Slip and fall injuries in Georgia can range from mild to severe, but either way, the victim should never blame themselves. Property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for patrons, and to put up appropriate warnings until the hazardous situation can be promptly fixed.
Slip and fall injuries are especially common in stores. If you were hurt from a slip and fall because of a store owner’s negligence, Georgia law entitles you to financial recovery for your injuries and related costs. Here’s what you need to know to take action.
How Slip and Fall Claims Work in Georgia
The following two conditions must be true for a store to be liable for a slip and fall accident on its property:
- The store owner or operator was negligent.
- That negligence led to your slip and fall accident.
For the store owner to be negligent, there must have been a hazardous or unsafe condition that caused your fall. And you must be able to prove that the owner either knew or should have known about the unsafe condition on their property.
There’s also the question of who owns the property, which you’ll need to find out. If the owner of the store also owns the property, then they would be liable. But if someone else is the landlord or property owner, you might be making a claim against them. A slip and fall lawyer can help you find out these details and know the most appropriate course of action.
Also, in order to protect your rights and help prove negligence after a slip and fall, there are several important steps to take after the accident happens.
Five Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall
Here are the top five things you need to do if you slip and fall in a store in Georgia:
1. Get necessary medical treatment.
Your health and well-being is the top priority in any personal injury case, including slip and fall accidents. If your slip and fall causes injuries that are life-threatening or require immediate medical attention, don’t delay getting it.
Even if your injuries don’t need a doctor right away, you’ll want to see one as soon as possible after the accident. This will properly document that you were injured and the extent of the harm. A doctor’s report, medical records, and any diagnoses are important pieces of evidence for your insurance claim.
Now, if you don’t need emergency treatment, it’s best to stay at the scene to report what happened and also gather information.
2. Report the slip and fall.
No matter where in the store your slip and fall accident happens, you should always report it. Ask to speak with the manager, store owner, or possibly the landlord of the property. Tell them exactly what happened and how the accident injured you.
Ask the person you speak to to make a written report of the incident, and get a copy. If the owner or manager is not on site when your accident happens, ask if they can come to the scene. If they can’t ask for their first and last name and contact information—and leave your information so they can contact you.
3. Record/capture everything you can.
The more information you can get about the slip and fall in the store, the better. Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. Make sure it’s the exact location where you fell and that you get pictures of any unsafe conditions like slippery floors or uneven stairs.
Also, write down everything you can remember about the accident. What were you doing right before you fell? What day of the week and time of day was it?
Look for witnesses who saw what happened, and ask for their names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Your lawyer will likely reach out to them soon for testimonies of what they saw. They statements can be very important in proving your claim.
You should even put the clothes and shoes you were wearing away in a safe place. Sometimes, they can be used as crucial pieces of evidence.
4. Do not give statements.
Be very careful about what you say until you’ve spoken to a slip and fall lawyer. If the store owner’s insurance company tries to contact you, don’t admit to anything, give any statements, or accept any money. You should also limit how much you communicate with the owner and not try to blame anyone or accept blame until you have an attorney on your side. They will guide you in how to handle the rest—which brings us to the last step.
5. Contact a lawyer.
An experienced slip and fall lawyer can help you seek fair financial recovery for your slip and fall accident—and also help you avoid doing anything that can negatively affect your case.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer for Free
If you are the victim of a slip and fall in a Georgia store, you need legal representation when pursuing a claim for your injuries. At John Foy & Associates, we can help. We’ve been helping personal injury victims win the money they need to pay for their costs for more than two decades. Let us give you a FREE consultation to talk about your slip and fall injury and how we can help your case. Call us today at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to the right for your free consultation.