If you slip and fall on someone else’s property in Georgia, you might wonder about your legal options. The truth is, you should not have to pay for the costs of a property owner’s (or business’s) negligence. You may have a valid slip and fall accident claim, but you will need to prove damages to seek compensation for your costs.
A Slip and Fall Accident Claim in Georgia Starts with Liability
Before proving damages in a slip and fall accident claim, you must show that the property owner was negligent. Negligence is basically another word for carelessness in legal terms. It refers to someone failing to exercise ordinary care toward other people.
When it comes to slip and fall accident claims, property owners and occupiers (like businesses) in Georgia have a duty of care to maintain safe premises and practices. If they fail in that duty and someone is injured as a result, the owner or occupier is liable for damages (Georgia Code § 51-3-1). So, to prove damages for a slip and fall accident in Georgia, you must first demonstrate negligence to prove liability.
To prove an owner or business was negligence, you must show that:
- The owner or business failed to recognize and fix or remove the hazardous condition that caused your accident when they should have OR
- The owner or business caused the hazardous condition that led to your accident
In the first point, you must also show that a reasonable person would have seen the hazard and had enough time to fix it before your slip and fall accident happened.
Other things you should consider include:
- Was there a justifiable reason the potential hazard was present at the time of your accident?
- Did the property owner or business have safety standards in place to regularly check for potentially dangerous conditions on their property? If so, is there proof of this beyond their word?
- Did the dangerous condition exist long enough for another reasonable person in the same position to have fixed or removed it?
- Could the hazard have been moved to a different location, blocked off, or been avoided through warnings?
- Did limited visibility or bad lighting contribute to the accident?
You will need to consider various angles when demonstrating the property owner’s or business’s liability in your accident. You will be filing your injury claim with their insurance company, and most insurance companies are skilled in looking for ways to reduce their liability in an accident. To level the playing field, it’s best to contact a Georgia slip and fall accident lawyer for help as soon as possible.
What if I Was Partially at Fault for the Damages in My Slip and Fall Accident?
If you believe you may have partially contributed to your slip and fall accident, don’t give up just yet—you might still have a case. The state of Georgia has modified comparative negligence laws that allow an injury victim to seek compensation as long as they are less than 50% liable for the accident.
If you are negligent for a part of your accident, you will need to accept your percentage of liability, but you can still recover for the remaining percentage. Your total compensation would be reduced by the percentage of fault you hold—and the owner’s or store’s insurance company would be responsible for the rest.
Contact a slip and fall accident lawyer right away if you may be partially at fault for the accident. An attorney can help make sure you’re not blamed for more than your share while also seeking compensation for the property owner’s percentage of liability.
How Can I Prove the Damages I Suffered in My Georgia Slip and Fall Accident?
Once you have proof of the property owner’s or occupier’s negligence and liability, you will need to actually demonstrate your resulting damages. You might face expenses like:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
To actually prove these damages, you’ll need to keep track of all bills, receipts, pictures, and other evidence of these costs. Medical costs, lost wages, and property damages are all “special damages” that can be proved through tangible expenses. However, pain and suffering fall under the category of “general damages,” and they are harder to prove.
Your slip and fall accident lawyer will help you gather evidence to prove both special and general damages from your accident. The necessary evidence will depend on your specific damages and how they occurred. Contact a slip and fall accident lawyer in Georgia to get started on your case today.
Talk to a Georgia Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, there is no risk to work with us because we don’t take a fee unless we win you money. Plus, the consultation is FREE. To schedule your FREE consultation today, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.