How Does Modified Comparative Negligence Affect Slip-And-Fall Injuries?
Slip-and-fall injuries are among the most fatal injuries to elderly adults, but they are often not taken very seriously. When a property owner neglects their duty of care by failing to warn of, or remedy a known hazard, they become liable for any harm that results. However, slip-and-fall cases are not always open and shut when it comes to determining liability. This is because in Georgia, both parties’ actions must be thoroughly assessed to determine the percentage of fault that each contributed to the resulting harm. This law is meant to recognize that accidents rarely happen in isolation, so each party should only bear the responsibility of their contribution to the harm. This can complicate the legal process, so it’s important to understand how Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law can affect your claim. Of course, the best way to get an accurate sense of the strength of your claim and the best options for moving forward is to talk to an experienced Dunwoody personal injury attorney. If you would like to talk one-on-one with an experienced personal injury attorney, feel free to contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.
Understanding Modified Comparative Negligence in Slip-and-Fall Cases
As noted above, because Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, your actions will be assessed to determine whether you contributed to causing your accident, regardless of whether someone else is liable. In Georgia, you can only recover damages if you are found to have been less than 50% liable for causing the accident. So if you tripped over an exposed extension cord, the court would assess how much of the accident was your fault. For instance, they may find you were 10% negligent for not watching where you were stepping, or they may find that you were 0% negligent because the party host had created dark and crowded conditions such that it would have been impossible to see where you were stepping. If the party host presents evidence that you were overly intoxicated when you arrived at the party and were tripping and falling before you even walked inside, this may increase your liability, as a verbal warning would not have helped to prevent your injury if you were not capable of processing it. Ultimately, you will still be able to collect a damages award provided the jury does not find that you are more than 50% at fault for the accident. If the court finds that you were 10% liable then, and that you should be awarded a total of $10,000 for your damages, you will receive $9,000, or $10,000 (the total damages award) minus 10% ($1,000). If you were found to be 51% liable or greater, then you would not be able to recover any portion of your damages award.
Schedule a Consultation with Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers
If you have suffered an injury as the result of a slip-and-fall accident in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, or the greater Georgia area, that was not your fault, the experienced slip-and-fall personal injury attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.