Michael represents people who have been injured in slip and fall or trip and fall accidents in Athens, Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia.
What sort of slip and fall or trip and fall cases does the firm take?
We accept cases where someone has been seriously injured, such as breaking a bone, tearing a ligament or having surgery.
Your case may have merit even if we do not take it; we choose to limit our practice to representing people who have had a serious injury so that we can concentrate our firm’s time and resources on a small number of cases.
What are the different types of slip and fall and trip and fall cases?
These cases generally fall into two legal categories:
- Slip and falls caused by a foreign substance, such as water on the aisle of a grocery store;
- Trip and falls caused by a static defect, such as a curb or a pothole in a parking lot.
How do you prove the business or property owner was responsible for your injury?
Under Georgia law, to hold a business or property owner responsible for your injury you generally have to prove two things:
- The owner or operator of the property knew or should have known about the hazard that caused the injury;
- You did not have knowledge of the hazard despite exercising ordinary care for your own safety.
How do you show that the business or property owner knew or should have known about the hazard?
This can be done in several ways.
The easiest way is for the business or property owner or an employee to admit that they knew about the hazard that caused the injury. If a grocery store employee testifies that he saw a puddle of water on the floor of the store before someone slipped and fell, this gives the store knowledge of the hazard. If the property manager at an apartment complex testifies that he knew the stairs were old, rotting and unsteady, this gives the apartment complex knowledge of the hazard.
Previous complaints are another way to establish that a business or property owner had knowledge of a hazardous or unsafe condition. If residents of an apartment complex complain to the property manager that the elevator isn’t operating properly and is making strange sounds, this gives the apartment complex knowledge of a problem with the elevator. If shoppers at a department store testify that they told store employees about a spill that later caused a fall, this gives the department store knowledge that the spill is a hazard.
Security or surveillance cameras can also be used to show that a business or property owner should have knowledge of a hazard. If the surveillance cameras show that a spill was on the floor of a grocery store for several hours or that several employees walked right by the spill and didn’t do anything about it, this gives the grocery store knowledge of the spill.
Many businesses have their employees inspect their property and fill out inspection reports on a regular basis. If an employee saw a problem like a loose stair, listed it on an inspection report and the stair later caused an accident, the business is considered to have knowledge of the loose stair.
Lack of inspection routines can also give a business or property owner knowledge of a hazard on their property. This is because the law doesn’t reward businesses and property owners who are willfully blind to hazards on their property. If a department store doesn’t have an inspection routine or doesn’t follow one and an injury occurs, the lack of an inspection may give the department store what’s called “constructive knowledge” of the hazard.
The length of time the hazard has been present at the business or property may give the business or property “constructive knowledge” of the hazard. For example, someone slips and falls on milk that’s been spilled in the aisle of a grocery store. Surveillance video shows that the milk was there for an hour without being cleaned up. This gives the grocery store constructive knowledge of the hazard. Or a guest at a restaurant steps into a hole in the floor and breaks their ankle. Witnesses testify that the hole was there for several weeks before the accident. That gives the restaurant constructive knowledge of the hole.
Call for Free Consultation
If you’ve been injured in an accident, call our Atlanta trip and fall and slip and fall lawyers for a free consultation.