Savannah Slip and Fall Lawyers

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Slip and fall accidents are very common and can occur anytime a property owner fails to maintain the floors, sidewalks, parking lots, or other surfaces on the property. Although a slip on an icy sidewalk may result in a minor injury such as a sprained ankle, more serious falls can cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Property owners are legally responsible for ensuring that their property is free of any hazards that could cause slip and fall accidents. When it comes to determining liability for a slip and fall accident, it is often the property owner who is held liable for any injuries that the accident causes. However, in some cases, the injured party may be partly to blame for their injuries if they ignored posted warning signs or engaged in unsafe behavior that prevented them from noticing the hazard. A skilled lawyer experienced in premises liability will determine whether the accident was due to the negligence of the property owner, assist the injured party with the claims process, and obtain the financial compensation that the victim deserves.

What are the Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?

Slip and fall accidents are caused by a wide range of factors, most of which are preventable if the necessary safety precautions are taken and the property owner is proactive about maintaining his or her property. The following are examples of some of the most common causes of slip and fall injuries:

  • Wet or uneven walking surfaces: This is the most common cause of slip and fall accidents and is responsible for over half of all reported slip and fall cases in the United States. Examples of wet or uneven surfaces that can be very hazardous include freshly mopped floors, loose mats or floorboards, debris on the floor, cracked or defective sidewalks, and poorly lit or defectively constructed staircases.
  • Debris or other obstructions: When there is trash, debris, small equipment or supplies, or other items left on the floor where people are likely to walk by, this can increase the risk of a slip and fall accident.
  • Inclement weather: No one can control the weather or the hazardous conditions it can cause. However, property owners do have a responsibility to clear away snow, ice, wet leaves, or any other weather-related hazards that can cause a slip and fall accident. This includes shoveling sidewalks, plowing streets, and salting walkways.
  • Stray cords and electrical wires: People can easily trip over an electrical cord or extension cord that is laying on the floor. Workers or property owners must keep cords away from the walking path, run the cords along a wall if possible, and tape the cord to the floor with duct tape so it does not move. 
  • Missing or broken handrails: Handrails are essential to ensuring that staircases are safe. When a handrail is missing, broken, or not secured properly, a serious slip and fall accident can happen. Injuries can be quite serious, particularly if the staircase involved many steps and the individual fell from the top of the staircase.
  • Poor lighting: When a property is poorly lit, there is an increased risk of slip and fall accidents. The exterior of the property, including sidewalks, walkways, and parking lots, should be well lit at all times. Also, the inside of the property, including hallways, staircases, and bathrooms, should be properly lit for safety.
  • Inadequate or missing signage: If there is a known hazard on the property, the property owner must place the necessary signage on the property to warn people about the hazard. Caution tape can also be used to prevent people from entering the property until the hazard has been addressed and the problem fixed.
  • Poor training: In industries such as construction and manufacturing, employees must be properly trained on how to avoid slip and fall accidents in the workplace. There are countless slip and fall hazards at busy construction sites, so employers must ensure that all workers have the necessary personal protective equipment and know the steps to take to recognize a slip and fall hazard and avoid an accident.

What Injuries are Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents?

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that close to nine million people go to the emergency room each year after suffering a slip and fall injury. Owing to the surprising nature of the fall and the way that the body falls in these types of accidents, the resulting injuries can often be quite serious. The following are examples of common slip and fall injuries:

  • Cuts, scrapes, and bruises: Although not usually life-threatening, these injuries can be painful and take some time to heal. In most cases, people fully recover from these types of injuries. These are the most common slip and fall injuries.
  • Sprains and fractures: Falls can also cause injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and bones because they absorb most of the impact from the fall. The parts of the body that are particularly prone to injuries are the hands, forearms, upper arms, spine, hips, legs, and ankles.
  • Shoulder dislocation: Oftentimes, people land on their shoulder when they fall. Also known as brachial plexus injuries, shoulder dislocations are extremely painful but highly treatable.
  • Head injuries: A serious slip and fall accident can cause the victim to suffer serious head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In fact, slip and fall accidents are responsible for approximately 40 percent of all TBIs that require emergency treatment.
  • Back injuries: The twisting motion and the sudden impact of the fall can cause a range of back and spine injuries, including fractured vertebrae, strain to the spinal muscles, and bulged or herniated disks. Depending on the nature and severity of the injury, these injuries can cause severe pain and require extensive physical therapy to heal. In extreme cases, a spinal injury can result in temporary or permanent paralysis.
  • Neck injuries: These injuries are similar to spine injuries because of the neck’s relation to the spine. A serious neck injury can impact the entire body and cause the victim to become paralyzed from the neck down.

Who is at Greatest Risk for Slip and Fall Injuries?

A slip and fall accident can happen to anyone, at any time, if there are hazardous conditions. However, certain individuals are at greater risk of being injured in a slip and fall accident, including the following:

  • Construction workers
  • Factory workers
  • Senior citizens
  • Hospital workers
  • Truck drivers

Does the Injured Party Ever Share Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident?

Although the property owner is generally held liable for slip and fall accidents if it can be proved that negligence was involved, there are situations in which the injured party may bear some or all of the responsibility. For example, the victim may be held liable for the following:

  • Wearing improper footwear
  • Entering the property while intoxicated
  • Texting, talking on the phone, or other distracted behavior that could prevent him or her from recognizing and avoiding the hazard
  • Running or acting carelessly on the property
  • Entering an area that was clearly marked with warning signs or caution tape

What Should I Do if I Was Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Slip and fall accidents tend to happen when people least expect it. When the accident results in an injury, the victim may be unsure about what steps to take immediately following the accident. Knowing what to do after a slip and fall accident can make the incident much less stressful and ensure that important evidence is collected if the victim pursues a personal injury claim. Slip and fall victims are urged to take the following steps following the accident:

  • If able to do so, the victim should take a picture of the hazardous condition, photographing any warning signs in the vicinity or a lack thereof.
  • The victim should take pictures of the weather conditions if the accident occurred outside or in an entryway.
  • If witnesses saw the accident happen, they should be asked if they would be willing to provide a statement and their contact information.
  • The victim should alert the property owner or the store or business manager that the injury occurred on his or her property.
  • The victim should seek medical attention, even if the injuries seem minor. A failure to do so can have a negative impact on the victim’s claim, as it may give the impression that the injury was not serious enough to warrant medical attention.

In the state of Georgia, a slip and fall claim must be filed within two years from the date of the injury. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if the accident occurred on government property, the two-year statute of limitations will often still apply, but the injured party must provide a notice of a claim within six months in cases involving state, county, or local government agencies. A skilled and experienced slip and fall lawyer will ensure that the claim is filed well before the statute of limitations expires.

How Do I Prove that a Property Owner was Negligent?

In order to file a slip and fall claim against a property owner, the injured party must be able to prove that he or she was not aware of the hazardous condition that caused the injury. In most injury cases, the standard that is used is whether the injured person exercised the prudence that an ordinarily careful person would use in a similar situation. The injured person must also be able to prove that the property owner was negligent. To do this, the victim must show that the property owner had a duty to maintain his or her property and keep it safe, and that he or she breached that duty. In order to prove that there was a breach in duty, the injured party must demonstrate that the property owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard. Actual knowledge is something that is seen, heard, or otherwise known; constructive knowledge is something that the property owner should have known. The injured victim must also prove that the breach of duty caused the injury, and that the injury resulted in damages. The following are examples of factors that should be considered in a slip and fall case:

  • Was the property owner aware of the hazardous condition? Did the problem exist for a long enough period that the property owner should have taken steps to eliminate the hazard?
  • Did the property owner have a policy of regularly inspecting the premises for hazards? If so, is there proof that he or she inspected the property prior to the accident?
  • Was there an acceptable reason for the potential hazard to exist, and could the property owner justify why the hazard existed at the time of the accident?
  • Could the hazard have been prevented or made less dangerous if the property owner had taken preventative measures such as placing warning signage in the area or preventing access to the property?
  • Did poor lighting or limited visibility cause the fall?

What Damages May I Receive for a Slip and Fall Injury?

When a slip and fall accident causes a serious injury, the consequences can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating, particularly if the injury prevents the victim from being able to return to work or causes permanent disabilities. A successful slip and fall claim will ensure that the injured party receives financial compensation for the following:

  • All medical expenses related to the injury
  • Lost wages and loss of future earning potential
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

How can a Slip and Fall Lawyer Help Me?

If an individual has been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is highly recommended that he or she contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. The process of pursuing a slip and fall claim can be overwhelming and confusing, particularly if the victim is recovering from serious injuries. A slip and fall lawyer will collect critical evidence, interview witnesses who were at the scene of the accident, determine whether the property owner was negligent, and ensure that the victim’s legal rights are protected at all times. If the property owner’s legal team tries to hold the victim liable for the accident, a dedicated slip and fall lawyer will be able to anticipate the legal tactics they will use and ensure that the property owner is held liable for their failure to properly maintain a safe property.

Contact the Kicklighter Law team at 912-754-6003 
to schedule a free consultation!

Our Savannah Slip and Fall Attorneys at Kicklighter Law Represent Victims of Slip and Fall Accidents 

If you or someIf you or someone you know was seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, do not hesitate to contact our experienced and dedicated slip and fall lawyers in Savannah. We will determine whether the property owner’s failure to properly maintain his or her property resulted in the slip and fall accident that caused your injuries. Our skilled legal team has a proven track record of reaching successful settlements for victims of slip and fall accidents.

To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. We are located in Springfield, Georgia, and we proudly serve clients in Springfield, Effingham County, Savannah, and surrounding areas.