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Why outdoor slip-and-falls occur and who is to blame

Georgia residents might be interested to learn what factors can lead to a slip-and-fall accident outside of an establishment and who is liable for the resulting injuries. Because this type of accident could potentially cause serious injuries when it occurs on a hard surface, business owners are expected to take precautions to prevent outdoor slip-and-falls on their properties.

One common reason that individuals can suffer slip-and-fall injuries is business owners' failure to remove accumulated ice and snow. Although a business owner is not completely responsible for icy conditions caused by the weather, a dangerous amount of ice or snow that has not been removed from the property could be considered negligence.

While the condition of a public sidewalk is generally left up to the city, maintaining the safety of a business's parking lot is the business owner's responsibility. If the parking lot has drastic height differences from one part to the next or is speckled with holes and cracks, the business owner could be held liable for a slip-and-fall that occurs as a result. Business owners may also be found negligent if they fail to provide sufficient outdoor lighting so that potential ground hazards can be seen before they lead to injuries.

A slip-and-fall accident on a cement surface could cause broken bones, damage to the spinal cord and even a brain injury. Victims of this type of accident might be able to seek compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages by filing a premises liability claim. Because liability may not immediately be apparent, such as in the case of a public sidewalk that is primarily used by customers of a single business, someone filing such a claim may wish for legal assistance.

Source: Findlaw, "Conditions Leading to Outdoor Slip and Fall Accidents", August 14, 2014

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