Although determining fault in a slip and fall case may seem very straightforward to the person who was injured, proving that the other side was responsible is not always so black and white. For instance, the other side often points the finger back at the victim, claiming that they should have been more careful or more aware of their surroundings.
When it appears that both sides played a part in causing the accident, the concept of shared fault, or “comparative negligence” comes into play. In plain terms, Georgia courts review the evidence, assign a percentage of fault to each party, and use those percentages to compensate the victim appropriately. For instance, let’s say that your settlement amount is set at $20,000, but the court finds you 20% responsible for the slip and fall because you were texting while walking. Now you can collect up to 80% of that initial settlement, which in this case would be $16,000.
Falling on Public Vs. Private Property
Whether you trip over your neighbor’s ill-placed lawn mower or slip on a wet floor at the grocery store, the legal priority is the same: determine who is at fault, then hold them accountable. In many cases, the responsible party is someone you know who made a careless mistake. Still, that's what their insurance is for, so you shouldn't feel guilty pursuing legal action to pay for your medical bills.
Another common scenario involves a person slipping and falling at a business, in which case the company is liable. In even rarer cases, a person may slip and fall on a public property, which means that the corresponding local, state, or even federal government entity could be held responsible. To ensure that you are pursuing the right course of action against the right person or entity, talk your case over with an attorney.