There’s no type of accident more common in Roswell, Georgia than a slip and fall accident. Slip and falls can happen anywhere, anytime. They happen at work, department stores and friend’s houses. Most falls occur because somebody failed to keep their premises safe. If this happens, you may have a personal injury claim against. An experienced Roswell slip and fall lawyer can fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Not all slip and falls warrant a lawsuit. You may fall just because you’re clumsy. Or maybe you’re wearing the wrong kind of shoes. If this is the case, you’d be hard pressed blaming somebody else. In order to pursue a third party for a slip and fall case, you have to prove that they are responsible for your fall. Unless they created a dangerous environment, they probably aren’t at fault.
However, if you fall because of somebody’s negligence, you probably have a legitimate claim for damages. If you’re not sure if you have a case or not, you should meet with an attorney in Roswell. A Roswell slip and fall attorney can review your case and let you know where you stand. They can also let you know what your case may be worth.
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Just like with most personal injury cases, you’ll have to prove negligence in a slip and fall case. You will have to show that the property owner was negligent. In order to do this, your Roswell slip and fall lawyer will have to prove all four elements of a negligence case. In plain English, negligence is caused when someone didn’t do what they were supposed to do. It can mean a property owner didn’t shovel the snow off their sidewalk. Or, a department store manager didn’t keep their store entrance clean and dry.
If you’ve fallen on someone’s property, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, it’s a good idea. The second thing you need to do is call an experienced Roswell slip and fall lawyer.
In order to be compensated for damages in a slip and fall case, your slip and fall attorney in Roswell must prove the following:
- The property owner was required to maintain safe conditions
- He failed to do so
- You fell as a result
- You were injured in your fall
If you can’t prove all four elements, you won’t recover. Since slip and fall claims are usually paid through an insurance claim, your Roswell slip and fall lawyer will try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If your case is more of a nuisance claim (and not worth much money), the insurance company may settle just to make your claim go away. It’s a lot easier for them to settle a claim like this than it is to fight it in court.
Here are two examples of slip and fall scenarios. One is clearly the fault of the property owner. The other is more than likely not going to stand up in court.
You stop at a coffee shop to grab some caffeine before work. You are wearing sensible shoes and the weather is mild. While walking to the counter to order your drink, you fall on a broken tile. You suffer a broken wrist and a back injury in the fall. The café owner has instructed the night manager to fix the broken file several times. There are emails to document this.
In this case, the café owner owed you a duty of care. They were required to maintain safe premises for their customers and they breached this duty by failing to repair the broken tile. They were aware of the issue as demonstrated by their emails to the manager. You fell on the tile and you weren’t wearing high heels or some other type of shoe that could have caused you to slip and fall. You were injured and suffered a broken wrist and back injury. Your case for negligence is strong in this example.
It is snowing and raining outside. You are wearing a tight dress and flip flops and you went to dinner and had a few drinks. You decide it’s the perfect time to go Christmas shopping. As you enter the department store, you slip on the floor and break your leg. The floor doesn’t appear to be wet and there is a caution sign up just in case.
In this example, your Roswell slip and fall lawyer will be hard pressed to prove negligence. You are wearing shoes that make no sense given the weather. You are under the influence of a few drinks. The store manager made sure the floor was dry and even put up caution signs just in case. Chances are, you fell because you were bit tipsy and were wearing flip flops in the snow. It would be very difficult for a Roswell slip and fall attorney to prove your injuries were the store’s fault. In fact, very few Roswell slip and fall lawyers would even want to take a case like this.
Slip and Fall Attorney in Roswell Know How to Handle Contributory Negligence
If you are partly at fault for your injuries, you will not be able to recover as much under a slip and fall case. Georgia is a contributory negligence state. This means that they will decrease your settlement by your percentage of fault. The good news is that you will rarely have your case thrown out of court for being partly at fault. However, if you are more than 50% at fault, your case will be dismissed.
Roswell slip and fall lawyers know the law in Georgia when it comes to this issue. They understand how comparative negligence works. If they meet with a client who appears to be mostly at fault, they will explain that they may not have a case. They will probably not be willing to accept a case like this. They don’t want to put a ton of work into a case only to find out they won’t recover a dime at the end.
If you are less than 50% at fault, your claim may be successful in Georgia. You just won’t recover the same amount as you would if you weren’t at fault. Under the contributory negligence standard, your settlement award or judgment will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if you would normally be awarded $100,000 but were found to be 30% at fault, your award will be reduced by $30,000.
An Experienced Attorney Will Prove Your Damages
If you slip and fall, you will need to pursue the defendant for your damages. Most claims are paid through insurance. You file a claim and, hopefully, your claim is paid. If not, you may have to file legal action. You will need a good lawyer to handle this for you. They know how to prove your damages in court. One thing they will rely on is your medical records. This is why it’s so important that you always seek medical attention following a slip and fall. If you refuse treatment, your Roswell slip and fall lawyer has nothing to go on other than your word. This is not enough to prove damages in court.
When you go the hospital for treatment, they will do the necessary tests to see if you’re injured. They will administer x-rays, CT scans and MRI to determine the extent of your injuries. An attorneys needs these records to show the court how severe your injuries were. Without this information, it’s your word against the defendants.
Your slip and fall attorney in Roswell will demand the following in the way of damages:
- Medical bills – An attorney is going to demand that you be compensated for all medical bills. This includes past, present and future medical bills. Roswell slip and fall lawyers will need to submit your medical bills and records to prove how extensive these damages are.
- Lost wages – Even if your injuries were minor, you probably still missed time from work. Your Roswell slip and fall attorney will rely on your paystubs and timesheets to prove how much time you missed. You shouldn’t have trouble getting this documentation from your employer. If you do, your Roswell slip and fall attorney will simply subpoena them.
- Future Earnings – Most slip and falls don’t result in serious injuries. Most people recover within weeks or months. However, if you do suffer a severe injury, you may become permanently disabled. If this is the case, your attorney will demand compensation for your lost future earnings
- Pain and Suffering – Georgia law does allow for pain and suffering. A lawyer can demand that you be paid for your pain and suffering.
It’s important that you keep in touch with your slip and fall attorney in Roswell if you want to win your case. You need to attend all doctor’s appointment and physical therapy sessions. This is the only way your attorney can get you a fair settlement.
How Does Your Slip and Fall Attorney in Roswell Prove Pain and Suffering?
Unlike medical bills or lost earnings, pain and suffering are hard to measure. It is subjective. It all depends on how a jury or judge views your case. There are some things they will look at to determine how severe your injuries were.
Your lawyer will present evidence to prove your pain and suffering. The court will look at the following when considering damages for pain and suffering:
- Severity of the initial injury
- Degree of pain common with your type of injuries
- Chances for long-term consequences
- What were your economic damages (bills, lost wages, etc.)?
- What effect will your injuries have on your family?
Your slip and fall attorney in Roswell must present evidence of all of these things. He may interview your friends and family. He may put you on the stand to testify to how bad your pain was. Also he may ask your doctor or therapist to sign an affidavit explaining how serious your injuries were. All of these things are considered when proving pain and suffering.
Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney in Roswell Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall, you need to contact a slip and fall attorney in Roswell today. You will first try to get your claim paid through the defendant’s insurance company. If your claim isn’t paid, you are going to need to retain the services of an attorney. He can deal with the insurance company for you.
When you first meet with your slip and fall attorney in Roswell, you want to bring the following:
- Copy of accident or incident report
- Contact information for eyewitnesses
- Pictures of accident scene
- Pictures of your injuries
- Medical records (if possible)
- Medical bills received
- Correspondence from defendant, his attorney and his insurance company
A lawyer could get specific information from the accident or incident report. It usually describes the conditions that caused your fall. It also will have contact information for the people who witnessed or managed the scene.
Your attorney’s job is to make you whole. It is not his job to make you rich. Regardless of what you may think, very few people receive millions for a slip and fall case. Our Roswell GA personal injury lawyers will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. They negotiate with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement.
If you’ve suffered a slip a fall accident, contact a Roswell slip and fall lawyer today. The initial consultation is absolutely free. It gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have. It also gives your slip and fall attorney in Roswell a chance to review your case. Remember, you pay nothing until you settle your case!