Every year, millions of Americans fall when they are outside their home. They may slip on a wet floor or trip on debris. The fact that falls are so common does not make them any less dangerous. People may suffer permanent neck and back injuries. Even worse, they can hit their help and suffer a brain or spinal cord injury.
If someone else was negligent, and it caused your injuries, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney online or by phone at 770-626-7895 to learn more.
The Role of Negligence in Your Slip and Fall Case
Of course, there is always confusion over what it means to be negligent in a slip and fall case. The fact that you fell does not automatically mean that someone else should be legally responsible for it. They must have done something wrong that factored into your fall.
In a slip and fall case, negligence can mean two things:
- The responsible party was the one who created the dangerous condition themselves. In that case, they are almost always responsible for when you suffer an injury in a fall.
- Someone else created a dangerous condition on the property of another, but the owner did not remedy the condition or warn you about it within a reasonable amount of time.
The state of Georgia’s law does not allow a property owner (or someone who controls property) to pretend that nothing is wrong when something really is. At a certain point, the law will consider it as if the property owner actually knew. In the classic example of a slip and fall, a grocery store owner cannot leave a wet floor for a long period of time when someone else broke a jar.
You Have the Burden of Proof in a Slip and Fall Case
In a slip and fall case, your aim is often to prove what the property knew or should have known. That is not always easy to do. It is hard to recreate the conditions that existed before the fall to persuade the insurance company or jury that someone else should be held responsible.
If you contact a slip and fall accident attorney, they can gather and use evidence to help show what happened and why you actually fell. It is not easy to get this evidence on your own because some of it may be in the potentially responsible party’s possession.
Slip and fall accident evidence can include:
- witness statements from people who saw your fall or what conditions were like in the area at the time you fell
- surveillance camera footage
- pictures of the scene at the time that you fell
- an accident report (some businesses even require their employees to write an accident report for their own internal records)
- maintenance and inspection logs that can show whether the property owner inspected the property and what they may have done about a dangerous condition
You can expect a tough fight when you try to obtain records that are in the property owner’s possession. If your case goes to court, your attorney can potentially gain access to them in the discovery process.
What You Should Do After a Fall Injury
After you have suffered an injury in a slip and fall situation, the steps that you take can determine whether you receive financial compensation and how much you can get.
In particular, you should do the following after your fall:
- see a doctor as soon as possible to get medical care — otherwise, the insurance company can claim that your injury happened another way
- hire an experienced attorney to give yourself the best possible chance of success for your slip and fall claim
- save and safeguard any evidence that you may have in your possession, making sure to give it over to your lawyer
Insurance companies like to make slip and fall cases as difficult as possible for you. They have a financial incentive to make your life harder, hoping that you will either go away completely or take less than you deserve in a settlement. If you do not have compelling evidence, the insurance company may deny your claim entirely.
Certainly, they will take you less seriously if you do not have an attorney representing you. Insurance companies deny a much higher proportion of claims that are filed by people representing themselves.
Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury
Even if you receive a financial settlement offer, you may still have to keep fighting because it is only the first part of the battle. You will also need to secure enough financial compensation. Your slip and fall accident damages will generally consist of the following:
- Economic damages that compensate you for your actual losses, such as medical bills and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages that pay you for the difficulty that you encounter physically and mentally after the fall.
Your lawyer can assess any settlement offer and help you negotiate a better one with the insurance company.
Contact an Athens Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
If you have suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident, turn to the Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney team to help you secure a settlement check if you can prove someone else was to blame for your fall.
Slip and Fall Accident FAQs
What happens if the insurance company denies my claim?
Do not think that the insurance company has the absolute power to do away with your legal rights. You can then file a lawsuit against the responsible party in court.
How long will my slip and fall case take?
It is hard to say at the outset. You should do everything that is within your power to keep the legal process moving.
How much will a slip and fall lawyer cost me?
The only way that you need to pay a slip and fall attorney is if you win your case. Then, they are paid from the proceeds of your settlement or jury award.