Though the name has a lighthearted ring, slip and fall accidents are often extremely dangerous—and can morph into complicated legal cases. In Georgia, property owners owe their guests a duty of care, which means that the owner of the premises should ensure that the property is safe for normal use by visitors or customers. Because Duluth, Georgia slip and fall cases can quickly become complicated, you need skilled legal guidance if you’ve been injured in such an accident.
The personal injury firm of Brauns Law, PC regularly handles slip and fall cases. We take your injuries seriously—if you’ve been hurt in a fall, contact one of our skilled Duluth slip and fall lawyers today.
Slip and Fall Cases Can Be Complicated
In most Duluth slip and fall cases, customers and employees are invitees to the property where the accident occurred, and the owner or occupant of the property is held to have invited you onto the premises. Thus, that owner is liable if you suffer damages caused by the failure to exercise ordinary care in the maintenance of the premises.
Remember that Georgia slip and fall claims are complicated, and if you’ve been injured, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced slip and fall attorney. At Brauns Law, PC in Duluth, Georgia, we’re well acquainted with the intricacies of these cases—and we’re here to help.
For your slip and fall claim to prevail, you must demonstrate that a hazardous condition existed on the property. That you were injured does not automatically mean that your injury was caused by a dangerous condition that the property owner knew about or should have known about. There must be evidence of a hazard that subjected you, the invitee, to an unreasonable risk of injury. Speculation about what caused you to fall doesn’t meet the necessary standard, so identifying and proving the dangerous condition that caused your fall is an essential part of your case.
Knowledge of the Hazard
Once the hazard that caused your slip and fall accident is established, you must demonstrate that the property owner had—or should’ve had—knowledge of this hazard at the time the accident occurred. You can can establish this knowledge by providing evidence that employees of the property had been near the accident site and should have noticed the hazard and removed it. Another way to establish this knowledge is by providing evidence that the hazard had been in place so long that, if the property owner had exercised reasonable care, the owner would have discovered the hazard upon inspection of the property and should have removed it.
Regarding knowledge of the hazard, it’s important to demonstrate that you, as the invitee‚ had no more knowledge of the hazard than the property owner had or should have had. Your lack of knowledge of the hazard that injured you matters. A property owner can be held liable for failing to properly warn or notify visitors of possible hazards or risks.
Conditions That Lead to Slip and Fall Accidents
When you enter a business as an invitee, you are owed the reasonable expectation that you won’t be harmed. Several hazardous conditions, however, commonly play roles in causing slip and fall cases:
- Uneven, cracked, or crooked sidewalks, entryways, or walkways
- Dangerous or hazardous obstacles in common areas
- Snow packed and icy surfaces
- Wet and slippery surfaces
- Rough, bunched, torn, or poorly secured carpeting or flooring
- Routine business-related spills that go unchecked
- Hazardous lighting and/or merchandising displays
Any of these factors can lead to a slip and fall accident and it is important to realize what type of dangerous condition caused your specific fall.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents can vary from extremely mild to life-threatening. Several injuries, however, are commonly associated with these accidents:
- Back and neck trauma
- Joint, ligament, and other soft-tissue damage
- Serious cuts and bruises
Slip and fall injuries can cause long-lasting negative health consequences, mounting medical expenses and financial damages, and diminishing wages. The effects of a slip and fall are often difficult to precisely pinpoint, and the ongoing symptoms can lead to significant physical, emotional, and financial difficulties. Don’t leave your recovery to chance. Consult with a Duluth, Georgia, slip and fall lawyer today.
Your Next Step After an Accident
If you’ve suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident on commercial property, take some important next steps to protect your rights and your claim. First things first—always seek immediate medical attention when you are injured. If you’re unable to implement the next steps on your own, find a friend or family member who will take care of them for you:
- File an accident report with the property owner, manager, or whomever oversees the property on which you were injured. This report will provide a detailed explanation of your slip and fall accident—your slip and fall attorney will prepare this important document with you.
- Take photographic evidence of the hazard that caused your injury.
- Gather eyewitness statements and contact information.
- Compile all the receipts that reflect the comprehensive expenses you’ve incurred in relation to this slip and fall accident.
Duluth Slip and Fall FAQ
Slip and fall accident victims in Duluth can sustain severe injuries. These injuries may result in the urgent need for medical treatment, physical therapy, and medical procedures like surgeries and injections. In addition, victims may need to spend some time away from their job or change jobs entirely to recover from and obtain treatment for their injuries. Depending upon the circumstances, missed time from their place of employment can result in a significant amount of lost wages.
If a slip and fall accident that occurred on someone else’s premises left you or someone you love injured, the experienced team of Duluth slip and fall attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm is here to help. Our legal team can assist you in pursuing the monetary compensation that you need for your injuries and will do everything possible to ensure that you are made whole after your accident.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident?
If a Duluth slip and fall accident has left you injured, the statute of limitations applicable to personal injury matters comes into play. Pursuant to this statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit for monetary compensation and damages arising from that accident. If you do not file your lawsuit within two years of the date of your accident, you can’t file a lawsuit for damages at any point in the future. After that, you cannot obtain an economic recovery for the injuries that you sustained in the slip and fall accident.
Two years is a relatively short period of time, and your lawyer needs to have sufficient time to identify potentially responsible parties for your slip and fall accident and file suit against them. Consequently, if you or a person you love sustained an injury in a slip and fall accident, it is essential to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side representing you from the very beginning of your legal action up through the end.
The skilled Duluth slip and fall accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you file your claim or lawsuit in a timely fashion and pursue the money damages that you deserve against the at-fault party or parties.
Where do slip and fall accidents typically occur in Duluth?
Both indoor and outdoor slip and fall accidents can occur almost anywhere in Duluth. In outdoor areas, slip and fall accidents are especially common on pavement or concrete, especially when the premises owner or occupier does not adequately maintain those surfaces. For example, poorly maintained concrete might have large cracks or spalling that can cause a person to trip and fall. Slip and fall accidents can occur in driveways, on sidewalks, and in parking lots and parking garages that lack proper upkeep and maintenance.
Outdoor and indoor staircases are also areas where slip and fall accidents commonly occur. An accident is even more likely when carpeting on staircases is not properly secured or where a railing or banister on the side of the staircase becomes loose and hazardous.
In indoor areas, slip and fall accidents commonly take place in areas that are prone to spills, such as restaurant floors, grocery store aisles, and bathrooms. Businesses are required to keep these areas safely maintained and to promptly clean up (or at least warn about) slip and fall hazards so that patrons do not end lying injured on the floor.
Businesses are responsible for ensuring that all indoor and outdoor areas frequented by customers receive proper maintenance at all times. Moreover, if a spill or defect is detected, the business must remedy the issue within a reasonable period of time. If a person slips and falls due to a defect on the premises, the business may be liable for all of the resulting injuries and damages.
The experienced Duluth slip and fall accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can investigate all of the circumstances leading up to your accident and can determine if you may be eligible to pursue a claim against a business (or some other individual or entity). If so, we will vigorously advocate for your legal right to recover monetary damages in your case.
What types of injuries are common in Duluth slip and fall accidents?
When a person slips and falls on pavement, concrete, or even an indoor surface, they can suffer serious injuries, including traumatic head and brain injuries (especially when the fall victim lands directly on their head or neck), spinal cord and paralysis injuries (especially when the fall victim lands on their back), bone fractures (especially when the fall victim lands on their elbows or knees), and soft tissue injuries (such as muscular sprains, contusions, and strains), to name just a few.
Slip and fall accidents are especially debilitating for individuals who are elderly. Older people who have a severe fall may fracture a hip, an injury that leaves them totally debilitated and confined to a bed or wheelchair for the rest of their lives.
One of the main reasons why injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents are so serious is because the person involved typically does not have any protective “outer shell” surrounding them. They suffer from direct exposure to the surrounding environment and, as a result, are prone to sustaining a serious injury when their body impacts the ground directly. The nature and severity of an injury that a victim may sustain in a slip and fall accident depend upon a variety of factors, including their age, general health condition, physical shape, and the existence (or absence) of any pre-existing injury or medical conditions.
The Duluth slip and fall accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm understand the serious nature of injuries that victims may receive in a slip and fall accident. If a Duluth slip and fall resulted in injuries to you or a loved one, our skilled team of lawyers could gather all of your medical records and bills to assist you with pursuing a monetary settlement in your case. If the insurance company for the person or entity who is at fault refuses to offer you sufficient monetary compensation, our legal team can litigate your case to a conclusion and take your case to trial, if necessary.
What is the duty of care that Duluth property owners owe to others?
Premises owners in Duluth owe a duty of care to individuals who are present on their properties. The highest duty of care comes from business owners towards customers who are present on the business’ premises and are there for a business purpose. In other scenarios, the exact duty of care that the premises owner owes to an individual who is present on the property depends upon the specific circumstances and reasons why the individual is present.
In the context of a business, an invitee is present on the premises to serve a business purpose. For example, a customer at a grocery store, shopping mall, or shopping center is considered a business invitee. A premises owner owes a business invitee the highest possible duty of care.
Specifically, the business owner is responsible for correcting or warning about known dangerous hazards that exist on the property. A business owner or manager must place a warning placard by a spill in a public restroom to make customers aware of the spill until an employee can clean it up. Moreover, the business owner is responsible for inspecting the premises regularly for hazards that may arise from time to time.
Unlike business invitees, a licensee (also known as a social guest) is present on the premises for a reason that does not serve a business purpose. A person who visits someone else’s home for dinner, for example, is typically considered a social guest. Much like the case with business invitees, premises owners are responsible for warning about or repairing a known dangerous hazard that exists on the premises. These are typically the types of hazards that an individual is not likely to come across during a reasonable inspection.
The final classification of individuals who may be present on someone else’s premises is a trespasser. Ordinarily, a premises owner does not owe a trespasser a specific duty of care. However, if the trespasser is a known trespasser, such as a small child who is known to wander onto the property periodically and about whom the owner is aware, the property owner may owe a duty of care.
Just because an individual enters the premises as a business invitee does not mean that their designation will remain the same for the duration of their stay. For example, if an individual goes to business premises to serve a business purpose, but later trespasses into an area where customers are not permitted, then the duty of care owed to that individual will most likely change.
If you have sustained injuries on someone else’s property in a slip and fall accident, the experienced Duluth slip and fall accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can determine if someone owed you a duty of care and if that same someone likely violated that duty of care. Upon making that determination, your lawyer may file a claim or lawsuit against the responsible individual or entity on your behalf.
What types of potential monetary compensation are available to me in my Duluth slip and fall accident case?
If you demonstrate that under the circumstances the premises owner owed you a duty of care and that the premises owner breached that duty of care, then you may recover monetary compensation for the injuries you suffered in your slip and fall accident.
Generally speaking, relatively minor injuries are not as compensable as serious injuries that require a significant amount of medical treatment and physical therapy. For example, a soft tissue injury that a slip and fall accident victim sustains will probably not be as compensable as a fracture, broken bone, or traumatic head injury.
In terms of economic damages, you may recover all of your out-of-pocket costs, including monetary compensation for your medical treatment, surgical procedures, injections, and other similar expenses. In addition, if you had to miss time from your work to recover from and treat for your injuries, you may file a lost wage claim as part of your case.
Furthermore, some slip and fall accident victims sustain such extensive injuries that they can’t return to their previous employment. Consequently, they may have to take a lower-paying job with reduced physical responsibilities. In that instance, the accident victim may file a claim for loss of earning capacity as part of their Duluth slip and fall case.
In addition to these economic damages, a slip and fall accident victim may recover monetary compensation in the form of non-economic damages. These types of damages include monetary compensation for pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental and emotional distress, loss of the ability to use a body part, loss of enjoyment of life resulting from injuries, and loss of spousal companionship or support resulting from the slip and fall accident.
If you have sustained one or more of these injuries in a slip and fall accident, the Duluth slip and fall accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will do everything they can to help you obtain the compensation you deserve, by way of an out-of-court monetary settlement, alternative dispute resolution (such as mediation or arbitration), or civil jury trial, depending upon the circumstances and your specific goals.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident, Seek Legal Counsel from Brauns Law, PC
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a Duluth, Georgia, slip and fall accident, don’t ignore the issue or leave your recovery to chance—instead, get a skilled Duluth slip and fall lawyer on your side. Slip and fall accidents are often serious, and you should allow the experienced slip and fall lawyers at Brauns Law, PC to help you recover the compensation to which you’re entitled. Our knowledgeable slip and fall lawyers have the skill and the commitment to advocate for your claim’s positive resolution. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, please don’t hesitate to use our contact form or call us at (404) 348-0889 for a free consultation today.
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