It is hard to imagine that your entire world could change due to one single fall. Unfortunately, countless people in and around Atlanta slip and fall, causing severe injuries including fractures, concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), contusions, lacerations, bruising, internal bleeding and even death.
Our experienced lawyers help those injured in slip and fall accidents pursue justice and compensation from those at fault. This can mean negotiating a favorable settlement or advocating for your rights in court. Whatever the process, our mission is to help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. Here, you will learn more about our legal services and applicable premises liability laws in Georgia. At the bottom of this page, you will find a FAQ section with answers to common questions for slip and fall cases.
What You Need to Know About Slip and Fall Cases
Slip and fall-type accidents can happen in a variety of places and from a broad range of causes. Accidents can also result from more than one cause. The injury from a slip and fall accident will depend on your age, physical condition, and the nature of the fall. Furthermore, these elements of a slip and fall accident will impact the liability of a third-party and the potential damages of the case.
The Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
In most cases, the cause of a fall has to do with unexpected changes in the terrain where a person is walking, climbing, or otherwise moving. In the Atlanta area, falls that cause serious injury are often the result of:
- Weather (e.g., rain, wind, snow)
- Spills and unkept walkways (You might think of the liquid on the floor of a grocery store or public restroom)
- Broken, cracked, or unlevel surfaces (e.g., a sidewalk where cement blocks have settled to create bumps or dips)
- Unlit or unmarked warnings for stairs and other elevated platforms
- Non-functioning machinery (escalators, elevators, etc.)
- A lack of handrails or grips for walking in difficult places (e.g., staircases, sloped surfaces)
- Gaps or other holes on walkways
- Rugs, floor mats, and other loose items on the floor that can create tripping hazards
Potential Injuries from a Slip and Fall
The recovery from a slip and fall injury can be short or long, and may require minimal or extensive medical care. The nature of your injury can directly impact the potential compensation you can recover from the accident.
Related injuries often involve:
- Strains or tears of muscles and ligaments
- Broken bones
- Neck, spine, and back injuries
- Head traumas
- Internal bleeding or other injuries to internal organs
Who Is Responsible for Injuries from a Slip and Fall?
Generally, the owner of the property where the fall occurred will be liable for failing to disclose or address any hazards that contribute to a fall. The rule applies regardless of whether the property is a personal residence, commercial building, or other public space. The main exception to this liability is when the injured person trespassed onto the property.
Additionally, ownership of the property does not automatically result in liability. Atlanta, under Georgia state law, follows a standard of care to determine the liability of property owners in these cases. Determining if a property owner was reasonable in maintaining their property to avoid injuries to others can depend on:
- The owner’s knowledge of the hazard that caused the fall (i.e., did they know about the hazard and fail to address it?)
- If any signs or other warnings could have avoided the accident
- The injured party’s actions (i.e., were they acting reasonably when the fall happened?)
- The amount of time the hazard existed on the property without the owner’s knowledge (i.e., should the property owner have known about the hazard and fixed it prior to accident happening?)
- The nature of the property. Did the accident happen on a construction site where hazards are more expected? Alternatively, did the accident happen in a place where you wouldn’t know about a hazard without explicit knowledge?
Why You Might Benefit from Working with a Premise Liability Attorney
The aftermath of a slip or fall can be difficult to manage. You are likely juggling work, family, and other personal obligations on top of trying to recover from your injuries. Dealing with the legal process in addition to all this can be challenging. Your case can get complicated quickly if you lack knowledge of relevant laws and how they might apply in your circumstances.
A premise liability attorney can help your personal injury claim in several different ways:
- Relieving you from the time and stress it takes to manage your case. A personal injury lawyer can coordinate most aspects of your case – giving you more time for other recovery efforts (e.g., healing, work, or being with family).
- Identifying the party responsible for the injury under Georgia law. As discussed in the prior section, it is important to identify the person or company liable for your accident. Correctly identifying responsible parties from the start will help the case resolve more quickly and avoid leaving compensation on the table.
- Receiving an experienced review and evaluation of your case. The other benefit of working with a personal injury lawyer is an experienced review of your case. Personal injury lawyers regularly handle slip and fall claims – which provides a great source of knowledge about how the claim will process in court and how much compensation is reasonable. An attorney can provide input on important decisions like accepting a settlement offer or pursuing a trial.
Slip and Falls – Frequently Asked Questions
Below, you can find answers to other questions that people frequently have about slip and fall accidents and subsequent litigation or claim filing.
What Steps Should You Take After a Slip and Fall Accident?
The steps you take after a slip and fall accident should depend upon your unique circumstances. Generally, you will do the following:
- Find Safety: A slip or fall can leave you in a vulnerable position that increases your risk for further injury. Avoid further danger following an accident by being cautious and using good judgment.
- Seek Medical Care: If necessary, call for an ambulance. Otherwise, obtain a medical exam to look and treat for injuries from the fall. Injuries suffered in a fall might not always appear right after the accident. Stay vigilant about any changes to your body or the onset of new symptoms. Obtain additional medical care where appropriate. Having medical records immediately after the fall is also helpful in proving causation.
- Collect Information about the Accident: You can take photos or record audio and/or video of the accident setting, and of your injuries. You should also observe other details about the accident that won’t appear in a photo, such as information about any parties that are involved (e.g., the property owners, employees, etc.). However, be careful about the conversations you have with others at the accident. Avoid comments that place fault for the accident on yourself – for example, do not apologize, as it may be construed as an admission of guilt.
- Contact a Norcross Personal Injury Attorney: After seeking medical care or other emergency services, you may want to contact an attorney. Working with a slip and fall attorney from the start can help with the information collecting while the accident is still fresh.
- File a Report: You may be asked to file a report with the company or property owner where the slip and fall injury occurred. Be cautious in completing these forms and seek advice from an attorney about proper responses to any questions on a claim form.
What Compensation Can You Receive for Fall-Related Personal Injury Claim?
Georgia law allows for two compensation types as reimbursement for the damage from a slip and fall accident that cause injury.
- You might receive compensation for the general damages from an accident. These are damages for the physical, mental, and emotional toll of your injuries. They can include compensation for:
- Any permanent or temporary disability and other disfigurement (e.g., scarring, burns, etc.).
- The pain and suffering you experience following the accident.
- Emotional distress from the accident that can take the form of depression, panic attacks, PTSD, nightmares, or other emotional issues.
- The loss of companionship in slip and fall accidents that cause death.
This type of damage is available to compensate an injured party for the economic losses of a slip and fall accident.
- You can receive compensation to replace the lost wages you weren’t able to earn because your injuries prevented you from working. Generally, you can calculate lost wages based on your hourly wage and the amount of work you missed.
- You can recover money for the loss of future earning capacity. This special damage is common in cases where the injury results in permanent disability. Future earning capacity is a difficult figure to calculate, because it requires the input of certain assumptions (e.g., current age, education, career, number of remaining working years, etc.)
- The medical costs for healing from a slip and fall accident can be large. You may be eligible for special damages to cover your medical costs. This might include doctor visits, surgical procedures, medication, therapy, and other costs.
How to Choose Whether to Settle or Go to Trial
Choosing to settle a claim is a difficult decision that will depend on your unique circumstances. No single right answer or approach exists. Your decision will likely depend on a comparison of the benefits and downsides to a particular offer. Relevant considerations might include:
- The total amount for the settlement
- Your personal finances
- The risk of going to trial (i.e., receiving less compensation or no compensation)
- Your attorney can help you think about these factors to reach a decision that is best for you.
How Long After a Slip and Fall Can I File a Personal Injury Claim?
In Georgia, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for personal injury – which applies to injuries from slip and fall accidents. The statute of limitations could extend further in some cases if you don’t become aware of injury from the accident until days or weeks afterwards.
How Can I Afford the Legal Fees Associated With My Case?
We generally represent personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis – meaning you don’t pay for our services until after a settlement or judgment awards you compensation. After you receive payment, we take a percentage of the payment as a fee.
Book Your Free Case Consultation With Our Georgia Attorneys
Slip and fall injuries are traumatic experiences that can unexpectedly change your life. We understand you may have stressful concerns over your health, livelihood, and family. We try to relieve some of that stress by doing everything we can to get you the compensation you deservce.
The first step in working with our firm is to contact one of our attorneys for a free consultation. The consultation serves as an important exchange of information. We learn more about the facts of your case, and you learn more about the possible outcomes based on our experience and develop a legal strategy. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, please contact our office to schedule your free consultation.
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Fall Injury Fact: If you fall and hurt yourself, the other party is liable only if their actions were a breach of legal duty that caused your fall. As the plaintiff, it is your burden to prove this. You must prove it by a preponderance of the evidence, which means you have to prove that- more likely than not- the defendant was negligent in creating the conditions that led to your fall.