Brunswick Slip & Fall Attorney
These incidents are the leading cause of Emergency Room visits in Georgia. These victims often sustain serious broken bones, head injuries, and other wounds. These injuries are especially severe if the victim had a pre-existing condition. Especially in these cases, these injuries are normally permanent, at least to an extent. For example, a majority of fall victims over 65 can never live independently again.
The experienced Brunswick slip & fall attorneys at Gillette Law routinely handle these matters in both Georgia and Florida. So, we are very familiar with all the rules of procedure and evidence. That includes the unwritten rules. This experience allows us to pour all our energy into standing up for your legal rights. As a result, we are usually able to settle these injury claims out of court.
Duty of Care
Most injury claims begin with the legal duty of care. For example, most drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must obey the rules of the road, avoid accidents when possible, and drive defensively. In Georgia, the property owner’s duty of care usually depends on the victim’s legal status, as follows:
- Invitee: Most slip & fall victims are invitees. Grocery store shoppers and nursing home residents are economic invitees. Dinner and party guests are usually social invitees. In these cases, the owner has a duty of reasonable care. We outlined the duty of reasonable care above. In this context, this duty includes a responsibility to frequently inspect the property and ensure its safety.
- Licensee: A few social guests, such as a guest of an apartment tenant, are licensees. These individuals have permission to be on the property, but the owner doesn’t benefit economically or socially. Since the relationship is not as close, the duty is not as high. Most owners must warn licensees about latent (hidden) defects which could cause injury.
- Trespasser: If there is no permission and no benefit, there is no duty. Stories of injured burglars who successfully sue homeowners are mostly urban legends. A few exceptions to this rule do apply, mostly if the trespasser was a small child.
Usually, the judge listens to the evidence and arguments of a Brunswick slip & fall attorney and determines the appropriate duty in a pretrial hearing.
Knowledge of Hazard
An owner’s knowledge of the fall hazard, such as an uneven floor or wet spill, is usually a question of fact for the jury to determine during trial. Two types of evidence are available:
- Direct: Smoking guns like “cleanup on aisle three” announcements, open repair invoices, and restroom cleaning reports usually surface during discovery. Under Georgia law, both sides have a legal duty to place all their cards on the table regarding all their claims and defenses.
- Circumstantial: Many cases hinge on circumstantial evidence of constructive knowledge (should have known). The jury typically uses the time-notice rule to evaluate this evidence. Think about a banana peel on the floor. If a victim slips on a black, gritty peel, it has probably been on the floor for a while, and someone should have picked it up. On the other hand, if the peel was fresh and yellow, it probably just dropped, so no liability attaches.
Victim/plaintiffs must establish actual or constructive knowledge by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. That’s the lowest standard of proof in American law.
Connect with a Diligent Glynn County Slip & Fall Lawyer
All serious injury victims are entitled to fair compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Brunswick slip & fall attorney, contact Gillette Law, P.A. Lawyers can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.