Slip and falls are not like car accidents. It’s not the property owner’s fault unless they knew about the danger and you did not and as the injured party, you have to prove that you have a chance of success on those points to the judge if you want to be allowed to get to a jury. A Georgia state appellate court recently issued an opinion in a case where the injured plaintiff tried her case to a jury and lost. The jury found in favor of a defendant in the Georgia slip and fall lawsuit.
The Case: Ridley v. Dolgencorp, LLC
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff filed the lawsuit after she was injured while she was exiting the defendant’s store. Evidently, when the woman was exiting the store, she got distracted by other patrons and a display rack on the sidewalk. While looking at the rack, the plaintiff stepped down off the sidewalk onto the pavement. As she stepped down, her shoe hit a slanted parking abutment, and she tripped over the abutment and fell forward, seriously injuring her head, elbow, and knees.
The woman alleged that she suffered injuries because the company breached its duty to keep the premises safe. The defendant filed for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff did not meet her evidentiary burden. Under Georgia law, an individual who suffers injuries on another’s property may bring a premises liability lawsuit against the property or landowner. The law does not impose liability merely because the accident occurred on the owner or occupier’s land. Instead, the injury victim must establish that the Georgia property owner was negligent.