Most of us have slipped and fallen at least once in our lives. Sometimes, it’s possible to shake it off. But in many cases, a single fall will lead to severe pain, a sprain, a broken bone or worse. These types of injures are among the most common ways people get hurt in Brookhaven, and the victims have legal rights. If you slipped and got hurt, you could be able to recover money for your medical bills and much more. Don’t face the process alone. Talk to a Brookhaven slip and fall lawyer.
John Foy & Associates offers you some of the most respected slip and fall lawyers in the state. We have been helping injury victims for more than 20 years, and we’ve build a reputation for winning. Our attorneys listen to you, we care, and we know how to get results. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How Strong Is My Slip and Fall Claim?
Many people convince themselves they don’t have a strong claim, or even blame themselves for their own injury. Don’t make this mistake. In Brookhaven, the law recognizes that many falls don’t happen by pure accident. In fact, many happen because there was some kind of hazard or unsafe condition. If someone knew about this hazard and didn’t fix it or clearly mark it out, you have a strong claim. This is because Georgia state law requires property owners to keep the premises in safe condition.
Here are examples of the types of hazards involved in many slip and fall cases:
- Unmarked step up/down
- Poorly lit stairwell
- Stairs have no railing or railing is loose
- Slippery surfaces
- Spilled products that were not cleaned up
- Damaged and uneven pavement
- Low guard rail on balconies or other high places
- Structural defects
These aren’t the only ways you can have a valid slip and fall claim, but they’re the most common. If you’re not sure, the best thing you can do is get a free consultation with a lawyer and find out how strong your case is.
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Who Pays for My Claim?
There’s a difference between who is liable for your injury and who pays for it. On liability, the law is clear. It’s whoever had a duty to keep the premises safe and failed to do so. That can include:
- The business or person who owns the property
- The business or person who’s leasing the property
- Contractors renovating or working in the space
- A property management company
- Contractors working in the space
- A government agency (local, state or federal) if it’s government property
If your claim has to go all the way to the local courts, this is often who you would file suit against. However, in most cases this party isn’t actually the one that pays you. Instead, you’re typically paid by their insurance company. Almost all property owners have a property insurance policy, and many businesses and contractors carry general liability insurance. Both of these types of policies can cover a slip and fall claim.
How Much Money Is My Slip and Fall Claim Going to Pay Me?
Every claim is different. They should always pay you at least as much as your medical bills and other costs—and often more. The reason is that Georgia allows injury victims to recover two different kinds of money:
- Money for your financial costs. This includes medical costs, missed work time, ongoing physical therapy, and anything else you lost money on because of the fall. You should not have to pay these costs yourself.
- Money for the impact the injury has on your life. A serious injury takes away far more than just the money you spent on doctor bills. It affects your comfort, your happiness and your life. That’s why you are allowed to recover money for more personal damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Permanent disability or other long-term effects
- Inability to participate in activities you once enjoyed
There is no way to truly make up for these types of losses. However, the court system uses money as a way to help you stay financially stable and move forward with your life. We have seen firsthand the difference these settlements make.
Should I Take the Offer from the Insurance Company?
If it covers all of the money you’re entitled to by law—and if you’re sure it reflects the full extent of your injuries—then yes. A fair offer is a fair offer.
The problem is that most insurance offers are not fair, especially not the first offer made before you have a lawyer. They have a profit-based incentive to pay you less, even if it’s not enough to cover all of your treatment and other losses.
Here are some of the reasons the initial offer may not be enough:
- You haven’t fully recovered yet. You may have a treatment plan from your doctor, but you don’t know how long it will take to get results or if you will need additional treatment. That means you can’t estimate your full medical costs yet, and neither can the insurer.
- Insurance companies may not include lost wages in their offer. Lost wages should be standard in insurance payouts, but aren’t always included up front unless you negotiate for them.
- Insurance companies underpay on pain and suffering. If you haven’t had a lawyer assemble evidence and make a case for you, it’s really just the insurance company’s best guess at how much pain or personal loss you’ve dealt with. And they will always err on the low side.
- You don’t have a professional bargaining for you. Insurers know how to negotiate and they do it hard. The single best thing a lawyer can do for you is serve as a buffer so you are not directly dealing with an insurer or answering their questions. A good lawyer is a master negotiator who has handled hundreds of claims before.
No matter how serious or minor your injury, we encourage you to take advantage of a free consultation and get a professional opinion from a lawyer before you accept any insurance offer.
Talk to a Brookhaven Slip and Fall Lawyer for Free
John Foy & Associates has experience, compassion and a long history of victories for our clients. We don’t charge you anything if we do not recover money for you. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.