When personal injury lawsuits are filed over slip-and-fall accidents in Georgia and around the country, duty of care arguments are usually made by both the plaintiffs and the defendants. Plaintiffs may claim that premises owners did not meet their duty of care because they did not take all reasonable steps to prevent the accident in question from occurring. Defendants could respond by arguing that accident victims did not meet their duty of care because they failed to take reasonable steps to avoid obvious dangers. When these arguments are not very persuasive, slip-and-fall cases may be settled before court proceedings begin.
Proving that premises owners did not meet their duty of care generally involves establishing that they were aware of a dangerous condition and failed to take appropriate action. When premises owners were not aware of a hazardous condition, they may still be held liable for the injuries suffered by victims of slip-and-fall accidents. This argument could be made if premises owners were unaware of dangers because security cameras had not been repaired or they knew about severe winter weather conditions but not accumulations of ice.
Premises owners may make duty of care arguments with security footage that shows accident victims staring at cellphone screens instead of watching where they are walking. They could also point to signs that warn visitors of possible dangers and advise them to take extra precautions.
Juries may be more likely to award damages in slip-and-fall cases if the plaintiff has a history of negligent behavior. Experienced personal injury attorneys might seek to find evidence that could establish such a pattern by checking court records for previous slip-and-fall lawsuits. Attorneys may also visit the premises to assess steps taken to protect visitors. During these visits, attorneys might take photographs of cluttered corridors, uneven walking surfaces or obscured warning signs.