CALL (800) 863 5312 TO SPEAK WITH PREMISES LIABILITY LAWYERS FOR FREE
Slip and fall accidents may not seem like a big deal, but they can often result in serious injuries. Property owners have a duty to ensure their premises are safe and to remedy or provide warning of any dangerous conditions that may exist. However, your rights may also be affected by your status on the property.
If you have recently suffered a slip and fall accident, you should contact a premises liability lawyer to help you seek compensation for your injuries and other expenses. Call the slip and fall attorneys from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation. If we cannot reach a favorable result in your case, you will not owe us anything.
WHAT IS PREMISE LIABILITY?
Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for visitors and to address any potential hazards that may arise. However, property owners are not liable for all injuries that occur on their property.
For example, if you are trespassing on the property, the property owner may not be liable if you are injured. To pursue a premise liability case, the injuries must have been sustained in an accident, and the cause of the accident must have been an unaddressed hazardous condition on the property. In most states, the property owner must have known of the hazard or reasonably should have known of its existence. This means the hazard which caused the accident should have been discovered by a property owner taking reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of their property.
In other words, if someone were to drop a container of liquid in front of the victim, causing them to slip minutes later, the property owner may not be liable: it is not reasonable that they would be aware of the spill immediately. However, if the spill occurred some time earlier and no steps have been taken to clean it or warn of its presence, the property owner may be liable for injuries it causes.
Beyond slips and falls, premises liability may also cover incidents such as falling merchandise, hazardous material leaks, and more.
WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
If you are injured in an accident on someone else’s property, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and expenses. Many slip and fall accidents occur in businesses, though they can happen anywhere, even your neighbor’s yard. Generally, after a slip and fall accident, you may seek compensation from the property owner’s insurer for your injuries and expenses caused by these injuries. If you are at work when you have a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible for worker's compensation.
COMMON SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
Grocery stores, gas stations, and other businesses with frequent foot traffic are common sites of slip and fall accidents. There are a variety of hazards that may cause an accident, such as:
Leaks and spills occur frequently in stores. For example, a spilled fountain drink at a convenience store could create a dangerous hazard. Spills and leaks may cause the floor to become slippery, resulting in a slip and fall accident.
Learn More: Wet and Slippery Floor Accidents
If aisles and walkways are not clear, an accident can happen. Clutter can be caused by the presence of brooms, mops, dolleys, pallet jacks, or inventory left in the open, and debris such as discarded packaging, trash or rubbish can cause a slip and fall accident. For instance, a dropped banana peel in a Walmart could cause someone to slip and fall.
Flooring in poor condition
If flooring is not properly maintained, it can degrade over time. Chipped or uneven tile and worn or torn carpeting can easily cause a slip and fall accident.
A handrail is meant to help prevent an accident, but a broken handrail can fail when it is needed most, causing an accident.
Flooring that is uneven or has depressions can cause someone to lose their footing and trip.
WORKPLACE SLIP & FALL ACCIDENTS
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), slip and fall accidents in the workplace are also a common occurrence, with over a quarter of a million reported in 2014, 798 of which were fatal. Slip and fall accidents in the workplace continue to be a large source of injuries.
Workplace slip and fall accidents can be caused by:
Cluttered Work Areas
Work areas can quickly become difficult to safely navigate if tools and materials are left lying about.
Slippery Work Areas
Grease, oil and other liquids are often present and necessary in the day-to-day functioning of work sites, making it almost inevitable that some will end up on the work surface. Failure to keep the work surface clean can result in a slip and fall.
Unstable Walking/Work Surface
If a work surface, such as scaffolding, is not properly constructed or secured, it can become unstable, making it difficult to use safely, causing an accident.
Learn More: Workplace Injuries
Many workspaces, especially construction sites, may have holes in the floor and wall that can create a hazard for workers near them. Proper safety precautions must be taken to prevent an accident.
Improperly Placed Ladders
Ladders can become hazards if they are not placed correctly, causing them to become unstable, leading to an accident.
What to Do After an Accident
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do after a slip and fall accident is to immediately seek medical attention, even if no injuries are immediately apparent. Some injuries may not be noticeable at first, but may still be serious, such as internal injuries. This ensures you receive the care that you need, and it provides documentation of the injuries you received as a result of your accident.
2. Report the Accident
It is important that you report the accident as soon as possible after it occurs. If you are in a store or place of business, report the accident to the owner or manager. Workplace accidents should be immediately reported to your manager or supervisor. You should also make sure an accident report is filed regarding your incident.
3. Document Evidence
You should collect and document as much evidence surrounding your accident as possible. Take photos or videos of your injuries as well as of the site of the accident, including its surroundings. Be sure to collect the contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
4. Consult a Premises Liability Lawyer
If you have been injured due to a slip and fall, you should contact an attorney. An attorney may help you investigate the accident and pursue a slip and fall claim to seek compensation for your injuries.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
Common injuries from falls may include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscle and ligament damage
Making A Claim
1. Contact a Premises Liability Lawyer
If you have been injured by a slip and fall or other accident, you should consult an experienced premises liability attorney immediately. An attorney may investigate your accident and collect evidence that your accident was caused by the property owner’s negligence. Your attorney may use this evidence to build a strong case to support your claim and help you through the complex process of pursuing a slip and fall claim.
2. File a claim
Once your attorney has investigated your accident, they may decide that there is enough evidence to support your claim that your accident was the result of negligence by the property owner. Your attorney may then file a claim seeking compensation from the property owner’s insurer.
Your attorney may generally calculate the damages you may have sustained due to your injuries, such as medical expenses and missed work. This will be used to craft an initial claim which will be presented to the insurer. Before a trial, your attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement that is acceptable to both you and the insurer. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the stronger your case for compensation may generally be.
Learn More: Negotiating With Insurance
If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, the case may go to trial. Your attorney may represent you during the trial, and present evidence to support your claim. The amount of compensation, if any, will be decided by jury.
The amount of compensation that may be available varies case by case, and it is often dependent upon the specific details regarding the accident and injuries that may have been suffered. In slip and fall cases, compensation for various economic and non-economic damages may be sought.
Economic damages may be awarded to cover financial losses you may have suffered because of the accident, and may include:
You may be able to seek damages for the costs of diagnosis, treatment of injuries, and hospital stays caused by the accident
Lost Income Due To Missed Work
You may be able to seek damages for loss of income if you have missed work because of your injuries.
Loss of Potential Earnings
You may be able to seek damages for loss of future income if you are unable to return to your job due to injuries that prevent you from performing your work duties.
Non-economic damages may be also awarded in some cases and may include compensation for pain and suffering or wrongful death. Pain and suffering damages are based on the injuries sustained and the impact they have had on your quality of life.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
Legal Time Limits
The legal time limits, or statute of limitations, for a personal injury claim such as a slip and fall varies from state to state, while many states allow for a statute of limitations of four years from the date of the accident. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible so that your claim may be filed within the statute of limitations for your state. If you fail to file a slip and fall claim before the statute of limitations expires, you may be unable to pursue any compensation.
GET HELP FROM A SLIP AND FALL LAWYER TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, we help our clients pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to as a victim of a slip and fall or other injury on the property of another.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.