Under Georgia Law owners of businesses or personal property have a legal duty to keep their premises safe and prevent people from being injured. Businesses are required to periodically check the condition of their floors and surrounding displays, and not leave spills on the floor, or leave uneven surfaces that can cause someone to trip and fall and be injured. Personal property owners too, such as homeowners, have a duty under Georgia Law to keep their premises safe and keep people from being injured when they come to the property. Dangerous walkways, stairways, even dangerous pets can cause people to be injured unnecessarily, and homeowners often maintain home insurance to pay compensation for people's medical bills and other damages if they are injured on their property. Business owners also maintain insurance to pay for damages caused when someone is needlessly hurt on their premises. Many lawyers are reluctant to take a slip & fall/trip & fall case because sometimes the evidence that is in favor of the client, can also be twisted and used against the client by the liable parties, such as the injured party saying “there was a spill on the floor, you should've seen it and cleaned it up” and the business proprietor saying “you should have seen the spill and avoided it.” But there is more to this story, and more to the legal responsibility of the property owner under Georgia Law. Property owners are required to keep their premises maintained and reasonably safe, and where they fail to do so they can be held liable for the damages and injures received by a customer. Many times stores will have rows and rows of shelves with displays and signs drawing customers' eyes and attention to the shelves and away from whatever is on the floor. This is known as the “Distraction Doctrine” under Georgia Law, and can be utilized by the injured party and their experienced attorney to defeat the property owners' claim that this was only the fault of the injured person, and to require that the property owner and their insurance company pay compensation for injuries created by the dangerous situation that they caused for customers.
Common slip & fall/trip & fall hazards include:
- Spills and other pools of liquid;
- Improper welcome mats or drop rugs;
- Debris on stairways;
- Uneven pavement or walking areas;
- Unmarked holes on the property or in the ground.
What to Do After a Slip & Fall
First and most importantly, get medical treatment. If it's safe to do so, take photos of the accident scene. A cell phone camera can provide important evidence about the condition of the scene and the cause of your slip & fall/trip & fall. Look and see if there are any video cameras pointing toward the area of your fall and make a note, and possibly make a picture of the area with the camera on your cell phone. Also make a Note about what the employees of the business say, for instance, if an employee comes to you and says “we apologize, we were about to clean up that spill,” that is an admission of fault that can be very important to protect your rights and your damage claim.
To discuss whether you have a case, our attorneys at The Cummins Firm will be glad to speak with you about:
- What happened, why did you fall?
- How bad are your injuries and have you obtained medical care?
- Do your injuries keep you from working or handling the duties of your daily life?
- Did you do anything to cause or contribute to your fall? Even so, sometimes a property owner is still the primary at-fault party, and still must pay you fair compensation for the injuries you received on their premises.
Contact Newnan Georgia Slip & Fall/Trip & Fall Lawyers
If you have had a slip & fall or trip & fall, contact The Cummins Firm and we can discuss all of the details with you on how to resolve your claim. Remember that time is of the essence in these cases, because the at-fault property owner and their insurance company may change the condition of the premises after they see you get hurt, so the claim needs to be investigated and documented quickly. Also, after a certain period of time your injury claim may be barred by statutes of limitation under Georgia Law. Protect your rights. Call The Cummins Firm today for a free consultation about your case. Feel free to call us at 678-590-5590 or contact us by email here. Contact The Cummins Firm and we will be glad to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us and we'll Prove it.