Slipping and falling can happen in an instant. One moment you are walking normally and the next your foot goes out from under you and you fall to the ground, perhaps striking your head against a shelf or desk or on the ground itself.
At Pritchard Injury Firm, we help those injured in a slip and fall (or trip and fall) accident receive the compensation they deserve. Slip and fall accidents can cause devastating injuries, including brain damage.
Contact us today to speak with our Georgia slip and fall attorney.
What to Do Following a Slip and Fall Accident
You could be in incredible pain following your slip and fall. However, if you can move around, then we recommend that you take simple steps that will increase your ability to obtain compensation. For example, try to do the following:
- Get a picture of the hazard that caused you to slip or trip. As any slip and fall attorney will tell you, one picture is worth a thousand words. If you slipped on spilled liquids, then use your smartphone to get a quick picture. If you don’t have a phone (or if it was damaged in the fall), ask someone else to get a picture and send it to you.
- Talk to witnesses. Did someone see you fall? Did they see the hazard that you tripped or slipped on? If so, get their name and contact information. Your slip and fall accident lawyer might need to use their testimony to establish liability for your injuries.
- Obtain insurance information. If you fell on private property, then the owner should have insurance. A business will have a business liability policy and a homeowner probably has homeowners insurance. Ask for the name and contact information of the insurance company.
- Go to the hospital. You should be checked out, even if you feel “okay” after the fall. Some injuries are slow to develop. For example, people with a concussion might not notice symptoms for 24 hours. The same is true of back injuries and other soft-tissue injuries. Remember to follow your doctor’s advice.
There is also one thing you shouldn’t do after a slip and fall accident. Don’t give a recorded statement to the property owner’s insurance company. Georgia law does not require that you do so, and you might say something you don’t really mean. Instead, let your Georgia slip and fall attorney communicate with insurance adjusters for you.
Can I Sue for a Slip and Fall Injury?
Yes. A lawsuit can help you receive compensation for your injuries, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
The amount you receive will depend on the circumstances, and a lawyer can help determine what you qualify for.
To bring a valid lawsuit, you must show that the person in possession of the property breached their duties under the law. Georgia law imposes certain duties on landowners in relation to those who visit their property. The precise duties depend on your status as a visitor:
- Invitee. An invitee is someone invited onto the property. The invitation can be express or implied and covers businesses that open their doors to the public.
- Licensee. A licensee is someone allowed to come onto property for their own purposes. For example, a social guest who stops by to visit is a licensee.
- Trespasser. A trespasser enters or remains on the property without the permission of the landowner.
If you are an invitee, then OCGA § 51-3-1 states that the owner or occupier owes you a duty of reasonable care. Generally, this means the property owner should identify hazards and either fix them or at a minimum warn you of them.
If a store owner mops the floor and doesn’t warn customers, then he has probably violated his duty of care and can be sued. The same is true if a store owner doesn’t regularly check the aisles for debris or spilled liquids which can cause a customer to slip or trip.
Property owners owe a reduced duty of care to licensees. The law requires only that they not wantonly or recklessly injure the licensee. Trespassers, for their part, are owed no duty of care apart from the property owner refraining from intentionally injuring them.
It isn’t vital that you know your status before speaking with a legal professional. The line between invitee and licensee can be difficult to discern, especially if you were injured at the home of a friend or relative.
It also isn’t always apparent whether the property owner used sufficient care as required by the law. Instead of trying to guess whether you have a legal claim, meet with one of our Georgia slip and fall attorneys to review your case.
Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Injuries in Georgia
Injured victims only have a short amount of time to file a lawsuit and protect their rights after a slip and fall accident.
Under OCGA § 9-3-33, a personal injury victim typically has two years to file a lawsuit in court. If the victim misses this deadline, then a judge can toss the case out of court, which means that the person responsible for the dangerous condition does not have to pay any compensation.
If you were injured on public property, then you can also sue but you have even less time. Generally, you only get 6 months to notify a government agency of your injury.
There are some exceptions that apply to the statute of limitations, but you should not rely on them. Instead, reach out to one of our trip and fall attorneys as soon as possible.
Contact One of Our Georgia Slip and Fall Attorneys Today
If you slipped or tripped on the property, you should meet with a lawyer to determine if you have a valid legal claim. Many of our clients have received favorable settlements after a fall, and we want to help you, too.
Our team also helps victims from a slip and fall injury in Cobb County and Cherokee County and throughout the great state of Georgia.
To meet with a Georgia slip and fall attorney, please contact Pritchard Injury Firm without delay. We offer a free consultation to those who call or send us a message.