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Slip and Fall Accidents and Spinal Injuries: Legal Implications in Georgia

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How Common Are Spinal Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents?

Falls are a leading cause of spinal injuries, second only to motor vehicle accidents, as stated by the Mayo Clinic. In adults over the age of 65, falls are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. A sudden traumatic blow to the spine, as occurs in a slip and fall, can fracture, dislocate, crush, or compress one or more spinal vertebrae.

Injuries to the spine or its connective tissues, including disks and ligaments, can also injure the spinal cord. Bleeding, swelling, and fluid accumulation in and around the spinal cord in the days or weeks after the injury can cause additional damage. 

What Is the Responsibility of Property Owners for Slip and Fall Accidents in Georgia?

Under the Georgia Code §51-3-1, property or business owners may be held liable for resulting injuries to invitees (invited visitors) when their negligence causes slip and falls and other types of accidents. Invitees, the only category of visitors who have this specific protection under the law, include customers or clients visiting a business, contractors hired to perform maintenance or repairs on a property, or anyone who is invited onto the property for a specific, mutually beneficial purpose. 

How Can Property Owner or Occupier Negligence Lead to Slip and Fall Accidents?

When property or business owners fail to exercise ordinary care to keep their premises safe, it can lead to serious slip-and-fall accidents. Common examples of slip and fall hazards include:

  • Liquid spills that are not cordoned off and cleaned up promptly
  • Leaky plumbing that causes puddles of water on bathroom floors
  • Poorly secured mats or rugs
  • Ice or snow on walkways
  • Worn or slippery stair steps
  • Broken or missing railings

It is not a grocery store owner’s fault if a customer drops a jar of pickles, which breaks and spills on the floor, creating a slip and fall hazard. However, it would be reasonable to expect store management to quickly identify the problem, cordon off the area to warn customers, and clean up the spill without delay. If the store fails to clear a spill within a reasonable amount of time and it causes a customer to slip and fall, suffering severe spinal injuries, the owner may be held liable for resulting damages. 

What Types of Damages Are Recoverable for Slip and Fall Spinal Injuries?

Severe spinal injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents can have life-altering consequences for victims. Injury to the spinal cord can lead to complete or partial paralysis of the affected area of the body. Although each case is different, depending on the circumstances, common damages in slip and fall accident spinal injury claims include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Lost earnings
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Modifications to the home and vehicles
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Diminished quality of life

How Can a Georgia Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Help?

After a slip and fall accident that causes severe spinal injuries, it is important to recover full compensation for the losses you have suffered to protect your future. Your best chance of prevailing in a claim for compensation is to have an experienced personal injury lawyer handling your case. Our founding attorney at The Scott Pryor Law Group has been listed among Georgia Super Lawyers®, rated 10.0 Superb by Avvo, and awarded membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively pursue the compensation you deserve while you focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back on track.

Contact us at (404) 474-7122 to find out how we can help. 

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