While everyone accepts some level of risk when they visit someone else’s property, those who allow guests onto their land have certain duties to provide reasonably safe premises for visitors. If a landowner’s failure to maintain their property in a safe condition directly leads to someone losing their footing and falling, that landowner might bear civil liability for the injuries and losses resulting from that incident.
Successfully filing suit over a slipping or tripping accident can be challenging even if you have compelling evidence of landowner negligence, especially without a capable personal injury attorney’s support. A Cleveland slip and fall lawyer could make a huge difference not only in how effectively you can establish someone else’s fault for your injuries, but also to how much compensation you could ultimately obtain through a successful claim. Give us a call to get started.
Under Georgia state law, landowners owe slightly different “duties” to people on their land depending on a particular individual’s reason for being there. For example, landowners generally have no obligation to protect trespassers from harm so long as they do not act in a “willful or wanton” way to intentionally hurt a trespasser, as per Official Code of Georgia §51-3-3. Conversely, under O.C.G.A. §§51-3-1 and 51-3-2, landowners are generally expected to warn lawful visitors of known hazards or even undertake regular inspections of their property to ensure there are no unknown hazards that could cause someone else harm.
If a property owner fails to take appropriate care of their land, either by fulfilling the applicable duty themselves or assigning that task to a particular employee of theirs, they have “breached” their duty. If this breach then directly leads to a visitor slipping or tripping and falling in a way that leaves them with an injury requiring professional medical care, the landowner could be held liable for said injuries under the legal principle of negligence.
The exact nature of a property owner’s “duty” and what actions would constitute a breach can vary. Guidance from a Cleveland trip and fall attorney could be essential to sorting out who might be legally at fault for a particular accident and what options an injured person might have for seeking financial restitution.
Regardless of how severe a slip and fall victim’s injuries are, they typically only have two years after their initial accident under O.C.G.A. §9-3-33 to actually file suit. This often means it is necessary to start the litigation process well before a plaintiff can confirm the financial value of all accident-related losses. Estimating the value of such losses in advance is something a slip and fall lawyer in Cleveland could provide assistance with.
Legal representation can also be key to contesting allegations that an injured party bears partial or primary fault for their own injuries. According to O.C.G.A. §51-11-7 and 51-12-33, an injured party that plays some part in their accident occurring could have their damages award reduced as a result. An individual found to be more than 50 percent at fault could be barred from recovery altogether. A knowledgeable lawyer could explain this concept in more detail and work to make sure an individual does not face unfair delegations of blame after a slip and fall accident.
Slip and fall litigation can be complex, especially if it is not clear exactly how an accident happened or how much a landowner directly contributed. Fortunately, help is available from experienced legal professionals who have a long track record of successful outcomes in cases like yours.
Talking with a Cleveland slip and fall lawyer could help you understand your rights and proactively begin to pursue compensation. Contact our team at Smith Hulsey Law to learn more.
Smith Hulsey Law