In the United States, there are over 1 million injuries from slip and fall accidents each year. These accidents occur when property owners fail to maintain buildings, walkways, parking lots and other means of accessing a property, which assure the safety and security of patrons and reduce the risk of injury. Many cities and towns in the State of Georgia have building codes that property owners must meet to ensure buildings and surrounding areas meet certain safety standards.
Failure to maintain grounds properly make owners responsible for slip and fall injuries suffered by customers and other people. Building owners who have property open to the public or customers, such as malls, shopping centers, residential apartment buildings or office buildings, face consistent risk of being found negligence.
If you or a family member have suffered injuries due to a slip and fall accident, contact the Bristol, GA slip and fall lawyers at Eric J. Hertz, P.C. An experienced personal injury attorney, competent in fighting slip and fall cases in the Georgia court system, will review your circumstances at no cost.
Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
These accidents occur quickly and without warning. Often, people slip and fall, but get right back up not having suffered an injury. However, other times a slip and fall accident can lead to a serious injury such as a broken leg, broken hand, back injury or hip injury. Unfortunately, a slip and fall accident can lead to permanent disability, traumatic brain injury or even death.
Any number of circumstances can lead to unstable floor or other surface conditions, such as wet floors, weak structural support or uneven flooring.
Individuals can encounter for different types of slip and fall accidents:
• Step- and -fall accidents take place when a walking surface fails or”cave-in” occurs.
• Trip- and- fall calamities occur because of foreign object in the walking path.
• Slip-and-fall means the interface between the injured party’s shoe and the floor fails.
• Stump-and-fall happens when the walking path has some type of obstacle or impediment.
When the property owner demonstrates negligence, by allowing a hazardous condition to exist, Georgia statutes allow the person who slips, falls or trips to file a personal injury case.
If you enter a shop, slip and fall on a slippery floor, and break a leg, the property owner or business proprietor may have liability if an investigation determines the party had an awareness of the hazard, but did nothing to remove the dangerous condition. Even in cases where the property owner does not possess direct knowledge of a dangerous situation, lack of knowledge does not provide an acceptable defense.
Take decisive action to protect you rights because of the statutes of limitation on personal injury cases. Contact the experience Bristol, GA slip and fall lawyers at Eric J. Hertz, P.C.
Involved in a Slip and Fall Accident
Anyone injured in a slip and fall accident should obtain the medical attention immediately, if warranted. When possible, fill out an accident report at the time the accident occurs. Make sure that the report notes exactly what happened, any witnesses to the accident or conditions that caused the accident.
In addition, the report should describe conditions, such as lighting, loose handrail or other circumstances that that supports your case. Depending on the situation, Georgia laws may not require a store or business owner to make out an accident report.
Whether the owner creates a report or not, compile your own account and make sure that it includes the following items:
1. A description of the accident and circumstances
2. Name and contact information of the persons present when the accident occurred
3. Comments made by witnesses to the accident or assisted after the incident occurred
Take photographs of the area if possible. Again, if you sustain injuries, go to a hospital to have yourself examined immediately. The key to successfully litigation lies in the ability to accumulate the evidence, which substantiates your claim.
Do You Have A Viable Claim?
Prior to contacting the slip and fall lawyers at Eric J. Hertz, P.C., determine if you have the elements for a claim.
Ask yourself the following questions to ascertain if you should pursue legal action:
• Did the situation require me to seek medical attention?
• What financial losses did I incurred because of the slip and fall accident?
• Do I need outside assistance to complete routine activities or tasks?
• Was the accident completely my fault or did the condition of the walking surface cause the accident?
If you did not suffer an injury that required medical attention, you may not have the basis for filing a claim. If the accident required medical attention, you will probably have medical costs. An attorney at Eric J. Hertz, P.C. can look at the merits of your accident and provide counsel on how to proceed.
Responsibility and Compensation
After a slip and fall accident occurs, the next question asks if a hazardous condition exists and who has responsible for the dangerous state. A knowledgeably slip and fall attorney will need to research and determine if the hazardous condition was temporary, such as ice or some other slippery substance of the sidewalk or a permanent situation, such as a broken stair or collapsed walkway.
Property owners have to types of defense against slip and fall accidents:
Defense Number 1 – The property owner was not negligent. For example, patron can slip on object dropped by another customer walking in front. In this case, the business or property owner can argue that the timing of events did not present sufficient time for the owner to take steps that would have eliminated the hazard, this avoiding the accident.
Defense Number 2 – The person who suffered the injury was at fault for causing the slip and fall accident. For instance, If the patron decided to step onto a wet floor clearly designated and marked “Wet Floor.” Therefore, the injured person failed to exercise due diligence for his or her own safety and has responsibility for causing the accident.
Comparative Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases
In any Bristol, GA slip and fall case, the court will take into consideration the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means the court determines the injured party’s percentage of responsibility for causing the slip and fall accident and the property owner’s percentage of responsibility for the event.
Under Georgia laws, compensation for damages related to slip and fall accidents works the same as for other personal injury cases. The injured party can present claims for various costs, including financial loss, medical expenses, future medical costs, pain and suffering. Again, the amount of an award depends on the percentage of comparative negligence the court decides each party for bear for causing the slip and fall accident.
Speak to a Bristol, Georgia Slip and Fall Attorney
Often, an insurance adjuster will contact you after the accident and ask a series of questions to minimize their client’s liability. Questions will focus on the nature and extent of the injury, your activities just before the accident occurred, If you ignored warnings signs and your reason for being in the area.
Understand that insurance adjusters work for their clients and not for persons injured in slip and fall accidents. They do not ask questions to give you arrive at a fair settlement, but to minimize the client’s liability and the amount the insurance company must pay. Before you speak to an insurance adjuster about your case, find out what options you have by discussing the case and circumstances with a Bristol, GA slip and fall lawyers at Eric J. Hertz, P.C.
Georgia law allows two years for an injured party to file a personal injury lawsuit. Contact the slip and fall lawyers at Eric J. Hertz, P.C to evaluate your case and advise you of your options for receiving the compensation you deserve.