5 Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Incident in Georgia

5 Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Incident in Georgia

Slipping and falling can be embarrassing and painful. You may be tempted to exit the scene as quickly as possible and move on with your day. However, doing so can limit your ability to recover damages if your fall causes injuries and was the result of a property owner’s negligence.

In Georgia, property owners have a legal obligation to maintain safe premises. A property owner can be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit if their failure to reasonably address hazards resulted in your slipping and falling. Below, we review 5 steps you should always take in the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall incident.

Step 1: Document the Scene

Once you get yourself up and confirm that you do not require emergency medical attention, make every effort to exhaustively document the incident site. Take pictures of hazards that may have contributed to the accident, including slick surfaces, spilled liquids, and uneven flooring. Be sure to photograph a lack of warning signage, if applicable. Look around to see if any security cameras may have caught what happened. If possible, flag any witnesses and collect their contact information. You should also take pictures of any visible injuries before they are cleaned up or bandaged.

Step 2: Speak to the Manager on Duty and File a Report

Before you leave the premises, ask to speak with the property owner. If the property owner is not available, discuss the situation with whoever is currently in charge. Clearly explain what happened, including the presence of any observable hazards, but be careful to avoid admitting any level of fault. Do not say anything like “I was hurrying through the store,” “I was not paying attention,” or “I’m sometimes clumsy.” Instead, stick to the facts. File an incident report and obtain a copy. If security cameras captured the incident, ask for a copy of the footage.

Step 3: Seek Medical Attention

Make plans to see a medical professional as soon as possible, even if you do not have any visible injuries. A thorough medical examination may be able to detect injuries that are not immediately obvious. Procure a copy of your doctor’s evaluation and carefully follow any prescribed treatment plan. Failing to promptly seek medical assistance after a slip and fall incident can make it more difficult to recover compensation later on, as a property owner’s insurance company may claim your lack of urgency suggests your injuries are not severe.

Step 4: Avoid Speaking to the Property Owner’s Insurance Company

In the wake of a slip and fall incident, the property owner’s insurance company may reach out to attempt to negotiate a settlement. Keep in mind that the property owner’s insurer is looking out for themselves, not you. You will almost certainly receive an insufficiently low offer. It is generally in your best interest to avoid saying anything to the property owner’s insurance company until you have retained legal representation. Anything you say may be distorted and used against you. If the property owner’s insurer calls before you have had a chance to hire a lawyer, simply explain you are in the process of obtaining representation and will not be commenting until you have done so.

Step 5: Contact an Attorney

If you are considering filing a premises liability lawsuit, you should contact a qualified legal professional right away. Our personal injury lawyers at Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC have over 40 years of combined experience and are prepared to help you recover the maximum compensation available in your case. We are prepared to go to court if the property owner’s insurer refuses to offer a reasonable settlement.

You will have 2 years from the date of the slip and fall incident to initiate a lawsuit. Georgia uses a modified comparative fault system when deciding these cases. This means the court will evaluate your role in causing the accident, and you will be entitled to some level of compensation if you can prove you were less than 50% at fault. However, your percentage of fault will reduce your total damage reward. If the court finds you were 20% at fault, a damage award of $50,000 would be reduced to $40,000.

Our legal team understands how these matters are adjudicated in Georgia courts and will serve as your fierce advocate every step of the way. We will fight to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and all other applicable types of harm.

Schedule a free case evaluation by calling (866) 580-3089 or contacting us online.