As an Atlanta premises liability lawyer who represents Clients in slip and fall cases, I am anxiously awaiting the result of a case against Wal-Mart that is scheduled to go to trial in the coming months. The case involves a slip and fall accident that ultimately resulted in the wrongful death of the victim. In July of 2009, Julie Lehman was shopping in Wal-Mart when she slipped on a wet floor in the automotive section of the store. She was diagnosed with a blood clot in her brain incidental to the fall, and she was compelled to undergo emergency surgery. Julie died while in surgery, and her husband thereafter brought suit for her wrongful death and her pain and suffering.
Atlanta's best lawyers, and attorneys throughout Georgia, will readily admit that slip and fall cases are among the most difficult to win. This is because the law as it currently stands in Georgia heavily favors store owners. In particular, in order to establish that a store owner is liable for the injuries in a slip and fall case, Georgia personal injury attorneys are required to establish: (1) that the owner either knew, or should have known, of the dangerous condition which caused the fall; and, (2) that the injured victim did not have knowledge of the condition. The hardest of these elements to prove is the knowledge of the store owner. The law as is currently stands does not require a store owner to check it's aisles for dangerous conditions at very frequent intervals. Some cases hold that a walk through every 90 minutes is satisfactory, and if a dangerous condition occurs within that interval it would not be required to have knowledge of that condition. This is very unfair to injured victims as it does not require the store to be very proactive in preventing dangerous conditions from arising.
Our law firm has been very successful in pursuing premises liability/slip and fall cases in Atlanta and throughout Georgia, but it is critical that we are contacted by the injured victim as soon as possible. The reason for this is that we want to make sure any evidence which establishes that the store owner failed to conduct a search of its store is preserved. Store surveillance videos are a great source for establishing this, and, as many such tapes are erased every 30 days, we want to demand that the store owner refrain from erasing the tapes.