Choosing the Right Slip and Fall Lawyer
Whether it occurs in Atlanta, Dallas, New York or somewhere else in the country, a slip and fall accident is no joke. Serious injuries can occur from a fall, including fractures of the hip or wrist, or a serious head, neck or back injury. These injuries often involve lengthy recovery and rehabilitation periods, and in some instances may result in brain damage, paralysis or other permanent, lifelong impairments and disabilities. If you are injured because a property owner breached its duty to you by failing to maintain the premises in a safe condition, let AttorneyClientMatch.com connect you with an experienced personal injury lawyer who will fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
There are many common causes of slip and fall or trip and fall accidents, including:
- Food or drink spills in grocery stores and restaurants
- Objects falling off of shelves
- Objects on the floor or obstructing the aisles, such as trash cans or boxes
- Unmarked, poorly designed, or broken steps
- Missing, loose, or broken handrails
- Exposed electrical wiring or extension cords
- Wet or slippery entryways
- Worn or tattered carpeting and drop rugs
- Construction or maintenance equipment left unattended
- Defective escalators and elevators at airports and stadiums
Historically, a landowner's duty to others depended upon the status of the individual who was harmed. While many states have abandoned these distinctions, they are still retained in Georgia and a number of other states. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced attorney identify what class you belonged to when you were injured. The traditional distinctions are:
- Invitee - a person who is invited onto the property, like a customer at a store or restaurant, or an employee or contractor performing work on-site. The owner owes a duty to keep the premises safe for invitees, which implies the owner will make periodic inspections of the property and promptly repair any dangerous conditions.
- Licensee - a person who has permission to enter the property to perform a business function, such as a letter carrier, meter reader, salesman or delivery person. An owner is liable to licensees for dangerous conditions which the owner knew, or should have known about, yet failed to correct or warn of the danger.
- Trespasser - a person who is on another's property without permission. The property owner must not willfully or wantonly injure a trespasser, but generally owes no duty to inspect the premises, make them safe, or warn a trespasser of dangerous conditions. This can be different when the injured individual is a child, and the property had something on it that was dangerous and likely to attract the minor’s interest. These types of cases fall under the doctrine of “attractive nuisance.”
There are plenty of gray areas, and determining a person's status is not always a simple matter. Also, a person's status may shift from one class to the other depending upon the circumstances.Premises Liability Cases are Difficult to Prove Without the Right Attorney
In order to hold a property owner liable, it is often necessary to prove that the owner either knew or should have known about the dangerous condition yet failed to fix it or warn about it within a reasonable period of time. Gathering the evidence in these cases can be very challenging, especially when things like video footage of the area is controlled by the at-fault party. Also, insurance company defense lawyers often try to pin the blame on the injured party for not being careful enough. If they are successful, your monetary award can be reduced proportionately or completely eliminated. It is important to retain an attorney who can prepare and present a persuasive case that will not be weakened by insurance company defense tactics.
At AttorneyClientMatch.com, you will be matched with a highly-rated attorney with at least ten years of experience in personal injury accidents and a record of success with satisfied clients. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Atlanta, Georgia or anywhere in the U.S., contact AttorneyClientMatch.com for a free consultation with a lawyer who can help you.