I Slipped and Fell in a Store in Kennesaw, Georgia – Is It My Fault or Theirs?
Store owners have a duty to keep their store premises safe by taking reasonable steps to ensure that customers and others invited onto the property are not harmed. This duty is defined by O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1, which states that store owners must “exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.” Notably, this duty extends to the “approaches” to the premises, which would include places like adjacent sidewalks and the store parking lot.
Therefore, if you’ve fallen in or just outside of a store, it may be the store’s fault, and you may be entitled to compensation. This is true if you were a customer or anyone else who could still be considered an invitee. If you were an employee of the store, however, your exclusive remedy would most likely be through workers compensation.
Did the Store Breach Its Duty?
Whether a slip-and-fall lawsuit is successful usually depends on whether the store breached their duty. This can be a surprisingly complicated and contentious question to answer. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to investigate these key pieces of evidence necessary to prove that a store breached its duty:
- Was the condition that caused the fall a “hazardous condition” under the meaning of the law? In some cases the most contentious issue is whether a condition was a “hazardous condition” in the first place. A plaintiff must prove what hazard caused he to fall in order to recover.
- Did the store have “superior knowledge” of the hazard? It must be proven that the store knew – or should have known – about the hazard. This can usually be proven based on eyewitness accounts, how likely the hazard was, and how long it existed before the accident. It must also be shown that the plaintiff didn’t know of the hazard. Hence, the store must have had “superior knowledge.” Collecting the evidence needed to prove this element of the claim should be done as soon as possible after an accident, so if you have slipped and fallen in a store, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney to begin an investigation.
- Was the slip and fall victim careless? Were the plaintiff’s eyes glued to their phone, or were they extremely inebriated when they walked into the hazard? They might bear some fault too. In these cases, under Georgia’s comparative fault law, the plaintiff’s damages would be reduced according to their percentage of fault.
If You’ve Taken a Fall in a Store, Have the Personal Injury Attorneys at Williams Elleby Investigate Your Case
If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident while shopping in a store, it is imperative that you understand your rights. If you fell due to a hazard that the store should have cleaned up, fixed, or warned you about, then you are entitled to compensation. Sometimes this is difficult to determine and prove. An experienced personal injury attorney can help. If you have been injured and would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby, online or call at (409) 389-1035 today to schedule a free consultation.