Children run around and play all the time. We cannot sue someone every time a child slips and falls, but if someone else’s negligence caused your child’s injury, we might be able to file a claim. Georgia premises liability law will govern what happens in these situations, from determining fault to apportioning damages.
Let’s say that your child is visiting an indoor facility that provides arcade games, laser tag, and other hands-on entertainment for kids. The venue must use ordinary care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition for people who enter the property legally.
What Constitutes Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases
The property owner must be liable for your child’s injuries before you can file a claim for your child’s slip and fall. A property owner can be responsible if a child gets hurt from a slip and fall accident in which:
- The property contained a dangerous condition, and
- The owner knew or should have known about the hazard, and
- The owner did not repair the condition or post adequate warnings for bystanders.
If your child slipped on soda that another child had spilled, fell and broke his arm, the arcade owner could be liable. Spilled liquid on the floor is a dangerous condition.
If the soda had been on the floor for an hour or so and several customers reported the condition to arcade employees, the arcade knew or should have known about the hazard. The arcade is negligent and liable for any injuries if the arcade workers did not block off the area, place warning cones around the spill, or clean up the soda within a reasonable amount of time.
To help you understand how the law evaluates negligence in these situations, here is an example with a different outcome. Your child was running from one game to another when he tripped on his untied shoelaces and fell. There was no dangerous condition of the property that caused the child to fall. The arcade owner is not liable.
Damages in a Child’s Slip and Fall Claim
Your child can recover most of the same kinds of damages for a slip and fall that she could for any other type of personal injury case. Every case is different. The facts of your individual case will determine the damages you can collect. These claims can include such things as:
- Medical bills for all the reasonable treatment your child needed because of the slip and fall. These costs can include the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, x-rays, surgery, hospital, doctors, prescriptions, and physical therapy.
- Pain and suffering for the physical discomfort and emotional distress your child experienced.
- Permanent injuries if your child faces long-term or permanent impairments from the injuries.
What Happens If Your Child Was Partly at Fault
You can still get your child some compensation for her injuries even if she was partly at fault, as long as the other party was more at fault. Georgia applies the legal doctrine of modified comparative fault in these cases. This rule determines the total amount of your child’s damages, then reduces them in proportion to the child’s percentage of fault.
Here is how this doctrine works: let’s say that your child’s slip and fall injury damages added up to $100,000. The judge determined that your child was 20 percent at fault for failing to look where she was walking. The comparative fault doctrine will deduct $20,000 from your child’s compensation for her 20 percent of the total negligence. She will receive $80,000 for her damages.
How Child Injury Cases Can Be Different
We usually have to follow additional rules when we handle slip and fall cases involving children. For example, we might have to get a judge to approve the terms if we reach a settlement with the insurance company of your child’s claim. Also, we might have to deposit the settlement or judgment proceeds into a special account for your child. We can explain all of these issues when we meet with you.
How to Get Help for Your Child’s Slip and Fall Claim
You have enough on your mind when your child has sustained an injury. Let us take care of the legal matters for you so that you can devote your attention to your child’s needs.
If you think that someone’s negligence caused your child’s slip and fall injury, give us a call. We can speak with you and evaluate the case. We do not charge for this initial consultation or any other legal fees until you get compensation.