LAWYER FOR ALBANY SLIP AND FALL
Do you need a lawyer for an Albany slip and fall claim? We have all had the experience of tripping on uneven pavement or slipping on a slick surface. Perhaps we managed to keep our balance or catch ourselves before falling, or we walked away without harm after falling. Sometimes, though, hazards such as slippery floors or uneven pavement can result in serious injuries if a person falls in the wrong way. A slip-and-fall injury is one caused by tripping or slipping on some hazard on another person’s property. Often, these accidents are entirely preventable with proper maintenance by property owners.
Causes Of Slip-And-Falls In Albany Georgia
Wet floors are some of the most common causes of slip-and-fall injuries. Often, “wet floor” warning signs alert us to potentially slippery floors in stores and businesses. Even heeding the warning and exercising caution, we may sometimes find it difficult to walk on these wet surfaces. Without a warning sign, you might not notice or anticipate that the floor may be slippery. You may be more likely to slip and hurt yourself if you are unaware that there is a need for caution.
Many slip-and-fall accidents are caused by poor lighting. You may have a hard time seeing and avoiding any potential hazards or obstacles if there is not sufficient lighting. Staircases are a common scene of slip-and-fall accidents. A missing handrail or wobbly step can easily lead to a fall. If the staircase is not well lit, it can be hard to see the steps well enough to come down the stairs without slipping. A person can suffer severe injuries from stumbling on a staircase. In the worst cases, falling on the stairs can even result in death or life-altering injuries.
Some other common causes of slip-and-fall injuries are:
- Cracked sidewalks
- Loose floorboards
- Uneven surfaces
- Torn carpets
Slippery surfaces due to rain, snow, ice, or other weather conditions
Consequences of Slip-And-Falls in Albany, Georgia
Slip-and-fall incidents in Albany, Georgia often just result in scrapes and bruises. You probably don’t need an attorney for a fall that results in minor injuries. However, sometimes the injuries can be more serious and it is a good idea to enlist the help of a seasoned personal injury attorney. Some examples of injuries that may justify hiring an attorney are:
- Concussions, traumatic brain injuries, or other head injuries
- Broken hips
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones in the neck or back
- Knee or elbow injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
While the elderly are at greater risk of severe harm from falls, anyone can suffer one of these serious injuries from a fall if they land in the wrong way. Unfortunately, the harm from any of these can be lifelong or recurring. A spinal cord injury in the back or neck could result in paralysis or permanent, debilitating harm. A severe brain injury can also have long-term effects. With brain injuries, it may take a while for the severity of an injury to become apparent.
Financial And Professional Harm
If you are injured in a slip-and-fall, you may have to seek medical attention and miss work for medical treatment. A serious slip-and-fall injury may require extensive, or even lifelong, medical care. You may not be able to work for a substantial period of time, or for life, and the medical bills may be insurmountable. Even a moderate injury can result in lost wages and significant medical expenses. These losses can be financially and emotionally devastating for a family. However, you might be entitled to compensation for these harms if the property owner could have prevented the accident.
Albany Georgia Property Owners’ Duties
Commercial property owners and managers are typically responsible for keeping their customers safe from dangerous hazards. The level of care a property owner must exercise depends on the type of property they own. Likewise, what protections you are entitled to as a guest vary based on your purpose for being on the property. Here are three categories of visitors and what duties owners have under Georgia law.
A person on property for business purposes, like a customer in a shop, is entitled to the highest level of protection under the law. Commercial property owners are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that the property is safe for these guests, or “invitees.” The property owner has a duty to inspect the premises and actively monitor for hazards. They must fix or warn against any hazards of which they are aware. If an invitee suffers an injury from a hazard that could have been discovered with reasonable inspection, the owner may be liable even if they were not actually aware of the hazard.
For example, if you slip and fall in an unmarked puddle of water at a grocery store, whether the store can be held liable for your injuries depends on the circumstances of the wet floor. If a court determines that the water had been there long enough that the employees should have discovered it with reasonable inspection, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. However, if the person who went down the aisle one minute before you spilled the water, the court might determine that it was reasonable that the employees had not yet discovered the hazard and that the store did not violate its duty to inspect.
Social guests are called “licensees” under the law. Houseguests fall into this legal category. As a homeowner, you have a duty to protect your visitors. However, this standard is not as high as that for businesses. While commercial property owners have a duty to inspect for hazards, homeowners are required to protect their guests from hazards that create unreasonable risk of injury. For example, if a homeowners knows that there are exposed, live wires next to a bathroom light switch, they have a duty to either fix the light switch or warn their guests that there is an electrocution hazard.
Under Georgia law, “trespassers” are people who are on a property without the owner’s permission. Contrary to what many people may think, property owners still owe a certain duty of care to trespassers: they cannot willfully or carelessly harm a trespasser. For example, a court might find the homeowner was reckless if they dug a deep pit near the edge of their suburban property and left it exposed for the night, where anyone wandering onto your property could fall in and get injured.
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Statute of Limitations
If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident and wish to bring a claim against the property owner, you generally have two years to do so. This two-year deadline is called the “statute of limitations.” There are certain factors that may extend or shorten that filing time. It is wise to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to ensure that you do not miss any important deadlines.
Albany, Georgia Slip-And-Fall Attorney
If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident in Albany Georgia, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The personal injury lawyers at Williams Elleby are devoted to helping injured slip-and-fall victims win compensation in their claims against careless property owners. We will help explain your options and give you the peace of mind in knowing that someone is fighting on your behalf to get you compensated. Call Williams Elleby at (833) 534-2542 or contact us online to consult with one of our dedicated slip-and-fall lawyers today.