A slip and fall case is a personal injury case where someone slips and gets injured on another person’s property. According to the law, getting injured on another person’s property due to their negligence makes the person liable for your injuries. In addition, the liable party may be responsible for some or all of the economic damages caused by your fall.
Some common causes of a slip and fall include wet or uneven floors, unsafe ladders and stairs, and poor lighting. Proving liability is not always straightforward, and this article brings you tips that you can use to prove negligence. If you’ve been injured while on someone’s property and think it was through no fault of yours, you might have a slip and fall case on your hands.
The lawyer you choose to represent you has a lot to do with the success or failure of your case. Therefore, you need a Douglasville slip and fall lawyer from the Law Office of John B. Jackson to help you establish liability and claim any damages due to you.
Proving That the Fall Was Not Your Fault
Before filing a negligence claim in a slip and fall case as the injured person, you must first ascertain that you played no part in the injury. Proving negligence gets complicated if you were trespassing or using your phone. In addition, proving negligence gets more complex if there was a sign displayed where the accident occurred.
During the defense, the defendant could claim that the plaintiff has a contributory fault or contributory negligence. It means that if you have any responsibility for your injury, you cannot collect compensation from the other party. This applies even if your fault was just one percent. Some have argued that this is a harsh law leading some states to modify it slightly.
Thankfully, Georgia is one of 33 states using the theory of modified comparative negligence. This means that the damages awarded to you are reduced based on the percentage of your fault in the accident. Therefore the plaintiff must prove that they are not directly or indirectly responsible for their injury. In addition, Georgia explicitly follows the 50 percent Bar Rule in which a slip and fall victim cannot recover if they are 50 percent or more at fault.
How to Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
As we pointed out earlier, proving a defendant’s negligence in a slip and fall case is not straightforward. First, you need to establish that the defendant owed a duty of care to you that they breached. Next, you must show that the breach was the immediate cause of your injuries for which you suffered damages.
You’ll also have to consider the following:
- Whether the defendant was aware of a dangerous condition on the property?
- Whether the defendant has a policy and procedure to check for potential hazards?
- If the defendant has a policy for discovering potential hazards, was the policy followed in the time leading to the accident?
- Was there a delay in correcting the dangerous situation?
- Was the accident area well lit, as poor lighting could prevent you from seeing any potential hazard.
Proving that the defendant was guilty of any of these errors would provide you with enough ammunition for your case.
Damages for a Slip and Fall Injury
A slip and fall injury could result in a significant loss, including extended hospital stays and physical therapy. In extreme cases, the person could sustain injuries that leave them in pain for months or even lose their jobs. You can claim damages to cover all or part of the injury incurred by filing a slip and fall claim.
Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Accidents
Like most personal injury cases, a slip and fall accident has a time limit on when you can file charges. In Georgia, that time is two years from the date of the injury. Failure to file a lawsuit within this period means that you lose the right to do so in the future. Also, if you were unharmed but had property damaged, you have four years to file a lawsuit.
Prove Negligence With the Help of Personal Injury Lawyers in Douglasville
While you may be convinced that someone’s negligence has resulted in injury to you, proving it is a different case. For that reason, you need to hire experienced personal injury lawyers to make your case. Our lawyers at the Law Office of John B. Jackson would conduct a thorough investigation, collecting evidence to build a solid case. So don’t hesitate; give us a call today to schedule a free case review.