Slip and fall accidents are a large part of personal injury cases because serious and even permanent injuries can occur from fall-related accidents. Having to deal with those financial and emotional burdens can be stressful and upsetting — and even more so when you don’t feel you were at fault for the injury.
If someone else’s negligence caused your injury, it’s important to know your rights. You can sometimes hold an individual or an entity liable for a slip-and-fall accident, but that relies on several factors about your specific situation. By understanding how slip-and-fall accidents happen and how Georgia law treats personal injury claims related to these accidents, you can better understand if you have a claim.
Statute of Limitations for Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Georgia
As with most personal injury cases, there is a time limit in which you must bring a slip-and-fall claim to the court’s attention. It must be less than two years since the accident and injury occurred. If it’s longer than that, your case is likely to be dismissed, and you will not receive compensation. This means if you are trying to work out a settlement first, you want to give yourself plenty of time before the statute of limitations in case the settlement doesn’t work out and you need to file a lawsuit.
Premises Liability for Fall Injuries
A slip-and-fall accident rests under premises liability law in Georgia, and you must prove negligence on the part of the premises owner. There are four distinct sections of negligence that must be proven for your case to be successful:
- Duty of care. A business or company whose grounds are open to the public, or an individual whose home or place of work had invited guests, has a duty of care to those people. Duty of care can be disproven in cases of trespassing, as there was no duty to care for a person who was illegally on someone’s property.
- Breach of duty of care. Once the duty of care is proven, it must then be proven that this duty was breached or failed in some way. A business owner or homeowner must ensure the premises are safe or that adequate warnings are provided. In cases where the premises liability was not foreseeable or criminal actions were involved in your injury, the premises owner will likely not be held liable. Ensuring you have evidence of a breach of care will be much easier with the legal representation of a qualified personal injury attorney.
- Causation. This is the most difficult part of negligence to prove in a case, and it is another reason why an attorney representing your best interests can make all the difference in your litigation. Causation in negligence must prove that your injury was caused by something hazardous on the property. It requires clear evidence and documentation.
- Injury. Finally, you must prove that this causation gave you an injury. As this is the basis for a personal injury claim, a false claim is unlikely, and it’s easy to prove assuming you received medical treatment for the injury.
Comparative Negligence in Georgia Law
Georgia’s personal injury law is a modified comparative negligence state. This means if you are found to carry some legal blame for the accident, you would have your compensation reduced. Whatever the amount of damages you would have received is reduced by the percentage of blame you share for the accident. If your responsibility in the accident is greater than 50% blame, you won’t receive compensation.
Contacting a personal injury attorney can help you better understand if you have a case. When you are ready to take your case to the next level, contact the experienced team at Lamar Law Office, LLC.