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Did a torn carpet or sidewalk crack land you in the hospital?

If you think about it, clumsiness is a common characteristic in young people's lives, especially pre-teens and those going through puberty. If you recall your own Georgia childhood, you might remember feeling like you'd trip over your own two feet any time you tried to walk. Perhaps you were one of the lucky ones, who moved through your teenage years with agility and fluid motion.

That doesn't necessarily mean you were guaranteed never to stumble. The fact is that there are certain external conditions that can place you at risk for slip and fall or trip and fall injuries. Data shows the older you are, the higher your injury risk may be. What happens if you are at a shopping mall, in an office building or at a social gathering and you suffer injury after tripping over a torn carpet or a sidewalk in disrepair? Who is liable for your injuries?

Get the facts

When another person's negligence leads to your injury, you may be able to seek restitution. The process can be quite complicated and stressful, however. The following list provides information regarding personal injury litigation as it pertains to slip/trip and fall accidents:

  • The specific category under which you can file slip/trip and fall injury claims is premises liability. The title essentially refers to legal accountability on the part of a property owner if the owner's negligence causes a guest or other authorized visitor injury. 
  • Premises may include indoor or outdoor structures or locations, so long as it is property owned by someone other than the injured party. 
  • Wet floors, uneven pavement, random objects obstructing walkways and poor lighting are several of many possibly pertinent factors in a premises liability situation.
  • The burden of proof in such cases lies with the plaintiff. A basic tenet that must first be satisfied to pursue a slip/trip and fall claim is that an injury occurred. If you drink too much at a friend's party, fall down on your way to the kitchen and hurt nothing more than your pride, there would likely be no grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
  • If you do suffer injury on another person's property, you also generally have to show the court that the property owner knew the hazard existed and did nothing to help you avoid it. For instance, if a storeowner knows the steps to his or her storefront are chipped and uneven and does not correct the problem or provide adequate warnings before customers arrive, he or she may be deemed liable for any injuries that occur.

This is where things can get quite complicated. Let's say you can't prove a property owner knew a particular danger existed before your injury; you may instead be able to argue that the property owner should have known about the potential safety risks ahead of time.

Support is available

Gathering needed evidence and documenting details of a slip and fall accident can be a long, arduous process. For this reason, many Georgia slip/trip and fall victims turn to experienced premises liability attorneys for assistance when planning to seek compensation for the damages they sustained.

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