Slip and Fall Accidents in Georgia
Slip and fall accidents in Georgia are unfortunately common. Perhaps the person ordinarily responsible for cleaning a cafe was preoccupied and failed to notice water or another substance on a floor. Or perhaps a paver is significantly out of alignment with other pavers in front of a business, causing somebody’s shoe to catch. If you have slipped and fallen on somebody else’s property, Michael R. Braun, an experienced Atlanta slip and fall accident attorney, may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries. It is common for defendants to bring summary judgment motions on these types of cases. Therefore it is crucial to retain an attorney who truly understands this area of law and can build a strong case that can survive this defense tactic.
Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Proof of a fall on somebody else’s property is not sufficient to recover damages. People fall even when a sidewalk is perfectly smooth. Therefore, the threshold question in a Georgia slip and fall is: was there was a hazardous condition? If a plaintiff can’t show the existence of a hazardous condition on a piece of property, she will not be able to recover from the landowner or occupier. To recover in a slip and fall (or “trip and fall”), an invitee plaintiff must demonstrate he was injured because of a hazard on the land of a defendant owner or occupier of land that should have been removed in the exercise of ordinary care.
In a slip and fall case, the plaintiff must prove that: (1) the land owner or occupier had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard that caused the fall and (2) the plaintiff exercised ordinary care, but lacked knowledge of that hazard due to the defendant’s actions or conditions under the defendant’s control.
A plaintiff can demonstrate a defendant’s “constructive” knowledge by showing that (1) the defendant or an employee of the defendant was in the immediate vicinity of the fall and had an opportunity to correct the hazardous condition prior to the fall, or (2) a hazardous condition existed for long enough that it would have been found and removed had the proprietor exercised reasonable care in inspecting the premises.
Effective Representation for Slip and Fall Lawsuits
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injuries in connection with a slip and fall is usually two years. However, there are circumstances in which this period is shorter. In particular, you must give notice to certain landowners like municipalities within 180 days of getting injured. If you don’t give notice or file your lawsuit within the requisite time period, you can lose your ability to recover for personal injuries based on premises liability.
In some cases, plaintiffs are not aware of the full extent of their injuries for up to a year after their slip and fall, so it is important to go to the doctor and retain an experienced Atlanta premises liability lawyer. Michael Braun serves clients who have been injured in DeKalb, Clayton, Fulton, and Cobb Counties, as well as Jonesboro and Decatur. Contact us at (770) 421-6888 or via our online form.