Slip and fall accidents are common premises liability claims Carrollton personal injury lawyers handle. Usually, it is a simple case where you sue the property owner for the dangerous condition that caused your injuries. This is the norm in slip and fall cases that occur in personal properties or public places like stores, restaurants, etc.
However, it is different when a fall accident happens on a sidewalk. The question becomes, who is liable to compensate you for your injuries? The property owner or the government? Legal responsibility in cases like this depends on the status of the sidewalk in question.
This article will discuss who is liable for a sidewalk slip and fall accident in Carrollton. If you slip and fall on a sidewalk, contact the Law Office of John B. Jackson immediately. We offer excellent legal services.
Public vs. Private Sidewalks
Sidewalks in Carrollton can be public or private property. Public sidewalks are more common and they refer to the paths separating the private property from the adjacent public streets. Private sidewalks are similar, but they are located solely on private property. An example is a walkway in a housing development.
What Georgia Law Says About Sidewalk Maintenance
Responsibility for sidewalk maintenance varies from state to state. While governments of some states carry out maintenance and shovel off snow and ice during winter, others don’t. Georgia law incorporates the latter. The law places the responsibility of adjacent sidewalk maintenance on property owners.
Thus, when it comes to removing debris and snow from adjacent sidewalks, for example, it is the private property owner’s responsibility. In addition, the property owner is barred from shoveling such debris or snow onto the roadway. In the same vein, the landlord, business owner, or homeowners association repairs any damaged or broken sidewalk adjacent to their property. As a result, when an injury occurs due to improper repair or maintenance of a sidewalk, it gets confusing who you can sue.
When Is a Private Property Owner Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident on a Sidewalk?
A private property owner would be liable for a sidewalk accident if there is evidence of their negligence. For instance, if they know of a defective condition on their property that could cause a slip and fall accident and fail to fix it, they will be liable for any resulting injury. So, if you simply tripped and fell, the property owner owes you zero compensation.
Also, the sidewalk being in a condition that contributed to the slip and fall accident does not automatically make the owner liable. If this is the case, how do you prove negligence? First, you must show that the property was in an “unreasonably” unsafe condition.
Second, you must show that the property owner knows or should have known of the unreasonably unsafe condition and failed to do anything about it. Proving the preceding is quite hard, so you need the expertise of a Carrollton slip and fall accident lawyer.
When Is a Government Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident on a Sidewalk?
Although Georgia law mandates property owners to maintain adjacent sidewalks, it imposes some responsibility on city councils. Under the Georgia Code of Ordinances Chapter 62.1, “All maintenance and repair of public streets, alleys, curbs, sidewalks, and other public ways shall be under the supervision of the city council, which body shall have the responsibility of enforcing all provisions of this Code and all ordinances of the city relating to such public ways.”
In line with the above, it is safe to assume that the city council maintains sidewalks not adjacent to private property. As such, if a slip and fall accident occurs on such a sidewalk, the government agency responsible for the maintenance would be liable for damages. But again, you must first establish the agency’s negligence and how such negligence led to the accident.
Remember that bringing a lawsuit against the government is not as easy as suing a private property owner. Different laws apply, and you must follow each legal provision to recover compensation. Our personal injury lawyers in Carrollton know the legal procedure to sue the city’s government and will get you a fair settlement.
Contact the Law Office of John B. Jackson Today!
Having legal representation in any legal procedure increases your chances of winning. At the Law Office of John B. Jackson, our lawyers have what it takes to get you maximum compensation. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis and will demand no upfront fee. Book a free consultation with us today