Georgia residents may be surprised to learn that injuries suffered in slip and fall mishaps are the leading cause of emergency room visits in the United States. While many of these injuries may be minor in nature, accidents involving falls claim the lives of approximately 17,000 Americans every year. Those injured in this kind of accident often seek civil remedies by filing a lawsuit, but establishing liability is sometimes challenging for them.
Depending upon the situation, a premises liability lawsuit could be filed against the owner or manager of a building or against a contractor such as a cleaning company. In order to establish liability, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant was aware or should have been aware of a dangerous situation and took inadequate steps to effect repairs. The plaintiff must also show that they suffered injury, loss or damage due to this unsafe condition.
Building owners and managers can reduce their exposure to slip and fall lawsuits by conducting regular inspections of their facilities and taking prompt action when unsafe conditions are discovered. Particular attention should be paid to the areas of a building where this type of accident often occurs. These areas include entrances and exits, stairwells and escalators and areas where spills are likely such as food courts. Slip and fall accidents may also occur in areas where the floor surface changes abruptly such as the edge of a carpet.
Personal injury attorneys may seek compensation in a slip and fall lawsuit to cover the medical expenses and lost income of accident victims. An attorney could also conduct research to discover if the defendant has been sued in the past over unsafe building conditions. An unusually high number of slip and fall lawsuits filed against the defendant may be used by an attorney to establish a pattern of negligent behavior.