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Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers for Static Defects

Property owners can be liable for injuries caused by slips, trips and falls on their property, when they have failed to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. Premises liability or slip and fall cases generally fall into two categories - temporary defects and static defects. Temporary defects are hazards which are created by spills, slippery surfaces, items or debris on the floor, and other conditions which are temporary or transitory in nature. Static defects, on the other hand, are more permanent in nature and often exist due to poor design or construction in the first place, or failure to maintain the property over time. Below we look at static defects and the ways in which these types of cases can be more or less difficult for the victim and their Atlanta personal injury attorney to recover compensation from a negligent property owner or business.

Types of Static Property Defects

The following are some common examples of static defects which can cause serious injuries from a trip and fall or slip and fall:

  • A crack or buckling in the sidewalk
  • Uneven steps on stairs
  • Steps are too long, too short or too tall
  • High curbs
  • Steep ramps
  • Slippery surfaces without traction or tread
  • Uneven heights between curb and pavement
  • Potholes or depressions
  • Open manholes, grates or drainage culverts

Construction standards exist for appropriate heights for curbs, inclines for ramps, heights and widths of steps, etc. Construction which is not accomplished according to applicable standards may be considered defective for purposes of premises liability law.

Property Owner and Victim May Both Be on Notice of Danger

An important element of premises liability cases is proving that the property owner had actual or constructive notice (either knew or should have known) of the dangerous condition, but failed to repair it or warn the public of the danger in a reasonable period of time. One of the difficulties in dealing with injuries caused by a slip and fall due to a spill or slippery surface is proving that the hazardous condition was present for an unreasonable period of time before the accident happened. This difficulty is normally not present in static defect cases. Usually, the defect has been present long enough for the owner to be aware of it and have the opportunity to fix it or warn the public about it.

Although it may not be difficult to prove that the owner had notice of a static defect, this may pose a problem for an injury victim who has been on the premises before, either several times or even just once. The owner may claim that the victim either knew or should have known about the hazard and avoided it. A claimant who knew about a danger but consciously failed to avoid it may have a difficult, but not impossible, time recovering compensation from the property owner.

Open and Obvious Defects on Land

Another aspect of static defects is that they are often open and obvious. Even if a person had never been on the property before, a plaintiff who trips on a defect in plain view may have a hard time establishing the defendant's liability. However, it may be that the hazard was concealed in some way by the owner, either temporarily or permanently, by erecting shrubbery, signs or displays that obscured the existence of the danger.

When the victim failed to see the hazard in time, it can be a complicated issue to decide whether the victim was reasonable or unreasonable in not seeing it. For instance, it is reasonable to be aware of your surroundings and watch where you are going, but it is not reasonable to require constant, uninterrupted vigilance at every second. A person can become distracted, and this distraction may itself be reasonable or unreasonable, or even something created by the property owner.

These features of static defect cases often make them complicated and require vigorous argument or complex litigation to sort out in settlement talks or in court. An experienced accident lawyer in Atlanta will have the knowledge and dedication necessary to establish the property owner's liability and recover the full amount of compensation for the injuries caused.

Help is Available for Georgia Slip & Fall Premises Liability Claims

If you have been injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall on personal or business property which was defective or negligently-maintained, contact Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall, LLC in Atlanta today at 404-460-0101 for a free consultation.

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I was in a head-on collision last year that put me in a wheelchair with a fractured femur. I needed an attorney and my cousin recommended this firm because he had used Briant Mildenhall for his accident. I was glad I called Briant because he always did what he said he would do and kept me informed. We settled with the insurance company and I'm happy with the result. If someone I know needs an attorney, I will tell them to call Briant because he will get the job done. Michael G.
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After a head–on collision I had extremely serious injuries to my back and neck, and some internal injuries. I was airlifted to the hospital and started a huge amount of medical expenses accumulating. I hired a lawyer recommended by a friend but I was not satisfied. My cousin told me about this firm so I talked to Briant Mildenhall about handling the case. I was at ease from the get–go. Briant kept me informed all the way through, was always reassuring and did everything he said he would do. He helped us get the money we needed to get the treatment we needed. Briant was fantastic! Ronda W. (Car Accident)
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I was in a car accident that was complicated from the start. I looked on the internet and called a few different lawyers but they turned me down after they heard my story. When I called this firm Lyn Dodson asked me to talk to her in person. I met with Lyn and Rob Katz and after hearing my story they were confident I had a case. They vigorously pursued my case and over time we built a trusting relationship. Lyn even took time to help me with the traffic issues and other aspects of the case. They were always on my side and talked to me about the advantages and disadvantages of my options... Robert W. (Car Accident)
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After my car accident, I was looking for an attorney and came across the name Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC. My intuition told me to call. I called in and Briant Mildenhall talked to me. He was very clear and honest about my options. As the case went forward, Briant and the staff at the law office always answered my questions right away. I was very confident in Briant's legal ability. He kept me informed every step of the way. I would recommend Mr. Mildenhall and the firm to anyone who needs an attorney. Antonio J. (Car Accident)
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I would recommend the law firm of Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC. Lyn Dodson was my attorney after my auto accident. I had confidence in her legal abilities and experience. She did a very good job for me. She was always there to answer the many questions I asked. The firm is very professional. Lyn always gave you her undivided attention. The firm, especially Lyn, worked with you like a long time friend. Joe B. (Auto Accident)
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I am 100% satisfied. I called Rob the day after the accident. Everything he said that would happen did, every step of the way. He went beyond what we needed him to do. I would definitely use him again and recommend him to anyone who needs a lawyer. Steve H.
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Robert Katz isn't your average personal injury lawyer. He has specialized knowledge and experience that the others don't. Timothy W. (Trucking Accident)
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I have nothing but good and positive things to say about Rob. One of the unique things about my case was that I was involved in a bicycle accident with another biker. He took an unorthodox case between two bicycle riders and he could see the logic and liability in it. I was very happy with the result. Rodney H. (Bicycle Accident)
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We just loved him to death. He acted like he cared about us, not just our case. He kept us posted on everything. He even called us on Sundays to update us. My case involved a rear-end collision where I had herniated disks and I had had a prior back injury. Complicated as it was, we were very happy with the outcome. Kathy H. (Car accident)
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Throughout the course of my case, Mr. Katz kept me informed about its status, returned my telephone calls and was very attentive to my needs and concerns. Simply put, he cared not just about my case, but about me. Joseph B.
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I was, and still am, extremely satisfied with Rob's work and with the outcome of my case. Rob strives to be there for his clients, and I was no exception...I would happily recommend Rob to anyone who is seeking legal assistance after suffering a severe injury. Joey E.
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