A sudden fall of even a few feet can cause serious and even life-threatening injuries, especially if it leads to impact on a hard surface at an awkward angle. If you slip or trip and fall on someone else’s property because that person failed to keep their land in a reasonably safe condition, they could be liable for your damages.
However, holding a property owner or manager legally accountable for injuries that occur under these circumstances can be a complicated process, which is why assistance from a seasoned personal injury attorney is essential. By retaining a knowledgeable Columbus slip and fall lawyer, you could increase your odds of obtaining comprehensive compensation while also avoiding common legal pitfalls that keep unrepresented plaintiffs from recovering effectively.
When Are Property Owners Liable for Slips and Falls?
There are numerous factors that have an effect on whether a property owner or manager bears civil fault for injuries a visitor suffers through a slipping or tripping accident. First and foremost, property owners are only liable for injuries caused by their negligent failure to maintain a safe premises if the injured visitor was on the property for the landowner’s benefit—for example, to shop in a retail store or eat at a restaurant. If the visitor is there for their own benefit or purposes, like a houseguest at a party, or if they are trespassing without the owner’s knowledge or consent, the landowner is only liable for injuries they cause through intentional malice or wanton neglect.
As a rule of thumb, property owners should regularly inspect their property to check for hazards they are unaware of and take reasonably prompt action to fix or block off dangers they become aware of, in order to keep visitors reasonably safe from harm. However, what counts as a negligent failure to meet this duty of care can vary depending on the situation.
For example, a slip and fall that happens because of a spill in a store aisle could be grounds for litigation if that spill had been left unattended for hours, but possibly not if the spill only happened seconds before the accident. An experienced Columbus slip and fall attorney could examine the circumstances leading up to a particular incident and offer guidance about whether litigation might be possible.
How Comparative Fault Could Impact Recovery
Part of what often makes slip and fall litigation challenging is the likelihood that a defendant landowner will claim an injured plaintiff is partially or mostly responsible for their own injuries. If a court finds that an injured person bears some blame for a slip and fall happening because they wore inappropriate footwear, ran through a dangerous area, or did something else reckless or careless, Official Code of Georgia §51-12-33 allows the court to reduce that plaintiff’s final damage award in proportion to their assigned percentage of fault.
Even worse, O.C.G.A. §51-11-7 prohibits any person found equally or more to blame for their own personal injury compared to all defendants combined from recovering any compensation whatsoever. Support from a trip and fall lawyer in Columbus can be especially crucial to effectively contesting accusations of fault made against an injured person.
Talk to a Columbus Slip and Fall Attorney About Your Legal Options
Achieving success with a lawsuit based on a slip or trip and fall can require extensive evidence and a lot of legal expertise, both of which can be hard to come by for plaintiffs who are unprepared for the litigation process. Fortunately, help is available from tenacious legal professional, David Bence, who knows how to proactively pursue fair monetary damages in situations like yours.
A capable Columbus slip and fall lawyer could be an irreplaceable ally all the way through your legal proceedings. Call today for a consultation.