When you walk through the mall, stay at a hotel, or visit a restaurant, the property owners are supposed to provide a safe environment for their guests. But if you slip and fall on wet linoleum or trip and fall due to a dangerous electric cord, your impact on the ground could result in broken wrists or arms, a concussion, a spinal injury, or much worse. According to the National Safety Council, falls are the third-leading cause of preventable, injury-related deaths in the U.S.
When your slip and fall accident in Fayetteville is the result of another party’s negligence, you can pursue financial compensation for the expenses, losses, and pain and suffering you incurred. You shouldn’t have to carry the financial burden of costly medical bills and lost wages, if you need time to recuperate at home.
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., our Fayetteville slip and fall accident lawyers thoroughly know the state laws we must comply with to protect your rights and seek the justice you deserve. We can build a solid case on your behalf, and help you get on the path to recovery. Learn about your options. To schedule your free consultation, call Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. at (770) 205-8827.
Why Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Slip and falls happen when a property owner or employee doesn’t provide safe conditions for guests. If they see a hazard or damage and don’t do anything about it, they’re at fault for the resulting injuries. Common causes of this type of accident include:
- Icy pavement or sidewalk
- Loose rug, floorboard, or carpeting
- Poor lighting
- Slippery or wet floor
- Damaged staircase
- Lack of handrails
- Dangerous placement of electric cords
If your fall was the result of someone else’s negligence, you could potentially recover compensation through an insurance claim. Business owners typically carry general liability insurance. It covers bodily injury and property damage for an accident victim. Depending on the amount of coverage they purchased, you could receive a settlement that compensates your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injury.
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
You’re not automatically entitled to financial compensation just because you sustained injuries on another person’s property. There must be clear liability on the property owner’s part. You can prove liability by showing negligence existed at the time of the accident. Negligence is the legal theory that one party’s failure to provide reasonable care led to another party’s injuries.
There are four elements you’ll need to establish:
- Duty: The at-fault party owed you a duty of care to prevent you from harm;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty of care;
- Causation: Their actions or inaction was the direct cause of your injury; and
- Damages: You incurred damages as a result of your injury.
Another negligence rule in Georgia is known as the modified comparative fault rule. If you sustain injuries in a slip and fall accident but share 50% or more of the blame, you’re prohibited from pursuing compensation. However, if you’re less than 50% to blame, your damages will decrease proportionately to your percentage of fault.
For example, if your total damages are $100,000 and you were 20% at fault for your injuries, the maximum compensation you could pursue would be $80,000. On the other hand, if you didn’t share any fault, you could recover the full $100,000.
What Are Damages?
Damages are losses associated with an accident. After a slip and fall, you’ll likely suffer two types of damages. Economic damages include actual expenses, while non-economic damages include intangible losses, such as physical and emotional suffering.
Whether you choose to file an insurance claim or lawsuit, you could seek compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Out of pocket costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of quality of life
Since economic damages usually include a billing statement or some type of documentation stating the actual cost, determining appropriate compensation is straightforward. However, placing a monetary value on physical and emotional pain is tricky. Factors that might contribute to the final number include:
- Type of injury sustained in the slip and fall accident
- The severity of the injury
- The time it takes to recover or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI)
- The total cost of economic damages
- Amount of time unable to work
- Availability of relevant medical evidence
- Effects of the injury on daily routine
- Disfigurement, impairment, or disability caused by the accident
- Emotional pain experienced
- Liability insurance coverage listed on the business’s policy
A third option for pursuing damages is only available in a lawsuit. Punitive damages don’t compensate an accident victim for the losses they suffered. Instead, it punishes the at-fault party for their actions and aims to deter similar misconduct. It’s rarely awarded in slip and fall accident cases, but a jury might determine you deserve it if the property owner exhibited acts of willful misconduct, fraud, malice, oppression, or wantonness.
Don’t Handle Your Slip and Fall Accident Case Alone
The biggest mistake injured victims make is choosing not to seek legal representation. Insurance companies are in the business of saving money, not spending it. If they can deny someone’s insurance claim or provide a lowball settlement offer, they’ll do it.
They typically take advantage of claimants that haven’t hired a Fayetteville slip and fall accident lawyer. They might attempt to trick you into signing away your rights to the maximum compensation. They could also use intimidation tactics to scare you into accepting a settlement much lower than you deserve.
When you hire Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., our legal team will take care of every legal aspect of your case. We’ll ensure we meet all deadlines and submit the necessary documentation during the insurance claims process. We’re not afraid to fight against large insurance companies. We will aggressively pursue the monetary award you need to cover your damages. Here are some of the steps we’ll take on your behalf:
Investigation: We have the resources to perform a thorough investigation into the slip and fall accident. We’ll determine who was at fault and whether the better option would be to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
- Evidence: We know how to locate crucial evidence that proves negligence, such as:
- Incident report
- Accident scene photos
- Video surveillance footage
- Business’s maintenance and repair logs
- Copies of your medical records
- Witnesses: Statements from people who saw what happened could strengthen your insurance claim. Unfortunately, memories fade over time. To ensure the information we receive is accurate, we’ll locate witnesses promptly to take their statements.
- Case value: We’ll come up with an appropriate value for your case, so we know the minimum number to demand from the insurance company. We always come up with a number that will cover all past and future damages.
- Notice: Once we determine who’s liable for your slip and fall injuries, we’ll send a notice to the business and other parties involved that we intend to pursue compensation. In the notice, we’ll ask that they preserve evidence associated with the accident and provide their liability insurance information.
- Lawsuit: If we can’t reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, we might have to move forward with a lawsuit. Our Fayetteville slip and fall lawyers have experience litigating cases like yours. We’ll fight in court for the maximum financial award you deserve.
Georgia Statute of Limitations
Accident victims must adhere to statutes of limitations, which are strict deadlines for pursuing legal action against another party in the civil court system. If you want to sue the person responsible for your slip and fall injuries in Georgia, you must follow the two-year statute of limitations. That means you have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit.
Some exceptions could pause the clock, such as:
- The injured party was a minor at the time of the accident, in which case the clock would start once they turn 18 years old.
- The victim was mentally incompetent during their slip and fall accident, and the clock would begin when and if they become competent.
Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. Legal Fees and Costs
Slip and fall accident victims usually suffer financial strain. They face expensive medical treatment and can’t work because of their injury. We know you’re feeling stressed, and we don’t want to add to that. That’s why we take cases on contingency. That means there are no upfront fees or costs required for a Fayetteville slip and fall accident lawyer to represent you. We don’t collect our legal fees unless we win the case. If we don’t win, you won’t have to pay us.
We also offer an initial case evaluation for free. There’s no risk in discussing the details of your slip and fall accident. We’ll review the information you provide and determine the best options moving forward. If you decide not to hire us, you won’t have to pay us for our time. We’re happy to meet with you and provide the legal advice you need to make an informed decision about your case.
Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident? Contact Us Now
You should seek assistance from an experienced slip and fall lawyer if you sustained injuries on someone’s property. If your accident was the result of negligence, you might be able to pursue compensation for your total damages. At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we have a dedicated team that will use our resources to prove that you deserve compensation from the at-fault party.
We provide dependable services to everyone that hires us. You can count on your Fayetteville premises liability lawyers to provide compassionate care and honest communication throughout your case. You’ll always be a priority for us.
Call us today at (770) 205-8827, so we can get started on your case. We’ll fight for the justice you deserve and help you recover from this difficult experience.