Slip and Fall, Atlanta, GA
When you walk out your door each day, the last thing you expect is to be seriously injured in a slip and fall accident. These tragedies are some of the most common causes of personal injury cases because they are often the result of a property owner failing to maintain various safety standards.
Shops, restaurants, employers, and even private individuals can be held responsible for damages incurred by someone injured due to a safety issue on their property. Maybe you slipped on a wet floor or tripped on broken pavement. These might seem like clear cases of negligence. But premises liability claims can be complex.
At The Stein Firm, our firm’s founder has decades of experience handling these types of cases. We can assist in preparing you for what to expect and compile evidence on your behalf. If you or a loved one have been hurt in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia, contact us today for a free consultation.
Slip and Fall Cases Are a Type of Premises Liability Claim
Premises liability cases are personal injury cases where the negligent party is responsible for an accident victim’s damages. Premises liability is based on the idea that the party in control of the property has a duty to maintain reasonably safe premises for guests and visitors. In these types of cases, the at-fault party can be a landowner, property owner, or property manager. Slip and fall cases are simply one type of premises liability claim. Others include fires, stair collapses, swimming pool accidents, and security issues.
Common Causes and Consequences of Slip and Falls
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), roughly half of all slip and fall accidents are caused by hazardous walking surfaces. These include:
- Uneven surfaces
- Wet surfaces
- Recently waxed or mopped floors
- Ice, snow, or rain on floors or walkways
- Ripped carpeting
Other common causes of slip, trip and fall accidents include missing or damaged handrails, broken steps, inadequate lighting, cluttered walkways, malfunctioning escalators and elevators, and missing or broken transitions.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 1 million people annually are seen in hospital emergency departments due to slip and fall accidents. Common injuries resulting from these accidents include:
- Wrist or arm sprains and fractures
- Head injuries and concussions
- Facial injuries
- Hip fractures
- Abrasions, contusions, and skin lacerations
- Foot and leg sprains and fractures
Sadly, these are often preventable actions that property owners could easily and quickly address. For example, a store could create a policy requiring fast clean-up of spills and the placement of a “Wet Floor” sign to warn patrons of a potential hazard.
Determining Liability in Georgia Slip and Fall Accidents
In order to prove negligence on the part of the property owner, manager, or renter, you will need to establish:
• The person controlling the property owed you a duty of care;
• That the duty of care was breached;
• The beach directly resulted in your injuries; and
• The injury led to some damages for which you require compensation.
The complex thing about premises liability cases is the first item on that list. Not every property owner or manager owes every visitor a duty of care. According to the law, there are several categories of visitors, depending on the reason for the visit:
An invitee is someone the business or property owner has invited, either expressly or implied, onto the property for business or personal reasons. This might be a customer who enters a restaurant to eat or a neighbor who enters a home for a holiday party. Regarding invitees, the property owner has a duty of care to keep the property safe by reasonably inspecting the premises and ensuring there are no hazardous conditions.
A licensee is someone who may have permission to enter a property, but they are doing so for the benefit of their own interests. An example would be a salesperson who enters a business to sell products or services to the owner. The property owner owes a slightly lower duty of care to these visitors. Specifically, they must ensure there are no known or intentional hazards that could cause harm to someone.
A trespasser is someone who enters the property without the owner’s permission. The lowest duty of care is owed to this class of visitors. However, the property owner must refrain from carelessly or willingly causing harm to a trespasser.
How an Atlanta Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help
A personal injury attorney can help you prove negligence in these types of cases by collecting evidence at the accident scene, speaking to witnesses, and gathering other relevant documentation. In a slip and fall case, one of the most important factors is proving that someone had a duty of care to you and breached that duty. If your attorney can prove these things, you may be able to collect compensation that covers:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Proving damages and getting an insurance company to pay maximum compensation in a slip and fall case can be an uphill battle. Most insurance companies will try to shift the blame in your direction so they don’t have to pay anything or will have to pay less.
There’s no reason why you should continue to suffer after experiencing a serious accident caused by a property owner’s negligence. Our law firm will stand up for your interests and fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you or a loved one were hurt in a slip and fall accident, it’s vital that you protect your rights by taking the following actions:
- Take photos or video of the hazard that caused the accident, including the surrounding conditions.
- Obtain contact information for any witnesses.
- Report the accident promptly to the property owner.
- Seek immediate medical attention, even if you don’t feel hurt.
- Avoid admitting fault or discussing your case with anyone.
- Contact a qualified Georgia slip and fall attorney.
In Georgia, you have two years to file a personal injury case. But, it would be a mistake to wait this long because evidence can disappear quickly. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to offer quick settlements for slip and fall cases. This will certainly be much less than your case is worth. We recommend that you speak with a skilled attorney who can pursue justice on your behalf.
Contact an Experienced and Professional Atlanta Slip and Fall Attorney
The Stein Firm understands what actions need to be taken to prove your slip and fall case and collect maximum compensation on your behalf. If you’ve been hurt, contact us today at 770-961-1700 to schedule a free initial consultation. We’ll review your situation and outline your options for moving forward. Our firm’s founder, Bob Stein, has more than 40 years of experience in personal injury law. The Stein Firm takes slip and fall cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case. Contact us today.