Injuries from a slip-and-fall accident can have a devastating impact on your quality of life. You may be facing a lengthy recovery period involving prolonged treatment and therapy. Such an accident may be taking a heavy physical, emotional, and financial toll on you and your family.
Sadly, emergency department visits for fall-related injuries account for 33 percent of all non-fatal injuries annually in the United States. The circumstances of slip-and-fall accidents vary widely. Often, those hurt can recover compensation for their injuries through an insurance claim or slip and fall lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property in Atlanta, you likely want to understand the best path to compensation. This article will discuss various legal insights into slip and fall cases and how to seek compensation successfully.
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case is Essential When Pursuing Compensation
The simple fact that you fell and injured yourself on another person’s property does not automatically mean that you have a case. That being said, Georgia law requires public and private property owners to reasonably maintain their properties to ensure the well-being of all visitors. When they fail to do so, you may be able to recover compensation for injuries that took place on their property.
As the injured party, you must prove that your slip-and-fall accident resulted from the property owner’s negligence. You must demonstrate that someone else’s carelessness caused your injuries. The evidence must show that the property owner or representative failed to uphold or meet certain conditions that would have prevented the accident from happening.
To prove negligence against the property owner or representative, you will need to establish:
- That a hazardous condition existed on the property
- That the property owner or representative knew or should have known that the hazardous condition existed
- That he or she failed to rectify or sufficiently warn of the hazardous condition
- That you fell and were hurt as a result of his or her failure to correct the dangerous condition
Georgia slip and fall claims are not always straightforward. It can be challenging to prove the property owner’s fault after such an accident.
An experienced Atlanta premises liability lawyer can help you determine how your fall happened. He or she can then assist you in proving negligence and liability against the party responsible.
How Your Slip and Fall Injuries Impact Compensation
A notable factor in how much compensation can be won in a slip and fall case is the severity of your injuries. In general, injuries with a greater impact on your life will bring higher settlement amounts.
Critical injuries with long recovery periods may forever change your life. Fall injury victims suffering from chronic pain and restricted mobility commonly seek significant compensation awards.
Severe injuries that may warrant considerable compensation in a slip and fall case include:
- Severe head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Broken bones, such as hip, leg, or spine
- Permanent disfigurement
If your slip and fall injuries require multiple surgeries or extensive long-term care, such factors will impact your potential compensation. The goal in seeking compensation in any fall accident case is to help you regain your quality of life after the incident.
Important Steps to Take When Seeking Compensation After a Slip-and-Fall Accident
After a serious fall on someone else’s property, you can take certain actions to ensure that your rights are protected. Such steps will also help you pursue fair compensation after such an event.
The following steps will help to establish the legitimacy of your case. You can seek the restitution you deserve for what you have gone through.
Seek medical attention immediately
A fall can be a life-threatening event. Even if you do not think your injuries are serious, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is best. Some major injuries are not always apparent right away.
Getting prompt medical treatment will put you on the best path to recovery and help demonstrate your credibility. Your medical records can serve as documentation of the accident and evidence of the ensuing health conditions when you pursue compensation in a personal injury claim later on.
You need to follow your healthcare provider’s treatment plan carefully. If you fail to do so, the other parties could assert that you were not as hurt as you claim.
Take pictures of your fall injuries and the accident scene
Photographs can be invaluable by proving liability in a slip-and-fall accident claim. Take pictures of where the fall occurred and any conditions that might have caused or contributed to your accident.
Remember, the evidence will not last long, so act quickly. Most likely, a wet floor or other hazardous conditions from the time of the incident will be remedied without delay.
You should take pictures of your injuries before and after seeking medical attention. If you are too unnerved or severely injured to take pictures yourself, ask an onlooker or friend to take them for you.
Being able to show the insurance adjuster or court visual proof of how the accident occurred and your resulting injuries can result in a larger amount of compensation.
Get witness contact information
Eyewitnesses can confirm the details of exactly how the accident happened. Compelling witness testimony can go a long way in proving negligence and liability in a slip and fall case.
It is wise to collect the names and contact information of anyone who saw the fall. Get the information of even anyone who may have come onto the scene after the accident occurred but can verify the conditions of where the episode took place.
File an official injury report
Always record the exact location of the slip-and-fall accident and promptly inform the property owner or representative.
If you fell in a place of business, the store supervisor on duty should fill out an accident report. Be sure to request a copy. An official report will ensure that the business cannot later argue that the fall accident never happened.
Further, if emergency personnel respond to the incident, they will make a written report of what happened. Your fall accident lawyer can attain a copy of this report.
Request security footage of the slip-and-fall accident
Retail stores and other businesses often have security cameras running at all times. If you had a slip-and-fall accident on public property, you have the legal right to ask the management to retain the security footage of what happened. Your lawyer can help you gather and review security camera footage.
Security footage can provide indisputable evidence of the circumstances of your fall. If your accident was caught on camera, this will go a long way in helping you gain compensation for the property owner’s negligence in your case.
Document your slip and fall case
Write down as many details as you can remember. Do this after your fall accident, as soon as you are able. Such a record will help you accurately describe your position to an insurance company or jury later.
Every detail is important. Write down what happened that day before your fall. Include the weather conditions, what stores you went to, and how your slip-and-fall happened.
You will also want to save all documents related to your claim. This includes all accident reports, medical records, bills, and insurance company correspondence. Also, if you have been unable to work because of your injuries, you must provide documentation of lost income to claim those damages.
The compensation you are awarded will be based on the losses you can prove. Thorough and comprehensive records assist in building a solid and convincing personal injury claim.
Do not accept blame or assign blame for the accident
Establishing fault in a slip-and-fall accident requires careful investigation. It is not in your best interest to either allocate or shoulder the blame for the accident until the case has been reviewed carefully by both your fall attorney and the insurance company.
If you wish to take legal action and pursue compensation against the property owner, you should be mindful to avoid making any negative statements. Your own words could be used against you, potentially weakening your case.
Do not post about your slip and fall claim on social media
It may be tempting to post about your fall accident on social media, especially if you are in physical pain and feeling anxious and stressed. Nevertheless, talking about an ongoing legal claim or the details of a potential slip and fall lawsuit on any internet platform is not a good idea.
Any pictures you post or comments you make online can be twisted and used against you later. Just one hasty or thoughtless post could ruin your chances of fair compensation for our injuries. It is best to keep any discussions about your fall case between you, your doctors, and your personal injury lawyers.
Be cautious when interacting with the insurance company
Insurance adjusters are notoriously hard to deal with. Their goal is to save their own company money. Therefore, they may attempt to pressure you into a low settlement agreement. Be cautious about how much information you reveal to them.
A fall accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, which offers incredible benefits. For one, having experienced legal representation often leads to larger compensation amounts in personal injury claims.
Seek help from a slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible
Slip and fall injury claims can be complicated. A personal injury attorney is qualified to explain your legal rights and various options in seeking damages for your injuries.
Additionally, in the emotional aftermath of a personal injury, your lawyer can do the legal legwork for you so that you can focus on your recovery. He or she will work to gather evidence before it is gone, guide you through the claims process, and help you evaluate any settlement offers. Although many personal injury cases settle out of court, your lawyer can argue your case at trial if necessary.
All of the above will help you secure a reasonable settlement for all you have gone through.
Attain Just Compensation With the Help of an Atlanta Slip and Fall Attorney
Slips and falls can lead to painful injuries, emotional distress, and financial hardships. If you, or someone close to you, has been hurt in a fall accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may have legal recourse against the at-fault party.
As an injured person, though, the entire legal process may seem daunting. You may wish to pursue compensation but feel unsure where to turn for help. The fall injury lawyers at Hoffspiegel Law stand ready to advocate for you during this difficult time.
When we accept your case, our entire legal team will champion your rights. Since we have the best interest of each of our clients at heart at Hoffspiegel Law, we only take on a case if we have the knowledge, experience, and availability to see the matter through to the end.
As your legal warriors, we want to hear your story. We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. Call Hoffspiegel Law today at (404) 760-8600 or click the Contact Us button to schedule a free consultation. Learn what our Georgia slip and fall lawyers can do for you.