Premise Liability and Slip & Fall Lawyers in Macon
Slip and Fall Injury Statistics
Can slip and fall accidents really cause serious injuries? Slip and fall accidents are more common than you might think. Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of emergency room visits in Georgia and the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Health, falls are the leading cause of injury death among those who were 65 and older. In 2021, there were 44,686 deaths from falls across the United States. Slip and falls also account for the third leading cause of accidental injury in the United States for ages 1-44. Falls also represent the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries across Georgia.
Despite the statistics related to the frequency of slip and fall accidents above, slip and fall cases are very difficult cases from the beginning as insurance companies tend to place blame on the accident victims and therefore undervalue a victim’s damages or accuse accident victims of exaggerating their injuries. That’s why it’s important to have a slip and fall injury attorney on your side to fight for the full compensation that you deserve for your physical injuries, lost wages, and medical expenses.
Do I have a slip and fall injury case?
Under Georgia law, an injured victim must establish the following:
- Duty Owed: Premise owner or occupier must have owed a duty of care to keep their
property safe and free from hazards;
- Knowledge: The premise owner or occupier either knew or should have known of the
hazard that caused the fall;
- Hazard or Defect Existed: A hazardous or dangerous condition must actually be present;
- Injury or Damages Required: You must have injuries or damages from the slip and fall.
What are the types of slip and fall accident cases?
Slip and fall accident cases typically involve a loss of balance on a substance or a structure. Under Georgia law there are two types of slip and fall categories:
- Foreign substance cases
- Static defect cases
Foreign substance cases involve slip and fall accidents on substances like water, liquids, oils, food particles, trash, debris, or rugs. Basically, these are items or substances that are not meant
to be on the property flooring and should be removed or cleaned up. Static defects involve something that’s meant to be on the property, but it is in poor condition or not built to code, causing an unsafe condition.
Why is it important to know what kind of hazard or condition caused your slip and fall?
For your slip and fall injury case to be successful, it is important to know what kind of hazard or condition caused your slip and fall. The reason is because the legal duty of care owed to prevent against the unwanted injury to a visitor or patron depends on the type of hazard.
What do I do after a slip and fall accident?
If you’ve been in injured in a slip and fall accident the last thing you may be thinking is that you need to document the incident. To protect your health and future, the injury lawyers at the Brodie Law Group suggest you act immediately whether your fall occurs in a grocery store, restaurant, or sports stadium.
Notify the property owner: Speak with the manager or property owner and tell them what happened. Get their name and contact information.
Take pictures and video: Get pictures and video of the scene and what caused your slip and fall injury before someone cleans it up. Also, take pictures and videos of your injuries.
Talk to witnesses: Look for people who saw the accident and anyone who saw what caused your fall and ask them for their contact information.
Get medical treatment: Go to the emergency room or urgent care after the accident. Many injuries may not have symptoms immediately and will get worse over time. It’s important to document your injury and show insurance companies that you were hurt
from the slip and fall.
Where do most slip and fall accidents occur?
While slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, there are certain places where these accidents happen to occur more regularly. These places tend to be areas of high traffic. These places include:
- Grocery Stores
- Pet Stores
- Retail Stores
- Sports Stadiums
- Elevators and escalators
- Office buildings
- Parking lots or parking garages
What are the most common reasons for slip and fall accidents in Georgia?
- Slippery or wet floors
- Uneven or broken floors
- Broken or uneven stairs
- Broken sidewalks and pavement
- Missing or damaged handrails
- Potholes in parking lots
- Trip hazards caused by cords or clutter
- Unsecured floor mats
What are the most common slip and fall injuries?
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Knee and ankle injuries
- Shoulder and elbow injuries
- Sprained ankles or wrists
What duty does a property owner have in a foreign substance slip and fall injury case?
In a foreign substance case such as wet floors, premise owners or managers have a duty to have reasonable inspection procedures in place to prevent and lessen the likelihood of slip and falls. The timing of inspections is often critical because foreign substances can accumulate within seconds without anyone knowing about it. An example of this is at a restaurant where a patron or a server accidentally spills a drink or some food onto the floor. A premise owner does not have a duty to discover the foreign substance where it is unknown to them, but a duty to have reasonable inspection procedures in place with some degree of frequency.
Therefore, to prevail in a foreign substance slip and fall case, an injured victim must show either:
1. The premise owner did not have reasonable inspection procedures in place to potentially discover the problem, or
2. The premise owner was aware of the foreign substance and had adequate time to clean up the substance or fix the problem but failed to do so.
What are the legal elements of proof in a static defect slip and fall injury case?
To prevail in a static defect case, an injured victim must show two things:
- The premise owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the defect, and
- The premise owner’s knowledge of the defect is superior to the injured victim
Actual knowledge means the owner knew or their employees knew about the condition from having seen it or having it reported to them. Constructive knowledge occurs where the defect existed for so long that the owner knew or should have known of its existence, reasonable inspection procedure would have revealed the defect, or the owner was on notice because of past complaints.
Superior knowledge exists where the premise owner had knowledge (actual or constructive) of the hazardous defect and the injured victim did not have any knowledge of the defect. The premise owner knew something the victim did not know and failed to fix the problem within a reasonable amount of time.
Why do you need an experienced slip and fall lawyer on your side?
Slip and fall cases can be difficult because property owners will commonly argue that injured victims were aware of the defective condition but assumed the risk or took their chances and exposed themselves to the hazard. Take a slip and fall on a wet grocery store floor due to spilled milk for example. The grocery store will argue that it was obvious there was spilled milk on the floor to a reasonable person. Therefore, the owners will argue the injured person should not be able to recover any compensation, or their compensation should be reduced because a
reasonable person would have seen the spilled milk and avoided the milk by walking around it.
These type cases turn on the detailed facts and circumstances unique to your case and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. A lawyer can assess the facts and evidence in your case and evaluate the recovery amount you may be entitled to.
Speak to our slip and fall injury lawyers in Macon
Have you been hurt from a fall on someone else’s property? If you have suffered a fall on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and more. Our slip and fall lawyers can evaluate your case and advise you on your rights to help you pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (478) 239-2780 to get the help you need today.