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Slip and Fall Injury Claims Attorney in Tyrone, Georgia
Victims of slip and fall accidents often suffer severe, painful injuries. These types of injuries often may happen because a property owner didn’t repair or warn you about dangerous conditions, such as a broken handrail that causes you to fall down a flight of stairs. Suffering a slip and fall accident can result in serious costs to one’s health and financial security. If you’ve suffered an injury due to a slip-and-fall accident on another’s public, business, or private property—you may be entitled to compensation. Slip-and-fall accident attorneys can help you file a personal injury claim, gather evidence to prove the property owner’s liability, and recover personal and financial losses.
If you were recently hurt in a slip and fall accident, your injuries may be due to the negligence of the property owner. Our slip and fall personal injury lawyers at Jewkes Law Firm, LLC, may be able to help you pursue recovery for damages and negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party. We can look at the facts of your case, help you file a claim against the insurance company, and negotiate a settlement to get you fair compensation.
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Injured in a Slip and Fall?
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Property owners have a duty to protect visitors that come onto their premises, but they sometimes neglect these duties, and accidents happen. Some of the most common types of slip and fall accidents are caused by:
- Dangerous staircases and ramps. If staircases and ramps are not maintained properly, such as broken or loose boards, it can create a tripping hazard.
- Wet or slippery floors. Whether caused by a spill that someone failed to clean, a leaky pipe, rain, snow, or surfaces that are naturally slippery, such as glass or polished stone floors.
- Uneven or unstable surfaces. Businesses are required to keep walkways safe and secure for visitors. Uneven brick or concrete surfaces, broken tiles, or even holes are tripping hazards that can lead to accidents.
- Disorderly or poorly lit walkways. If a business fails to maintain a neat and orderly appearance, clutter can quickly become a hazard that causes someone to trip and fall.
These are the most common causes of slips and fall accidents. Business owners and property managers should always take the utmost care in keeping their establishments safe and well-lit for visitors.
Slip and Fall Injuries
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals over the age of 65, one in five falls causes a serious injury. Every year 700,000 go to hospital for a fall-related injury. When people fall because of a loose, uneven, or slippery surface or because of some other hazard, there are many injuries they could suffer – ranging from mild and inconvenient to painful and life-altering.
Three of the most common fall-related injuries are:
- Broken bones: Even an apparently minor head injury is a medical emergency. If you fall and hit your head—especially if there is swelling, bleeding, or even a brief loss of consciousness—you need immediate medical care. In slip and fall accidents, people may fracture bones in their hands, wrists, or arms because they put their arms out to catch themselves when they fall. Elderly individuals often break a hip when they fall sideways.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissue injuries are difficult to prove in a lawsuit because these aren’t outwardly visible. You might not even realize that you have a soft tissue injury until days, or even weeks, after the initial fall. Soft tissue injuries range from minor ankle and wrist sprains to devastating tears in tendons and ligaments.
- Brain injuries: Many people fall and hit their heads, leading to concussions or more serious TBIs. For older individuals, falls are the most common cause of TBIs. Brain injuries can lead to personality changes and decreased cognitive functioning. Like a severe spinal cord injury, a serious TBI can take away a person’s ability to live independently.
- Spinal cord injuries: In case people fall a great distance or onto another object, it increases their risk of a spinal cord injury. Even relatively minor spinal cord injuries can lead to serious long-term disabilities, and major spinal cord injuries may lead to paralysis. This type of injury is very likely to take away a person’s independence.
What Should You Do Immediately After a Slip and Fall
A slip and fall accident can leave you confused and disoriented under the best of circumstances and under the worst of circumstances, a slip and fall can leave you severely injured. If you are injured as a result of a slip and fall you should:
- Get immediate medical help: See that a doctor treats you as soon as possible so that they may determine just how seriously you are hurt, and at the same time obtain a written professional diagnosis of your injuries. Your medical evaluation will help your personal injury lawyer get you the compensation for the treatment you need to recover and thrive.
- Document any witnesses– Record names and contact information for anyone who may have seen you fall. Be sure to ask about whether any of the witnesses heard any conversation about the area responsible for your fall.
- Take photos and get names of witnesses: This also may help your medical team and help you prove what occurred. If you cannot do this yourself, have a friend or someone at the scene help the best they can.
- Take pictures of the scene – Try to document the cause of your slip and fall. Be sure to capture the surrounding areas, as well as the actual cause of your accident. Notice if there were any signs or barriers around the area where the accident occurred.
Duty of Care for Visitors
Under the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) Title 51 Chapter 3 Article 1, property owners are liable for damages caused by a failure to exercise ordinary care to keep the premises safe.
Property owners owe a higher standard of care to visitors than to anyone else who enters their property. In order to uphold their duty, property owners or managers must make reasonable inspections of the property on a consistent basis and then fix any defects they find. For instance, the manager of a retail store with two levels must keep an eye on the stairs to ensure there are no loose boards or carpeting that could trip someone.
If the owner or manager finds a hazard, they need to keep guests away from it and fix it as soon as possible.
In a premises liability case, you must demonstrate that:
- The hazardous condition caused your injuries
- The premises owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition
- The premises owner failed to correct the hazardous condition or to warn you about its presence
If you are successful in proving these three things, you may be able to recover compensation.
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident
Essentially, in order to have a chance of recovering compensation, you will need to prove that a property owner, business, or employee acted negligently, and the negligent action caused your injury as well as your damages.
Owners should take reasonable steps to ensure that their property is in good repair and free of hazards such as spillages, broken or uneven flooring, or obstacles, among other dangers. Evidence to prove your case can include:
- Accident reports
- Photographic evidence of the hazardous condition
- Video surveillance footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Medical reports and bills
It can be challenging to prove that a property owner is responsible for your damages. However, having a slip and fall accident lawyer by your side can help you prove your claim. A lawyer can gather the necessary evidence and build your case.
Modified Comparative Negligence Laws
You might still have a case if you believe you may have partially contributed to your slip and fall accident. The state of Georgia has modified comparative negligence laws that permit an injury victim to seek compensation as long as they are less than 50% liable for the accident.
You will need to accept your percentage of liability if you are negligent for a part of your accident, but you can still recover for the remaining portion. Your total compensation would get reduced by the percentage of fault you hold, and the owner’s or store’s insurance company would be responsible for the rest.
Contact a slip and fall accident lawyer at Jewkes Law Firm, LLC, right away if you may be partially at fault for the accident. An attorney can help make sure you’re not blamed for more than your share while also seeking compensation for the property owner’s percentage of liability.
Seeking Compensation for Damages
A personal injury lawsuit brought against a negligent property owner, referred to as a premises liability lawsuit, can permit you to pursue compensation for the costs associated with a slip and fall accident.
So some obvious things that you can file a claim for are:
- Hospital bills
- Medical expenses (doctor’s fee, diagnostic tests, prescription)
- Cost of medication
- Ongoing physical therapy
However, those are not the only costs that you may have to bear, depending on the severity of your accident. A slip and fall accident victim – and maybe even their family – depending on the severity of the incident, may have to pay for many other things that they would not have had to pay for had the accident not occurred such as:
- Physical pain, scarring and emotional trauma
- Nursing/attendant care (sometimes round-the-clock)
- Compensation for time and effort of family members taking care of the injured loved one
- Transport charges to and fro the hospital and physiotherapy center
- Long term treatment costs
- Loss of income (existing and future prospects)
- Compensation for short term and long term loss in productivity
- Cost of making the home or dwelling accessible or wheelchair-friendly
- Loss of enjoyment of life and breakdown of personal relationships
In cases involving extreme negligence or intentional wrongdoing, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are supplemental to actual damages and are designed to punish the defendant for an egregious act.
Our personal injury attorneys can discuss the details of your accident and explain what types of compensation may be available based on the specific circumstances of your case.
Is It Worth to Hire a Slip-and-Fall Injury Attorney?
While you can fight for your settlement on your own, we recommend that you get professional legal assistance, especially if you have little or no experience with personal injury law. While you rest and recover, our lawyers will handle your claim for you and prove the damages you sustained to the insurance company.
If you have engaged a slip and fall injury lawyer in Georgia, then there are several roles they may have to play. In many examples, that may mean negotiations with the insurance company when liability has been accepted but the amount of compensation offered is lower than you expected or are entitled to.
Where liability is denied, your accident attorney will seek to investigate and to prove liability and negligence in court. There are several factors the court will need convinced of:
- Had the hazard been there for a significant time period?
- Had others been injured by it?
- And were precautions taken to minimize risk?
- If there was a legitimate reason for the hazard, was there adequate or any signage to warn of the danger?
- Did the party have a set system to check for and identify potential hazards to the public and others?
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See Our Georgia Slip and Fall Lawyers
If you believe a property owner’s negligence led to your slip and fall injuries, don’t hesitate to call the attorneys at Jewkes Law Firm, LLC. We are experienced in handling premise liability cases that include slip and fall injury cases. We have negotiated advantageous settlements for many injured people and have seen cases all the way through trial to jury decisions.
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