Slip and fall injuries are a primary cause of injury in the U.S., causing nearly one million hospital and emergency department visits in a given year, per the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). Unfortunately, many of the slip-and-fall accidents that end in Georgia emergency room visits happen in parking lots or on sidewalks where they could have been prevented if the parking lot or the sidewalk was properly cared for and maintained.
When a slip or fall occurs on a parking lot or a sidewalk in Georgia, the owner of the property or the entity responsible for maintaining the space could potentially be held liable. To get help filing a Georgia personal injury lawsuit to recover money you deserve after a slip and fall on a parking lot or sidewalk, contact the dedicated Atlanta slip-and-fall lawyers at The Millar Law Firm. We have been representing injured victims throughout Georgia since 1995.
For a free consultation about your case, call us today at 770-400-0000 or fill out our online form. We can discuss your legal rights and available options for compensation.
How Do GA Fall Accidents Happen on Atlanta Parking Lots and Sidewalks?
Slip-and-fall accidents can happen almost anywhere. They can also occur for several different and various reasons. However, some of the most common risks that lead to slip-and-fall accidents in parking lots include:
Ice cause falls in Atlanta, GA
- Black ice can blend into the pavement and be difficult to detect.
Snow or sleet caused a slip & fall in Atlanta
- Snow and sleet, even though rare in the Atlanta area, can create a tripping hazard of their own but can create a risk for the formation of black, slippery ice. A dusting or very thin accumulation of snow can often cover or conceal ice below.
Spills cause falls in Atlanta, GA
- Oil and other slippery fluids can spill onto the surface of a parking lot, creating a slick patch that is a tripping or slipping hazard.
Debris leads to a fall in Atlanta
- Items left in parking lots or on sidewalks in walking paths can create a tripping hazard, causing a fall risk.
Uneven surfaces can lead to falls in Atlanta
- The uneven surface between sections or cracks in a sidewalk or parking area concrete or asphalt pavement can cause to suddenly lose your balance, leading to a fall.
Irregular or loose surfaces cause Atlanta slip and falls
- Gravel and other rough surfaces are harder to walk on and can create a danger if unexpected or hidden by darkness or debris such as leaves or trash.
Inadequate lighting lead to dangerous slips in Atlanta
- An unlit sidewalk, common area or parking lot can pose a dangerous tripping hazard, or can raise other risks when they exist, such as ice or sleet, since it can be difficult to see that these dangers exist in a dark space.
Who is Responsible for Fall Accidents on Atlanta, Georgia Parking Lots and Sidewalks?
When a slip-and-fall accident occurs on a parking lot or a sidewalk, it could cause serious injuries, including bone fractures, brain injuries or even death. The costs of treating the injuries may be expensive and lead to more financial loss as a result of missing work. Under Georgia law, if your trip or slip and fall injury was due to the failure of another person or company to use reasonable care, you may have a case and you may be justified in recovering monetary compensation (damages) for your losses.
In our State, some potential companies or individuals who can be accountable or responsible for a trip or slip and fall injury include:
Owners of the commercial establishment that provided the parking lot
- Store or restaurant owners must protect their invitees (customers and guests) by inspecting the building and area (even parking areas, in some cases). Merchants must take ordinary care to repair any dangers or else to provide reasonable warning to customers and guests of the hazard. The failure to repair a known hazard, assuming the patron is unaware of the danger, can make the owner or occupier liable under law.
Operators of the commercial establishment that provided the parking lot
- If a business is renting the premises or property, it can still be held liable for injuries that occur on that property even if it is owned by another. Liability in these cases may depend on who had control and responsibility for the lot.
Apartment complex owners
- Guests invited to an apartment complex may also have a claim against either the tenant or the landlord, depending upon who the negligent party was. Often, when an injury happens in a common space such as a parking lot and the problem is due to negligent failure to repair or maintain the area, the apartment complex owner or manager may be liable.
Government entities responsible for sidewalk maintenance
- When an injury is caused by failure to maintain or repair a public sidewalk, an investigation should be performed to determine whether a claim exists against the government entity responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. However, the government enjoys some protection from suit, so these types of cases tend to be more complex and may follow a different course than standard cases.
These parties are not the only potential defendants in a parking lot or sidewalk slip-and-fall case. Any person or entity who had a duty to maintain the space and who failed in that duty in a way that led to your injury could potentially be held responsible.
Proving Liability in an Atlanta, Georgia Parking Lot or Sidewalk Trip or Slip and Fall
When you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident on a parking lot or a sidewalk, you can recover compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress in a personal injury lawsuit. However, you’ll need to prove a few things in order to do so. For example, you’ll need to prove:
- You were an invitee and the property owner had a responsibility to you to keep you safe.
- The premises owner neglected his responsibility to repair after he knew (or should have known) about the defect.
- You were injured as a result of the failure of the property owner to repair or warn of the defective or hazardous area.
- The negligent and dangerous location or defect was not “obvious and open,” so that you could see it and avoid it while using ordinary care.
In the case of snow or ice, there’s also an added question: Whether the snow or ice was a natural accumulation that wasn’t attributed to any action on the part of the property owner or entity/individual responsible for property maintenance. In the majority of cases, property owners can’t be held responsible for normal and natural accumulations of snow in a parking lot or on a sidewalk that you can plainly see in front of you.
Contact an Atlanta, Georgia Slip-and-Fall Lawyer Today
It can be difficult to prove liability in a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall case arising from an accident in a parking lot or on a sidewalk. At The Millar Firm we will help you every step of the way, from choosing the right defendant to building solid evidence. We work with our clients by using experts and investigators to prove your case, so that we are in a strong position to negotiate with the business or insurer, or to win your case in a courtroom.
Your consultation is free, and our legal fees are charged on a no-win/no-fee basis. In other words, you pay no legal fees unless you are compensated for your injuries.