As described under O.C.G.A §9-3-33, most slip and fall claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations in Georgia. However, when you ask yourself, “what are the statute of limitations to file a slip and fall case?” you need to realize that Georgia’s civil laws are not uniform – even when claims deal with the same type of offense.
Accordingly, the statute of limitations on your case is liable to change based on the party you are filing against and the damages you are seeking. For example, if you are trying to file a claim for property damage you sustained during your slip and fall accident, O.C.G.A §9-3-32 dictates a four-year statute of limitations.
In contrast, if you believe a government entity was responsible for your slip and fall accident, you may be required to file your claim much sooner.
The time limits on filing claims against the government include:
- Cities: Six months (O.C.G.A. §36-33-5)
- Counties: One-year (O.C.G.A. §36-11-1)
- The state of Georgia: One-year (O.C.G.A. §50-21-26)
Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident
The state of Georgia allows victims to receive three unique types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Excluding punitive damages, these forms of compensation are designed to help you recover your overall losses.
Examples of economic and non-economic damages include:
- Medical expenses (past, present, and future)
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Accommodations for ongoing disabilities
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship and loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
As for punitive damages, O.C.G.A. §51-12-5.1 states that the court will only grant you these special damages if the evidence suggests the offender caused your accident through malice, oppression, wantonness, willful misconduct, fraud, or an overall indifference to the consequences of their behavior.
In this way, the court only awards punitive damages when it feels the offender needs to be punished for overtly dangerous behavior.
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Things That Can Be Considered Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
Negligence takes many forms: it can be intentional, it can come from ineptitude, or it can be caused by countless other reasons.
As such, common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Hazardous or unkempt landscaping
- Loose floorboards or upraised nails
- Allowing areas (indoors and outdoors) to become hazardous from weather conditions
- Inadequate construction of railings or not enough railings
- Uneven or unstable surfaces
- Exposure to defective products
- Sudden changes in elevation
- Wet or slick surfaces
- Unsecured cables, chairs, or other unseen obstacles
- Inadequate warning or education about potential hazards, either verbally or through clearly visible signs.
Some Slip and Fall Claims Fall Under Premises Liability
If your slip and fall accident occurred on another person’s property (and you were legally allowed to be there), your claim may fall under the tenets of premises liability.
According to O.C.G.A §51-3-1, invitees are owed a reasonable expectation of safety by the property owner, otherwise known as “duty of care.” To qualify as an invitee, you must receive an explicit or implied invitation to be on the property. Invitees can include visitors to public property, as you are on the property to serve its intended purpose.
As described under O.C.G.A §51-3-2, duty of care is also owed to licensees, which is a general term that may describe a social guest of the property owner or individuals who have a right to be there due to their profession – which may include security forces responding to distress, firefighters performing their job duties, or a close business associate.
However, O.C.G.A § 51-3-3 explains that trespassers are not owed a duty of care because the property owner would have no reason to accommodate their presence.
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Slip and Fall Lawyers Fighting for Victims Across Georgia
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, we understand that slip and fall claims may seem confusing to people outside the legal field. However, if you are asking yourself questions like, “what are the statute of limitations to file a slip and fall case?” your head is in the right place.
An attorney at our firm can offer legal guidance throughout your entire proceedings. Additionally, our firm offers a variety of services to address virtually any aspect of your legal needs – from calculating damages to proving liability and much more.
Our team would love to start learning more about your case during your free consultation. To get started, contact a Bader Scott Injury Lawyers team member today at (404) 888-8888.