Atlanta Slip And Fall Attorneys
Premises liability law involves injuries that occur when someone is on the property of another, including slip and falls, dangerous natural conditions, man-made hazards, criminal attacks, false arrests and inadequate security. A person who is injured on the property of another may have a right to seek compensation for his/her injuries. A slip and fall case is a type of premises liability claim. Property owners have a legal obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment to people who are lawfully on their property. A premises liability case can be based on injuries occurring in residential, commercial or private buildings depending on the specific facts and circumstance of the case.
Duty of Care Owed by Property Owners
Premises liability law imposes varying degrees of responsibility on property owners to make their property safe or warn of hazards on the property based on a number of factors, including the relationship between the parties, the visitor’s purpose, the type of hazard and other factors. In some situations, the property owner has an obligation to conduct reasonable inspections of the property in other situations no such obligation applies. The issues involved in slip and fall cases require intensive factual analysis so it is important to work with an experienced Atlanta slip and fall attorney at Montlick and Associates. Our Atlanta slip and fall attorneys have been representing those injured in falls throughout Georgia since we were founded in 1984. An important inquiry in determining the amount of care owed by an Atlanta property owner involves a determination of the purpose for one’s visit to the property of another.
Invitee: When a customer enters a store or restaurant, the law classifies them as an invitee, which means essentially that they are present for the mutual benefit of both the business and the patron. This characterization means that a business owner has an obligation to keep the premises reasonably safe from dangerous conditions including a foreign substance like spilled food, detergent, soda, water or a flaw in the flooring like a cracked tile. Invitees may include members of public service organizations attending meetings, contractors doing work on the premises, customers seeking to purchase products and services or other similar mutually beneficial relationships. Invitees are entitled to the highest standard of protection under the law. This duty includes conducting reasonable inspections and maintenance to discover and make safe hazards on the premises.
Licensee: A licensee is essentially a social guest, such as a friend who visits a neighbor. A door-to-door solicitor would also typically be considered a licensee. Property owners owe an intermediate duty of care to protect licensees who come on their property not to expose them wantonly and recklessly to non-obvious perils.
Trespassers/Attractive Nuisance: Those who enter your property for their own purpose and without express or implied permission generally are owed the lowest duty of care. A property owner only has an obligation not to wantonly and recklessly injure a trespasser. This essentially means that you have a legal obligation not to set traps designed to injure trespassers. There is one significant exception to the general rule that property owners do not owe a significant duty of care to trespassers, which applies to children who trespass. The attractive nuisance doctrine imposes a duty on property owners similar to that owed to invitees to protect children from artificial (man-made) hazards that are likely to attract child trespassers. The rationale behind this exception is that children may lack the experience and judgment to fully appreciate the risk posed by certain types of hazards. The classic example of an attractive nuisance is a swimming pool.
Important Issues and Evidence in Atlanta Slip and Fall Claims
Insurance companies for grocery stores and other businesses often defend slip and fall cases by claiming that the accident victim is responsible for his/her own injuries. The open and obvious doctrine is a defense used in many slip and fall cases, which essentially provides that when a visitor is on the property of another the visitor has an obligation to avoid hazards that are readily apparent. If you are shopping in Costco and a large pallet of merchandise is in the middle of the aisle, the insurance company will argue that the hazard was so obvious you had an obligation to avoid tripping over it.
Successful slip and fall cases require a careful analysis of the factual circumstance of a fall. Our experienced Atlanta slip and fall attorneys at Montlick and Associates may analyze the following types of evidence:
- Store accident report
- Video surveillance footage
- Warnings or barriers
- Visual inspection of the accident location
- Witness reports regarding the incident and duration that hazard was present
- Adequacy of lighting
- Past reports of accidents from the same hazard
When you slip and fall on the property of another in Atlanta you may suffer life-altering injuries. A slip on a wet floor, a trip on cracked pavement or a fall down a broken stairway can cause severe injuries including broken bones, head and neck injuries, spinal injuries and even paralysis or death. When a property owner fails to repair a dangerous condition on the premises or fails to warn of such a condition, the property owner may be liable for damages, including the victim's medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, diminished earning capacity, mental anguish, disfigurement, pain and suffering and other damages. Our experienced Atlanta slip and fall attorneys often employ experts to analyze potential hazards posed by flooring.
If you are involved in an Atlanta slip and fall accident, you should seek immediate medical attention and report all symptoms no matter how minor they may seem. If you fail to report the symptoms, the property owner’s insurance company may later claim the injuries were not suffered when you slipped and fell. You should also seek immediate legal advice so that our Atlanta slip and fall lawyers can begin investigating the incident and preserving evidence if we take your case. Our experienced Atlanta slip and fall accident attorneys are committed to pursuing the best possible outcome for our clients. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation because there is absolutely no obligation for us to evaluate your Atlanta slip and fall accident claim. 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.