According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 15 percent of all job-related injuries are caused by slip-and-fall accidents. Additionally, 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 Shane Smith Law 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.
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.
A slip-and-fall personal injury victim must prove:
- The victim fell and suffered an injury.
- The victim did not know about the unsafe or defective area that was the proximate cause of the accident and injury.
- The property owner or manager knew or should have known about the hazardous or defective condition that caused the accident and related injury. Georgia courts have held that proof of a hazardous condition existing for 20-30 minutes is sufficient to prove that a store should have known about the danger.
- The victim must show damages as a result of the incident. These usually take the form of medical expenses (including future therapy), lost wages and future income and pain and suffering.
Slip-and-fall defense attorneys frequently claim:
- The business did not know about the hazardous condition prior to the accident.
- The victim saw or should have seen the hazardous condition and mitigated any injury by avoiding it.
- Documented inspections show that the hazardous condition had just occurred thereby relieving the store owner or manager of any liability.
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 Fayette County premises liability attorney at Shane Smith Law to schedule a free legal consultation.