Did you slip and fall in a restaurant, bar, department store, or another person’s property? If so, you may be able to file a claim against the negligent property seeking damages. An experienced Georgia slip and fall accident lawyer can examine your case and help you explore all your legal options.
What is Premises Liability?
In the state of Georgia, slip and fall accidents fall under the legal concept of premises liability. Anytime a person suffers an injury on another person’s property because of their negligence, the property owner may bear liability for the accident.
A slip and fall accident is just one type of premises liability accident. Other types of premises liability accidents include elevator accidents, dog bites, swimming pool incidents, and accidents caused by inadequate security.
It is important to know, however, that just because you were injured on another person’s property does not mean that the property owner is to blame. The law is very specific about when a property owner bears liability and when they do not.
Due to the complexities surrounding these types of cases, it is important to speak to an experienced Atlanta premises liability accident lawyer as soon as you are able. Your attorney will need to explore the circumstances of your case to determine liability.
Elements of Atlanta Slip and Fall Cases
To prove and win your slip and fall case in Georgia, your attorney must establish several key elements:
- Owed Duty: The property owner must have owed you a duty of care. This means that they were responsible for keeping their property safe and free from hazards.
- Knowledge: The property owner must have known or should have been aware of the hazard or dangerous condition.
- Hazard: A dangerous or hazardous condition must be present. Simply falling on a property is not grounds to file a claim.
- Damages: You must suffer damages and injuries as a result of your accident. If you fell, but were not injured in any way, you may not be able to file a claim seeking damages.
What is a Duty of Care?
In Georgia, property owners owe a duty of care to individuals on their property. However, the extent of this duty is determined by whether the injured party is an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.
- Invitees: these are people who are invited onto the property for things like shopping, dining, or other activities. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to these individuals.
- Licensee: these are people who are on the property for their own benefit and not for the owner’s benefit. They’re not customers or servants. Typically, house guests would fall under this category.
- Trespasser: these are people who were not invited or welcomed onto the property. They do not have consent to be on the property. A property owner owes the lowest duty of care to these types of guests. Child trespassers are the exception to this rule.
As you can see, businesses, landlords, and commercial property owners have a higher duty of care to their patrons and customers. As such, if you suffer an injury in a slip and fall accident at Walmart, for example, you may be able to file a claim. However, establishing duty of care is just one of the elements of a slip and fall accident case.
Establishing Elements of a Slip and Fall Accident Case
Proving a duty of care is just one of the elements required to seek compensation after a slip and fall accident. To obtain compensation after a slip and fall accident, your attorney must also show that there was a hazardous condition that the property owner knew of or should have known existed.
In slip and fall cases, this might mean establishing that the floor was wet, that there was loose carpeting, or that there was ice on the walkways outside. Failing to anticipate poor weather conditions is one of the ways a property owner could be negligent.
For example: during a bad rainstorm, property owners must anticipate wet flooring and the potential for slip and falls. To prevent these accidents, many property owners put out non-slip mats at doors and entryways, they put up wet floor signs, and they often have employees at the door warning people about wet flooring. Failing to take appropriate measures could make a manager or property owner liable if someone gets injured in a slip and fall accident.
Contact Our Atlanta Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
The Kim Law Team has helped injured slip and fall accident victims in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. If you suffer an injury in a slip and fall accident, you need a law firm on your side that understands premises liability laws and how these laws affect your claim.
Our law firm offers FREE initial consultations and reviews, so you can get the answers you need – when you need them. Call 404-587-8946 or fill out our confidential contact form. Just call and JUST WIN.