Some people dismiss slip and fall accidents as relatively harmless. However, these accidents can result in serious injuries that could take months or years to fully recover from.
These accidents are often caused by the property owner's negligence. If a Macon personal injury attorney can prove negligence occurred, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages.
The Macon slip and fall lawyers at Roden Law are well-versed in the many details of these types of cases. We know how to use state laws to prove that the property owner was negligent and caused your injuries. Schedule a free legal consultation today so we can review your situation and determine if you have a case and how much compensation you could be entitled.
Our slip and fall attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis so you will not be charged for our services unless you receive compensation.
Compensation for a Slip and Fall Accident
One of the first questions many people have when they meet with one of our licensed Macon slip and fall lawyers is: what types of compensation can I recover?
State law allows us to pursue compensation for a variety of physical, financial and emotional damages caused by your accident. This could include:
- Medical expenses – This covers all of the medical expenses you incur for the treatment of your personal injuries, such as bills for surgery and other medical procedures, medical testing (x-rays, MRIs), and stays at the hospital. We may be able to pursue compensation for all past, current and future medical bills from your injuries.
- Lost wages – If our attorneys can successfully prove that your injuries were caused by negligence, we may be able to recover compensation for all wages you lost when you missed work. For instance, we could recover wages from full days you missed work or from hours you missed work because you were at the doctor receiving treatment.
- Pain and suffering – This is compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by your injuries. Our attorneys will work with you to gather evidence to establish a fair value for the physical and emotional suffering caused by your injuries. Emotional pain and suffering could include depression, anxiety and a variety of other psychological problems.
These are the main forms of compensation after a slip and fall accident, but there are others. When you meet with one of our knowledgeable attorneys we will carefully review your situation to determine an accurate value of your claim. We are committed to fighting for all of the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Macon slip and fall attorney right now for a free legal consultation. Call 1-844-RESULTS.
Types of Slip and Fall Cases
The trusted attorneys at Roden Law are prepared to handle cases involving slip and fall accidents throughout Macon, from Downtown Macon to a variety of public and private locations, including:
- Apartment buildings
- Office buildings
- Shopping malls
- Stairways and escalators
- Hospitals and other medical facilities
- Grocery stores
- Sidewalks on public or private property
- Restaurants and bars
- Hotels, particularly lobbies
- Parking lots
There are many different hazards and obstacles that can cause people to slip, trip or fall and hurt themselves, such as:
- Broken or missing stairway railings
- Broken or damaged steps on a stairway
- Cords on the floor
- Weak spots in carpet or flooring
- Malfunctioning escalators
- Damaged or torn carpet
- Bumps in carpet
- Uneven rugs
- Products on the floor in retail stores
- Poorly maintained parking lots and parking spaces
- Bad lighting
- Falling debris, including ceiling tiles
- Gaps in the pavement
- Obscured ledges or steps
- Cracks or holes in the sidewalk
- Malfunctioning elevators
- Open manholes
- Spilled liquids
- Uneven or bumpy floors
- Gravel or sand on walkways
- Uneven sidewalks
- Stairway steps that are different heights
If any of these obstacles caused you to fall and injure yourself, the property owner could be held liable and you could be entitled to compensation. Our Macon slip and fall lawyers understand how devastating a slip and fall injury can be, and we are prepared to fight for fair compensation.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today to discuss your legal options.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Most people are confused about what to do after slipping and falling. They may assume they are OK and get up and walk away, only to find out later that they suffered a significant injury.
This is a bad idea because you could seriously hurt your chances of recovering compensation. The longer you wait to begin building a claim, the harder it will be to prove what happened and how it was caused by negligence.
It is in your best interest to take several steps after a slip and fall accident to help preserve your claim and possibly improve your chances of recovering compensation.
1. Report the Accident
An accident report can go a long way in helping our attorneys prove your case. This report serves as an official record of what happened, helping to link the accident to your injuries and establish how negligence contributed to your injury.
Find the property owner and ask him or her to create an accident report. Explain exactly what happened and that you have injuries and are seeking medical treatment.
2. Gather Evidence from the Scene
Before you leave the place where the accident occurred, do your best to collect as much evidence as you can find. This could include:
- Pictures of the place where you fell
- Pictures of any obstacles that caused you to fall
- Pictures of any visible injuries
- Description of the incident from any witnesses
- Personal description of the accident
It is so important to collect this information right after the accident because evidence can be cleaned up as soon as you leave the scene. Waiting to talk to witnesses or write down what you remember is also not ideal because people tend to forget details over time.
3. Obtain Medical Treatment
Even if you think you are fine, you need to go see a doctor or head to the hospital. You need to be examined by a licensed medical professional who can diagnose and begin treatment for all of your injuries.
The date you saw the doctor will be on your medical records. The closer the date is to the date of your fall, the easier it is to prove a connection between your injuries and the accident. If you wait, it could raise suspicion among insurance companies or juries about the validity of your claim.
Before you leave the medical facility, ask about how you can obtain a copy of your medical record. This will be a crucial piece of evidence in your case.
4. Document the Effects of Your Injuries
It can be helpful to keep a daily journal to document the physical and emotional issues caused by your injuries. You should also keep track of all of the times you had to miss work because you were receiving treatment for your injuries.
5. Contact a Macon Slip and Fall Lawyer
Pursuing a case on your own is extremely difficult. The legal process is complicated and time-consuming and is very difficult to navigate unless you have extensive experience and legal knowledge.
The Macon slip and fall attorneys at Roden Law understand the many details of a slip and fall case. We can review your situation in a free consultation and will not charge for our services unless we obtain fair compensation.
Call Roden Law today for a free legal consultation at 1-844-RESULTS.
Proving Your Slip and Fall Case
We cannot obtain compensation for your injuries unless we can prove that negligence occurred. Negligence means that the property owner violated his or her duty of a care. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act the way a reasonable person would to help prevent you from suffering an injury.
However, slip and fall cases are different from other personal injury claims because the property owner’s duty varies depending on the visitor’s legal status on the property. There are three different legal statuses for visitors to a property: invitees, licensees and trespassers.
An invitee is someone who has an explicit or implicit invitation to enter the property for a business purpose that benefits the invitee and the property owner.
One of the most common examples of an invitee is a customer who enters a retail store to shop. Other examples include a sales representative who enters a property to sell something to the owner or someone else on the property or a contractor or maintenance provider who enters the property.
Property owners can be held liable for injuries to invitees if they were caused by a failure to use ordinary care to keep the premises safe, according to Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) Title 51 Chapter 3 Article 1. Ordinary care means taking reasonable steps to inspect the property and keep it safe. For instance, property owners should take reasonable steps to clean up spills that could cause a slip and fall.
Actual or Constructive Knowledge
Georgia law also says that property owners only have a duty to take reasonable steps to fix hazards they have actual or constructive knowledge about.
Actual knowledge simply means that the hazard is something the property owner can actually see. Constructive knowledge means the hazard is something the property owner should have known about by exercising reasonable care.
It is often easier to prove that a property owner had actual knowledge than constructive knowledge. In some cases, a Macon slip and fall lawyer will attempt to prove the owner was near the hazard so he or she should have known about it. An attorney might also be able to use violations of ordinances or codes as evidence of constructive knowledge.
Plain View Doctrine
This is another legal theory that affects a property owner's liability for injuries to an invitee. This doctrine states that a property owner is not liable for injuries caused by hazards that were in plain view of the plaintiff. The law imposes an expectation on invitees to take reasonable steps to avoid obstacles that are in plain view.
A common example of an obstacle that is in plain view is boxes or merchandise in a retail store. A reasonable person would be expected to see these types of obstacles and avoid them. However, the property owner could be held liable for an injury caused by this type of hazard if the objects are not plainly visible.
A licensee is someone who has permission to enter a property for his or her own interests. A common example of licensees would be guests in your home.
The property owner is expected to inform licensees of potential hazards and risks when visiting the property. Because of this, the property owner can likely only be held liable for injuries to a licensee if he or she failed to warn about a hazard or knowingly exposed the person to something that posed an unreasonable risk of harm. This means that your attorney must prove that the property owner had intent to harm you and he or she knew about the hazard.
Anyone who does not have a legal right to be on a property is classified as a trespasser. These are often people who are on the premises to commit a crime.
Property owners have a low duty of care for trespassers. The only way they could be held liable for injuries to a trespasser is if they willfully harm them. For example, if a property owner knows about a trespasser, he or she cannot set a trap that is intended to harm the person.
The Macon slip and fall lawyers at Roden Law have detailed knowledge of the different legal classifications for visitors to a property. We are prepared to conduct a detailed investigation to gather evidence that could help us prove the property owner is liable for your injuries.
Contact Roden Law today for a free legal consultation.
Liability for a slip and fall accident is not always cut and dry. In some cases, victims have some level of responsibility for their injury.
These situations are governed by Georgia's modified comparative negligence rule (O.C.G.A. 51-12-33). This law says that you are barred from obtaining compensation if you are more than 50 percent at fault for your injury.
The law also says that if you are less than 50 percent responsible, your total compensation award will be reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident. This means that a $50,000 award would become $40,000 if you were found to be 20 percent at fault.
Roden Law's Macon slip and fall attorneys have in-depth knowledge of this law. We are committed to building a strong case and working to try to ensure you are not assigned more fault for your injuries than you were responsible for. We want you to receive all of the compensation you deserve.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?
Slip and fall cases are governed by Georgia's personal injury statute of limitations. This statute says that claims must be filed within two years of the date of your injury. If you fail to file a claim within that time, you will lose the right to do so.
Our Macon slip and fall lawyers are committed to filing a claim before the statute of limitations expires. However, you should contact us as soon as possible after your injury. It takes time to investigate and build a case. Contacting us sooner gives us more time to help ensure we can comply with the statute of limitations.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
Contact a Macon Slip and Fall Lawyer Right Now
Slip and fall injuries can be devastating, causing long-term pain and suffering and permanent disability in some cases. When these injuries are caused by the property owner's negligence, the victim could be entitled to various forms of compensation.
The Macon slip and fall attorneys at our firm understand how severe a slip and fall injury can be and how it can affect so many aspects of your life. That is why we are prepared to file a claim to pursue compensation for physical, financial and emotional damages caused by your injuries.
Your consultation with our experienced attorneys is absolutely free and you will not be charged legal fees unless you receive compensation.