Slip and Fall Claim
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Do You Have A Slip and Fall Claim?
Slip and Fall Attorneys Can Provide Legal Advice
If you have been hurt on someone else’s property due to a slip and fall accident, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you seek compensation for damages that you may be owed. To do so, however, you need to demonstrate there was a hazardous condition the liable party was aware of or should have been aware of which caused the fall and resulted in injury.
Premises liability laws dictate that all property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure secure conditions on the premises of his/her property. This is to protect members of the public who find themselves on someone else’s property when an accident occurs. If property owners fail to meet these requirements and a person is ultimately injured as a result, these property owners can be held liable for the injuries sustained by that person. It is important to understand when you could have a basis for a claim, however. To determine if you should seek compensation from the property owner, your attorney will need to review a variety of factors.
Factors Regarding Eligibility for a Slip and Fall Claim.
- Duty of Care. To begin, you have to be able to demonstrate that the proprietor owed you what is known as a “duty of care”. A duty of care is a legal expression used to refer to someone’s legal duty to perform in a responsible and reasonable manner. A property owner then owes a duty of care to any person who is lawfully found on his/her premises, making slip and fall cases his/her responsibility. To further illustrate, the owner of a hair salon would owe a duty of care to his/her clients. The owner, however, does not exactly owe a duty of care to a person who is either trespassing or is otherwise unlawfully present on the property. When attempting to prove whether or not a property owner owed you a duty of care at the time of your accident, a victim would need to establish they were on the premises lawfully.
- Proving the Owner’s Negligence. One of the most difficult factors you must demonstrate is proving that the owner of the property on which you suffered an injury was negligent about the conditions of the premises. In order to determine if the property owner was negligent, one of the following factors must be true:
- The owner generated the hazard that ultimately produced your accident.
- The owner knew about the hazard and did not attempt to repair it.
- The owner should have recognized the hazard which caused your injury, since another reasonable owner in the same circumstance would have known.
The ability to demonstrate one of these factors is vital to your claim. To make your case stronger, engaging the resourcefulness of an experienced attorney who can collect evidence including witness testimonies, video and surveillance material, and premises maintenance records is essential. Once you have managed to establish the property owner’s negligence, you must demonstrate that your injury resulted directly because of it.
It is important to highlight that you could also be shown to be at fault for the accident. This is known as “comparative negligence”. In comparative negligence cases, the victim is found to share some of the fault in the resulting accident if, for example, the victim ignored posted caution signs which resulted in the injury. The laws regarding comparative negligence differ from state to state, and an experienced attorney will be able to accurately evaluate this aspect of the case.
- Proving that You Sustained Damages. Finally, you must demonstrate that you have suffered damages or losses as a consequence of your slip and fall accident. The collection of medical expenses, taking time off work for recovery, or even experiencing emotional distress can be reasons to seek compensation. If you can prove your expenses and losses relating to your grievances, the respondent would owe you compensation.
To demonstrate your grievances, it is crucial that you document all expenses and losses you sustained in order to provide a record of what you are owed. Keep copies and records of all receipts, medical archives, work paychecks, and other papers that could be relevant to your claim. Keeping a diary or journal immediately after the incident may also benefit your case, as it may record symptoms as well as personal feelings. Diary/journal entries do not need to be lengthy, but should describe your experience in its entirety as well as what you felt afterward both emotionally and physically. These entries could demonstrate that you were undergoing agony and distress for an extended period of time after your injury.
Potential Damages of a Slip and Fall Accident.
Depending on the nature of you or your family member’s injuries due to a slip and fall accident, your personal injury lawyer may identify possible claims for:
- Medical expenses. Injuries resulting from a slip and fall may include: incapacitation; broken bones and/or fractures; head, neck, or back trauma; spinal cord injury; brain injury; long-term medical complications; internal bleeding; paralysis; and, in the worst case scenario, death.
- Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a slip and fall accident victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care.
- Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
- Vocational rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
- Loss of consortium (the services of a close family member) and loss of care and companionship.
- Wrongful death.
- Funeral expenses.
If you or a loved one were the victim of a slip and fall accident, contacting an experienced attorney could help you prove your case and get the compensation you deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney can review your case in order to help you determine if you have a legal claim. If there is enough evidence to prove that the property owner was responsible for your damages, an attorney will be able to fight for you and your interests after a slip and fall accident.