What is a slip-and-fall accident?
A property owner is responsible for taking reasonable care to make sure that their premises are safe. A slip-and-fall accident occurs whenever a person is injured in a fall caused by an unsafe condition that a property owner failed to repair. Examples might include failing to promptly clean up spills in a grocery store; leaking refrigerators; and not placing signs or cones notifying customers of slippery floors, damaged stairs or other hazards.
Slip-and-fall accidents fall under an area of the law called premises liability.
Do slip-and-fall accidents happen frequently?
Yes. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 1 million Americans sustain injuries in accidental falls each year. Around 20,000 of those individuals die from their injuries.
What are the most common types of injuries in a slip-and-fall accident?
People suffer from a variety of injuries in slip-and-fall accidents, such as head injuries, spinal cord injuries, dislocated hips, herniated discs, knee injuries, shoulder injuries, wrist injuries and broken bones. Those injuries may cause severe bodily damage, and it may take weeks, months – or even years – to fully recover. Tragically, some people who are injured in slip-and-fall accidents never make a complete recovery and live with permanent disabilities that cause significant financial strains on families.
Where do slip-and-fall accidents happen in Georgia?
Georgia slips and falls can happen virtually everywhere. Many falls occur in stores, supermarkets, restaurants, parking lots, streets, curbs, hospitals, schools, offices, government buildings, construction sites, public restrooms, escalators, sidewalks, stairs, private homes and countless other locations.
When you slip, your body will react in one of two ways. If your front foot slips, you will fall backward. Conversely, if your back foot slips, you will be propelled forward. Both scenarios are equally dangerous and can result in catastrophic injuries.
Is it easy to win a Georgia slip-and-fall case?
Slip-and-fall cases can be tricky to prove in court. That’s because it’s essential to prove several key points:
- Did the property owner know about the problem?
- Did the owner make any attempt to remedy the situation?
- Should the property owner have known about the hazard as a matter of routine maintenance?
- Were you injured even though you were taking reasonable precautions to avoid an accident?
In a shopping accident, it is unlikely that the store owner will admit that they knew about the problem that caused your slip-and-fall injury. In those cases, success may hinge on proving that the owner did not have policies in place that would reduce the likelihood of injury.
For example, let’s imagine that you slipped on water leaking from beneath a freezer at the grocery store. If the store owner cannot prove that it regularly inspects its aisles, the owner may be held liable for the accident. But if the store can produce evidence of regular inspections (such as log sheets), the case will be dismissed in court.
I slipped on a cart full of products waiting to be loaded on shelves at Walmart. Do I have a case?
That really depends. The owner of the store has a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect a patron from harm. But under Georgia’s “open and obvious doctrine,” the property owner is protected from liability if the danger is an open and obvious one. In the case of a cart sitting in the middle of a shopping aisle, it is unlikely that your legal claim is a valid one because you should have seen it and avoided it. However, if the cart was full of bottles of lemonade that were leaking and caused you to slip, you may have a valid personal injury claim. It is best to consult with an attorney like the Atlanta-based Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates to determine whether your case falls into the open-and-obvious category.
What types of compensation can I collect for my Georgia slip-and-fall accident?
No two Georgia slip-and-fall accidents are the same. Your individual circumstances will determine what types of damages you can receive from your slip-and-fall accident. However, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the following:
- Medical bills;
- Cost of rehabilitation, physical therapy and occupational therapy;
- Lost wages;
- Lost income;
- Loss of future earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- In some cases, loss of consortium (spousal loss of companionship).
Injured in a Georgia Slip-and-fall Accident? Our Atlanta Premises Liability Attorneys Can Help
The Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates have the experience it takes to WIN your case. Call us at or use our online contact form. There is no fee for your first consultation.
The Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates serve clients in Atlanta, Decatur, Lithonia, College Park, East Point, Stone Mountain, Norcross, Conyers, Riverdale, Duluth, Fayetteville, Loganville and across Georgia and the Southeast.