The key step in how to win a slip and fall case is to prove that your injuries from a slip and fall accident were the result of the negligence of the property owner or an employee. The specific things that we must do to win a given case will vary because every situation is unique.
What We Have to Prove to Win a Slip and Fall Case
You do not automatically have a right to compensation every time that you slip and fall on someone else’s property. The law on premises liability requires that we prove all of these elements to hold the landowner responsible:
- There was a dangerous condition. Let us say that a shop had rain gutters on the roof that emptied onto the polished concrete entrance to the store. After a rain, the entry was unreasonably slick.
- The owner knew or should have known about the hazard. Perhaps several people had fallen and gotten hurt because of this problem, or the owner received complaints from people, so he knew about the issue.
- The owner had a reasonable amount of time to correct the problem or post adequate warnings and barriers to prevent injuries. The gutters had been in place since the owner had a new roof installed two years ago, which is more than adequate time to have fixed the defect.
- The owner failed to fix the defect or take measures to protect people from harm. The owner ignored the complaints about the hazard. He could have used a temporary measure like skid-proof absorbent mats at the entry to keep patrons from getting hurt, but he did not do so.
- Someone was hurt and sustained measurable damages from the dangerous condition. A shopper slipped on the slick entry surface after a rain. She suffered several fractured vertebrae and a head injury.
This scenario satisfies all the required elements of premises liability. The property owner will be responsible for the plaintiff’s money damages.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident in Georgia
You need to take steps after a slip and fall accident in Georgia to increase your chances of winning your case and to ensure your injuries heal properly.
- Get immediate medical attention. Prompt, professional medical treatment will help you to avoid complications like infection and misaligned healing of broken bones. Trauma professionals know how to look for hidden injuries that might not display signs until hours or days after the fall accident.
- Preserve the evidence of the scene. Have someone take photographs of the hazard that caused your fall right away before the owner has a chance to dispose of the evidence. The owner might deny that there was a defect on the property if you do not have photographic or video proof.
- Protect your legal rights. Talk to a lawyer right away. When someone gets hurt on the premises, a landowner usually calls his insurance company to put them on notice of a potential liability claim. The insurer has hundreds or thousands of employees whose job is to deny your claim or pay you as little as possible. Getting a lawyer on your side at the beginning protects you from the insurance company’s tactics.
The actual measures that you should take after a slip and fall accident in Georgia will depend on the facts of your case. You should always do what makes sense under the circumstances. You might need to do things in addition to the items discussed in this section.
Avoid These Traps After a Slip and Fall Accident
The landowner might say that you have to fill out one of their accident or incident report forms. Have your lawyer complete this form. These papers are often tilted to the advantage of the property owner.
Do not give the insurance adjuster a recorded or signed statement without the approval of your lawyer. The adjuster can twist your words to mean something that you did not intend. The purpose of a written or recorded statement is to give the insurer an excuse to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve. If the adjuster asks you for one of these statements, tell him to talk to your lawyer.
Getting Legal Help for a Slip and Fall Accident in Georgia
At S. Burke Law, our mission is to help people who suffer harm because of the carelessness of others. We are proud to deliver caring, personalized attention to our clients. We will work diligently to get you all the compensation that you deserve. Call us today at (404) 842-7838 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation as to how to win your slip and fall case.