Calvin Smith Law - The Injury Lawyers

How Does Comparative Fault Impact Your Georgia Slip and Fall Case?

slip-and-fall-gas stations

If you fall while on someone else’s property, you may be able to file a claim against them. More than likely, your claim will be filed against their insurance company first. Most of the time, these claims are paid. This is especially true if your claim is small. It is cheaper for the insurance company to pay small claims rather than fight them in court. However, if your claim is large or complicated, there’s a chance that the insurance company might deny your claim.

If this happens, you really should call an experienced premises liability lawyer in Macon, Georgia. They can review your claim and try to deal with the insurance company. They have years of experience negotiating with insurance adjusters. They know how they operate. And they have an idea of what they’d probably be willing to settle for. That’s why they may have a better chance at getting your claim paid than if you try to handle it on your own.

There are times, however, when even your attorney can’t get your claim paid. You may have no choice but to file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner. If this is the case, you have to be careful about what the defendant may say. There’s a good chance they’ll claim that you were partially at fault for your slip and fall. While this can be frustrating, a lot of plaintiffs find their damages are reduced for this reason. This is because Georgia follows the comparative fault rule when it comes to cases based on negligence.

What is the Comparative Fault Rule in Georgia?

When it comes to negligence and partial fault, states follow one of two rules. In some states, if a plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for their injuries, they cannot sue. These states follow something called the contributory negligence rule. If you’re even 5% at fault, your claim will be barred and you won’t be entitled to any damages. Very few states follow this rule.

The other rule is called comparative fault or comparative negligence. Under this rule, you can still collect damages even if you’re found to be partially at fault. In these states, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if you’re found to be 20% at fault, your claim will be reduced by 20%. This means your $100,000 claim would be reduced to $80,000. Thankfully, Georgia follows the comparative fault rule rather than the contributory negligence rule.

How Could You Possible Be at Fault for a Slip and Fall?

It is hard to imagine how you could be found partially at fault for your slip and fall injuries. However, there are cases where a defendant is able to prove that a slip and fall victim caused their own injuries. Some of these situations may include:

  • You wore inappropriate footwear for the occasion – Imagine wearing stiletto heels to cross a snow-covered parking lot. Or, if you’re wearing flip-flops in the produce section of the grocery store, you may be said to be partially negligent.
  • You were intoxicated at the time of your accident – If you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you fall, you could be held partially at fault.
  • You ignored warning signs – If a store manager puts up sign warning customers that a floor is wet, they buy themselves some protection. If you blatantly ignore these signs, you could be found to be partially at fault.

Contact an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer in Macon, Georgia

If you’re hurt in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to damages. The only way to know for sure is to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Macon, Georgia. Injury attorneys have spent years handling cases just like yours. The attorneys at our firm have decades of combined experience getting their clients the money they deserve. They also know how to deal with claims of comparative fault. They’ll do their best to get you as much money as possible. Before they can do this, however, you need to meet with them and let them review your case.

This is why you should call today and schedule your free initial consultation. You can sit down with one of our expert attorneys and let them know what happened. If they think you have a valid case, they’ll let you know. They’ll also let you know if they don’t think your case has any value. It will come down to who was at fault. The only way to find out is to call and talk to our office today. We can even handle the initial consultation by telephone or Zoom if necessary. And the consultation is free – you don’t pay a dime until you resolve your case.

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