In Georgia, individuals who sustain injuries and damages from slipping, tripping, or falling on someone else’s property have the option to file for damages. The injured person must prove that the property owner or other liable party knew or should have reasonably known about the hazard and failed to fix it or warn others of it. In addition, certain factors can complicate your financial recovery.
For example, if you noticed the hazard before your slip and fall injury but didn’t report it or attempt to avoid it, you may not qualify to recover the same amount of damages, or any at all, due to the state’s contributory negligence law. If you suffered a slip and fall in Georgia, a premises liability lawyer from our firm can help you navigate the claims process and collect the evidence you need to prove your right to damages.
What Components Are Present in Slip and Fall Injury Case in Georgia?
You can claim economic losses (such as costs for medical treatment and rehabilitation or lost income) and non-economic losses (like pain and suffering and mental anguish) after slipping and falling on someone else’s property. That said, it’s not always easy to prove your right to recover damages for a slip and fall injury.
There can be a lot of confusion about premises liability, as many factors may complicate the case. If you’re injured in a slip and fall accident, you could have the grounds for a personal injury lawsuit if you can prove that the property owner or another party was negligent.
Property Owner’s Duty of Care
Georgia courts recognize that landowners and business owners owe a duty of care to people who enter their premises. They must keep the property reasonably safe for individuals who enter. This can include:
- Maintaining the grounds to prevent plant overgrowth
- Keeping normally dark areas such as stairwells and alleys well-lit
- Repairing broken stairs or sidewalks
- Cleaning up spills or leaks
The Violation of Duty of Care
Once duty of care is established, you must show how the property owner or manager violated this duty. For example, a person who slips on wet floor tiles could recover damages from the store owner if there was no “Wet Floor” sign to warn visitors of the hazard.
To hold a property owner liable for your slip and fall accident, you must also show that you were injured as a result of the event. Injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering are all examples of damages.
Your level of responsibility has an impact on what damages you can recover from a slip and fall accident, if any. If you noticed the hazard before you fell and failed to take steps to avoid it, it can affect your financial recovery.
However, even if you were aware of the hazard that caused your fall before it occurred, you shouldn’t assume you won’t be able to recover damages. According to O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, compensation can still be given if more than one party is found to be at blame in an injury accident under the modified comparative negligence law.
Georgia’s Contributory Negligence Laws
Georgia is a contributory negligence state, meaning you may limit your financial recovery if you’re found to have contributed to your slip and fall injuries. On the other hand, if you can prove that your injury was 100% caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, then you could recover the full extent of your damages.
You could still collect compensation if you’re less than 50% at fault. However, the overall amount of damages you could collect would be reduced by your proportion of the blame. For instance, if your damages total $100,000 and you’re found 10% at fault, your damages will be reduced by 10%, leaving you with $90,000 as the award.
This law empowers victims to claim damages even if they noticed the hazard just before the accident.
Contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for Expert Legal Advice
As you can see, the laws governing liability and slip and fall accidents are not always clear. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident and want to know if your actions have an impact on your insurance claim for an injury sustained from your fall, contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, today.
We offer free case evaluations to all new clients, and we’ll fight for the compensation you deserve. Call now for a free case review and legal advice on filing a successful claim.