Georgia residents who are seeking compensation for a slip and fall injury will want to know what’s involved when determining a fair settlement. There are several preliminary steps. First, the victim must prove that the issue leading to the accident was something the owner should have known about. Next, the victim must show that he or she was a lawful entrant on the property.

Only in certain cases, such as when the victim is a child, is a trespasser eligible for damages. Otherwise, the victim must be a guest or a customer who used the property in a reasonable manner. The property could be anything from a business to a private home.

A settlement could include two types of damages: special and general. Special damages cover those expenses that relate directly to the accident, such as past medical bills, pain and suffering, and the work income that one lost during the physical recovery. General damages are theoretical and point toward the future. For example, the injury may leave a victim unable to find employment ever again.

A third type, punitive damages, is also sometimes awarded in cases of negligence. If a store owner failed to put up signs warning about wet floors, for instance, this shows a reckless disregard for the customer. Punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party.

Since so much is involved in filing a slip and fall claim, it’s important for victims to get legal representation. It’s also essential to begin before the statute of limitations runs out. Personal injury lawyers can assess claims involving preventable accidents and bring in investigators to gather all the proof for and against it. This could include incident reports, eyewitness testimony, and surveillance footage. When claims are validated, lawyers can then negotiate for a settlement out of court, litigating only if necessary.