Slip and fall cases are among the most common type of premise liability in Georgia, which could result from stepping in potholes or slipping on wet surfaces. In the past, business owners have been able to use the defense that the injured party did not exercise reasonable care to prevent falls through summary judgement. However, the Robinson v. Kroger case changed the use of summary judgments and lowered the number given by property owners.
Now, premises liability places the focus on whether the landowner exercised a duty of care. Even with changes in premise liability law, the general principle states that just because a person owns property doesn’t make them liable for all injuries.
Static defect and plain view doctrine often apply to slip and fall cases. A static defect means something not deemed hazardous and commonly found where expected, such as cracks in sidewalks, curbs, depressions, steps or drain holes. The property owner is not usually required to warn of obvious hazards.
Slipping on foreign objects, such as banana peels or puddles of water, can be harder to prove under static defect since they could be found where not expected. The plaintiff would have to show that the defendant had knowledge of the object and failed to remove it in reasonable time. The owner would have to prove they didn’t have reasonable time to remove it.
The plain view doctrine means that a reasonable person would see the object, such as stacked boxes in store aisles. The boxes should be reasonably expected, but it still does not mean that the party is required to look for these things constantly. Objects should be in a place where customers can easily see them.
Slip and fall accidents can cause loss of wages and lower quality of life. A personal injury attorney may be able to help an injured person prove their case against a negligent property owner.