Experienced Cumming Lawyers Litigate Slip and Fall Injury Cases
Reputable legal representation for premises liability accidents
Under Georgia law, the proprietor of a business or owner of a parcel of property has a duty to make the grounds reasonably safe for visitors. So if you are hurt on someone else’s property — slipping on a wet floor in a restaurant, tripping over uneven tiles on a walkway, or falling into a pothole — you may be eligible for compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Lipscomb, Johnson, Sleister, Dailey & Smith, LLP represent victims of slip and fall accidents throughout northern Georgia. We have decades of experience with a wide variety of serious injuries and accident scenarios. We approach your case with firm resolve, meticulous attention and deep personal concern, as we work to obtain the best possible results.
What you must prove to win your premises liability case in Forsyth County
Courts scrutinize premises liability claims under a reasonable person standard. That means a landlord or business owner is responsible for injuries only if he has been unreasonable with respect to the hazard that caused a visitor to slip or trip and fall. An injured plaintiff must prove that:
- The owner knew or should have known about the hazard. An owner has a duty to exercise reasonable care to discover possible hazards, such as poor lighting in stairwells, debris on stairs and water on the floor. The plaintiff must present evidence that an owner would have discovered the hazard through reasonable diligence.
- A reasonable owner who knew about the hazard would have cured the problem. Once the owner discovers the hazard, his actions in response must be reasonable. If water is on the floor, he must mop it up or at least warn customers by placing a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign in the area. What is reasonable also depends on the time between the creation of the hazard and the accident. The longer an owner allows a hazard to exist, the less reasonable his actions become. But if the accident occurs in the blink of an eye after the hazard appears, the owner is not unreasonable, but could be liable if he or an employee directly caused the hazard in the first place.
- The actions the owner took to cure the hazard were not reasonable. If the owner did something to fix the problem, but an accident happened anyway, the injured party must show that the owner’s measures were unreasonably inadequate. For example, if a restaurant has a slight step down from the reception area to the dining floor, it might be reasonable simply to paint the edge of the step yellow to warn customers. A court could hold that requiring the owner to level the two surfaces would be too great an expense for the unlikely prospect of a trip and fall.
- The hazard was not open and obvious. Owners often invoke the “open and obvious” defense, claiming that the hazard was not hidden from view, so anyone coming upon it had notice of the danger, and by proceeding anyway, that person assumed the risk. This can apply in a case where a pedestrian falls on a staircase that has no handrail. That is an open and obvious hazard, whereas a loose handrail is a hidden hazard.
Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents can cause severe, disabling injuries, including broken ankles and hips, torn ligaments and cartilage, compressed vertebrae, ruptured disks, and even concussions or traumatic brain injuries. However, the magnitude of the injury is not by itself a sufficient basis for you to recover compensation. You must be able to prove the elements of the case, which is why an experienced injury attorney is so essential.
Let our personal injury lawyers in Cumming manage your slip and fall litigation
If you’ve been seriously hurt in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, count on the experienced attorneys at Lipscomb, Johnson, Sleister, Dailey & Smith, LLP to fight for your rights. We are determined to obtain full, fair compensation for accidents in Forsyth County and throughout northern Georgia. To schedule a free consultation, call 470-839-9467 or contact us online.