I slipped and fell in a dept store on water. Reported the incident just in case I had future issues. I have had a bone bruise and pain for over 6 months. I have to go to PT for the next 4 weeks to see if it will help. Dr said it may take up to a year for the bruise to go away. Should the company pay for my therapy as I receive treatment? I really can't afford to pay for the treatment out-of-pocket. The injury has left me hardly able to walk and go about my daily activities...walking, exercising, kneeling...
How do I determine what my claim is worth?
You were wise to get medical treatment quickly after the accident. Hopefully you have pictures or the store has a video of the occurrence of what caused you to fall. You must be able to prove how long the water was on the floor before the store had knowledge of the hazard or should have cleaned it up within a reasonable amount of time. There could have been a witness in the immediate vicinity of the hazard as well. Perhaps the store completed an incident report and took statements from some witnesses shortly after you were injured. Proving liability (what caused you to fall) is sometimes more difficult than it seems. The store will not pay for your treatment as you incur medical bills. The store will want a release from you at the end of your treatment and if they offer an amount to resolve the claim, this amount will include any future medical bills and out of pocket expenses. Since the accident happened in Georgia, you have 2 years to file a claim in the county of where the registered agent of the store is or it will be forever barred by the statute of limitations.
Hello. I am truly sorry that this accident happened. Pain is awful. You need to talk with a Georgia licensed attorney. You should feel free to ask the attorney all the questions you need to in order to understand the legal issues in the case. I hope you feel better.
Sam Levine, Esq.
It's not enough just to slip on water, negligence by the store has to be proven. A lawyer can send you to a physical therapist which will accept payment when case resolved. A local personal injury lawyer will give you a free consultation and determine if there is potential negligence here.
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Your issues include not only what the evaluation of the injury may be, but before you reach that issue, whether the store is liable. Property owners have a duty to reasonably maintain their property. To boil down a lengthy analysis, this duty requires people and companies who own properties, whether they are grocery stores, restaurants or apartment complexes, to remove hazards of which they have notice, or of which they reasonably SHOULD have been on notice.
For example, if someone slips and falls on a brown banana peel with grocery cart tire marks in it, it is reasonable to infer that the peel had been there for a while, long enough that the store owner should have known about it. However, if there is a grape rolling along the floor and a person slips and falls on it, the store is not as likely to be held liable, because now the reasonable inference could be that the grape just recently enough fell to the floor that it is still rolling along, and had not been on the floor long enough that one can say that the store knew or should have known about it.
Stores and other commercial establishments almost always fight these cases. Nonetheless, some of my largest settlements have been slip and fall cases. We screen our cases, pick the right ones and expose unsubstantiated defenses.
Slip and fall cases have a very basic flaw. The injured person is contending that the property manager is negligent because they should have seen whatever hazard there was on the floor. But, the company owner scratches its head and says, if WE should have seen it and fixed it, shouldn't the person who slipped also have seen it and walked around, avoiding injury?
Negligence experts can correctly say I've oversimplified the analysis. Volumes have been written on this subject, and in fact supreme court justices have adamantly taken divergent views even on basic negligence law. This is what it boils down to.
I truly wish you the best.
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