An injured claimant’s conduct could prevent them from collecting damages after a slip and fall accident. In Georgia, this means that responsibility might not lie upon the property owner, even if you fall on their premises. The injured party can be held liable as well.
The Factors That Could Affect Your Slip and Fall Compensation
Do you want to know whether your conduct could stop you from being able to collect compensation after a fall? Georgia Code § 51-11-7 states that if you were injured due to a slip and fall accident, there are some questions you have to answer. We’ll walk you through some of those questions and how they could affect your case:
- Could you have avoided the hazardous situation despite the fact the property owner or business owner was negligent?
- Did you take “ordinary care?” Did you behave like any other rational person would have acted in a similar circumstance? If you didn’t take “ordinary care” and the other party’s lawyers prove it, you might not be entitled to financial compensation for your injury.
- Would a careful person have noticed the hazard that caused you to slip and fall and avoided it altogether?
- Were you at the location where the hazard exists for a good reason? For instance, shopping at a store and roughhousing with a friend are two different situations. The latter could make you partially at fault for any resulting injuries.
- How focused were you on your immediate surroundings and their condition before you slipped and fell?
What Are Georgia’s Modified Comparative Negligence Laws?
If you’re found to be less than 50% less liable for a slip and fall accident, you are eligible to seek a financial settlement for damages. This means that even if your behavior was a contributing factor to your slip and fall accident, you could still file a lawsuit for compensation if you are. Your out-of-court settlement or judgment award will be reduced by the percentage you were found to be at fault.
How To Reduce Your Fault in Your Slip and Fall Injury Case
Even though you’re the injured party, an insurance company will look for ways to pile more liability onto you. They are for-profit businesses. Therefore, they are always watching their bottom line. The less at-fault their policyholder is, the less money the insurer has to payout.
To counter the tactics insurers could use to reduce their pay, you need to present a strong slip and fall case. Your slip and fall lawyer will build a strong case for you. Following your slip and fall accident, you may want to do the following:
- Seek medical attention if you’re injured.
- Take photos of the hazard that caused you to fall (the accident scene) from multiple angles.
- Take pictures of your injuries (bruises, swelling, cuts, etc.).
- If anybody witnessed your fall, get their names and contact info.
- Immediately go to the store manager or property owner and file a report on your accident. Ask the manager for a copy of that report.
- Until you have consulted with a lawyer, don’t accept money from the insurer or give statements (you could be recorded and not know it).
- Save any and all receipts for expenses incurred as a result of your slip and fall accident.
- Keep a journal of your memory of what and how the accident happened. Record any pain, lost days of work, and doctor or hospital visits. All this information will help your attorney build a solid case.
Who To Call if Injured by a Slip And Fall Accident
If you’re contacted directly by the property or business owner’s insurer, don’t speak with them and don’t answer any of their questions. Instead, your priority should be consulting with your slip and fall injury lawyer.
Any party who might have to pay you a financial settlement is not your friend, even though they may act as one on the phone. Your Georgia personal injury lawyer will argue against assertions that you are more at fault than you are. The insurer could want to prevent you from collecting fair slip and fall damages.
Speak To Our Personal Injury Law Firm Team Members
In Georgia, it can be challenging to prove slip and fall cases. That’s why working with a lawyer can be helpful. They know the law and can apply it to the complexities of your premises liability case. They can decipher confusing documents and walk you through the hard aspects of your case.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can protect you from predatory insurers who want to get away with paying little or no compensation to you. Remember, Georgia fault law says you can be held responsible for your own slip and fall injury. Lawyers for the insurer could exploit this possibility—don’t let them. Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.