How Can You Preserve Evidence in a Georgia Slip and Fall Case?
Generally speaking, the sooner you take action in a slip and fall case, the better. Though the statute of limitations for slip and fall cases in Georgia is two years, The Foster Firm LLC recommends moving forward as quickly as possible.
The reason for this recommendation is that evidence can get lost, memories can fade, and it can be more challenging to prove a premises liability case as time passes.
The article outlines five steps to take to preserve evidence if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall incident in Georgia.
1. Document Witness Testimony
If anyone saw what happened, collect their statements and contact information. Because stories may change over time and witnesses may forget specifics, you may want to record these statements on video.
Ask for each witness’s full name, phone number, and email address. Your attorney and the insurance company are likely to contact whoever has information about the incident, and it’s imperative that your story corroborators are reachable.
2. Take Pictures at the Scene of the Incident
To succeed in a slip and fall case, you must be able to prove by a preponderance of evidence that a property owner’s negligence led to your injury. Because there is likely to be weeks or months between the date of your injury and settlement negotiations (or a lawsuit), the scene of the incident can undergo drastic changes.
For example, if a warped floorboard caused you to trip, the property owner can easily have the board replaced. If you don’t have photographic evidence of the defective floorboard, it can be harder to prove that it existed. Similarly, something slippery on the floor can be wiped up immediately.
3. File an Incident Report
Before you leave the premises (or as soon as possible if you have to seek immediate medical treatment), file an incident report with the manager or owner of the property. You can use the documentation of the incident as evidence of what happened. This is especially helpful if there are no witnesses who saw you fall. Further, if the property owner denies liability, you’ll have already preserved evidence that the incident did happen.
4. Report Your Injuries to a Doctor
Seeking medical attention after a fall is always a good idea. Not only does a visit to the doctor’s office demonstrate that you sustained an injury, it can also serve as evidence. Your doctor will note your complaints, perform an examination, and monitor your healing.
You or your doctor should also take photographs of your injury as soon as possible after the incident to document physical evidence.
5. Request the Business Preserve Relevant Evidence
If businesses have video surveillance, that footage can be instrumental in proving that the property owner was negligent. However, businesses may not be in the habit of keeping this footage around, or they may deliberately destroy the footage to avoid taking responsibility.
Your attorney can send something called a “spoliation letter” that alerts the property owner (i.e., the defendant) that you plan on taking legal action and they have an obligation to preserve specific evidence. If the property owner fails to comply, it can harm their case because it makes them look guilty.
Contact an Experienced Georgia Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Though it can be difficult to pursue legal action while recovering from an injury, a slip and fall attorney is instrumental in helping you gather and preserve evidence to strengthen your case. The Foster Firm LLC is here to help. Contact us at 866.863.6407 for a free consultation.