Slip and fall accidents are more common than many Georgia residents realize. A dangerous condition on another person’s property can lead to catastrophic injuries. Georgia law allows injured parties to hold premises owners liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on their property. Successful premise liability claimants can win compensation for medical costs related to the injury. They can also recover compensation for lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you’ve suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident, the Atlanta slip and fall attorneys at Cambre & Associates can help. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free case review. There are no fees and costs to our clients unless they succeed in their legal action.
Georgia’s Slip and Fall Laws
Georgia’s slip and fall law holds that the owner or occupier of land or business is liable for some injuries that occur on his or her premises. Landowners must use ordinary care to keep their premises safe. Landowners who do not use exercise ordinary care to keep their premises safe are liable for injuries that occur on their premises. When landowners use their property for commercial purposes, they owe their paying guests the highest duty of care. For example, if someone slips and falls in a grocery store due to a dangerous condition, the store owner or occupier will very likely be liable for the injuries.
How Common are Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents can happen almost anywhere. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls are the reason for over 8 million emergency room visits at hospitals every year. Slip and fall accidents account for over 1 million emergency room visits. Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of workers’ compensation claims. Additionally, slip and fall accidents are among the leading causes of work injuries for employees age 55 and older.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Many dangerous conditions can cause slip and fall accidents, such as the following:
- Liquid spills on floors that make them slippery
- Carpeting that is loose or not flat and smooth
- Ice or snow on sidewalks, pavement, and asphalt
- Uneven curbs
- Inadequate lighting
- Defective staircases
- Unmarked construction zones
- Ditches or potholes
- Buildings that are unstable
- Playgrounds that are poorly maintained or play equipment that is unsafe
- Vicious or aggressive dogs that are not properly secured
- Failure to hire security personnel for business premises
- Construction zones that are not properly marked
- Uneven curbs
Examples of Liability in Atlanta Slip and Fall Accident
Many slip and fall accidents are not the victim’s fault. Most injuries caused by slip and fall accidents are preventable. A few examples of scenarios in which the landowner or occupier is likely at fault for the slip and fall include:
- A woman is shopping at a grocery store. She walks up the steps to the store and her foot hits a concrete step. The step has a jagged, crumpled edge. She falls, breaks her arm, and injures her wrist. The store did not post any warning signs about the dangerous step.
- A child in a restaurant spills a large cup of water on the floor. An employee discovers the mess but does not clean it up. 20 minutes later, another restaurant customer slips and falls on the wet surface. The restaurant may be liable because the employee knew about the dangerous condition but failed to warn customers or clean up the liquid.
- A customer enters the office of a tax accountant. On the way to using the restroom, the customer trips on a cord strung across the hallway. She falls and injures one of her spinal discs. The store owner or occupier may be liable for her injuries if the dangerous cord was not obvious. A warning sign or the act of tying up the cord could have prevented her fall and subsequent injuries.
- A homeowner invites some friends over for dinner and to watch the football game. The homeowner knows that his dog has snapped at children before. Yet, the homeowner does not warn the guests, including the two young children. The dog bites one of the children, causing lacerations that need stitches. The homeowner is likely liable for the injuries caused by the dog.
- A grocery store clerk sees a water spill and places caution cones out while he goes to get a mop. The water leaks into another aisle and a customer slips and falls on the water puddle, suffering injuries. In this case, the grocery store is likely liable because they failed to contain and properly clean up the dangerous condition.
Succeeding in an Atlanta Slip and Fall Lawsuit
In order to succeed in a slip and fall lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove several elements in his or her case. Most importantly, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence or recklessness caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In other words, the defendant must prove that the store owner’s negligence or recklessness in not taking reasonable care to prevent a dangerous condition caused his or her slip and fall injuries.
Landowners and occupiers do not necessarily have to have known about the dangerous condition. For example, a landowner might not know that a particular area of the sidewalk is currently icy. However, if the landowner knows that sidewalks in his or her location often become icy and dangerous, he has a duty to take steps to ensure his sidewalks do not ice up.
The plaintiff must also prove that he or she suffered a physical injury as a result of the slip and fall. Physical injuries include dog bites, spine injuries, lacerations, bone fractures, bruises, concussions, and more. In severe slip and fall accidents, an already fragile victim may even suffer death as a result of a hard fall.
We Can Help
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident, we can help. Contact the Atlanta slip and fall attorneys at Cambre & Associates to learn more about how we can help you fight for your right to compensation.