Recently, a Georgia woman filed a lawsuit against a hotel after she sustained injuries when she slipped and fell on a wet sidewalk outside of the hotel. The hotel appealed after a trial court denied its motion for summary judgment. The appellate court was tasked with determining whether the plaintiff had superior knowledge of the hazardous condition and if she assumed the risk of the hazard.
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff and her grandchildren were staying at the hotel when they decided to go to the pool after dinner. After spending time at the pool, the plaintiff and her grandson decided to go back to their room. They took the same path to the hotel room that they had taken on their way to the pool. The woman’s grandson did not dry off and was walking in front of the plaintiff when the woman noticed that part of the sidewalk’s surface was peeling off. She warned her grandson to slow down, however, she ended up slipping and falling, resulting in serious injuries.
The woman filed a negligence lawsuit seeking to recover for the damages she suffered as a result of her fall. In support of her claim, she provided an expert affidavit, which stated that the defendant failed to maintain the sidewalk safely. The expert opined that the sidewalk’s deteriorated paint increased the likelihood that it would become slick and unsafe when it was wet.
Under Georgia law, a business owner has the duty to keep its premises reasonably safe and warn of any visible or hidden defects that the invitee would not notice. However, the law does not require business owners to ensure the safety of its guests, and a showing of an injury does not automatically create a presumption of negligence. Plaintiffs who wish to recover in these cases must be able to show that the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard and that the plaintiff lacked knowledge of the danger, even while exercising ordinary care. Further, plaintiffs in Georgia slip and fall cases must establish that they did not have equal knowledge of the dangerous condition.
In this case, the appellate court reversed the summary judgment motion because the plaintiff testified that she had knowledge of the defect and warned her grandson to take extra care. Georgia slip and fall injury victims should consult with an experienced attorney to represent them in these cases. Seemingly innocuous statements and testimony may allow defendants to avoid liability. It is essential that plaintiffs retain knowledgeable Georgia injury attorneys to prevent these unwanted outcomes.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Georgia Slip and Fall?
If you or someone you know suffered serious injuries in a Georgia slip and fall accident, contact the attorneys at McAleer Law. The attorneys at our firm have decades of collective experience successfully resolving cases on behalf of Georgia injury victims. We understand how devastating these injuries can be and work to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Compensation in these cases typically includes payments for medical bills, ongoing medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Contact our office at 404-622-5337 to schedule your free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.