Proving an owner is responsible for a fall accident

Every year in Georgia and throughout the U.S., thousands of people are injured from slip-and-fall accidents. In many of these cases, it is the property owners who are to blame, but proving this can be a difficult matter. The following are just some of the factors that must be considered to prove fault in a slip-and-fall claim.

First, the victim must consider whether it was a preventable accident or not. Owners have a duty of care to entrants, and this includes the duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions. This must be balanced with the duty that entrants have to conduct themselves reasonably on the property -- no running, skipping, texting while walking and so on.

If a victim slips and falls because of a defect, it must be shown that the owner knew about the defect but failed to do anything about it. To fail to patch up a leaking roof after, say, three months is a clear sign of negligence. If owners cannot fix a defect right away, they should warn entrants through signage and barriers.

If the victim trips over an object, they must show that there was no legitimate reason for the object to be there. Even unlawful entrants may have a case against an owner under the "attractive nuisance" doctrine. For example, owners must protect swimming pools and trampolines against child trespassers.

Someone who incurs slip-and-fall injuries due to a property owner's negligence will want to ask a lawyer for a case evaluation before proceeding any further. If the grounds for a claim are good, the lawyer could hire third-party investigators to gather proof, such as the incident report and any surveillance footage. The lawyer could negotiate with the other side for a fair settlement that covers medical expenses, lost wages and any emotional distress.

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