Articles Posted in Trip and Fall

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caution-tape-1228201-300x199Under Georgia law, an owner or occupier of land owes a duty to “invitees” to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe. An invitee is someone who is on the property, by express or implied invitation, for a lawful purpose. Courts have reviewed what it means to exercise “ordinary care” under the statute and have determined that the standard varies depending on the circumstances. Each case is different. One court has determined, however, that in order for one’s conduct to be deemed negligent, it must be unreasonable in light of the recognizable risk of harm. Since each case is unique, it is important to discuss the particular facts and circumstances of your claim with an experienced Atlanta injury attorney – someone who is fully familiar with the local laws applicable to the case.

In a recent premises liability case, McDonald v. West Point Food Mart, Inc. (Ga. Ct. of App. 2015), the plaintiff brought an action against the defendant-convenient store for injuries she suffered after tripping over a case of beer on the floor behind her at the check out counter. According to the facts, the store was crowded when the plaintiff made a purchase at the store counter. As she turned away from the counter to exit the store, she stepped back and fell. A witness provided affidavit testimony that the customer behind the plaintiff in the line placed a case of beer on the floor while waiting in line to pay. The witness noticed the plaintiff trip over the case of beer and fall.

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slip-hazard-1429630-mThere are many different bases for a premises liability claim. Some of the more common trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall cases involve foreign substances (like water or another slippery substance) or static conditions.  But a whole slew of trip/slip-and-fall cases have involved the conduct of customers, or the sudden, intervening act of a third party. Georgia law treats each type of case differently with respect to the proprietor’s knowledge of the alleged hazardous condition. For instance, courts have said that a business owner cannot be liable for “an invitee’s” injuries that were caused by a third party whose conduct was unforeseeable and occurred without warning. Each case is different, and the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident are critical to any premises liability claim. In order to know whether you are entitled to recover damages for injuries sustained in a trip or slip-and-fall case, you are encouraged to contact an experienced injury attorney from the local Atlanta area.

In a recent case, Barbour-Amir v. Comcast of Georgia/Virginia, Inc. (Ga. Ct. of App. 2015), the plaintiff was at a Comcast store, waiting in line to pay her bill. She alleged that after paying the bill at the teller’s window, she turned around to leave and tripped and fell over a young child who was sitting on the floor behind her. The plaintiff brought this premises liability case against Comcast for injuries she sustained to her knees, ankle, and lower back. Comcast moved for summary judgment, arguing that there was no evidence that the company had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard presented by the child sitting on the floor.

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traffic-cone-1173007-mIt is not uncommon for people to slip or trip and fall on sidewalks, in parking lots, or in any other public space.  Unfortunately, however, in many of these cases, the incident of falling causes the person to suffer injuries.  While some of these injuries can be minor, such as bruises and scrapes, there are situations when the victim sustains serious injuries, with lifelong implications.  Depending on the circumstances surrounding the fall, the property owner could be held accountable for a certain amount of damages.  Anyone who is injured on another’s property is encouraged to carefully assess the entire situation to determine whether he or she is entitled to recover for resulting pain and suffering.  A local Atlanta injury attorney who handles premises liability claims could review your case to evaluate the likelihood and extent of a recovery.

Georgia law sets forth the basic responsibilities of property owners when it comes to the safety of “invitees,” or people who are invited or permitted to be on the property.  Essentially, the property owner or occupier does not guarantee the safety of invitees, but rather he or she is expected to remove any conditions that may expose the invitee or visitor to an unreasonable risk of harm. A significant factor with respect to many of these cases is the issue of knowledge of the condition.  In a recent case, Strauss v. City of Lilburn (Ga. Ct. of App. 2014), the plaintiff tripped and fell as she was walking along a sidewalk outside a café toward her car in the adjacent parking lot.

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elevator-sign-303026-mPersonal injury cases come in many forms, but in all negligence actions, the injured party must plead and prove a variety of factors, depending on the nature of the lawsuit. In slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall cases, also known as premises liability claims, the plaintiff must show that he or she sustained injuries on the defendant’s property due to the property owner’s failure to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. Essentially, the plaintiff must plead and prove that the defendant acted in a negligent manner, and that such conduct proximately caused his or her injuries. In order to successfully bring a premises liability action against a property owner, it is important that you seek the advice of an experienced injury attorney from the Atlanta area, someone who is fully aware of the local laws and rules affecting such cases.

In many premises liability lawsuits, the defendant – the owner of the property – will bring a motion for summary judgment in its favor. Under Georgia law, courts must determine whether the moving party has demonstrated that there is no genuine issue of material fact, and that the facts as presenteda warrant judgment as a matter of law. In many cases, however, courts will refuse to grant a summary judgment motion, determining that there are questions of fact that must be determined by a jury. This affords the plaintiff an opportunity to present evidence supporting his or her negligence claims.

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