Bristol, GA Slip and Fall Lawyers

Bristol, GA Slip and Fall LawyersIn 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.

Slip and Fall Settlement at Auburn, Georgia

Slip and Fall Settlement at Auburn, GeorgiaWhat is a Slip and Fall Case? 

Slip and fall cases are also known as premises liability cases. Slip and Fall Settlement cases occur when those responsible for keeping a public area safe for customers or clients fail to do so, and as a result of this negligence, someone slips, trips or falls and is injured. This type of injury can occur almost anywhere, from a yard, to a mall, to a restaurant. Dangerous conditions may result from a temporary condition, such as a spill on the floor, or they may be a more permanent part of the area, such as an unsafe structure or a hole in the ground. Injuries resulting from this type of accident are often relatively minor, but occasionally, they can be severe and life-altering. In some cases, damages may be awarded. A good lawyer can discuss your rights in this type of case with you and ensure that the property owner is held to the standard of care required by law. Refer to Hertz Law for more information on filing a claim.

Property owners in general have a duty to keep the area safe and secure. Places that are open to the public for the purpose of transacting business are typically held to a higher standard of care than areas that are considered less public. For example, owners of a retail store or restaurant are held to a higher degree of care in keeping the premises safe than a private home owner. In areas where children are frequently present, property owners have a higher degree of care to keep the premises safe, because young children are less likely to realize the danger present than adults. If there is a dangerous condition that the property owner knows about and is not readily observable to a person who is on the property, the property owner must take steps to warn of the hidden danger. For example, if a floor is wet, employees frequently post signs to warn customers that the floor is unsafe to walk on, and to use caution or avoid the area.

Proving a Slip and Fall Case

In order to prove a claim in a slip and fall case, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the property owner was negligent in some way. For example, if floor workers in a store failed to clean up spilled water or slippery food and didn’t warn the customers that the area was dangerous to walk on, their negligence that could easily lead to an accident. Other dangerous conditions may be a more permanent feature of the area, such as a hidden hole in the ground where a person who cannot see the hidden danger can easily fall or twist an ankle. If you have suffered from this type of accident, preservation of evidence is very important, as property owners can make the area safer after an incident occurs before the claim is filed. Witnesses in slip and fall case can also be critically important, as they may testify as to the condition of the area at the time of the accident. An experienced attorney can help track down the evidence needed and making sure it is not lost.

Documenting Your Claim

If you experience an injury as a result of an unsafe condition on someone else’s property, one of the first things you should do, if possible, is make a report of the incident. If you are inside a store, for example, do not leave the area without asking to speak to a manager and asking to file an incident report. If you have a cell phone equipped with a camera, it is also a good idea to take photos of the area, if the condition that caused your injury is visible in photos. Also make sure to get contact information for any witnesses who are available, especially any other clients or customers who reported the incident to personnel within the store or business. This can prove that the employees knew that the area was unsafe but did nothing to correct the condition. Provide your attorney with all of this information so that further investigation into your case can be conducted if necessary.

Another aspect of documenting your claim is to make sure that all of your injuries are properly treated. It is never a good idea to ignore symptoms in a case where you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, because once you accept a settlement, you can no longer make a claim for problems that arise later on from the incident. Therefore, make sure that you receive adequate medical treatment for your injuries. If possible, go to a doctor or emergency room right away for a proper diagnosis.

Damages You Can Be Compensated For in a Slip and Fall Case

The types of damages you can be compensated for in a slip and fall case typically include medical expenses, pain and suffering, missed time from work, and compensation for any permanency of your injuries or change in your quality of life since the incident occurred. Pain and suffering can be measured in terms of severity according to the pain you are subjectively experiencing, as well as how the pain limits your daily life activities. Pain medication is one form of evidence that a doctor has been treating you for pain. Your doctors will also likely ask that you rate your pain level in terms of severity and ask that you limit certain activities, which may prevent you from working during your course of treatment.

Loss of future earning capacity differs from lost wages or the loss of your job. Lost wages are calculated based on the time you missed from work due to the injuries you experienced, while loss of future earning capacity is based on the type of work you are able to do since your injury. For example, if you previously had work experience that involved very physical jobs that required you to be on your feet standing and walking for most of the day and you experienced a permanent knee injury that doctors believe will prevent you from being able to do that type of work in the future, you may have suffered a loss of future earning capacity. Likewise, if you suffered a head injury as a result of your slip, trip, or fall and are mentally unable to concentrate or perform the tasks mentally that you used to do as part of your employment, you may have a claim for loss of future earning capacity.

How a Good Attorney Can Assist with Your Slip and Fall Case

In many cases, premises owners will try to deny liability, in order to avoid paying damages. A plaintiff in a slip in fall case must prove that the property owner was negligent in some way, or that those responsible for keeping the area safe knew or should have known of a dangerous condition and failed to take steps to correct it. The defense may claim that the person who was injured should have known that the area was dangerous, or that employees or owners were not negligent because there was no way they could have known the area was unsafe. They may even blame a person who was injured for their own injuries or try to make it seem as if the injured person is exaggerating their claim or had prior injuries before the incident. A good attorney will strive to hold property owners responsible to the applicable standards of law. An experienced attorney can help gather evidence needed to build your case. A good lawyer will also use the most appropriate legal strategies to build your case, as different laws apply to different types of property. In some cases, a settlement will be offered prior to trial.

To discuss your case, contact Eric J. Hertz and set up an initial consultation. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon after the incident as possible, to ensure that important evidence can be gathered, and to preserve your rights.

Auburn, GA Slip and Fall Settlement

Obtaining a settlement in a “slip and fall” case is often more difficult than in other types of personal injury cases, such as car accidents.  This is because different laws apply and different types of evidence are involved in slip and fall cases.  This article will discuss the challenges involved in settling a slip and fall claim, as well as some strategies an experienced personal injury attorney may use to overcome them.

A “slip and fall” refers to an incident where a person is injured because they slipped and fell on a foreign substance or other hazardous condition on the premises of another.  Whatever the cause of a slip and fall, the owner or occupier of the premises is not automatically at fault.  The injured person must prove that the owner or occupier of the premises either knew or should have known of the hazard before the slip and fall occurred.  The injured person also must show that he or she did not know about the hazard before they fell, even though they were being careful.

Often, the premises owner has exclusive control of the evidence that proves they are at fault – for example, surveillance video or employees that may have seen the hazard before the injury occurred.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a defendant to tamper with or even destroy important evidence before an injured person has a chance to review it.  An attorney can take steps to prevent this from happening, or at least ensure that the defendant is penalized if evidence is destroyed.  Thus, it is absolutely crucial that a slip and fall claimant hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can make sure that the proper steps are taken to preserve crucial evidence.

Since a defendant is unlikely to voluntarily provide crucial evidence to a slip and fall claimant, a lawsuit is often required so that the claimant will have the legal power to force the defendant turn that evidence over to him or her.  Once a lawsuit is filed in a slip and fall case, a claimant’s attorney is empowered to conduct “discovery” to find the evidence that proves a defendant is at fault for the injury.  Still, it is not uncommon for a defendant to ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit.  This is why slip and fall cases often do not settle until all the evidence is obtained and the defendant fails in trying to get the case dismissed.

The hurdles that must be overcome to obtain a settlement in a slip and fall case are a good example of why it is in an injured person’s best interest to hire an experienced attorney.  If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall, do not try to go it alone.  Consult an attorney in your area to ensure that you have the best chance of recovering a settlement for injuries suffered in a slip and fall incident.

DISCLAIMER:  The above article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be considered, legal advice.  Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction following a individualized consultation.  If you are seeking legal advice, please contact an attorney in your area.