If you’ve fallen and suffered injury, you may have what personal injury lawyers refer to as a “slip and fall case.” As the name suggests, these are cases when someone is injured when they slip or trip and fall on someone else’s property. In these cases, the injured person may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and other resulting harms such as lost wages. It sounds simple, but can be rather complicated depending on the particulars of the case.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine whether you have a case, but you will need to be able to answer the questions that follow.
Are you Injured?
It seems obvious, but simply falling isn’t enough. You need to have sustained some kind of injury. Common injuries include concussions or other head trauma, broken hips, spinal or back injuries, sprains or broken limbs. If you are injured, be sure to keep copies of all medical bills, medical reports, and doctor’s notes.
What caused you to fall?
In order to seek compensation for your injury, you have to demonstrate that you fell due to a dangerous condition. These conditions could exist inside the property or outdoors. Dangerous conditions that are commonly found indoors are things like wet floors, poor lighting, or uneven flooring. Outside falls may be caused by similar issues and things like broken or cracked sidewalks. In addition, weather can play a significant role in falls outdoors – rain, ice, and snow can all make for dangerous conditions.
Is someone at fault?
This is sometimes the most difficult part of slip and fall cases. In order to seek compensation, you have to prove that the property owner was at fault. The fact that they owned the property is not enough by itself. Basically, the law requires that the owner knew or should have known that the dangerous condition existed that caused your fall. There are three basic ways to demonstrate that the property owner was at fault:
- The owner created the condition (e.g., the owner tore out the sidewalk leading to the building);
- The owner knew the condition existed but negligently failed to correct it (e.g., the owner knew the parking lot was covered in snow and ice but had failed to make arrangements for snow removal);
- The condition was dangerous for so long that the owner should have known it existed and fixed the situation (e.g., the concrete stairway had been crumbling for years, the handrail was rusting, etc.).
Be aware that the property owner is likely to claim that your injury was simply an accident. He or she may also claim that the accident was caused by your own carelessness.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Slip and Fall Attorney
If you’ve fallen on someone else’s property and are injured, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at Slappey and Sadd can evaluate your case and possibly help you bring a claim. Call us at 404-255-6677 or email us via our online contact form in order to schedule a free consultation.