In this article, you will learn…
- What the three types of victims are in a slip and fall incident,
- What steps to take after you’re injured in a slip and fall, and
- What damages you could recover in a slip and fall injury claim.
What Duty Do Property Owners Owe Visitors Who Come To Their Property?
Property owners have a duty to their visitors to keep their premises and approaches safe. If the owner or occupier of the land induces or leads others to come upon their property for any legal purpose, they are then liable for damages to those people for their failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping their premises safe. Typically, there are three different types of victims:
- Invitee – A person who’s invited to the property by the owner as a member of the public for business purposes. Any time you go to a store, you’re typically considered an invitee.
- Licensee – A person who’s on the property because the owner of the property allowed that person to enter. A guest or a friend that you invite over would be considered a licensee.
- Trespasser – A person who enters the property without the permission of the owner.
What Should I Do If I Am A Victim Of A Slip And Fall Accident?
When you’re injured in a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of the property owner, it’s vital to take action right away. The most important steps to take after a slip and fall accident include…
- Report the accident,
- Take photos of the scene,
- Obtain contact information of any witnesses,
- Find out the name of the manager on duty,
- Obtain the property owner’s insurance information, and
- Seek medical attention.
A report should be made with the property owner or business manager to document the slip and fall accident. Most insurance companies will dispute what happened if there’s no report, as the report is considered evidence.
Along with the accident report, you will want to take photos of the scene where the accident occurred. This is to document the scene as it was at the time of the accident and show the condition or damage that contributed to the injury.
If there are any witnesses, they can be crucial in proving your claim. You want to gather the contact information of any potential witnesses to strengthen your claim. The witnesses who saw the incident and saw the area before and afterward, as well as witnessed the actual fall, are extremely valuable to proving your case.
Next, you want to find out the name of the manager who is on duty at the time of the accident. If they’re cooperative, try to get them to turn over their insurance company’s information.
Whether you believe you were severely injured or not, it’s important to be examined by a doctor as soon as possible following a slip and fall. There are many injuries that are obvious, but a lot of them aren’t. There are injuries that aren’t apparent right away and documenting those injuries is essential for a strong personal injury claim.
Do I Need To File A Personal Injury Claim Immediately After The Slip And Fall Injury Has Occurred?
In Georgia, an injured person has two years from the date of the fall to bring an action. The two-year statute of limitations begins to run when the injury occurs. While you don’t have to file the claim immediately after the fall, the sooner you file it, the better.
Should I File A Personal Injury Claim Against My Employer If The Accident Occurred On Company Premises?
Yes, if you’ve been injured in a fall at work, it’s important to understand that you have legal rights and options. Slip and fall, trip and fall, and other fall-related accidents are extremely common in Georgia workplaces. You shouldn’t have to bear the financial consequences of those injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, or lost income due to missed work. You have the right to bring that claim against your employer.
What Damages Can Be Awarded In Premises Liability Cases In Georgia?
If a property owner or business is found to have caused your slip and fall accident, you can be entitled to recover compensation from your damages. These damages could include…
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity, and
- Pain and suffering.
In some rare cases, when the property owner is malicious, wanton, or reckless, punitive damages could be available. Punitive damages are used to punish or discourage future behavior from that property owner.
What Information Is Safe To Share With The Insurance Companies?
It’s best to avoid talking to any insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster is just trying to get you to say things that will hurt your case because their entire job is to avoid paying you. The good ones do this without you even realizing what’s happening.
Speak to a lawyer first and find out your options and what the insurance adjuster might be trying to discover. Typically, they are looking for the who, what, when, where, and why. They’ll want to know what shoes you were wearing or if you were looking at the ground. They’ll make you feel like if you weren’t looking at the ground, you were at fault. That’s not true.
Insurance adjusters can be very manipulative. It’s best to avoid talking with them at all costs.
Can I Still Recover For My Injuries In A Slip And Fall Accident Even If I Was Partially At Fault For The Accident?
Georgia law has what we call a modified comparative negligence system. If you were injured on someone else’s property while not exercising reasonable care to protect yourself, you’re not able to recover compensation if you are more than 50% at fault.
If you can prove that the other party was also negligent and more than 50% at fault, you could still recover a reduced compensation based on the percentage of fault.
For more information on Premises Liability Injury Claims In Georgia, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (404) 383-8835 today.