Common Hazards that Cause Slip & Fall Accidents
- Slippery surfaces
- Improperly maintained roads and sidewalks
- Building code violations
- Failure to display safety signs
- Unlit walkways
- Hazardous staircases or escalators (broken steps, missing handrails, etc.)
- Hazardous obstructions blocking pathways
Making a Slip & Fall Claim
If you’ve been the victim of a slip and fall, first know that you have a limited time in which to pursue a lawsuit. Of course, seeking medical attention should be your first priority, but you also need to see an attorney as soon as possible. If we think you have a viable case, we’ll get right to work.
For a slip and fall to be valid under Georgia law, the accident must meet the following requirements:
- The property owner knew about the dangerous condition or should have reasonably known through due care that it existed.
- The injured victim was unaware of the dangerous condition.
To make your case strong, we have to gather evidence to support it. To prove negligence, our attorneys may:
- Visit the property where the accident happened
- Take photos of the hazard
- Look at video footage
- Attempt to establish a history of unsafe conditions
- Interview witnesses
- Review the accident report
- Ask to see the property’s operational and cleaning records
During the investigation, your attorney will review your medical records so that we fully understand the extent of your injuries. We may also ask for a testimony from your doctor in regards to your medical treatment and rehabilitation.
We will also evaluate the total damages and losses you incurred because of the accident. This will help us determine how much you should receive in compensation. Slip and falls can cause serious injuries that can leave victims debilitated for a long time. Without the ability to work or enjoy the life they had, many victims go through a great deal of suffering. This injustice cannot stand.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies will often try to claim that victims were responsible for their own misfortune. They will claim that by failing to avoid the hazard him or herself, the victim did not exercise due care. This is known as the “open and obvious doctrine.”
Under the open and obvious doctrine, property owners are not liable for injuries if the dangerous condition is clearly noticeable. Insurance companies will likely try to ask you leading questions in an attempt to deflect liability from themselves. This is why it’s best to never talk with anyone representing the other party without your attorney present. You don’t want to jeopardize your case before we can negotiate a settlement.
Once all of this information has been compiled into a claim, we will begin negotiations with the other party. A successful negotiation ends with you receiving a settlement that is fair and covers all of your damages. If a settlement cannot be agreed upon, we will then take the claim to court.
Going to court does not mean that a settlement is no longer an option. Many cases end in settlements because businesses and insurance companies do not want the negative publicity of a trial. Still, if the suit is carried out to completion, then it is up to either the judge or jury to determine a verdict.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, call The JW Law Firm. We’ll fight for your right to see fair compensation.