerous condition
    • Negotiating your slip and fall settlement with the insurance companies

    Demanding Full Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident

    The Georgia personal injury lawyers at Butler Law Firm have a track record of achieving favorable results for slip and fall accident victims. You can trust our attorneys to put you in the best position possible. We work tirelessly to get the maximum compensation you deserve for your slip and fall injuries.

    Types of compensation you might be entitled to include:

    • Medical bills (past, present, and future) – People often suffer serious injuries in slip and fall accidents. You might be entitled to damages for any medical expenses related to the treatment of your injuries.
    • Lost wages– If your injuries from your slip and fall were debilitating, you might have missed time from work. If you need surgery, you may be out even longer. The property owner may be liable for the value of your wages or salary for your missed time at work.
    • Future earnings– Depending on how severe your injuries are, you may not be able to work again. If this is the case, your slip and fall accident lawyer will demand that you are compensated for the loss of future earnings. A lawyer can have an expert testify about what your future earnings would have been had you not been injured in the slip and fall.
    • Pain and suffering – Slip and fall accidents can be painful – physically and emotionally. If the incident seriously injured your back, for example, you could be in pain for an extended period. When that is the case, you can seek damages for pain and suffering.

    Time Limit for Filing a Slip and Fall Injury Claim

    After a slip and fall accident in Georgia, your injury lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. That time period is called the statute of limitations. If a slip and fall accident results in death, the family of the deceased accident victim must file the wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of the victim’s death. This date may not be the same date as when the accident occurred.

    Some exceptions exist to this two-year rule. For instance, if the slip and fall accident happened on government-owned property, such as a sidewalk or road, the time period may be different. In some cases, the statute of limitations clock may pause – or toll – to give you more time to file an action. Laws regarding tolling are complicated. A review by a slip and fall lawyer may be required. Contact an attorney for a consultation to understand what your time limit may be.

    Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

    Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:

    • Failure to clean up spills
    • Uneven flooring
    • Cracked pavement
    • Damaged sidewalks
    • Wet or slippery floors without warning signs
    • Loose flooring, rugs, or mats
    • Recently waxed floors
    • Not using adequate barriers to close off wet areas
    • Poor lighting
    • Not using non-skid floor treatments when required
    • Worn carpeting
    • Lack of handrails
    • Defective handrails
    • Worn or warped steps
    • Debris on stairs
    • Waxed or polished stairs without non-skid surfaces
    • Failure to promptly clean up spills
    • Potholes and ditches
    • Snow and ice
    • Water leaks that go unfixed

    Common Places Where Slip and Fall Accidents Occur

    Common locations for slip and fall accidents include:

    • Sidewalks
    • Walkways
    • Driveways
    • Parking lots
    • Restaurants
    • Bars
    • Movie theaters
    • Sports venues
    • Shopping malls
    • Retirement homes
    • Hotels
    • Motels
    • Resorts
    • Big box stores
    • Grocery stores
    • Department stores
    • Amusement parks

    What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Fall

    If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone’s property, take these steps to protect your rights:

    • Seek medical attention. Immediately after your slip and fall accident, your health and safety should be your top priority. If you’ve been hurt, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor will assess the extent of your injuries. The doctor will provide medical treatment to help with your recovery. Seeing a doctor also ensures your injuries are documented. Keep copies of any receipts for prescriptions, treatment and medical equipment such as wheelchairs or crutches.
    • Do not miss doctors’ appointments and follow the recommended treatment. If you want to get healthy, follow doctors’ orders. If you establish a pattern of missing appointments or refuse the recommended medical treatment, jurors and insurance adjusters may assume that you weren’t seriously injured.
    • Collect evidence. If you’re able, take pictures of the location where you slipped and fell. Also photograph the hazardous conditions that contributed to the incident. Collect names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the slip and fall. If you are unable to document evidence after your injury, have a friend or loved one take photos and gather information for you. If possible, gather this evidence before the hazardous area is fixed or changed.
    • Report your accident to the property owner or manager. Immediately report the incident to the property owner, landlord, manager or homeowner of the property where you slipped and fell. If you had to be taken to the hospital for treatment, report the incident as soon as you can. Get a copy of the accident report, if possible, before leaving the accident scene or after you leave the hospital. Your attorney can help you get the accident report, if necessary.
    • Write down what happened. While the slip and fall accident is still fresh in your memory, write down what you can remember about the incident. A good rule of thumb is to remember who, what, when, where, why, and how:
      • Who saw the slip and fall?
      • What happened before, during, and after the slip and fall?
      • When did the slip and fall occur?
      • Where did it occur?
      • Why do you think it happened?
      • How did it happen?

    Details you can recall may benefit the investigation of your case. For example, you may remember that a stairway was poorly lighted, a handrail was broken, or a puddle of liquid was on the floor. You may also recall whether you saw warning signs in the area.

    • Maintain a folder for important documents. Make sure you keep track of all documents involved in your slip and fall case. Those documents include copies of medical expenses, receipts, prescriptions, accident reports, and letters from insurance companies. You may also have employment records that show how much time you have missed from work because of your injuries. Keep these documents organized in a folder.
    • Don’t speak with the property owner’s insurer. You might be contacted soon after your accident by the property owner’s insurance company or another representative of the store or business where the slip and fall happened. The goal of those representatives is to save money. That is done by minimizing your financial recovery. You should decline to give any statements to those representatives. Refer them instead to your lawyer who will protect your rights and recovery.
    • Stay off social media. Do not share information about your slip and fall accident and injuries on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media platform. Statements you make about your slip and fall accident could be used against you in the future.
    • Speak with an experienced Georgia slip and fall injury lawyer. Discuss your case with an experienced attorney. Georgia law in this area is complicated, and if a case is not handled correctly, the court can throw the case out before it reaches a jury. A smart lawyer can minimize the chances of something going wrong with your claim.
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    Talk to a Georgia Slip and Fall Attorney Now

    If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall on someone else’s property in Georgia, you should not be stuck with costly medical bills and other expenses. The Georgia slip and fall lawyers at Butler Law Firm will seek to hold the property owner accountable for their negligent property maintenance. We will fight for the compensation you need to get back on your feet.

    Slip and fall claims are often complex and difficult to prove. They require specialized legal knowledge and particular types of evidence. That is why it is critical to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable slip and fall attorney as soon as possible following your accident.

    If we can help you, call us or contact us online. Talking with us is free.

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