Here’s the scene: You’re in a store shopping. You’re walking down an aisle and trip over torn carpet. You lose your footing and you fall, breaking your ankle. It could happen to anyone. Accidents happen every day.
But a serious injury often comes with devastating consequences: hefty medical bills, a loss of income, the inability to care for yourself, and great pain. When something like this happens, who is at fault? What are your rights? Who is going to look out for you? How long do you have to before you must act?
What is a slip-and-fall accident?
A “slip-and-fall accident” is a type of personal injury case in which someone falls and is injured on someone else’s property. A variety of things can cause a slip-and-fall accident, including spills, torn carpet, a cracked sidewalk, poor lighting, ice, potholes and more.
Slip and falls are exceedingly common. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip-and-fall accidents account for over 8 million annual emergency room visits. Broken bones and serious injuries occur in about 5 percent of people who fall. The most serious fractures in slip and falls are broken hips, which lead to the most complicated medical issues and even death. The elderly are far more likely to face a slip-and-fall accident, and it’s the second-leading cause of death from an injury for those 65-85 years old.
Your rights after a slip-and-fall
If you’re injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you have rights. Not every injury on someone else’s property is covered by personal-injury law. But if you were not acting careless and the property’s owner didn’t take the necessary steps to keep the property safe, fault may rest on the owner.
A slip-and-fall accident may happen in commercial properties, residential properties and on government property, and each could affect liability. If the owner was negligent and you suffered damages from the accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Georgia is two years, but the responsible party or their insurance might try to settle much faster and not allow you to get all the compensation you deserve.
If injured in a slip-and-fall accident, it may be a good idea to get an advocated to fight on your behalf. An attorney with experience in premise liability can help you determine what options are available to you and how you can move forward.