It’s never too early to mention that you need to beware of ice and snow in the winter. Slips and falls can do a lot of damage.
You may have never experienced snow or ice in Georgia, but it happens, and when it does, you still have to cope with trying to get through the mess. Since it’s not something that a lot of people are used to – after all, our temperatures are usually pretty balmy – they often don’t know how to walk on slick surfaces. To make matters worse, who really has salt, sand or anything else on hand to handle the snow? When it falls, snow is an accident waiting to happen.
What do you need to know if you do slip and fall on snow? Whether you slipped on snow or in a puddle in the middle of a mall, the first thing you need to know is that in virtually all but a few situations, the people who own a business are responsible for your safety when you are on their property – that includes their parking lot, front sidewalk, the aisles, etc. There is actually case law on this point – Dumas v. Tripps – case law your Atlanta personal injury lawyer would use if you file a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit.
It often makes sense to just take things slow and easy after a snowstorm. Be alert, pay attention to the area around you and don’t be in a rush to get anywhere. While the drive or walk to work may look the same every day, rain or snow, it won’t be the same when you try to get anywhere in your usual amount of time. Stick to the patches on the sidewalk or road that you can clearly see and take the shortest route you can find to get to your destination, either on foot or by car.
Most often, store entrances are a real problem after a snowstorm, because the snow, melted snow, dirt and the resulting mucky mess gets tracked in, creating a prime area for slip and fall accidents. Storeowners are supposed to keep these areas clean for any visitors, but many don’t take the time or initiative to do that, which is classified as negligence.
Chances are that no matter how well you plan to handle snow, you can’t predict when you might slip and land on your hands and knees, or head. If that does happen, do not apologize to the storeowner and take responsibility for being a klutz and not watching what you were doing or where you were going. That utterance could cost you a lot of money later in court. Saying something like that may let the business owner off the hook and you won’t be compensated for your injuries. Keep your thoughts and comments to yourself, or share them with your Atlanta personal injury lawyer.
If you have a cell phone on you when you fall, take pictures and give them to your lawyer. This is good evidence for when you talk the case over and the Atlanta personal injury lawyer feels you have a reasonable case. The next step is take the case to court and hope for justice to be served.
Tim Anderson writes for Atlanta Personal Injury attorney, Stephen M. Ozcomert. The firm specializes in personal injury, malpractice, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Stephen M. Ozcomert, visit Ozcomert.com.