If you’re like most people, you’ve probably tripped and fallen a time or two in your life. Hopefully, you were able to dust yourself off and move on with your day (maybe even chuckling at your clumsiness in the process)—but each day in the United States, thousands of people aren’t so lucky. In fact, slip-and-fall accidents have been found to be responsible for an average of more than eight million hospital visits in the United States each year.
Of course, slip-and-fall / trip-and-fall incidents aren’t always a result of innocent clumsiness; negligence on the part of a property owner can create situations where a slip-and-fall accident / trip-and-fall accident becomes unavoidable. This is why it’s so important for people to understand their rights when it comes to slip-and-fall accidents and injuries. This way, if you or a loved one is ever injured in such an accident, you can act promptly and protect your best interests.
At The Stoddard Firm, we handle slip-and-fall cases and trip-and-fall cases on a regular basis—and our experienced legal team is here to fight for your rights. Schedule a free case consultation with us today by calling 678-RESULTS.
Causes of Slip-and-Fall / Trip-and-Fall Accidents
There are many potential causes of slip-and-fall accidents, many of which are related to negligence and/or carelessness by another person or entity. For example, wet/slippery floors at a local grocery store are a common culprit in these types of accidents, especially in situations where a spill has occurred in the middle of an aisle. In other retail stores, entryways may become a prime location for slip-and-fall accidents during times of rain and/or snow, as people will track in water that can create a slipping hazard on slick flooring surfaces like tile.
Slip-and-fall accidents on sidewalks and in parking lots are also quite common, especially in areas where pavement is cracked, uneven, or has large holes that can create a tripping hazard. The same tripping hazards can apply to indoor areas where flooring was installed improperly and is uneven or buckling.
Insufficient lighting is yet another cause of slip-and-fall accidents, particularly in darker areas such as in stairwells, hallways, and parking lots of retail stores, restaurants, and hotels. These incidents are even more common when poor lighting is combined with a lack of stair maintenance or handrails.
Common Injuries From Slip-and-Fall Accidents
The injuries sustained from a slip-and-fall accident can range greatly from minor to severe or even fatal. Potential injuries could include:
- fractured bones
- herniated spinal discs
- torn ligaments and/or tendons
- spinal cord damage or paralysis
- traumatic brain injuries
Frequent Defendants in Slip-and-Fall / Trip-and-Fall Cases
Grocery store slip and fall cases often involve leaky freezers, leaky roofs, or broken containers that were once filled with liquids. Regardless of the liquid source, liability hinges on how long the hazard remained on the floor and what the grocer did to search for and remove it. A hazard alone is not enough. To prevail in these cases, the injured victim must show that the grocery store knew or should have known of the hazard and that the victim did not know about it.
Apartment complex slip and fall / trip and fall cases are usually based on broken concrete, rusted out railing, dimly lit staircases, or stagnant slick liquids in common area hallways. These cases also require the injured victim to lack awareness of the hazard before falling.
Cities, and in particular, the City of Atlanta is a frequent defendant in trip and fall cases. Cities have a responsibility to properly maintain their sidewalks and the City of Atlanta is a clear and frequent violator of that duty. For example, a Georgia Institute of Technology study found that cities like Atlanta have recently paid out millions in compensation for trip-and-fall injuries related to poorly maintained sidewalks. The Stoddard Firm has successfully represented multiple victims against the City of Atlanta in these types of cases.
MARTA and The Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport are some other common Defendants in slip-and-fall cases, and the Stoddard Firm has achieved successful results against both of these Defendants too. Both MARTA and Hartsfield Jackson Airport have extensive foot traffic, and neither does enough to search for and remove fall hazards from their respective premises. As a result, many persons are hurt each year at these high traffic facilities.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one is ever injured in a slip-and-fall incident, having a personal injury attorney to represent you can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Specifically, our team at The Stoddard Firm can assist you by first completing a free case assessment, followed by providing you with specific legal guidance and recommendations regarding how to proceed with your case. We can then represent you throughout every step of the process, fighting for your best interests along the way.
In addition to slip-and-fall cases, we also represent clients in other personal injury claims, including shower burns in apartment complexes, auto accidents, and more. Contact us today at 678-RESULTS to set up your free consultation and to find out more about what our dedicated legal team can do for you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many wrongful death and personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. However, it is our experience that the most successful cases are built as if they are going to court. Our firm prepares every case to go all the way to trial, even if it is ultimately resolved before the trial starts.
Why is an attorney important in a personal injury case?
Personal injury law can be complex, and filing a successful claim can require a great deal of time, effort and experience. A lawsuit often involves several other parties, including defendants, insurance companies and other attorneys. There are also many procedural rules that must be followed. Having experienced, skilled legal representation maximizes your chances of success.
How do I pick the right attorney?
You’ll want to look for several qualities when choosing who will represent you. Your attorney should meet with you instead of sending an investigator, and he/she should be available throughout the process instead of having you consistently talk to a legal assistant. Your attorney should have a low number of cases so he/she can devote significant time to you and your case. Your attorney should have experience handling cases with facts similar to yours, and your attorney should have a proven track record with similar claims. Your attorney should also be able to devote significant money to your case so that he/she can hire experts, travel the country finding witnesses, and depose whomever is necessary to achieve justice. It’s also important to make sure your attorney is the right fit on a personal level, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
There is a time limit on how long a person has after an injury to begin a lawsuit. This window is called a statute of limitations. For most personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the injury was suffered. However, there are exceptions and subtleties that might change the amount of time you are afforded. Sometimes the period can be as short as 6 months, and other times it can be much longer than two years. Determining the statute of limitations requires a detailed analysis of the facts of your case.
What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?
For your free consultation, bring all relevant documents that you’ve collected regarding your case. If there are police reports, bills or correspondence from insurance companies, you’ll want to bring those items to the consultation so an attorney can learn as much about your case as possible.