Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries. According to the 2013 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, about a quarter of injured people were hurt in a fall. Slip and fall accidents leave victims with fractured bones, damaged tendons, and head and joint injuries.
Slip and fall injuries might leave you facing expensive medical treatments and an inability to work for months. But you do not have to bear these costs yourself. You are entitled to a full financial recovery from the responsible party. Get help from a Macon slip and fall injury attorney.
How do I Know If My Accident Is a Valid Slip and Fall Claim?
People rarely fall for no reason. Chances are, something caused or contributed to your fall. It might have been a hazard, like a slippery floor, or an obstacle that you couldn’t see or avoid. When other factors are involved, the fall might not be your fault.
We have successfully won money for clients in many types of slip and fall accidents. Some of the most common situations we see are falling:
- After slipping on a spilled drink or other liquid or product
- After tripping on uneven or damaged sidewalks or other paved surfaces
- Because you didn’t see an unmarked step
- On stairways
- From a trip or slip because the lighting was bad
- Through a window or over a railing
When you fall because of a hazard or unsafe condition on someone else’s property, the laws of “premises liability” apply. Property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe for other people who are on the property, including visitors and customers.
When they don’t keep their property safe, they are “negligent.” Even though the property owner did nothing directly to hurt you, the fact that they failed in their duty of care to keep their property safe means that they, or more likely their insurance company, must pay for your injuries.
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What Should I Do If I Slip and Fall in Macon?
If you slip and fall in a public place such as a store or restaurant, try to do as much as you can to document the event while you are still at the scene. We suggest you do the following:
- Tell the owner or manager: Explain how your fall happened and be sure to say that you were injured. Don’t entrust this information to a low-level employee; speak with someone in charge and get their name and contact information.
- Shoot some photos or video of the scene: Do this as soon as possible after your fall before anyone clears away the hazard that caused you to slip. Photos and video are powerful evidence that will plainly show why you fell. Also, take photos of your injuries for evidence.
- Speak with people at the scene: Some people may have witnessed your fall, and others may have seen the unsafe condition that caused it. Get their names and contact information.
- Go to the doctor or emergency room: Even if you think your injuries will heal on their own, get a full evaluation from a doctor. Many slip and fall injuries seem more minor than they really are, and they can get worse over time if you don’t get treatment. Additionally, going to the doctor shows you knew right away that your injuries were serious. This makes it hard for an insurance company to claim that you weren’t really hurt.
Insurance companies don’t like to pay out claims because they are often more interested in making a profit than in helping people who were injured. To increase your chance of a successful claim, never take the blame for your fall, never apologize for falling, and never try to minimize the extent of your injuries.
Remember that anything you say can be used against you later. There are many insurance adjuster tactics to try to trick you into incriminating yourself or accepting a settlement sooner than you should. State only the facts and speak with a slip and fall accident attorney in Macon for further advice.
Can I Recover Money If I Fell at a Friend’s House?
Yes, you can recover all your costs and damages, no matter where you fell. But if you fell at the home of a friend, relative or neighbor, you may have second thoughts about bringing a claim. We know you don’t want to upset a friend or damage your relationship.
Your claim is not against your friend; it’s a business matter between you and their insurance company. You don’t have to accuse your friend of anything, and your friend won’t have to pay for your injuries out of pocket. Don’t shortchange yourself. This is what insurance is designed for.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Slip and Fall Claim in Macon?
Yes. Claims in Macon-Bibb County are subject to federal and state laws known as the statutes of limitations. These laws set strict deadlines for filing claims in accident cases. The statute of limitations that applies in your case will depend on where it happened and who is at fault.
Your deadline may be very soon—maybe only a few weeks away. In most cases, however, you must file your claim within two years.
Missing the deadline has serious consequences, and you will probably forego your right to recover your costs or pursue your case in the local courts. The best thing to do is to contact a slip and fall injury lawyer in Macon as soon as possible after your fall.
Do I Have to Go to Trial for My Slip and Fall Case?
Nearly all personal injury cases do not go to trial. Those without a lawyer are often forced to settle for far less than they would like. Those with a lawyer, like one of our Macon slip and fall injury lawyers, show insurance companies you mean to fight back.
Yet sometimes you can’t reach a resolution without going to trial. The choice is always yours whether to do so or not. If you do, you could get much more compensation. However, it will also make your case much longer and there is the chance your case could fail.
If you do decide to go to trial, we will be with you every step of the way. We will keep you informed of your case’s progress and about any delays from the court system. The waiting is hard, but winning a lawsuit can be well worth it, both personally and financially.
What Are Georgia’s Fault Laws?
Georgia uses a modified comparative negligence standard for all at-fault claims. In this state, that means that as long as you are less than 50% responsible for your accident you can pursue compensation.
However, if you are 50% or more responsible, then you cannot recover damages in court. Also, your overall compensation will be reduced based on the amount of negligence you contributed to the accident.
Talk to a Macon Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer for Free
You shouldn’t foot the bill for an accident that was someone else’s fault. At John Foy & Associates, we’ve helped thousands of victims get the money they need and deserve. With a Macon slip and fall injury attorney’s evaluation, we can help you too. Call us or fill out our contact form and get your FREE consultation today.
At John Foy & Associates, we devote our entire law practice to helping people who have been injured in accidents. We’ve been at it for over 20 years, and we’re now one of the most highly respected names in personal injury law in Georgia. We’d like to show you how we can help you get the money you’re legally entitled to.