Some slip and fall accidents result in minor cuts or bruises. Other times, injuries can be very serious. No matter how severe your injuries are after a slip and fall accident in Ellenwood, you may be entitled to compensation. Property owner negligence can create hazards that leave you injured—at no fault of your own. An Ellenwood slip and fall lawyer can help you fight for a fair settlement.
At John Foy & Associates, we have worked on thousands of cases for slip and fall accident victims over the past 20 years. We know what it takes to win a case, and we’re not afraid to challenge insurance companies who don’t want to pay. To get a FREE consultation and discuss your options, call us today at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
How to Prove a Slip and Fall Claim in Ellenwood
In the state of Georgia, a person who is injured by someone else’s negligence has the right to seek recovery for their damages (Georgia Code § 51-1-6). However, the burden is on the victim to file a personal injury claim for those damages. You will need to file this claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
To have a valid slip and fall accident claim in Ellenwood, you will need to show that:
- There was a clear hazard.
- The property owner, business, or employees knew about or should have known about the hazard but did not remedy it in a reasonable amount of time.
- Your slip and fall injuries resulted from the hazard caused by negligence.
- Your damages result from your injuries caused by the accident.
Under Georgia Code § 51-3-1, businesses have a “duty of care” to make sure their premises are safe for those who visit. Not cleaning up or fixing a dangerous or hazardous situation (or not knowing about it when they should have reasonably known) is an act of negligence. You will need to demonstrate this negligence in your insurance claim.
Gathering Evidence to Prove Your Claim
Many slip and fall accident victims work with a personal injury lawyer on building their insurance claim. An experienced lawyer will know what evidence to look for when proving your fall happened and that the fault lies with the business.
Examples of evidence you may need to compile for your case include:
- Pictures of the hazardous condition and accident scene
- The property owner’s maintenance and repair records or policies
- Design issues to the structure where you fell (such as no handrails on stairs)
- Lack of signs to warn people about a hazardous situation
- Records of a hazard existing for a long time without being removed
Witness testimony is also powerful in a slip and fall case. You should talk to anyone nearby you may have seen your fall or the hazard that caused it. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses that your lawyer can reach out to later.
Many times, there is some area where the property owner was negligent in their duty to maintain safe premises. A good lawyer will be able to help you demonstrate this.
Common Property Owner Defenses to Slip and Fall Claims
Be warned that after a slip and fall accident, it’s common for property owners or employees to try blaming the victim. The most popular defense is often some version of “you should have noticed the hazard.” While this is unfair in many cases, it’s an argument you will have to address.
The owner may also point out that they know more about their property than you do. However, if the hazard is apparent to anyone who sees it, the owner’s knowledge about its condition is no better than yours. They are likely trying to deny that they were being negligent.
Do Not Apologize or Admit Blame
It’s very important that you never apologize or blame yourself for a slip and fall accident until you have all the facts. It’s human nature to assume you were just “being clumsy” or “not watching where you were going,” but people rarely fall for no reason.
It’s normal for a property owner’s defense to leave you feeling rattled or wondering if you were responsible for your fall. Unfortunately, this happens often to slip and fall victims who are feeling vulnerable and don’t have a legal professional on their side. But don’t let it deter or discourage you.
If the property owner tries to make you feel like the accident was your fault, call an Ellenwood slip and fall lawyer before admitting any blame or engaging further.
How a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Ellenwood Can Help
You might wonder if a slip and fall lawyer is necessary for your case. While you are not legally required to have a lawyer when filing an injury claim, it’s highly recommended—especially if you have serious injuries or damages.
An experienced slip and fall lawyer can help improve your chances of success by:
- Examining the scene and investigating exactly how your injury happened
- Reviewing all local, state, and federal laws applicable to your situation
- Providing full documentation of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering
- Negotiating with the property owner’s or business’s insurance company if they offer you a lowball settlement
Many slip and fall victims have never had to deal with a situation like this before, so a lawyer can take the reigns and help you feel secure in each step of your claim.
Talk to an Ellenwood Slip and Fall and Premises Liability Lawyer for Free
The facts of your slip and fall accident are simple: You fell and got hurt, and you did not cause your accident. However, actually proving negligence in your accident and the damages you face is much more complicated.
At John Foy & Associates, we can have a 20 plus year track record of success on slip and fall accident claims. We can help you, too—starting with a FREE consultation. In Georgia, you typically have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim. That time goes faster than you’d think.
Call us today to get started with your free consultation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.