Falls happen every day, and most cause little to no injury except to our egos. We tend to get up, dust ourselves off and go about our business. Some of the time though, an injury like a broken bone that comes with hefty medical bills, time off from work, and emotional distress occurs. Because it’s such a common way of becoming injured, it’s important to know when the liability falls on you and when it’s on the property owner.
Slip and fall statistics.
Falls account for 8 million visits to the hospital each year.
Fractures are the most common injury sometimes requiring the area to be wrapped in a cast.
The most serious injuries from a fall will be hip fractures that might require a replacement.
While not often fatal, falls results in many lost days of work.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that the flooring material is the biggest contributor to the slip or fall.
Who is at fault in a slip and fall accident?
When a slip and fall happens, it’s up to you to prove the property owner is at fault. Sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren’t. And other times, both parties are at fault. It is called “comparative negligence.” Basically, it means that the person who slipped and fell was acting carelessly, but the property owner created a condition that contributed to the fall. Don’t worry. An attorney can help you work through the accident and let you know if there are grounds to bring a case.
You may have a case against a property owner if:
- A dangerous surface existed, AND the owner failed to correct the hazardous conditions. For example, a broken sidewalk, torn carpet, or a wet floor can all cause accidents.
- The property owner does not have a regular maintenance and inspection program in place to protect patrons or tenants.
- An object caused you to fall that should not have been left where it was. Was food on the floor in the restaurant, or was a mop and bucket left out? These items should not be there and could cause you to fall.
- There was no "warning" sign or barrier to prevent your accident.
- Poor lighting contributed to the slip and fall.
In winter months, there is a danger of slipping and falling with icy conditions throughout the season. Those walking across college campuses and around apartment complexes are particularly susceptible. You can be proactive and find out if there is a plan in place to deal with winter conditions before they occur. Even better, volunteer some time to help out or organize efforts around keeping everyone safe. After all, it’s better if NO ONE falls or gets hurt.
Have you recently received an injury from a slip or fall? Contact Bart Durham to see if we can help you.
Who can you sue in a slip and fall accident?
Who the defendant is in the lawsuit will vary depending on the place the accident occurred. If you were in a building, you could either sue the landlord or building owner now, if the building owner and landlord are the same people than it would be one defendant. Slipping and falling in a public space where the building is owned by one person and leased by another you would potentially have a case against the owner.
What should you do in a slip and fall accident?
The first thing you need to do is to seek medical attention. A doctor should confirm the state and degree of your injuries. Next, you want to report the accident to the person in charge. That varies per location, but it could be the manager of a store, the landlord of a property, or owner of the building. Keep thorough records of everything. Medical notes, emails, text messages, and other forms of communication that you had with your doctor and other parties involved in the accident. Finally, call a trusted injury lawyer like Bart Durham.
What information do you need to get?
If you believe negligence was involved, you can take photos of the place where the accident happened. Before leaving you'll want to speak to whoever is in charge to find out why the conditions were so dangerous. If the floor was wet confirm why it was wet and how long it was wet. Get as much information right after the accident to improve your chances of winning the case.
Bart Durham and his team believe in getting you the justice you deserve. It's not fair when property owners, landlords, or business owners fail to provide a safe environment for customers or residents. We're here to help you. Contact us today to learn whether or not you have a case.