A slip and fall accident can be very serious. Every year, falling leads to countless accidental injuries in Augusta and in some cases can be lethal. The aftermath of these accidents can include medical bills, missed work time, or even an inability to return to work.
If you’ve been hurt by slipping, tripping or falling, don’t let the bills pile up. You have the right to make a full financial recovery for your injury. The best way to do that is to speak to a good Augusta slip and fall lawyer.
What Exactly Is a Slip and Fall Case?
These types of cases are called premises liability, a legal concept that comes into play when someone was injured as the result of an unsafe or defective condition on someone’s property. Quite often in these cases, your injury comes from slipping on something or falling off something.
Legally, this means that the responsibility for the injury lies with the party that allowed the hazard to be there. Property owners of all kinds, from a store to a school to a private home, are expected to maintain their property in a way where it is safe for guests or customers to use.
If they allow a hazard that they reasonably know could endanger someone, it counts as negligence. It’s this negligence that defines a true slip and fall case.
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What Are Some Examples of Slip and Fall?
As an example: if you were walking in a store and slipped because your own shoelaces were untied, then you don’t have a case. But if you slipped because there was liquid spilled on the floor, it’s negligence. In this circumstance you have a very clear case for a financial recovery.
Many real life slip and falls are murkier than this. There isn’t always a clear cause for a fall at first glance. That’s why it’s so important to speak to a legal professional who can evaluate your case. At John Foy & Associates, we will send an investigator to the scene of your accident to document the exact cause.
Other common examples of slip and fall conditions include:
- A wet floor with no “wet floor” sign
- An unmarked step up or down
- Poorly maintained sidewalks or walkways
- Poor lighting or no lighting in a staircase
- Outside staircase is slippery after rain
- Product falls on you from overhead at a store
Was It My Fault?
When someone falls and gets injured, their first thought is often to blame themselves. Many clients we speak to don’t think they have a case at all, and are surprised when we tell them that they do. Often, these claims turn out to bring them tens of thousands of dollars. In some cases, their claim can recover them a million dollars or more.
Never blame yourself for a slip and fall accident. In most cases, there’s a reason you fell – there was an obstacle or hazard that caused you to fall, and if it wasn’t there, you wouldn’t have been injured.
Even if you can point to a reason you fell, that’s not the responsibility of the property owner, you may still have a case. As long as you were less than 50% responsible for your injury, you have a chance for winning compensation.
How Could I Get Money If I’m Partially to Blame?
In Georgia, assigning fault and compensation in a slip and fall case comes under the laws for “modified comparative fault.” These laws decide how much blame each party has for your injury and adjust the compensation based on that decision.
As long as the property owner is more responsible for your injury than you are, you can get compensation. Granted, the more responsible you are, the less money you’ll get. But if you’re 50% or more responsible, you cannot recover damages.
Part of the job of your slip and fall lawyer is to persuade insurers and, if necessary, the court that the property owner was more responsible for your injury. So don’t jump the gun and assume your injury was entirely your fault before we look at your case.
What Steps Should I Take After a Slip and Fall Accident in Augusta?
The best thing you can do after your injury is to be your own advocate. That means collecting basic information that can help your lawyer if you decide to pursue a case. Some steps you can take include:
- Take pictures of the place where you fell. Include the hazard you tripped over or the cause of the fall. If possible, get the pictures immediately after the injury.
- Always report what happened to the manager or the homeowner. If it’s a business, get the name and contact information of the person you reported it to.
- Ask any witnesses for their names and contact information.
- Seek medical attention right away, even if it seems minor at first.
Additionally, if you are contacted by any insurance company, do not sign anything. Don’t minimize or downplay your injury. Explain that you are seeking medical care and that you don’t yet know how serious the injury is.
What If the Slip and Fall Accident Happened at a Friend or Loved One’s Property?
Many people are afraid to pursue a claim if the injury happened at a friend’s property. But the claim is not against your friend or their family. They will not be sued, they will not pay anything out of pocket, and they will not need to go to court.
Your claim is against their insurance company. It is a private matter between the insurance company, your lawyer, and you. This is one of the main purposes of insurance. Accidents do happen, and it’s up to insurance companies to pay for them.
However, if the property owner doesn’t have insurance, things get much more tricky. Our slip and fall lawyers in Augusta can examine the situation and tell you your legal options.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Augusta?
A good slip and fall lawyer should put your needs first. At John Foy & Associates, our fee comes out of whatever financial recovery we win for you. If we can’t win you money, we charge you nothing. That means:
- You pay nothing out of pocket
- You pay nothing if we don’t succeed at getting you a financial recovery
- You have no risk
Our lawyers will not pressure you to take a quick settlement. We want to see you get back to the best health possible after your injury. That means carefully assessing the full cost of long-term care, medication, rehabilitative therapy, and lost wages.
Your settlement needs to cover all of these things or it’s no good to you. Our slip and fall team has the resources and commitment to be your long-term partner and get you the recovery you need.
How Much Time do I Have to File a Claim for My Slip and Fall Injury?
You can’t delay. Deadlines in the Augusta courts are determined by state and federal statutes of limitations. At most you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim. But in many cases it will be far less. You may only have weeks to file.
The sooner you speak to a lawyer, the better. We can stop the clock on the statute of limitations and give you time to build a case, but we cannot do anything if you’ve already passed the deadline.
Talk to an Augusta Slip and Fall Lawyer for Free
John Foy & Associates is one of the largest, most respected slip and fall law firms in the Augusta area. For over 20 years we have devoted our practice exclusively to helping the victims of injuries, accidents and negligence.
When you call our law firm, our priority is to help you with your immediate needs and ultimately help you make the fullest recovery from your injury possible. The months after a serious injury can be painful, stressful, and frustrating—don’t face them alone.
You deserve to heal and recover after your injury – and you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Call us at the number on your screen or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.