Whenever someone slips, trips, or falls on someone else’s property, there are many questions to answer about whether the owner or manager of the property in question is liable for ensuing harm. Importantly, property owners are not automatically accountable for every accident that happens on their land, nor will many accept financial liability for a visitor’s injuries without a fight.
If you suffered a fall and are seeking to pursue a claim, you might be able to tilt the odds of a positive case result in your favor by retaining an experienced Lawrenceville slip and fall lawyer. Representation from knowledgeable personal injury attorneys can make a huge difference, not only in maximizing available compensation but in proving that a negligent party owes you compensation in the first place.
Individuals who own or manage property that is open to lawful visitors owe different “duties of care” depending on why those visitors are on the land. Generally, property owners have a bigger obligation to protect “invitees” visiting for the owner’s financial benefit—like customers in a retail store—than they do to protect “licensees,” like contractors who are visiting for their own financial benefit.
However, being an invitee is not sufficient by itself to impose liability on the owner or manager of the property that you were hurt on. The property owner must have acted negligently, which could entail failing to warn you of a known hazard, failing to fix a known hazard within a reasonable length of time, or even being unaware of a dangerous condition that a reasonable owner would have identified.
In addition, you might have to contest allegations that you bear some responsibility for your own injuries, as the Official Code of Georgia §51-12-33 allows courts to reduce plaintiffs’ damage award proportionally by their assigned percentage of fault. As a skilled Lawrenceville attorney could explain, a court could even bar you from recovery altogether if your percentage of fault exceeds or equals 50 percent of total liability for your slip, trip, or fall.
Further, you could be barred from recovering anything if you wait too long to file your injury claim. According to O.C.G.A. §9-3-33, most injured individuals have only two years after the accident accrued to start litigation.
The date a cause accrues may be the day your accident occurred, the day you discovered your injuries stemming from the accident or the day a reasonable individual would have identified the source of such injuries. Although you should not typically rely on the exceptions to this rule, there are some circumstances that a slip and fall lawyer in Lawrenceville could discuss in more detail.
Holding a property owner or manager accountable for a slip or fall is never a simple prospect. Even if you have extensive evidence suggesting they are to blame for the conditions leading to your injuries, you may have a difficult time achieving fair recovery without support from an attorney who knows how to handle cases like yours.
A Lawrenceville slip and fall lawyer could be an irreplaceable ally through every stage of your claim. Schedule your initial consultation today.