Just a few short years ago, a Georgia man was awarded $400,000 in a slip and fall case against a Kroger store – a record Georgia verdict for the type of rotator cuff injury the victim received. The victim, Karey Chambers slipped on spilled yogurt, and while Kroger claimed the injuries Chambers received stemmed from a “pure accident,” video surveillance showed a Kroger employee walking past the spilled yogurt numerous times, triggering “constructive knowledge of the surroundings,” therefore liability on the part of Kroger.
Over eight million hospital emergency room visits annually are the direct result of some type of fall, with slip and fall accidents accounting for over 12% of that total. There are a number of factors involved in a slip and fall in a public place such as:
Obstacles which should reasonably have been removed
Lack of hazard warnings around rain or snow-soaked entrances
Dangerously stacked store items
Spilled liquids which should reasonably have been cleaned up or marked with a hazard warning
Faulty freezer equipment resulting in wet floors
Freshly mopped spills with no hazard warning signs
Victims of Slip and Fall Accidents While any person of any age can become the victim of a hazardous surface resulting in a slip and fall, women over the age of 60 are among those most likely to be injured. In fact, one in every three adults over the age of 65 will suffer a fall each year.
Where Slip and Falls Occur Other than grocery stores, the most common places slip and fall accidents occur include:
Swimming pool areas
Areas of construction
Stationary or moving sidewalks or escalators
When we walk in public places we deserve to be advised of any hazards which may be present. Shiny floors or poor lighting may disguise hazardous conditions in some cases or, in the case of grocery store slip and falls, the shopping cart may prevent the person from seeing an upcoming hazard.
Who is Responsible? Both parties – the person walking and the business owner – have some degree of responsibility in a slip and fall accident. When a slip and fall lawsuit is filed, the injured party will need to show that reasonable care was exercised while the property owner will need to show that reasonable care was taken to keep the public safe from harm. Several questions need to be considered prior to filing a slip and fall lawsuit due to personal injury incurred. If a spill was responsible for your fall, was the liquid on the floor long enough for the property owner or an employee of the property owner to have knowledge of the spill?
If the spill occurred just moments prior to your fall, then the property owner may not be liable simply because there was not sufficient time to become aware of the spill and clean it up. Were you paying attention to your surroundings at the time of your fall and would a “reasonable” person have been able to avoid the fall? Were your injuries severe enough that you were forced to seek medical attention? Will your injuries affect your ability to earn a living or alter your ability to complete your daily routines?
How We Can Help If you are the victim of a slip and fall which resulted in injury and was directly due to negligence on the part of the business owner, the personal injury attorneys at McLeod Law Firm, P.C., can help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to. We understand that you have medical expenses, may be unable to return to work and could also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. We will work hard to ensure you receive the necessary compensation to rebuild your life and look forward to your future. Call (770) 536-0202 today for a consultation.