Accidents can happen anywhere, from a friend’s backyard to a grocery store to a sidewalk at the park. When someone is seriously hurt after they slip or trip and fall, they may be eligible for a personal injury claim. Our Georgia slip and fall lawyer is here to help guide you through your claim every step of the way to ensure that you are supported and well-represented and that you get the best possible result from your slip and fall case. After you have read about your slip and fall case, please do not hesitate to call our Georgia slip and fall lawyers to set up your free initial case review.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
While “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accidents sound innocuous, the truth is that they can cause serious injury. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults 65 and over. Fall-related injuries can include fractured bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. This is why property owners are required to keep their properties safe. Yet, property owners often fail to do so. Common causes of slip/trip and fall accidents include the following:
- Debris on floors
- Cracked or uneven flooring
- Poor lighting conditions
- Other dangerous conditions
- Failure to install handrails on stairs
- Unreasonably slippery floors
- Deteriorating sidewalks
- Holes in flooring or the ground
- Improper flooring materials
How Georgia Slip and Fall Compensation Works
When you are injured in a slip and fall, you will be seeking compensation from the liable party’s insurance company. You may be reluctant to bring a claim if you were injured in a slip and fall at a friend’s house. You may think that you don’t want to bring the claim because you do not want to sue your friend, but that is not what will be happening. You are asking the insurance company to pay for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. This money is not directly coming from your friend, it is coming from the insurance company that represents them. The same goes for places like grocery stores. Their insurance is responsible for your damages. You will not be directly suing that property owner.
Georgia is a state that follows comparative fault, which means you can be compensated for your damages even if you share some fault in causing the slip and fall. The way it works is as follows: say someone is at the grocery store looking at their phone while they walk down the aisle. There is a puddle of spilled liquid that has not yet been cleaned, but because they weren’t looking, they slip and get hurt. The grocery store would be responsible for not having cleaned up that spill or marked it with a sign but that person would be partially responsible because they were not paying full attention. In an instance such as this, they may be deemed something like 20 percent at fault for the accident. If they were awarded $10,000 in damages, that fault would mean they can only collect $8,000 of the award. We take our job of protecting your right to full compensation seriously.
Georgia Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations
It is important to keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time in which you can bring your slip and fall claim. Georgia permits injured victims two years from the date of their slip and fall in which they can bring their claim or have it settled in civil court. This may seem like it is a long time but in terms of a lawsuit, two years can go by quickly. We push for these cases to go as fast as they reasonably can, but it is still a task to get them done. That is why it is so important for anyone seeking a slip and fall case to contact a Georgia lawyer right away. You want to give them as much time as you can to build a strong case so that you have the best chance at success as possible. The sooner you can get yourself in a consultation with an experienced Georgia slip and fall attorney, the better off your case will be down the road.
What to Do After Your Slip and Fall
There are a few things that you will want to do after you have injured yourself. If you are hurt at a store or public premises, you should be sure to report your incident to someone who is in charge. That may by the manager of the store or the property owner. Before they get a chance to clean up what you were hurt on, take photos and videos so that you have this evidence. If you fell at someone’s private property, let them know what happened and also take photographic evidence. It is important to have this for yourself because, by the time you get to the lawyer who will represent your case, that evidence will likely be gone. Bring this evidence as well as a copy of your accident report, if you got one, to your Georgia slip and fall lawyers so they can get to work right away on your case.
Frequently Asked Slip and Fall Questions
What mistakes should I avoid after a slip and fall injury?
Mistakes often happen in the beginning of a slip and fall case. When you first fall, whether at a retailer or a fast food restaurant, you may not realize in the moment that you’re going to be involved in a personal injury case. These are mistakes that you can and should avoid, however, to protect your case. The primary mistake that clients make is not making a report. They slip and fall, they get hurt, they’re embarrassed… and they don’t bother to go speak with anybody in charge. If you’ve fallen within the last 48 hours and you’re looking at our website, go back to that store and make a report.
The second mistake people make is they don’t preserve evidence. A lawyer can help you with that. We can send out a letter and ask for the preservation of surveillance video, for example. Videos can get erased, so you want to make sure that the owner preserves the video.
A third mistake people often make is not taking any photos to document the scene. Capturing photographic evidence of what caused your slip and fall is essential to your case. Three years from now when you’re in front of a jury, you want to have that photo to describe what caused your injury.
What should I consider when hiring a slip and fall attorney?
When you hire an attorney in Georgia to represent you for a slip and fall related personal injury matter, don’t just hire anyone. Not every attorney knows what they’re doing. Slip and fall cases are some of the tougher cases in Georgia to recover. If you get rear-ended by somebody on the freeway, they get a ticket and liability is pretty clear. Liability in a slip and fall case can be less clear.
In a slip and fall case, you have to prove a number of different issues. For example, you need to demonstrate that they knew or should have known of the substance – the liquid, the curled up mat, the broken tile – whatever it was that caused you to slip and fall or trip and fall. This can be difficult, and you need to hire an attorney who knows how to do that. At our firm, we know what we’re doing when it comes to slip and fall cases, and we bust our tails for you.
How long will a slip and fall case take?
If you want to know how long it’s going to take you to resolve your slip and fall claim in Georgia, the best answer is that the longer it takes, the more your case is worth, as a general rule. When you have a slip and fall case, oftentimes insurance companies will not offer you even close to what is the fair value of the case. When you hire an attorney, he or she can file a lawsuit, get in there, get the evidence, and force them to do the right thing, even if it takes time. Your case is going to increase in value with every deposition we take, with every medical treatment you get, with every witness we talk to.
What is the impact of a wet floor sign on my slip and fall injury claim?
Imagine this scenario—you slip and fall at somebody’s premises and, when you look up , you see that there’s a wet floor sign. At this point you might think you do not have a case. This is not true. Even if a sign is present when you fall, it does not mean that you are not hurt; it certainly doesn’t mean that the retailer or premises owner is not at fault.
Georgia law says that a premises owner has to warn you of a hazard that they’re aware of, but that warning has to be reasonable. If you fall, get a picture of that wet floor sign. We’ll be able to give you some guidance and answer your concerns. If you have any questions about a wet floor sign that was out or multiple wet floor signs that were out, give us a call; we’d be happy to answer those questions for you.
How much is my slip and fall claim worth?
You’ve slipped and fallen recently. You’re hurt. You may be wondering, what’s my case worth? Contact us today to discuss the value of your slip and fall claim. We’ll go through the details of your case, and we’ll figure it out. The very first thing we’re going to do is find out what the defendant did wrong, and we’re incredibly experienced at doing that. Our results speak for themselves. If you have any questions about what your slip and fall case is worth, or any slip and fall related matter for an incident that happened here in Georgia, please give us a call; we’d love to speak with you.
Can I recover compensation if I was injured due to faulty steps?
You’ve slipped and fallen on some steps. Maybe concrete or wood gave way and a nail came loose, maybe there was mildew on the steps – who knows? All you know is that you slipped and fell on someone else’s stairs and you’re hurt. The question is, how does that affect your case? If the premises owner knew that these steps were covered in mildew – knew that these steps were wet, knew that these steps had some varnish that made them abnormally slick or there had been falls previously, or this one particular brick in these stairs were loose –or if there’s a code violation at the location, they are at fault.
We’ll figure out, based on what you tell us, where your case stands. If you have any questions about slipping and falling on someone else’s steps, give us a call; we’d be happy to speak with you.
What should I do if I slipped and fell on residential property?
If you’ve slipped and fallen at someone’s home or apartment, you will want to let them know about your injury. If you’re hurt, the first thing you need to do is go to the emergency room—not your primary care physician or family doctor. Once you have been examined, contact the owner of the residence and tell them that you need their insurance information. They are required to give you this information by law. Then, bring this information to your attorneys.
If you are worried about bringing a claim because you don’t want things to be adversarial, contact our experienced slip and fall attorneys. We have dealt with cases like this before and will be sure to sort out any complications that may arise.
Should I speak to an insurance adjuster after a slip and fall injury?
You slipped and fell, and now you are hurt. You’re resting at home when you receive a call from the insurance company. The person on the phone tells you that she is trying to do the right thing and that she needs you to give her as much information as you can so she can help you. While this may seem the thing to do, it is, in fact, the worst thing that you can do for your slip and fall case.
Never, ever, ever give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster when you’ve slipped and fallen on someone else’s property. You’re not require to, and you do not have to. Call an attorney. Speak with us or another lawyer, and we’ll be happy to tell you what to do and how to walk you through that process. Do not, under any circumstances, give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster.
Can I sue a municipality for a slip and fall injury?
Sometimes slips and falls happen on government property – on a city-owned sidewalk, for example. If that has happened to you, you may want to know if you have a case against whoever is responsible or whoever had control over this particular piece of property or object. Before you can even bring a claim or lawsuit against the at fault parties, there are some procedural hurdles that you have to jump through, including sending them a letter within a certain amount of time.
To get your case on the right foot, you’re going to need an attorney who can jump through the necessary procedural hoops. If you don’t lay out your case and your damages and your issues perfectly, according to particular Georgia statutes, then regardless of how injured you are how hurt you are – even if someone is killed –you don’t have a case.
If you’ve been hurt on the property of the city, a county or the state, give us a call. We want to make sure that you get everything done efficiently so that you can bring a claim or a lawsuit down the road. If you have any questions about that, or any other personal injury related matter in Georgia, please give us a call.
Call Our Georgia Slip and Fall Lawyers
If you have been seriously hurt in a slip and fall, please do not hesitate to call our office to set up your free initial case review. This is a no-obligation consultation during which we will go over the details of your case and let you know what your legal options are. Call today to find out how we can help you!