Dedicated Slip and Fall Lawyer in Macon, GA

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Slip and fall accidents are more common than many residents in and around Macon, GA 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.

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 Macon, GA 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 a Macon, GA 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.

Professional Premises Liability Attorney in Macon, GA

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about one in every five people that experience a fall sustain a serious injury. Falls are especially serious when it comes to older Americans ages 65 or older and children ages 0 to 19. The CDC estimates that over three million elderly Americans are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries each year, and about 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls. With respect to children, falls were the leading cause of nonfatal injuries from 2000 to 2006, according to the CDC. These falls resulted in an estimated 2.8 million emergency room visits for children during that time period. Normally, a fall is just an accident, but a slip and fall caused by a business or land owner is often considered negligence and is covered under Georgia’s premises liability laws.

Premises liability cases are covered under the umbrella of personal injury law in Macon, GA and occur with a consistent degree of regularity in Georgia and the United States. For example, a study was conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) that analyzed over 12,000 civil trials from 75 of the largest counties in the U.S. in 2001. Approximately 110 of these cases were from Fulton county. Premises liability cases had the second highest number of trails out of all of the tort cases analyzed with the highest being car accidents. So, given the commonality of premises liability cases, it is important for you to understand some of Georgia’s unique premises liability laws.

Premises Liability Laws

The foundation of Georgia’s premises liability laws are established under O.C.G.A. §51-3-1. This statute indicates that an owner or occupier of land that induces people to come on their premises by implied or direct invitation is liable for damages caused by a failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the property safe.

Premises liability laws apply to all owners of residential and commercial land and are designed to hold land owners accountable for unsafe buildings and structures. Typical examples of premises liability cases include slip and fall cases, elevator accidents, falling merchandise accidents, etc. However, there are exceptions to this statute one of which involves trespassers.

Premise Liability Laws for Trespassers

Remember, O.C.G.A. §51-3-1 deals specifically with individuals who are invited on a land owner’s premises, and the invitation can be direct, such as you inviting someone to your home, or implied, such as a business that serves the public. However, this does not include individuals who are not invited. In fact, the Georgia legislature took this concept a step further by establishing O.C.G.A. § 51-3-3, which indicates that a land owner has no duty of care to a trespasser. However, O.C.G.A. § 51-3-3 does prohibit a land owner from purposely injuring a trespasser.

Premises Liability Awards and Settlements

The damages that can be awarded to you in a premises liability claim are the same as any other negligence case. You can recover compensatory damages for things like lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc. The amount of damages you incur as a result of the property owner’s negligence will influence the amount you can recover in a settlement or award by a jury.

In the study conducted by the BJS in 2001, plaintiffs prevailed in premises liability trials 42% of the time. Moreover, the recovery statistics of the 522 plaintiffs who prevailed in the cases analyzed by the BJS are as follows:

  • The median recovery of prevailing plaintiffs was $59,000
  • 22.9% of the prevailing plaintiffs recovered over $250,000
  • 9.1% of the prevailing plaintiffs recovered one million dollars or more in damages

In cases where a property owner’s actions rise to the level of gross negligence, you may be able to seek punitive damages from the property owner or business. Punitive damages can substantially increase the amount of your recovery in some cases. For example, of the cases included in the 2001 study, punitive damages were awarded in eight cases with a median punitive damage award amount of $33,000. However, in order to be successful, your personal injury lawyer must demonstrate through clear and convincing evidence that the land owner’s actions demonstrated willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, or a presumption of conscious indifference to consequences of their actions, which is why punitive damages are only awarded in some of the most egregious cases.

Premises Liability Cases in Macon, GA

A premises liability incident can do long-term severe damage to your health and finances, which is why hiring a personal injury attorney to help you through this stressful time is so important. 

Discover Why You Need a Slip & Fall Accident Attorney

Most people have no idea how many crucial services slip and fall accident attorneys offer throughout the progression of each case they handle. The main cause of this is lack of information on these services because of a misconception about a slip and fall lawyer.

For starters, attorneys are subject matter experts in their field. At Cambre and Associates, each of our slip and fall accident attorneys holds a Juris Doctor degree, which is a doctorate in law. However, law school only provides some of the tools needed to practice law in the real world. Each case a slip and fall accident attorney takes on requires them to perform several key services, including:

  • Gathering Evidence and Ensuring Admissibility: Not all evidence is admissible in court. The rules for what evidence is admissible and how it can be submitted are dictated by statutes and binding legal precedent. A slip and fall lawyer ensures that the evidence gathered can be legally presented in court.
  • Interpreting and Applying the Law: This involves two main tasks. First, interpreting statutes, which are laws written by state or federal legislatures. Second, applying legal precedent, which is how higher courts have interpreted and applied laws in specific cases. This research is critical for building a strong case.
  • Cross-Examining Witnesses: To prove the necessary elements in court, an attorney gathers evidence through sworn testimony. This involves questioning witnesses during trials or depositions to support the client’s case.

These tasks are just a few examples of the complex work involved in practicing slip and fall law. Achieving a successful outcome requires years of education, practice, and experience. Although many people may not be aware of all the services a slip and fall attorney provides, they understand the need for expert legal handling of their cases, leading them to seek experienced lawyers.

Our Expertise at Cambre & Associates

At Cambre and Associates, our law firm consists of six personal injury attorneys with diverse legal backgrounds, including personal injury law, criminal law, family law, and immigration law. Some of our lawyers are licensed to practice in multiple states and admitted to both state and federal courts across Georgia. This diversity ensures our clients benefit from extensive education and trial experience.

Our attorneys have the skills to handle complex slip and fall litigation, including cases that require specialized knowledge of areas such as medical and legal malpractice, catastrophic injury claims, and commercial property liability. These cases often necessitate an intimate understanding of specific state laws or the interplay between state and federal laws.

Slip & Fall Attorney at Cambre & Associates

The slip and fall attorneys at Cambre and Associates understand the impact a negligent injury can have on your life. You don’t have to face this stressful situation alone. Our attorneys will explain your legal rights, evaluate your claim, gather evidence and testimony, and aggressively pursue the resolution you deserve. Call our office today for a free consultation and discover how some of Macon, GA’s best slip and fall attorneys can help you.

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