The holiday season is the time of the year when you visit the homes of family and friends to attend festive parties or stay a few days if visiting from out of town. Your host wants to make your comfortable and keep you entertained, but it’s also the host’s responsibility to ensure you are safe.
You might slip on a spilled drink or in the shower or fall down the basement stairs. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, half of all accidental deaths are caused by falls in the home. Falls account for more than 8 million hospital emergency room visits, and slip-and-falls account for over 1 million hospital visits.
Because you were the guest of a family member or a dear friend you may be hesitant to ask that the host help pay for your injuries from a slip-and-fall in his or her home. But if your injuries are severe and require a long period of recuperation or physical therapy, you may have to sue the host and/or the insurance company for compensation.
Liability in Georgia
The statute of limitations for slip-and-fall personal injury cases in Georgia is two years from the date of the injury. That’s not a very long time, but it’s long enough for you to accumulate big medical bills and perhaps experience extended time from work while healing from your injuries.
Where an owner of land invites, induces or leads someone to come on his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to that person for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe. The owner of the premises on which the accident happened could be liable for your medical costs, wage loss, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and other damages. Liability is predicated on the concept of premises liability, which holds that a landowner is responsible for injuries that occur on the property. The concept imposes on the owner a duty of care to those he or she invites on to the property.
Share of the blame
Though your host owes you a standard of care, you are responsible for your own conduct how your behavior may have contributed to your injury. The person you sue to recover for your injuries can present as a defense evidence that you assumed the risk that a danger posed; your actions contributed to the accident; or your actions compared with
Assumption of the risk can bar or reduce your claim if the host can show that you were aware of the dangers and continued your participation in an activity that led to the accident that caused your injuries. An example would be your jumping on a trampoline without training, protective gear, or experience and sustaining an injury as a result.
Comparative negligence: When this defense is asserted, the degree to which your negligence and the combined negligence of all the other people involved with the accident contributed to cause the your damages. The amount of damages that you can recover are reduced based upon the degree to which your negligence contributed to cause the injury.
Contributory negligence: This principle is applied to determine liability when you have, through you own negligence, contributed to the harm you suffered. Example: You are hit by a speeding car while you are jaywalking. You claim for damages may be offset by the degree to which your crossing at the center of the road instead of at a clearly marked intersection contributed to your being hit by car driven in excess of the legal speed limit.
The lawyers of Angell Law Firm are personal injury attorneys who are experts in personal injury law, which is the only kind of case they handle. If you have been while visiting the property of another person, or other accident, the Angell Law Firm can help. Call (770) 217-4954 today to discuss your legal options. The Angell Law Firm is located in Atlanta and serves Chatham County, including Savannah; Clarke County including Athens; Cobb County, including Marietta; DeKalb County, including Decatur and Stone Mountain; Fulton County, including Atlanta, College Park, and Roswell; Gwinnett County including Buford, Lawrenceville, and Norcross; and Oconee County, including Watkinsville.