Georgia Slip and fall claims are largely governed by Georgia premises liability law. The basic rule of premises liability law is found in the Official Code of Georgia Section § 51-3-1, which states that when landowners invite others onto their property, they must “exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”
If you’ve fallen in a store or other business because of an unsafe condition, you may be entitled to compensation. The key to determining whether a property owner is liable for slip and fall harm is whether they failed to “exercise ordinary care” in keeping the premises safe. There are several important factors that must be considered. The basic elements of a slip and fall claim in Georgia are:
1. There must have been a dangerous condition present;
2. The property owner must have negligently failed to remedy the condition and/or failed to warn the victim about it; and
3. The dangerous condition must have caused the harm complained of.
Establishing Property Owner Liability in Slip and Fall Claims
Although the elements of a slip and fall claim are relatively simple, these types of cases can be surprisingly complicated. Businesses will often hotly contest liability, and proving these claims typically involves collecting large amounts of evidence. Eyewitness or video evidence is usually needed to prove that a “dangerous condition” existed. Without proving a dangerous condition existed, a plaintiff cannot successfully win a slip and fall claim.
But it is not enough to simply prove that a dangerous condition existed. Sufficient evidence is also required to prove that the business owner negligently failed to fix or warn about the dangerous condition. This can require collecting evidence showing that the business knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. Georgia courts also follow the “superior knowledge” doctrine, which holds that the business must have had superior knowledge of the dangerous condition compared to the plaintiff. Therefore, even if a business knew or should have known about a dangerous condition, if a plaintiff was actually aware of the danger but ignored the risk, the business may not be liable.
Once a plaintiff can prove that a dangerous condition existed and that a business was negligent, he must then prove that the condition caused his harm. This often requires medical evidence and expert testimony. Finally, it is also a defense against liability if the plaintiff negligently caused their own harm. A plaintiff may not be able to win their claim if they were contributorily negligent.
If You’ve Taken a Fall in a Store, Call Williams Elleby, Today
If you’ve been injured in a Kennesaw, GA slip and fall accident because of a hazard or unsafe condition, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case. When businesses fail to clean up hazards, fix dangerous conditions, or warn customers about risks, anyone harmed as a result is entitled to compensation. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby, have deep knowledge of Georgia premises liability law and are dedicated to maximizing compensation for each of their clients. Contact Williams Elleby, today to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.