The Dangers of Slip and Fall Accidents in Georgia Self-Storage Facilities


April 05, 2011

Many people use self-storage facilities in Atlanta and throughout Georgia but have no idea the danger that lurks in those facilities that are poorly supervised and maintained. These premises are often run and managed by a single person or elderly couple who are responsible for renting storage units, maintaining records and performing maintenance and all other duties associated with the operation and management of the facility.

The lack of supervision, spotty maintenance and understaffing at many self-storage facilities makes the risk of a slip and fall accident on the premises all too common.

If you are a patron of a self-storage facility and slip and fall on the premises, you may suffer serious injuries including broken bones, spinal cord damage, head and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries and even death. If you or someone you love is the victim of a slip and fall accident at a storage facility or other business, you may be entitled to recover damages for your injuries or the death of a loved one. The experienced Atlanta slip and fall accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates will diligently pursue your best interests as we consistently strive to be the best Atlanta personal injury law firm in Georgia.

A self-storage business is not like a grocery store or a restaurant with a heavy and constant flow of visitors, but it also may have less effective monitoring for potential hazards and lax cleanup and maintenance practices. Slip and fall accidents fall under the broad area of premises liability law, which provides safeguards and remedies to those entering on another person’s property, especially when conducting business which has mutual economic benefit to both parties. Under Georgia premises liability law, the duty owed to you as a patron of a storage facility is based on your classification as an invitee. Georgia law defines a patron of a storage facility as an invitee because the customer has been invited onto the property to do business with the storage facility owner. A storage facility owner owes an obligation to invitees to protect them from dangerous conditions on the premises.

If you are injured at a storage facility because you have a storage locker on the premises, you will need to establish that the facility owner did not take reasonable precautions to protect you against an existing danger on the property. The storage facility owner must take reasonable care to protect you from such risk, which may include regular inspections of the property and repairing or cleaning up hazardous conditions.

Slippery substances like spilled liquids that are left on the ground or floor cause many slip and fall injuries (also called “trip and falls”. These are called transitory foreign substances. Georgia premises liability law requires a slip and fall victim to establish the business owner had actual or at least constructive knowledge of such transitory substances. Constructive knowledge can typically be established in a couple of different ways:

  • The business owner’s employee was in the immediate vicinity of the hazard and could easily have seen and removed the hazard.
  • The substance was present on the floor for a long enough period of time that the business owner would have discovered it had he exercised reasonable care in conducting inspections of the premises.

This type of spill is common on the ground of a self-storage facility. Frequently, motor vehicles or auto parts or fluids are stored. Oil can end up spilled on the floor of the unit when the tenant moves out. If the storage facility owner never bothers to inspect the area or clean up, the new tenant may slip on the oil and suffer serious, even catastrophic, injuries.

Water on the floor is another common hazard in storage facilities. Some storage facilities are older or not designed as well as others. When heavy rains occur, puddles of water can form creating a dangerous hazard. Winter conditions can be very dangerous if the facility is not diligent about keeping the roads and public ways clear and ice-free.

Owners of self-storage facilities in Georgia must exercise reasonable care by regularly inspecting and maintaining their property. Our experienced Atlanta slip and fall lawyers will carefully investigate to determine such issues as whether the owner inspects empty units to make sure they are clean and free of debris, maintains roll up doors so they operate smoothly, checks the roofs and gutters of the buildings to make sure water is draining efficiently and treats slippery surfaces during the winter to keep them clear of snow. As appropriate, we will also carefully investigate to determine the company’s maintenance practices including keeping maintenance logbooks, analyzing any such logbook for evidence of inadequate maintenance, as well as review surveillance videos and interview witnesses.

Our experienced Atlanta slip and fall accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.