According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are over 19,500 deaths each year in the United States from unintentional falls. The CDC also reports that over 60 percent of all elevated falls causing injuries are from heights under 10 feet.
Georgia law requires commercial and private property owners to maintain safe properties for people who are legally on the premises. Most properties are subject to safety codes or regulations requiring the property owner or manager to prevent negligent exposure to harmful or injurious situations. Premises liability claims may hold these property owners or managers liable when someone is injured due to hazardous, unsafe or dangerous conditions.
If you have suffered a serious injury on someone else's property, a premises liability attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith can review your accident and injuries to determine if you have a reasonable case against the property owner involved and advise you of your legal rights.
A victim in a Georgia slip-and-fall accident has several obligations to have a viable case. The victim must prove:
- Injuries were due to a slip-and-fall accident.
- The slip-and-fall accident was due to a dangerous defect such as improperly maintained stairs or a wet floor.
- The homeowner or property owner/manager had superior knowledge of the dangerous defect.
- The slip-and-fall accident caused damages in the form of medical expenses, lost wages (including future earnings) and/or pain and suffering.
Superior knowledge is a legal concept where the homeowner or property owner had actual knowledge of the dangerous defect or should have known. Georgia courts have held that a homeowner or property owner can be found to have superior knowledge if the dangerous defect existed for at least 20 minutes. Superior knowledge is also the principle that the homeowner or property owner/manager has greater knowledge of a dangerous defect than the victim.
Georgia slip-and-fall accidents occur when a property owner or manager's negligence causes someone's physical injury. Typically this occurs in a retail setting when a store manager is aware of a harmful situation such as a slick or wet floor or a spill and does not remedy the situation by cleaning it or warning patrons. Homeowners also have obligations to maintain safe property to invitees. A slip-and-fall victim must prove that the property owner/manager/homeowner was negligent and failed to maintain a safe property.
Retail stores can be held responsible for injuries that occur on their premises when the store owners do not protect patrons from injuries. Slip-and-fall accident victims should call a Clayton County premises liability attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.