A slip and fall sounds like a minor mishap, but slipping, tripping and falling can cause long-term harm. Savannah emergency rooms routinely see people with broken bones, sprains, damaged muscles and other injuries because of falls. These injuries may not heal without expensive surgery, medication and extended physical therapy. Some fall victims wind up with long-term pain or a disability. If you have been injured in a fall, you may be able to recover the full cost of your care, plus money to make up for the time you have missed from work. You need to make an appointment with a Savannah slip and fall lawyer.
John Foy & Associates has over two decades of experience helping slip and fall victims. When we opened our law firm, we devoted ourselves to helping victims get the money they need. Now that we’re one of the biggest and best known firms in the state, we still focus solely on people who were injured. Let us give you a free consultation to show you how we can put our experience to work for you. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How can I tell if I have a valid slip and fall claim?
Falls can be embarrassing, and many people blame themselves for being clumsy or not noticing a hazard. But you shouldn’t assume you don’t have a claim. Falls don’t typically happen out of the blue. We’ve found that in most cases, there was something—a hazard, an obstacle or an unsafe situation—that contributed to the accident. That means that legally, you are not to blame.
We frequently deal with these types of slip and fall cases:
- Slipping on a spill in a store, restaurant or food court
- Tripping on uneven or faulty pavement
- Stumbling on an unmarked step
- Falling on a stairway
- Tripping because of poor lighting
- Falling through a window or over a railing
These types of accidents fall under the law of “premises liability.” What this means is that all property owners have a legal obligation to make their property safe for people who visit or use it. When property isn’t safe, the owner has failed in his or her duty, even if the property owner didn’t mean to hurt anyone. This is known as “negligence.” When someone is negligent, their insurance must pay the expenses of your fall.
What should I do after a slip and fall in Savannah?
We always recommend that you do what you can to document what happened and protect yourself legally after any accident. Here are some steps you can take:
- If you were injured at a business, tell the owner or manager. It is very important that you report the accident and make it clear that you were injured. Be sure you talk to the person in charge that day—not just a clerk or waiter. Get the name, job title and contact information for the person you talked to.
- Take pictures. Most property owners will act quickly to correct the situation that caused your fall. When you take photos with your cell phone, you create a visual record of the scene as it looked when you fell. Photos help you prove what happened, and are far more effective than just telling your story. Get photos of the overall scene, any hazards or spills, and your injuries.
- Speak to witnesses. If people are gathered at the scene, find out if they saw you fall or saw the condition that led to your fall. Get their contact information so you can follow up later.
- Go to the doctor. It’s fairly common for people who slip and fall to think that their injuries will get better on their own. While that’s sometimes true, we’ve seen many cases where injuries got worse because they weren’t treated quickly enough. Seeing a doctor right away helps you get the care you need, and it also makes it harder for an insurance company to argue that you exaggerated your injuries after the fact.
Finally, be careful what you say. The property owner’s insurance company will try to avoid paying your claim if possible, and may use your innocent statements against you. Never take the blame for falling, minimize your injury, or even apologize to the property owner or store manager.
What if I fell at a friend’s house?
Falls don’t always happen in public places—you’re just as likely to slip and fall at a friend, relative or neighbor’s home. Legally, it doesn’t matter where you fell—you still have a right to a full financial recovery. But as a practical matter, many people hesitate to make a claim for a fall at someone’s home. Remember that when you make a claim, you are not blaming or attacking your friend: you’re just filing a claim with their homeowner’s insurance policy. The insurance company will handle the details and your friend won’t have to pay out of their own pocket.
Does Savannah have a deadline for slip and fall claims?
In the City of Savannah, slip and fall claims must be filed within time limits known as the statutes of limitations. State and federal laws establish these deadlines, but the ones that apply to you will vary depending on how and where you were injured.
- Most people must make a claim within two years of the date of the accident
- In some cases, however, claims must be filed within a period of weeks
There are harsh consequences for missing the deadline. The local courts may dismiss your case, meaning that you will no longer have any right to recover money. And when you wait a long time to file a claim and begin building a case, your case may be harder to win. For all of these reasons, it’s best to talk to a lawyer soon after your accident.
Talk to a Savannah Slip and Fall Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we firmly believe that you should not have to pay for an injury that you didn’t cause. We’ve spent the last 20 plus years helping slip and fall victims get the money they deserve. We’ll give you a free consultation to talk about your case and show you how we can help you too. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.