When Is a Georgia Property Owner Liable for a Slip and Fall Injury?
- posted: May 15, 2020
There are countless ways to suffer an unexpected injury on a person’s or business’s property. Hazards like wet floors, uneven ground, wobbly railings and unsecured furniture can make it impossible to maintain balance. A slip or trip may send you landing in an awkward position on a hard surface, resulting in injuries as serious as broken bones and head trauma.
Georgia law recognizes that although some property owners can be held liable for injuries that occur on their property, others have no control over freak events that happen without warning. Knowing when a property owner is or is not liable for your slip and fall accident in Georgia is an important consideration when seeking compensation.
Courts have held that anyone who owns or occupies property in Georgia has a duty to exercise ordinary care to keep the property and its approaches safe for lawful visitors. Ordinary care may involve things like keeping walkways clear and well lit, putting up “caution” signs when floors are wet, making visitors aware of potential dangers, and taking other common-sense measures. In order for property owners to be held negligent for an injury that takes place on their premises, they must not only fail to exercise ordinary care but also fail to remedy a safety hazard that they knew about or should have known about. That safety hazard must have caused or contributed to the injury.
Visitors are also expected to exercise ordinary care by acting reasonably and responsibly. For a visitor, ordinary care can involve simple actions like paying attention to one’s surroundings, staying away from obvious dangers and heeding warnings from the property owner. When a visitor fails to exercise ordinary care, the property owner may be off the hook for the accident.
In any Georgia personal injury lawsuit arising from a slip and fall accident, fault may be divided between the property owner and injured person. The state’s modified comparative negligence rule determines whether or not an injured person can sue for financial compensation and how much. According to this standard, a plaintiff can only collect damages if he or she is found to be less than 50 percent at fault for the injury, and compensation will be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. So, if you fall on someone’s property but were not paying attention to where you were going because you were on your cellphone, you may have to bear some fault for your accident.
If you are hurt on someone else’s property and wonder if you are entitled to recover compensation for your medical bills and other expenses, speak to one of our Stone Mountain personal injury lawyers. Serving clients in the Atlanta area since 1989, the attorneys at Jason & Bradley, LLC in Stone Mountain, Georgia have successfully litigated many slip and fall cases. To schedule your free initial consultation, call 404-297-9933 or contact us online.