Atlanta Slip and Fall Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. As a victim, you can pursue a case against the responsible party. Working with a slip and fall lawyer can help you decide whether your case is worth the effort and whether the argument is viable enough to receive a reward.
If you were injured in an accident, contact an experienced Atlanta slip and fall lawyer. The Issa and Castro Law Firm can offer high-quality advice, guidance, and a free consultation.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
As slip and fall attorneys in Atlanta, The Issa and Castro Law Firm sees a wide variety of cases. Here are some of the most prevalent.
Uneven and Wet Surfaces
Slippery and unstable surfaces are some of the most likely causes of slip and fall accidents that lawyers see. Uneven surfaces can include potholes, deteriorated sidewalks, poorly-maintained or loose floorboards, and torn carpeting. Other major hazards that can be renovated for prevention purposes include staircases. Stairsteps that are terribly built or are falling apart are a great detriment to safety. Newly waxed or mopped floors are areas to watch as well. These can be easily prevented if proper construction maintenance is applied, despite being the most common causes of accidents.
Negligence at Nursing Homes
For the elderly, a slip and fall accident can be a life-threatening incident. Unfortunately, it happens all too often where one in three people above the age of 65 falls on a yearly basis. Because the elderly have frail bones, they often need surgery after a hip is dislocated or a joint falls out of place. Hip fractures are also especially common for older people who have brittle bones and are prone to bruises. The only way for this to be prevented is for the nurses and retirement home workers to constantly monitor the state of their tenants to manage their health and wellbeing effectively. A majority of accidents are due to negligence and lack of attentiveness.
Of course, the weather is a massive risk for slip and fall incidents. Sidewalks that overflow during rain showers can cause slippage and the risk of serious injury. Safety procedures are required for any business owner or public property owner. This is especially the case in the winter when black ice might be present.
In general, municipalities and anyone who owns property have the responsibility to keep sidewalks clear of debris buildup. People who get injured on their property might hold them liable because these areas weren’t properly cleared, which can be considered a form of negligence.
Proving Premises Liability Cases
One of the most essential things to consider in all slip and fall cases is whether or not the property owner showed a standard of care to keep visitors safe. If not, they would be considered to be negligent.
Still, it’s crucial that your fall accident lawyer proves that negligence was the cause of your injury. This is crucial because, in some cases, when someone falls, it is their own fault.
You must prove that an owner or employee created the slip and fall circumstance and failed to fix it or warn visitors about it.
For example, if a roof leak started just before you slipped, this may not be a case of negligence. However, if the roof has been clearly leaking for weeks in a busy property or store, this could be a case of negligence. Since determining negligence is fact-based, your Atlanta slip and fall lawyer will ask questions like:
- How long was the area affected or neglected?
- Did the negligent party maintain a regular maintenance and cleaning schedule to repair damages?
- Did the property owner extend any warnings of adverse conditions?
- Were any safety measures implemented to reduce the chances of a fall – such as handrails on stairs?
- Was there an unavoidable reason for the dangerous circumstances?
It’s important to bear in mind that the property owner is not always at fault, even if they have been made aware of harmful conditions on their premises. They may not be responsible if they placed visible warning signs that could have prevented the slip and fall accident.
If, for example, a spill occurs in a store, but employees cannot clean it right away, they would be considered negligent if they did not place a Wet Floor sign around the spill so that customers could walk around the potential tripping hazard.
Your Atlanta premises liability attorney can help you determine if you have legal grounds for a lawsuit.
Did You Share Responsibility for Your Slip and Fall Case?
Not all slip and fall accidents are cut and dried. Sometimes someone can be partially or completely to blame for the fall.
This is the case if someone blatantly ignored hazard or warning signs or behaved recklessly on a person’s property.
Georgia follows comparative fault laws, meaning that your percentage of blame would reduce your financial compensation. For example, if your total damages were $100,000 and you were determined to be 20 percent at fault, the most you could legally claim would be $80,000.
As long as you were not found to be more than 50 percent to blame for the slip and fall accident, you can still seek and be awarded financial compensation. If you are found to be more than 51 percent at fault, you would be entitled to zero compensation.
Fall Accidents While at Work
Fall injuries at work are typically handled differently since they are processed through workers’ comp, a type of insurance that many employers within Georgia need to carry.
Unlike premises liability law, workers’ comp is structured under no-fault coverage, meaning that you can file for financial compensation even if your employer was not negligent or if you were partially responsible for the incident. Intentionally causing an accident is not covered.
Workers’ comp covers your treatment costs, medical bills, lost wages, lost future wages, and more.
Suppose you have been injured while at work. You must follow the legal procedures like reporting the injury to your work immediately and getting medical attention from approved medical professionals. Keep in mind that you cannot file a premises liability lawsuit if you collect workers’ comp.
Frequently Asked Questions About Slip and Fall Claims
Here are some common questions that a slip and fall victim might have after their accident.
What should I do if I’m in a slip and fall accident?
You need to document everything that occurred once you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident. This includes taking pictures of the area where you were injured and photographs of your injuries as proof. You can also ask for a police report or an incident report from the manager of the premises.
What kind of damages can I recover if I’m in a slip and fall accident?
There are two aspects for you to consider. Economic damages cover the financial hardship you endured, such as income loss after missing days of work, medical bills, and any additional ongoing costs for physical therapy. The non-economic damages you need to document are the emotional distress and pain and suffering you may have experienced after the accident.
What is the statute of limitations of an accident claim in Georgia?
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time an individual has to file a claim after an accident has occurred. For slip and fall accidents in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident.
What will the insurance company do after I file a slip and fall lawsuit?
The insurance company of the at-fault party will initiate an investigation after a slip and fall. Their primary objective in slip and fall cases is to limit the financial compensation to the lowest amount possible. They will analyze witness statements, examine the premises, take photographs, and establish the extent of your personal injury claim. They will try to do this within the first week of the accident.
Many insurance providers will try to reach a quick settlement very soon to avoid paying for future lost wages, medical bills, and other damages that haven’t yet surfaced. Depending on the extent of your injuries, it could take months to determine their true scope. There may be more extensive treatments and surgeries that you haven’t anticipated.
According to Georgia law, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit on a claim, so it’s better not to rush when it comes to insurance companies to avoid regretting a settlement when your treatment needs to continue.
For Additional Questions Speak With Professionals
If you need more information about dealing with a slip and fall claim, you can speak with a slip and fall attorney in Atlanta. Issa and Castro work on a contingency basis, so you never have to pay out of pocket. Contact us now to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys and get a free consultation about your case.