Property owners have a duty to keep their visitors safe from hazards on their property. When a property owner or manager fails to repair problems or warn visitors of the dangers on their land and a visitor sustains an injury, the owner or property manager could be held liable for damages.
If you or a loved one slipped, tripped, and fell on someone else's property, a slip and fall lawyer could help you hold the property owner accountable. An Alpharetta slip and fall injury lawyer could help you seek compensation following an accident. Reach out to a dedicated personal injury attorney at Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group to discuss your legal rights and options.
How Can Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Trip or slip and fall accidents are extremely common. Any condition on someone's premises that could cause a visitor to lose their footing could be the cause of a slip and fall case. Common examples include:
- Standing water
- Black ice
- Loose carpeting and floorboards
- Improperly secured hand railings
- Broken steps
- Cluttered floors
- Spilled liquid
Slip and fall accidents can lead to deceptively serious or even catastrophic injuries. If you suffered injuries and incurred medical expenses or lost wages as a result of your fall, you may have the right to bring a legal claim against the person or company that is legally responsible for your losses.
The purpose of a slip and fall accident claim is to collect the payments needed to set things right. Depending on how your slip and fall accident happened, if you sustained injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
A free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Alpharetta slip and fall personal injury lawyers will help you evaluate your unique situation and understand how you might recover financial damages for your losses.
How the Law Classifies Visitors and Establishes Property Owner Duties
Determining fault for a slip and fall accident requires a multiple-step analysis. The first step is to evaluate the injured plaintiff's legal right to protection. Next, we need to determine if the other party was negligent or responsible for the injuries because they were caused by dangerous conditions on the property.
Georgia law divides visitors who enter onto someone else's land into three categories. These categories establish property owners' obligations to provide protection for people on their premises.
Who Are Invitees?
The first class is invitees. Under the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) §51-3-1, these people enter the land with permission for a business purpose. A restaurant patron is an example of a typical invitee. Property owners must take reasonable care to protect invitees from a dangerous condition or warn them about potential hazards.
Who Are Licensees?
The second class is licensees. Licensees enter land for a social purpose, such as to attend a friend's birthday party. Landowners must only prevent an injury caused by extreme carelessness or intentional harm.
Who Are Trespassers?
Finally, trespassers are those that enter land without permission. Under O.C.G.A. §51-3-3, the property owner must only refrain from causing willful or wanton harm.
Once a plaintiff can establish their rights under the law, they must take steps to show how the defendant’s actions or inactions resulted in the slip and fall.
Common Injuries Resulting From Fall Accidents
A short trip to the ground may be all that is necessary to break a bone, snap a ligament, or cause severe head trauma. Other common injuries include bruising, scrapes and cuts, and damage to internal organs or systems.
Slip and fall injuries can be caused by uneven stairs, uneven flooring, poor lighting conditions, icy or otherwise slippery situations, or another dangerous condition that the property owner or manager had a legal duty to repair, or warn about.
Types of Losses You May Be Able to Recover After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you suffer serious injuries from an accident on another person's property, you may have the right to bring a legal action to recover economic and non-economic damages. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may request payment of economic damages including all related medical expenses including future medical bills, lost wages and future loss of income, and other out-of-pocket losses.
Also, you may request payment of non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of family relationships, or other intangible financial losses. In extreme cases, fall victims may have the right to punitive damages. Ask an experienced personal injury lawyer on our team about which damages you may request during a free legal consultation.
Determining Fault Following a Slip and Fall Accident
The State of Georgia follows the modified comparative negligence rule. According to O.C.G.A. §51-12-33, each party may face responsibility for damages following an accident. If the court finds an injured plaintiff is more than 50 percent to blame for an incident, the plaintiff may not be eligible to receive compensation for damages. If the plaintiff is less than 50 percent responsible, their recovery will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
An experienced Alpharetta slip and fall lawyer must prove that a visitor had rights under the law and that a landowner's failure to keep them safe was the primary cause of the slip and fall.
Seek Help from One of Our Alpharetta Slip and Fall Lawyers
A slip and fall accident can cause severe injuries, emotional trauma, and serious financial burdens. Fortunately, you do not need to face the insurance companies or the court system alone. The team at Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group has extensive experience helping premises liability injury victims recover damages to help them pay the expenses associated with an accident.
Trust an Alpharetta slip and fall attorney to handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on your recovery. One of our team members can evaluate your rights under the law, determine how a landowner may have failed to keep you safe, and advocate on your behalf to help you recover financially. Call (470) 465-7825 or reach out online for a free consultation to discuss your case.