Did you know that in order to prove liability in a slip and fall accident, you must show that the property owner caused or contributed to the fall? This can be tricky, especially if there is no concrete evidence that links the property owner to the accident. In such cases, an experienced slip and fall accident attorney can help gather the evidence needed to win your case. So, if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact an injury attorney today!
In this blog post, we will discuss the steps you need to take to prove liability in a slip and fall accident. We will also discuss some of the common defenses used by defendants in slip and fall cases. By understanding these concepts, you will be better prepared to pursue your claim if you are injured in a slip and fall accident.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall accident occurs when a person slips, trips, or falls due to a dangerous or hazardous condition on another person’s property. These accidents can occur anywhere but are most common in places like grocery stores, shopping malls, offices, and parking lots.
Studies show that more than 800,000 people are hospitalized yearly following fall and slip accidents. The most common cause of slip and fall accidents is negligence on the part of the property owner. This means that the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to prevent accidents from occurring, such as cleaning up spills or fixing broken stairs.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?
Wet and Uneven Floors
The leading causes of slip and fall accidents worldwide today are wet floors and poorly constructed floors. An uneven floor could cause you to trip and fall, from loose floorboards to defective sidewalks. Torn carpets, parking lot potholes, and loose mats are other common causes of slip and fall accidents.
The law requires building owners to take necessary safety measures to prevent slips and falls on their premises. For instance, slippery floors need clear warning signs to ensure that the users are extra careful when using them.
Floors and roads become extra slippery during the winter. While landlords and employers cannot do much about the weather, they must regularly maintain safety by shoveling the sidewalks and salting the steps around their premises. Your municipality is also responsible for ensuring the roads are safe during winter.
You are more likely to slip and fall when walking in a poorly lit area compared to a well-lit area. If you sustain injuries from falling in a poorly-lit room, you can sue the property owner for your injuries.
When custodial workers get a job on a premise, the property owner needs to properly train them to ensure the safety of everyone in the building. For instance, they should learn to place the warning signs strategically to ensure everyone knows that the floors are wet and slippery. They should also know how to properly use the cleaning equipment to ensure the floors are properly dried.
Many things could go wrong with stairs. They could be unevenly shaped, thus increasing the risk of slipping or tripping; they could also have cracked floorboards. Over time, stairs may wear out, making them very unsafe for use. Property owners must ensure that their premises meet the standards for stair safety. An excellent place to begin would be to install proper handrails on the stairs. If you get injured on premises with unsafe stairs, you may want to contact your slip and fall accident attorney.
In companies where the employer offers safety footwear, the footwear must be standard and have enough traction to prevent any slip and fall injuries. Shoes with poor traction could lead to slipping, and workers may end up with severe injuries. Employees should also look out for themselves by reporting improper footwear to their employer and getting a replacement as soon as possible.
Nursing Home Neglect
As people age, their balance is also highly affected. As a result, senior citizens in nursing homes require the utmost care when moving around. Sadly, not all nursing homes pay attention to the safety protocols that are needed to ensure the safety of their members. If you or your loved one incurs slip and fall injuries due to nursing home neglect, you will need an injury attorney to get the justice you deserve.
What Should You Do if You Fall on Someone Else’s Property?
When you get injured on someone else’s property, how you behave after the accident will go a long way in determining whether you will get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Taking some of these steps should help in securing your claim’s future.
The first thing you want to do is to take pictures of the accident scene. Be sure to capture what caused your fall. Was it torn carpeting or unshoveled ice on the sidewalk? Or was it a gaping pothole?
If you are in too much pain to take a picture, ask someone to do it for you. In most cases, the property owner may try to cover their tracks by fixing the problem soon after the accident. By taking photos of the scene, you have evidence that you can use to build your case.
Did anyone see you fall? If they did, be sure to get their name and contact details since they may vouch for you and testify that your fall resulted from the damages on the premises.
Report The Accident
You need to report the accident to the property owners or administrators as soon as it occurs. Delaying your report may often work against you since the owners may argue that you did not incur the injuries on their premises. If you cannot report the injuries immediately, you should seek the help of your slip and fall accident attorney to file a late report to the property owner.
Seek Medical Attention
While it may be tempting to ignore the faint pain that you may feel after a fall, do not fail to get medical attention. Insurance adjusters will often use your failure to seek medical attention against you. Ensure you see a doctor and give them a detailed report of your injuries.
Remember to keep a record of all your documents relating to the injury. This includes doctor’s orders, prescriptions, radiology reports, and payment receipts. All those will come in handy in determining your damages.
How Do You Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall accident can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord damage, and head trauma. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, for a successful slip and fall accident claim, you will need to prove four elements.
- The property owner must have been negligent in their duty to maintain safe conditions.
- The property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to take steps to remedy it.
- The hazardous condition must have been the direct cause of your accident. Simply put, you wouldn’t have fallen if not for the dangerous condition.
- You must have suffered some form of injury or damage as a result of the fall. This could include medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
If all of these elements are present in your case, then you may have grounds for a successful slip and fall accident claim. However, it’s always best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to build your case.
What Are Some Common Slip-and-Fall Defenses?
Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. Property owners are typically responsible for ensuring that their premises are safe for visitors, and they can be held liable for negligence if they fail to do so. However, there are a number of defenses that property owners can raise in slip and fall cases.
- One common defense is known as the ‘open and obvious‘ defense. This defense applies when the hazard that caused the accident is plainly visible and should have been easily avoidable by the plaintiff.
- Another common defense is known as the ‘assumption of risk’ defense. This defense applies when the plaintiff knew about the hazard but chose to proceed anyway.
- Finally, the ‘contributory negligence’ defense may be raised if the plaintiff was partially at fault for the accident. For example, if the plaintiff was not paying attention or was wearing inappropriate shoes for the conditions, this may be used as a defense.
While each case is unique, these are some of the most common defenses property owners use in slip and fall cases.
Should You Hire a Slip-and-Fall Accident Attorney?
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, you may be wondering if you need to hire an attorney. The answer depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and whether you have a valid claim. In general, if you’ve suffered serious injuries that will require extensive medical treatment or missed time from work, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced slip and fall accident attorney.
An attorney can help you investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case. They can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve. If you’re unsure whether you have a claim, an initial consultation with an attorney is always free, so it’s worth scheduling a meeting to discuss your case.
Let Our Injury Attorneys Help with Your Slip and Fall Case
With all the stress and hassle that follows your slip and fall injury, the last thing you want is to struggle with obstinate insurance adjusters who do not have your well-being in mind. Fortunately, we are here to help you out.
At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, our injury attorneys have vast experience dealing with personal injury claims. They will do all in their power to get you fair compensation for your injuries. You do not need to look any further. Contact us today. We will not fail you!