Widespread accidents from falling down stairs in Georgia

Insurance companies always try to hold the plaintiffs responsible for their accidents. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced accident attorney to represent you after a staircase accident.

If you’ve ever fallen down a flight of stairs, you know it can hurt. Stairs can be very easy to trip over. Unlike a fall on level ground, a fall down stairs can have a snowball effect. In such a fall, the combination of the stair angle and the laws of physics can work together and cause serious injury. In addition to the physical damage, falling down stairs can be very mentally traumatic.

Frequent injuries from falling stairs

Many types of injuries can occur when you fall down a flight of stairs. The same injuries that often occur after falling on a sidewalk also occur when falling down stairs. However, with stair falls, the severity tends to be much worse. Broken bones, including ribs and legs, are not uncommon after falling down stairs. Soft tissue and ligament injuries, such as those found in professional soccer players, are equally common. This is because the force exerted on your body by the gravity of a stair fall is similar to the force exerted on a soccer player’s body when running and falling at full speed or when colliding with other players.

Similarly, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord trauma often accompany a descent of stairs. In a way, falling down a flight of stairs isn’t all that different from wrecking a car. The common thread between injuries from falling stairs, car wrecks and soccer ball is that our bodies absorb a significant amount of kinetic energy in all three situations.

Georgia negligence rules

As in many other countries, Georgia’s negligence rules have four requirements, all of which must be presented by an injured party in order to receive compensation. These requirements are:

  1. A duty of care;
  2. Breach of duty;
  3. Damage; and
  4. Root cause.

To illustrate these requirements, consider a hypothetical stair fall injury. Imagine you are in a hotel staircase and spending a night on the town. Turning on a landing will slide you onto a wet floor with no warning sign. You rush to the next landing and break your wrist in the fall. In this situation, the hotel owner is obliged to you, a guest on his property, to maintain an appropriate level of security and to warn you of dangers. You can assume that a wet staircase has a warning sign, which it didn’t. Therefore, the owner has likely failed his duty by not warning about the wet floor. There is obvious damage to your broken wrist, and the cause of that damage is the fall. Thus, all four negligence requirements are met and the hotel owner is obliged to compensate you for any damage.

Yellow sign “Warning wet ground”; Image by adpeople0 via Pixabay.com.

Comparative negligence

Georgia has a modified rule for comparative negligence that must be observed. According to this rule, a court must take into account the negligence of the injured party and assess whether his negligent acts contributed to the damage. If such a contribution is obvious, the harm suffered by the injured party can be reduced in proportion to his or her fault. If the injured party is 50% or more guilty, no compensation will be paid.

As an example of the hotel stairs, imagine running down the stairs without holding onto the handrail as you fall. If so, it may be partly to blame for the accident and you may not be able to get full compensation back.

Insurance companies always try to hold the plaintiffs responsible for their accidents. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced accident attorney to represent you after a staircase accident.

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