Important Georgia Laws Affecting Slip and Fall Lawsuits
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. However, there are two key Georgia laws that you should be aware of before filing suit: (1) the statute of limitations, and (2) comparative negligence. You’ll want to make sure that it’s not too late for you to file suit, and that your comparative fault (if any) in the accident did not contribute to 50 percent or more of the cause of the accident. This is a pretty tricky area, so make sure you consult with a trusted attorney to find out what kind of compensation you may be able to receive for your injuries.
Statute of Limitations
In Georgia, you have two years after a slip and fall injury to file suit against the property owner. The clock starts ticking the day of your injury, and if you fail to file suit within two years after that date, then you’re out of luck. There are a few exceptions to this rule, which your attorney can discuss with you in detail.
If your slip and fall resulted in damage to personal property rather than injury to your body, there is a four-year statute of limitations in Georgia. For example, if you slipped and fell on someone else’s property and ripped the $2,000 dress you were wearing, that would constitute damage to personal property. Or, if you were holding a valuable antique vase at the time you fell, and your fall resulted in the vase shattering to pieces, that would constitute damage to personal property as well. In such cases, you would have four years after the date of the incident to file suit against the property owner for compensation for damage to your personal property.
Whether you have two years or four years to file suit, you’ll want to initiate action as quickly as possible, as the process can take longer than you anticipate. Make sure you call an attorney as soon as possible after your accident so that they can start working toward helping you recover the compensation you deserve.
The other important law to be aware of in Georgia is the comparative negligence doctrine. Under Georgia’s “modified comparative negligence rule,” the court will look at whether you were partially negligent in causing your injury. If you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, then your award will be reduced by the percentage you are found to be responsible. For example, if you are found to be owed $100,000 for your injuries, but you are also found to be 40 percent responsible in causing the accident, then your award will be reduced by 40 percent to $60,000. If you are found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, however, you will not be entitled to recover at all.
Although it is difficult to ascertain how the jury will rule if your case goes to trial, an experienced attorney can give you a good idea of how much you likely will be able to recover for your injuries. Call us for a free consultation today at (404) 259-7635 or visit our Atlanta personal injury lawyer to find out if you are owed compensation for your injuries.