If a property owner is not careful to maintain their premises, hazards can pop up at any time. One of those issues includes loose floorboards due to neglected flooring. An unsuspecting visitor or customer might trip, fall, and suffer injuries from bad flooring.
A trip and fall can lead to costly medical bills, missed work time, emotional “injuries,” and more. Injuries might range from cuts and scrapes to brain injuries and disabilities. If you or a loved one were injured in this way, contact a slip and fall accident lawyer.
Our team at John Foy & Associates can help after your trip and fall accident. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to learn how a loose floorboards lawyer can help you seek compensation.
Knowing Who Is Responsible for a Trip and Fall on Loose Floorboards
Once you step foot on someone else’s property, there is potential for an accident to happen. Hazards are present everywhere, and property owners must work to avoid them.
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-3-1, owners and occupiers must “exercise ordinary care” to keep their “premises and approaches safe.” If you are a visitor to the property and were injured, the owner could be responsible for your damages.
The following parties could play a part in a trip and fall caused by loose floorboards:
- The property owner
- A business that rents the property
- The manager of a store on the property
- An employee of the store
If you suffered injuries because of someone else’s carelessness, you are a victim of the accident. But you also carry the burden of proving that someone else is responsible. You will need to file a premises liability claim against the responsible person or company.
Proving Liability for Your Trip and Fall
Your premises liability claim must prove that:
- The person who caused your injuries was in control of the property where you fell.
- The operator of the property was negligent in keeping you safe.
- You tripped, fell, and suffered injuries because of the person’s negligence.
As a visitor, you also have a “duty of care” to avoid hazards too, according to OCGA §51-11-7. For example, you might not have a valid case if you could have easily avoided the loose floorboards. Your claim will need to show that it was the owner or operator’s duty to warn you about the floorboards.
If the person responsible for the floor knew about the loose boards, they should have taken action. If they couldn’t immediately fix the loose floorboards, they should have provided a clear warning and blocked off the area.
Trip and fall cases can be complicated and confusing. If you have questions, contact a slip and fall accident lawyer who can review your situation. A lawyer can ensure you know your rights and how to seek the compensation you deserve.
The Aftermath of a Trip and Fall on Loose Floorboards
Tripping and falling can lead to a variety of injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken hands, arms, hips, or more
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal bleeding
- Sprains or strains
- Cuts and lacerations
These injuries can affect your life in many ways. You might face costly medical bills with little end in sight. Plus, your injuries could prevent you from working as you heal. The accident can also lead to pain and suffering that stays with you for many years.
In severe situations, trip and fall injuries can be deadly. No matter how the accident affected you, you have rights. If you were not responsible for the floorboards that caused your fall, you might deserve full compensation.
Property owners and managers should regularly check for potential hazards, including loose floorboards. If they aren’t careful and someone falls, the owner or manager could be liable.
What a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Can Do
After a trip and fall accident, a lawyer can help you from the beginning. It’s typically best to contact a lawyer near you as soon as you can. The clock starts ticking on your case from the moment you are injured, so don’t wait to learn your options.
If you choose to work with a lawyer, they can help you by:
- Investigating the details of your trip and fall accident
- Determining exactly who is responsible for your accident
- Helping you gather evidence for your fall and your damages
- Building a strong premises liability claim or lawsuit
- Fighting for the full compensation you deserve
You can usually file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Your claim should outline your damages and the financial recovery you’re requesting. Once the insurance company gets your claim, it must respond.
Insurance companies usually reply with a lowball settlement offer. They are hoping you’ll take the first offer out of desperation—but don’t be fooled. You deserve much more than the first offer amount.
Before accepting anything from the insurance company, call a slip and fall lawyer. A lawyer can answer your questions and ensure you know your rights. If you hire a lawyer, they can negotiate for a fair settlement or help you take your case to court.
Don’t Miss the Statute of Limitations
Injury cases are not available forever. In Georgia, you typically only have two years from your accident to bring a claim. If you try to recover compensation after that, the courts will usually reject you.
Building a strong case takes time. Even if two years seems like plenty of time, it goes quickly—so don’t wait to take action. Start gathering evidence of your accident costs, and consult with a lawyer about the smartest steps for your case.
Talk to a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer About Your Case
Slipping or tripping and falling is a stressful experience. You might have costly medical bills, painful injuries, and a lot of self-blame. But you shouldn’t have to pay for an accident that happened at no fault of your own.
Our lawyers at John Foy & Associates can examine your case and determine your legal options. We’ll discuss your case during a free consultation—no obligations to you. If you choose to work with us, you don’t pay us unless we win you compensation.
To learn more during a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.