It’s easy to dismiss a slip and fall accident as a minor mishap, but falls account for a quarter of all emergency room visits for injuries. If you slip or trip and fall, you may suffer broken bones, torn ligaments, damaged muscles or head injuries. Treatment for these conditions, plus the time you may miss from work, can strain your finances.
The worst slip and falls may leave you with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, severe pain, or a permanent disability. You do not have to suffer financially after a slip and fall accident. A slip and fall lawyer in Albany, Georgia, from John Foy & Associates can help you recover 100% of your costs.
How do You Know If You Have a Valid Slip and Fall Case?
Many people blame themselves for slipping and falling, but most of the time, the accident wasn’t your fault. You probably fell because there was a hazard that should not have been there, or because of unsafe conditions. That means that the accident was someone else’s fault, not yours.
Valid slip and fall cases can arise from any of these types of accidents:
- Slipping on something that was spilled on the floor of a store or restaurant
- Tripping over uneven pavement
- Tripping on a step that isn’t marked
- Falling while going up or down stairs
- Tripping because the lighting was too dim to see clearly
- Falling from a window or over a railing
These premises liability cases occur when a property owner wasn’t as careful as he or she should have been, also known as negligence, and as a result, his or her insurance company must pay the cost of your injuries. A negligent property owner probably didn’t mean to hurt you and may in fact be someone you know and like.
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If You Slipped and Fell in Albany, Are There Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself?
After any slip and fall accident, you should do what you can to advocate for yourself and begin building a legal case, even if you aren’t sure you were badly injured. You will want to:
- Tell the owner or manager of the store, restaurant or facility that you fell and were injured. Be sure to talk to someone in charge, not just a low-level clerk. Collect the person’s name and contact information.
- Take photos with your cell phone camera. Spills and other hazards tend to get cleaned up right away after a fall, so act quickly to get a picture of the hazard that caused you to fall. Also photograph the overall scene and any visible injuries you have.
- Talk to witnesses who may have seen your fall or the unsafe condition that caused it, such as an icy sidewalk or a spilled drink. Get their names and other contact information.
- Visit a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Slip and fall injuries can be more serious than they seem at first, and often they grow worse if you wait to treat them.
Beyond this list, you’ll also want to speak to a slip and fall injury lawyer in Albany, GA, from John Foy & Associates. We can investigate liability in your claim, walk you through the process, and help you pursue compensation.
How Can an Albany Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer Defend You Against Insurance Companies?
Insurance companies often claim that slip and fall victims are exaggerating their injuries to get more money. When you see a doctor right away, it shows that you knew from the beginning that your injuries were serious enough to require treatment.
You should know that insurance companies want to make a profit, and they’ll do what they can to avoid paying your claim. Never say anything at the scene, or to an insurance company representative, that minimizes the seriousness of your injury And never blame yourself for what happened.
An Albany, GA, slip and fall injury attorney can speak to the insurance company on your behalf to negotiate a fair settlement or represent you in court if necessary.
What If You Slipped or Tripped at Someone’s House?
It doesn’t matter whether you fell at a store, restaurant or at someone’s house, you are still entitled to recover all your costs. However, many individuals are reluctant to make a claim if they fell while visiting a friend, neighbor, or relative. Remember that when you make a claim, you are not attacking or blaming them. You are only making a claim with their insurance company.
Your friend will not have to be involved and will not have to pay money out of pocket. This is why people have insurance in the first place, and your friend will likely be pleased that their insurance can help you get the care you need.
How Long Can You Wait to File a Slip and Fall Accident Claim in Albany, Georgia?
In the City of Albany and Dougherty County, you must file an accident claim before a specific deadline known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is established by state and federal law, and will vary depending on the specific facts of your case.
- Most of the time, you have two years to file your claim, per Ga. Code §9-3-33
- In some cases, you only have a few weeks
If you file your claim after the statute of limitations has expired, you probably will not be able to recover any money at all, and the local courts will dismiss your case. Waiting also makes it harder to collect evidence and prove your case. For these reasons, it is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can.
Slip and Fall Injury Claim Compensatory Damages
The damages you can receive for a slip and fall accident depend on the specific losses you have experienced. You may also collect damages for things that you are likely to endure in the future. This can be:
- Hospital bills
- Medical expenses such as therapy or medications
- Out-of-pocket expenses for transportation
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a wrongful death
Your Albany slip and fall injury attorney can assign a total monetary value to your losses and use this information in settlement negotiations or in court.
What to Do After Suffering a Slip and Fall in Albany, GA
There are basic steps you can take to assert and protect your legal rights when you file a slip and fall injury claim in Albany right from the beginning when you were injured. Some steps to take include:
- Documenting your injury. As soon as possible after your accident, write down in detail what happened and take pictures of where it occurred.
- Being careful of what you say. It’s a natural instinct to apologize and accept the blame for drawing attention or for an accident, but your words can be used against you by the insurance company. Don’t say you’re fine unless your lawyer has given you the clear.
- Not signing anything from the insurance company until you have talked to your slip and fall injury lawyer.
- Talking to a lawyer. You may not know exactly what to do for your specific circumstances or how much your claim is worth, but a consultation with an experienced law firm might be all it takes for you to feel confident in your decision to take legal action.
Talk to an Albany, GA, Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer for Free
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, John Foy & Associates can help you financially recover all your costs. Our team is dedicated to getting you the money you need to make a full recovery. We have been representing victims of slip and falls and other accidents for over 20 years, and are considered one of the preeminent personal injury firms in the state.
Connect with our Albany, GA, slip and fall injury lawyers for a free consultation, and we’ll discuss your case and show you how we can put our years of experience to work for you. Call us or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.