Have you experienced a slip and fall accident? If it was on someone else’s property, you may have options for receiving compensation for medical bills that could be piling up quickly, especially if negligence was involved. It’s likely that you’ll be in and out of doctors’ offices, getting treatment and diagnostic testing like MRI imaging. Getting the medical attention you need is a critical aspect of your case, but it can be expensive.
You can decide to either file an insurance claim with an insurance company or file a personal injury claim with the other parties involved. Don’t hesitate to make a decision as both of these options have a statute of limitations for how long after a slip and fall accident you can file.
If you want to know more about your options after a slip and fall accident, then here are some details that can help.
Comparative Negligence and Shared Fault
You may have fallen based on the negligence of another party, but you should always be prepared for them to argue otherwise.
In personal injury claims cases, the other side will often argue that you had a part in the slip and fall accident as well. They will try to prove “shared fault,” which could affect your right to receive full compensation for injuries as you would bear some of the blame. If you are found to be partly at fault, it could significantly lower the settlement or awarded amount, or in some cases, wipe it out completely.
If your case is taken to trial, a jury will listen to both arguments to decide as to who was at fault. They will assign percentages to each person. For example, if you are found to be 50 percent at fault for the accident, then your awarded amount will be reduced by 50 percent. If your share of the blame is higher than 50 percent, you won’t be awarded any compensation from either the property owner or any other liable parties.
Here’s a real-world example. Let’s say witnesses testify that you were digging in your purse for your keys or talking on your phone at the time the accident occurred. As a result, you are found to be 30 percent responsible for the fall. You submitted expenses for medical bills, emotional suffering, and lost wages for a total of $40,000. You will only be awarded 70 percent of the total $40,000 based on jury findings at the trial instead of the full amount.
The Statute of Limitations Law
A statute of limitations says that you only have a specified amount of time to file a lawsuit. Anything outside that time frame is no longer able to be heard in a court of law. If you file a slip and fall case outside of the statute of limitations, it is more than likely going to be dismissed, and you will be awarded nothing.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for slip and fall cases states that you have two years from the time of the accident to make an injury claim. For damage to personal property, such as a broken watch or phone because of the fall, the law states that you have four years to file a property claim.
While this may seem like a long time, the sooner you get the ball rolling, the better. Details will be fresh in your mind, and you will be better able to put together a solid case. Talk to a personal injury lawyer for more information about filing a slip and fall case in Georgia.
The Role of Doctors and Specialists
To get the most out of your slip and fall case, you will want to be sure to provide detailed documentation of your injuries and medical care. Choose doctors and specialists that are experienced in working with slip and fall cases, which can provide accurate documentation that can benefit your case. Find medical professionals that have worked on slip and fall cases before to ensure not only high-quality medical care but also a better outcome in your slip and fall case in Georgia.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, orthopedic specialists at AICA Orthopedics can help bring about healing and work with you towards a faster recovery. Call or stop by today to schedule a consultation.