Law Offices of Jon R. Hawk
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Jon R.Hawk

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Winning a slip-and-fall injury case in Georgia

Many personal injury litigation websites include pages about representing plaintiffs (injured parties) in claims against negligent property owners or managers. While it is true that Georgia law holds negligent property owners liable for civil damages, winning these cases often requires a high standard of evidence, and insurance companies know it.

This blog post will discuss slip-and-fall injury claims and the best way to protect your rights if you are ever in an accident on a business, residential or public property.

Property owner responsibilities

Liability and expectations for protecting the public will vary, depending upon the type of property involved in the claim. For example, in many communities, residential property owners are required to exercise reasonable care to keep the property safe. The homeowner or an occupier of a property may be responsible for keeping their property free from hazards that might cause a person to fall and suffer an injury. Owners of backyard swimming pools must have a fence surrounding them and pool contractors must exercise ordinary care in constructing pools. Our firm handled a premises liability case in South Georgia where a child drowned due to the failure of the contractor to follow simple local building codes. The case was settled for a significant amount and hopefully has resulted in swimming pool contractors recognizing the need to be aware of and follow safety rules.

Store parking lots must be maintained and safely lighted. Hazards inside the store must be marked off from customer access and eliminated as quickly as possible. If a customer falls on a foreign substances such as water, ice, food, or another item, the store can be held liable if they are negligent in failing to keep the premises safe.

Visitor responsibilities

A claimant will need to prove that their own negligence didn't contribute to the cause or extent of injury. For example, slipping on broken eggs in a grocery aisle will not get much jury sympathy if the customer fell in plain view of warning signs and while a store clerk was mopping up the hazard. Juries in Georgia will apply a "common sense" view of these types of accidents.

What can you do to protect your case?

Some slip-and-fall accidents, though, are the result of property owner negligence or misconduct. Here are some steps you can take to help protect your interests in the event you file a claim:

  • Accept all medical treatment offered you at the scene of the accident and/or in the hospital. Follow doctor's orders precisely.
  • Do not say anything to anyone at the scene about how the accident occurred. Save your comments for any official report that may be required by the medical personnel called to the scene ALWAYS. 
  • Observe the scene and remember what exactly caused the fall. In Georgia, if a plaintiff in a slip-and-fall case cannot state with certainty what caused the fall, the claim can be dismissed prior to any jury trial.
  • Try to write down the contact information of any eyewitnesses at the scene
  • After you receive medical treatment, record the conditions that led to your accident, including weather, store conditions, lighting, etc.
  • Do not discuss the accident or injuries with any representative of the store
  • Contact an experienced personal injury litigation attorney for a free consultation who understands the legal and insurance claims process in the geographic area in which your accident occurred

Winning a slip-and-fall injury case is becoming more difficult, but you have laws that will protection you against property owner negligence.

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Macon, Georgia 31210

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Phone: 478-757-6536
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