- Proving a slip and fall injury claim in Georgia can be challenging
- Gathering and effectively using conclusive evidence is key
- Calculating the total of short and long-term expenses involved in a slip and fall injury can be very difficult
- Insurance companies and the people that they represent will work hard to keep victims of slip and fall accidents from receiving full and fair compensation
- Your chances of winning a slip and fall case can depend upon hiring an experienced legal specialist who understands Georgia law
Were you injured in a fall in College Park?
Slip and fall accidents can be devastating. Victims often suffer broken bones, injuries to joints and soft tissue, head trauma, or spinal injuries that can be permanent.
Slip and fall accident victims may be able to get money to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To get full and fair compensation can be time-consuming and technically difficult, but a slip and fall lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and get the money you deserve.
Here are some of the reasons why you need a lawyer after a slip and fall accident:
- A lawyer can help you understand the law. The Georgia laws that deal with slip and fall accidents can be complicated. A lawyer can help you understand your legal options.
- A lawyer based in the College Park area can more easily investigate the accident as well as gather evidence to support your case.
- A lawyer can negotiate aggressively with the insurance company when they attempt minimize your claim.
- A lawyer can fight for your rights if your case goes to court.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Georgia, you should contact a lawyer. The Millar Law Firm serves the College Park area – we are ready to help you deal with the aftermath of a slip and fall accident. The sooner you contact us, the sooner they can start working on your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Health Insurance Companies Work Hard to Avoid Paying Victims for Slip and Fall Injuries.
Insurance companies don’t want to pay for your slip and fall injuries. They may deny your claim for a variety of reasons, saying or claiming these excuses:
The property owner was not at fault.
You must prove that the property owner didn’t do enough to keep the area safe. If they did everything they could to prevent the accident, the insurance company may deny your claim.
You were at fault.
If you were partly to blame for your own injuries, you may not be able to get any money.
You didn’t report the accident right away.
In Georgia, you are generally required to report a slip and fall accident to the property owner within a reasonable amount of time. If you wait too long to report the accident, the insurance company may say you were trying to hide your injuries and deny your claim.
You waited too long to file a claim.
In Georgia, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim.
Other tactics insurance companies use to minimize your fair compensation include the use of tactics such as subrogation and exclusions.
Subrogation is when an insurance company tries to get their money back from the person who caused the accident. In a slip and fall accident, the insurance company might try to get their money back from the property owner.
In Georgia, health insurance companies have the right to subrogate in slip and fall cases. But they are not always successful.
Insurance companies have rules that say they don’t have to pay for certain kinds of injuries. These rules are called exclusions. Some common exclusions for slip and fall injuries include Premises Liability and Assault and Battery Exclusions which may or may not apply to your claim. It is important to read your insurance policy carefully to understand the specific exclusions that apply to your coverage.
In addition to the specific exclusions listed above, there are a few general principles that apply to the coverage of slip and fall and other personal injuries in College Park, Georgia. These principles include:
- The injured person must have suffered a physical injury.
- The injury must have been caused by the negligence of the property owner: This means that the property owner must have failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident from happening.
- The injured person must have suffered damages: This means that the injury must have caused the person to lose money or suffer pain and suffering.
Not all Slip and Fall Accidents are Created Equal
There are some circumstances when the insurance company is more likely to pay for slip and fall injuries in Georgia.
- The accident was caused by a hazard that was on the property owner’s property. For example, if you slip and fall on a wet floor in a store, the store owner is likely to be liable for your injuries.
- The property owner knew or should have known about the hazard. If the property owner knew about the hazard and did nothing to fix it, they are more likely to be liable for your injuries.
- The accident was not caused by your own negligence.
- You suffered serious injuries. If you suffered serious injuries, such as a broken bone or a head injury, the insurance company is more likely to pay for your medical expenses.
Slip and Fall Lawyers Can Determine Who is Responsible
Some of the laws that may apply to a slip and fall case in College Park and Georgia are:
The Georgia Premises Liability Act: This law says that property owners are responsible for injuries caused by hazards on their property if they knew or should have known about the hazard and didn’t fix it.
The Georgia Comparative Negligence Act: This law says that even if you were partly to blame for your own injuries, you can still get some money from the property owner, but the amount of money you get will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
The Georgia Statute of Limitations: This law says that you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long, you may not be able to get any money.
How Slip and Fall Lawyers Use the Law to Get You the Best Settlement
Here are some of the ways they do this:
Identifying legal arguments: They look at the facts of the case and the law to see if there are any arguments that can be made to show that the property owner was negligent.
Assessing the strength of the case: They consider the severity of the injuries, the property owner’s insurance coverage, and the likelihood of winning at trial to decide how much to demand in a settlement.
Negotiating effectively: They use their knowledge of the law and the strength of their case to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
Your Lawyer Can Identify and Seek Compensation for All Your Losses
The total cost of a slip and fall incident can be significant, especially if you have suffered serious injuries. Your lawyer will help to find the total of all compensable expenses so you can obtain full and fair compensation.
To do this effectively, your lawyer will spend time learning about the accident, reviewing medical record, obtaining estimates of current and future costs and assessing the information in terms of Georgia law.
Some of the most common costs in a slip and fall accidents are:
Medical expenses can include the cost of doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgery, and prescription medications.
If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
Pain and suffering:
Pain and suffering are non-economic damages that can compensate you for what you have experienced as a result of your injuries.
If your property was damaged in the slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairs.
Other losses that may be recoverable in a slip and fall case can include the cost of transportation, childcare, and emotional distress.
Once the lawyer has identified all potential expenses, they will add them up to determine the total amount of damages that the client is entitled to. The lawyer will then negotiate with the insurance company or file a lawsuit to recover these damages on behalf of the client.
The Importance of a Thorough Investigation
Your College Park slip and fall specialist will maximize your claim by gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. This phase can be difficult. Here are some of the challenges your legal team may face:
- The scene of the accident may be altered or cleaned up before the investigation can be conducted.
- Witnesses may be unavailable or unwilling to cooperate.
- The property owner may deny liability.
Despite these challenges, experienced slip and fall lawyers are often able to identify who caused the fall and get their clients the compensation they deserve.
Evidence Gathering is Critical
Gathering the correct, compelling evidence can make the difference in winning or losing a claim.
It is important to gather evidence that will demonstrate that the property owner was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries. This evidence can help you to negotiate a fair settlement or file a lawsuit to obtain compensation.
Here is some of the evidence you’ll need:
Photographic or video evidence:
This can show the condition of the property and the hazard that caused the fall. It can also show the injuries that were sustained in the fall.
Witnesses can provide information about what happened before, during, and after the fall. This information can be used to prove that the property owner was negligent and that their negligence caused the fall.
Medical records can document the severity of the injuries that were sustained in the fall.
Property records can show who owns the property and who is responsible for maintaining it.
If there is security footage of the accident, this can be useful in proving that the property owner was negligent.
If necessary, an expert witness may be able to testify about the condition of the property and the hazard that caused the fall.
Preserving the facts of a slip and fall case
By gathering this evidence, you can show that the property owner was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries. To help your attorney, do what you can at the time of the accident to preserve the facts of your fall:
- Take photos and videos of the accident scene as soon as possible. This will help to preserve the evidence and make it easier to remember what happened.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses. They can provide valuable information about what happened.
- Get copies of your medical records. These records will document the severity of your injuries.
- If there is security footage of the accident, get a copy of it. This footage can be very helpful in proving that the property owner was negligent.
Insurance Companies Pay Attention to Lawyers
Insurance companies are more likely to take a slip and fall claim seriously and offer a fair settlement if it is filed by a lawyer.
College Park lawyers are trained in Georgia law and know how to value and file claims and negotiate settlements. This can help to expedite the claims process and make it easier and more efficient for both the victim and the insurance company.
Here are some of the ways a lawyer can help with a slip and fall claim:
- File the claim: Lawyers know how to file a claim with the insurance company which will ensure that the claim is filed correctly and on time.
- Negotiate the settlement: Lawyers will understand and value the full cost of a slip and fall claims so they can negotiate with the insurance company to get the best possible settlement for their client.
- Represent the client in court: If the claim is not settled satisfactorily, the lawyer can represent the client in court and fight for their rights.
When delays or denials occur, your College Park lawyer can:
- Investigate the delay: The lawyer will investigate the delay to determine why the insurance company is not processing the claim. This may involve reviewing the insurance company’s policies and procedures, as well as the specific facts of the case.
- Contact the insurance company: The lawyer will contact the insurance company to try to resolve the delay. The lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement or get the insurance company to start processing the claim.
- File a lawsuit: If the insurance company continues to delay the claim, the lawyer may file a lawsuit. The lawyer will represent the client and his rights in the unlikely event that the claim actually goes to court.
Insurance Companies Often Deny or Offer Too Little for Claims
In some cases, the insurance company may offer a settlement even if they believe that they are not liable. This is because they may not want to go to trial and risk losing. In other cases, the insurance company may deny a claim even if they believe that they are liable. This is because they may be trying to save money.
One of the main benefits of hiring an attorney is to protect College Park victim’s interests and to ensure that the client receives the maximum compensation possible.
Businesses and Insurance Companies Often Try to Place Blame on the Victim
Businesses and their insurance companies often try to blame the victim of a slip and fall accident for their own injuries. This is because businesses don’t want to pay for the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering. They also don’t want their reputation to be damaged or their insurance rates to go up.
Here are some of the reasons why businesses might try to blame the victim:
Slip and fall accidents can be costly for businesses. The victim may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If a business is found liable for a slip and fall accident, they may be held responsible for the victim’s damages. This could include a significant financial loss for the business.
Slip and fall accidents can damage a business’s reputation. If a business is seen as being negligent or unsafe, customers may be less likely to do business with them.
If a business has a history of slip and fall accidents, their insurance rates may go up. By blaming the victim, the business may be able to avoid a rate increase.
It is important to note that businesses and their insurance carriers are not always successful in placing blame on the victim in slip and fall cases, but they almost always try. When a victim proves that the business was negligent, they may be entitled to compensation.
Calculating the Value of a Claim
Insurance companies frequently undervalue the numerous components of a Georgia slip and fall claim. They do this because they want to keep their money and not pay it to you.
It is important to remember that insurance companies are not on your side.
Short and Long-term Medical Costs Sometimes Overlooked
Slip and fall injuries can result in a wide range of expensive short-term and long-term medical costs, including those listed here:
Emergency room visits:
- Emergency room visits can be expensive.
- You may also need to see a doctor for follow-up care for weeks, months, or years following your accident.
- You may need to take prescription medications to treat your injuries.
- You may need physical therapy to help you recover from your injuries.
- When you cannot work due to your injuries, lost wages can be a significant financial burden, especially if you have a family to support.
Residual pain and suffering:
- Even if you make a full recovery from your injuries, you may still experience residual pain and suffering that may require long-term treatment.
- In some cases, slip and fall injuries can lead to permanent disability which can result in a loss of income and the need for ongoing medical care.
- If you are unable to return to your previous job due to your injuries, you may need to undergo rehabilitation to learn new skills.
It is important to note that these are just some of the short-term and long-term medical costs that may be associated with slip and fall injuries. The actual cost of your injuries will depend on the severity of your injuries and the type of treatment you need. Also important is how long you will lose income, whether or not you will be able to return to your pre-accident employment, and the degree to which you may suffer residual pain and suffering.
Experience and Focus: The Personal Injury Cases Handled by Our College Park Attorneys
Miscalculation Can Impact the Victim’s Ability to Recover and Meet Financial Obligations
The impact of miscalculation on a victim’s ability to recover and meet current and future financial obligations can be significant. If the settlement underestimates the cost of the victim’s injuries, he or she may be left with a significant financial burden. When all costs are not calculated in the claim, it can make it difficult for the victim to pay for medical expenses, compensate for lost wages, and other costs associated with the accident. In some cases, the policyholder may even be forced to file for bankruptcy.
If You Suffered a Preventable Fall in College Park, The Millar Law Firm is here to Help You.