The statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents in Georgia is the same as for other types of personal injuries. You generally have two years from when an accident occurs to file a personal injury lawsuit, per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. A failure to meet the two-year deadline may lead to a forfeiture of your right to sue.
However, if the party responsible for your slip and fall is a government agency, the deadline to take legal action may be shorter. In these cases, you may have:
- Six months for a claim against a city agency, per O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5
- One year for a claim against a county agency, per O.C.G.A. § 36-11-1
- One year for a claim against a state agency, per O.C.G.A. 50-21-26
The Incidence Rate and Falls
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of people suffer injuries falls every year. Many fall victims are elderly, although slips and falls can lead to serious injuries and even death to other age brackets as well.
Every year, there are reports of slips and falls at homes, sidewalks, driveways, businesses, and construction sites, as well as factories, playgrounds, schools, parks, and other recreational areas.
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Common Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents
The CDC reports that falls are the leading source of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and that more than 800,000 people need to be hospitalized every year as a result of injuries sustained in a fall.
Other fall injuries may include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Injuries to the face, head, neck, or back
- Damage to the nerve, muscles, bones, or ligaments
- Damage to the internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Puncture wounds or lacerations from falling onto sharp objects
- Hip fractures, especially amongst the elderly
- Partial or total paralysis
- Death or physical incapacitation from falling from a height
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, make sure to see a doctor for a full evaluation of your injuries as soon as possible.
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
Depending on how and where your slip and fall accident occurred, there are different parties you may be able to sue for the resultant damages. Consider the following examples that illustrate how the fault and liability for a slip and fall accident may be assigned:
- A construction site accident in which a worker falls into an uncovered hole may lead to liability on the part of a property manager or another contractor on the construction site.
- Slip and fall hazards such as water, ice, or snow that should have been but was not removed, as well as damaged work surfaces, torn carpeting, potholes, and inadequate or missing safety equipment such as or ice on driveways, sidewalks, or store floors can all lead to liability on a business owner or operator.
- Slips and falls involving the elderly in nursing homes or medical care facilities can lead to liability on the part of a nursing home or hospital.
For all of the cases above, the general slip and fall accident statute of limitations of two years may apply. One possible exception is when a government agency is responsible for the accident, as outlined above. An example of this may be a slip and fall due to cracked pavement on a public sidewalk due that a government agency is responsible for maintaining.
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How to Prove Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident
Proving liability for a slip and fall accident may require you to:
- Show that you were owed a duty of care. This may be defined as safe working conditions or safe premises.
- Prove that hazards or dangers on the property where the accident occurred were not addressed.
- Show that the entity that owed you a duty of care did or should have known about and addressed those hazards or dangers, but did not.
- Show that because the at-fault party failed to address said hazards and dangers, you suffered an accident and losses as a result.
The operator of a business, a nursing home, an employer, or even a private homeowner may all be responsible for slip and fall accidents that occur on their property.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers represents slip and fall accident victims in the Atlanta area. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident, we may be able to help you pursue compensation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Call us today at (404) 888-8888 for a free, no-obligation consultation on your case with a member of our team, including information on what statute of limitations may pertain to your slip and fall accident.