Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of personal injury cases recorded every year. In many cases, a slip and fall accident can cause serious harm, and it may even be fatal. People affected by slip and fall accidents are usually children and elderly people. In almost all slip and fall cases, the injury may have been prevented if the hazardous conditions were not present.
In any slip and fall case, the owner of the property where the slip and fall incident took place is held responsible. If the owner invites guests to their home or establishment, they have a responsibility to provide a safe venue to the guests. If the premises had dangerous conditions, then the property owner is held responsible for the injuries caused as a result of the slip and fall incident. Whenever someone has been in a slip and fall accident, they must contact an experienced slip and fall accident attorney immediately.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents usually occur when someone trips over his or her own feet. The fall may be caused as a result of dangerous conditions, such as slippery or wet floors, uneven floor surface, raised or cracked pathways, change in elevation like a small step, broken railings, uneven stair treads, inadequate lighting, unsecured carpets or rugs, change in the floor surface, cords or wiring stretched across the walking path, too narrow stair treads and so on. These dangerous conditions can occur anywhere such as at a private home, at the shopping center, at the restaurant, at an apartment, or at a public place such as on sidewalks.
The failure to follow through with your own safety standards in making sure that a store or commercial establishment is clear of debris, and other items that could cause a slip and fall. Many times, customers will spill items on a floor, and that item will be left there for a period. If the store does not clean the aisle pursuant to its own standards, it can be held accountable for any accidents that occur because of that slippery substance on the floor. Another example of conditions that have arisen, or caused a slip and fall, is when the store does not properly mark the surface. You must warn a person that the surface is about ready to change heights, and it is not obvious to the person who is walking. A person can suffer a nasty injury from such a condition that is the responsibility of the owner, or the manager of the store, because they did not have the flooring properly marked to warn someone of a change, which caused them to fall.
Lighting can also be a common cause of many such accidents, where with proper lighting a person would see the hazards and avoid the area, or be able to take proper precautions. We have litigated cases involving carpet as well, especially carpet on stairs can be hazardous creating a trip, a greater trip potential because of the nature of potential for abnormal wear and tear. If a property owner, or manager does not continue proper maintenance on carpet, and replace it when it is worn, it can create a special hazard on stairs leading to serious injuries.
Who is held responsible for a Slip and Fall?
Determining responsibility in a slip and fall is the first step. The slip and fall could have occurred as a result of dangerous or hazardous conditions. Most dangerous conditions are caused due to the negligence of the property owner who was in charge of maintaining the property. However, in order to hold the property owner responsible for the slip and fall injury, a number of things have to be established:
- Firstly, you have to determine if the property owner had an obligation towards the injured person. If the owner is inviting guests to their property, they have a duty to fix any hazards that exist. They also have a responsibility to warn the guests of any dangerous conditions on the property. The thing to note in these cases is that the property owners don't have an obligation to actually inspect the property for any dangers. They only need to take care of any risks which they know about.
- The second thing to determine is whether or not the obligation was breached. Property owners are required to maintain their property in a reasonably safe way. If they fail to do so, they can he held liable legally.
- The last thing to determine is the extent of the injuries suffered in the slip and fall accident. Victims and their family members can file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, as well as wrongful death damages. An experienced slip and fall accident attorney can help determine the extent of the losses in slip and fall injury cases.
Steps To Take After Being Injured In a Slip And Fall Accident
Other than the obvious step of seeking medical treatment for the injuries from the accident, the person needs to notify a responsible person at the business where they fell, giving them notice of the event. A person should also immediately talk to any witnesses who saw the slip and fall, and get their name and number so those witnesses can help corroborate the fact that you slipped and fell, when and where. Most importantly, a person needs to preserve the condition that caused them to slip and fall. How a person preserves that condition is typically through the use of photography.
If someone can take pictures of the location, where the slip and fall occurred as soon as possible this goes a long ways towards preserving that area and proving that hazard was present, and probably led to your slip and fall. So many people leave the scene of an accident, and do not think about taking pictures, or doing anything such as this to document the condition that caused them to slip and fall. By the time they get back to the scene of the accident, it is usually cleared, fixed, or altered substantially from the way it was at the time of your slip and fall. That can create a condition making it very difficult to successfully win such a case.
Get help from a Slip and Fall accident lawyer
There are many ways a person can be found to have played a contributing role in their slip and fall. People are normally busy and may be doing several things at once, this can lead to inattentiveness or distractedness which can contribute to a slip and fall. However, anyone who has been hurt in a slip and fall accident can get the compensation they deserve by contacting an attorney and filing a lawsuit in court. Alternatively, they can negotiate a settlement with the other party. In either case, it is advised to contact a slip and fall accident lawyer in order to maximize the damages recoverable. Contact the Accident Lawyers Network for a Free Initial Consultation and discuss your slip and fall injury case with an experienced attorney.