How many times have you been walking along, minding your own business, when all of a sudden you feel gravity shift and catch yourself in the nick of time. You just avoided a slip and fall accident. You shake yourself off, hope no one saw anything, and continue on your way. You don’t give it a second thought. Unfortunately, not everyone catches themselves before they tumble, and when they come crashing down onto the ground, their injuries can be serious, and believe it or not, even life-threatening.
Slip and fall accidents happen every day in every possible location. While it may seem like an innocent accident, that’s not always the case. Many slip and fall accidents are the result of negligent property owners failing to maintain their property and neglecting to remedy hazardous conditions they know could cause an accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident, it’s time to contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. for legal advice. Our attorneys will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve from negligent property owners or other liable parties responsible for causing your accident.
Don’t get stuck picking up the tab for medical bills you didn’t plan for or suffer the strain of lost wages. Talk to an experienced Carrollton slip and fall lawyer with Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. by calling (770) 205-0933 and scheduling a free case evaluation.
How Common Are Slip and Fall Accidents?
Exactly how common are slip and fall accidents? The National Floor Safety Institute finds that slip and fall accidents are actually one of the leading causes of emergency room visits in the United States. In addition, slip and fall accidents are also the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims.
The statistics only grow more alarming the older you get, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in four adults over the age of 64 will slip and fall. That means that there will be 29 million falls, 3 million visits to the ER, 800,000 hospitalizations, and 28,000 deaths all as a result of a slip and fall accident.
A “slip and fall accident” is a phrase that simply describes an accident where an individual slips or trips and falls to the ground on another person’s property. These types of accidents can happen anywhere – at a store, an apartment complex, the sidewalk, in an office or workplace, even on someone’s private property.
There are several contributing factors that can lead to slip and fall accidents. Some of the most common cause of slip and fall accidents include:
- Uneven flooring
- Cracks in flooring
- Uneven pavement or sidewalks
- Ripped carpeting
- Loose carpeting or rugs
- Unmarked stairs
- Stairs without handrails
- Workplace hazards
- Tripping hazards such as loose wires, cords or hoses
- Inadequate lighting
- Ice or poor weather conditions
- Wet flooring or spills
What Does Premises Liability Mean?
When talking about slip and fall accidents in the context of a lawsuit, the case is typically referred to as a premises liability claim. When a victim is injured in a slip and fall accident and wants to pursue legal means of recovering compensation, their case hinges on proving that a property owner has been negligent with regard to maintaining their property. This negligence then caused the victim to suffer an injury on the property.
In a premises liability case, it is not enough to have fallen and hurt yourself on someone else’s property. You must establish the fact that the property itself was unsafe and that the owner knew or should have reasonably known that there was an issue with unsafe conditions. You must also show that the property owner failed to take reasonable steps or precautions to correct the safety hazard on their property.
Typical Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents happen everywhere, at work, in nursing homes, at the store, in apartment complexes, the list goes on and on. While internet videos make light of slip and falls, treating them as a punch line to a joke, slip and fall accidents are no laughing matter. That’s because they can cause very serious injuries and cost businesses billions of dollars every year.
A business insider publication highlights the fact that an average worker involved in a slip and fall accident will miss an average of 38 days of work. That can cost millions in lost productivity alone. What businesses lose in productivity, victims can lose in wages from missed work and the high cost of medical bills.
Some of the most common types of injuries that can result from a slip and fall accident include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones, especially arms, wrists, legs, and hips
- Joint and knee injuries
- Sprains and strain
- Cuts, bruises, and “road rash”
The medical bills for these types of injuries can quickly skyrocket. Factor in pharmacy costs, follow-up doctors’ visits, surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and time away from work, and you have a recipe for stress and anxiety. How will you afford to pay your normal bills, let alone the mounting medical bills?
Before you make any big decisions, contact an attorney to look over your case and lay out your legal options. Too often, victims will feel overwhelmed by their situation and sign away their legal rights for an offer or settlement that only covers a fraction of their medical bills and doesn’t begin to cover lost wages. You deserve more. Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. can help you sort through your options and protect your rights in the process.
Slip and Fall Cases in the State of Georgia
Premises liability cases can be expensive for property owners. That is why, in many circumstances, the property owner may try to place the blame on the victim and divert away from their own negligence. Why does that matter? It is because Georgia is considered a “modified comparative fault state” when it comes to slip and fall accidents and premises liability. A “modified comparative fault” model means that the amount of damages you are able to recover is decreased according to the percentage of your fault for causing the accident.
For example, if a jury finds that you were 30 percent to blame for a slip and fall accident because you weren’t paying attention to where you were walking, the amount of money you are able to recover will be reduced by that 30 percent. The negligent property owner who failed to make necessary repairs is still 70 percent responsible for the accident and will be on the hook for that 70 percent.
If your share of the blame for a slip and fall accident is 50 percent or more, you can be barred from recovering any type of compensation from the property owner or even other parties involved in the accident. Therefore, property owners try to place as much blame on the victim as possible. It means they don’t have to pay as much in the end.
That is why it is imperative for victims of slip and fall accidents to seek legal aid as quickly as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to go after crucial evidence that can strengthen your case, such as witness statements, surveillance video, medical documentation, and other much-needed evidence.
Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Claims
Another reason that it is important to seek legal help after suffering an injury in a slip and fall accident is due to Georgia Code 9-3-33. This code sets the statute of limitations for filing a suit in a slip and fall case at two years from the date of the accident. That means that while you are trying to recover and figure out how to pay for your medical bills, the clock has already begun working against you.
Waiting too long to pursue legal action means that your case can be dismissed and leave you with no legal options to recover damages and compensation for your injuries. Even if you are confident that a property owner will settle and doesn’t want to enter a courtroom, you still need to give yourself time to negotiate. Settlement talks can take time, and if you’ve waited too long and then the property owner refuses to settle, again, you may be missing your opportunity to have a court hear your case.
Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you probably have a lot of questions. Turn to Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. for honest and upfront answers. A property owner and their insurance company want to make settling a slip and fall claim as quick and as painless as possible, painless for their pocketbook that is. That isn’t going to help you recover or pay for all of your medical expenses. That’s why you need to talk to an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and layout all of your options.
Contact our Carrollton premises liability attorneys at (770) 205-0933 for a free case evaluation. If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident and a negligent property owner is to blame, you deserve to recover compensation.