Are Slip and Fall Accidents Always the Business’s Fault?
Slip and fall accidents are incredibly common, and a business owner may be legally responsible for your injuries if you were injured on their property. A fall accident attorney or premises liability lawyer may be able to help you with your fall injury claim if you were injured as a result of a business or property owner’s negligence.
When the Property Owner Is Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident
Personal injury attorneys often take on slip and fall accident personal injury cases. Sometimes a business entity or property owner will be liable for the accident. The liable party may owe the injured party compensation.
However, the injured party must have been injured as a result of the business or property owner’s negligence. A business owner inhabiting a property has a legal responsibility to keep the premises safe. If the person responsible for the property neglected to keep the premises safe, then somebody injured on that property may have a legal case against the negligent party.
Unsafe conditions that can lead to slip and fall accidents include:
Slippery surfaces with no wet floor signs
If a business owner could’ve prevented a hazardous condition from being present, then the owner may be found responsible if somebody was injured as a result of that condition.
When the Property Owner Is Not Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident
The business or property owner is not always responsible for slip and fall accidents. People are expected to practice reasonable caution when entering any business premises. If you did not take reasonable steps to protect yourself, such as walking carefully and paying attention to your surroundings, then you may be responsible for your own slip and fall accident.
For example, if you were ignoring warning signs in the area of your accident, then you may be considered at fault. As a result, you most likely won’t be able to recover compensation, as the business owner did everything they could to keep their property safe.
You usually won’t be able to make a fall claim if the business or property owner wasn’t negligent: i.e., it wasn’t caused by dangerous conditions that a business owner or employee knew about but failed to address.
When You May Be Partly Responsible for Your Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents aren’t always just one party’s fault. Sometimes both you and the business owner can be held liable for your accident. For example, you may have fallen on a slippery floor where there was a hand railing available to keep you steady.
If you slipped on the slippery floor but neglected to use the hand railing, then you may be partially at fault for your slip and fall accident. Whether or not a wet floor sign was present may impact your liability in the accident.
Remember, you and the other visitors must exhibit a reasonable amount of caution when visiting business premises. Failing to grab hold of a railing to keep yourself safe may indicate you were not being responsible and cautious.
Thanks to comparative negligence, you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages if you’re found partially liable for your accident. However, you won’t be able to recover the full amount of what you may be entitled to. If you’re found to be 25% responsible for your slip and fall, then you’ll typically only recover 75% of the compensation a law firm has managed to win for you during your fall claim.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
If you believe a dangerous condition caused by a negligent property owner led to your slip and fall, then contact a fall accident attorney. You may have a slip and fall claim. Below are several circumstances that can lead to slip and fall injuries.
Slippery floors can lead to accidents. However, you must be sure there was no wet floor sign present at the site of your accident. A lack of a wet floor sign gives you a legitimate reason to believe the store owner may be liable for your injuries.
Tripping on loose rugs and carpets or loose floorboards can lead to you having a fall case on your hands if you’re injured. An unmaintained floor is a dangerous condition that puts you and everyone else on the property in danger. Contact a personal injury lawyer if you were injured by loose or otherwise faulty flooring.
Cracks and Potholes
The ground inside and outside of the business should be properly maintained. You may have an injury case if the property owners have not properly maintained the ground. Cracks and potholes can easily cause a slip and fall accident.
If an outdoor walkway has been unmaintained and left in an unsafe condition, then it can lead to an accident. The person responsible for maintaining the ground may be at fault for your accident.
Exposed wiring can create more than one type of unsafe condition. If it’s live wiring, then it puts you in danger of electrocution. If it’s not live wiring, but it’s on the floor, then you may trip over it and end up with a slip-and-fall case to deal with. If you’ve slipped and fallen due to exposed wiring, then get in contact with an attorney. You may have an injury claim against the store owner.
Spillages and Leaky Equipment
If somebody spilled something, or if equipment, such as a freezer, is leaking, then it can create unsafe conditions. If the spillage or leak results in you becoming injured, then the store owner may be found liable for your slip and fall accident.
How an Attorney Can Help You If You’ve Been in a Slip and Fall Accident
Contact an attorney if you’ve been in a slip and fall accident. You may be entitled to compensation. Personal injury attorneys regularly deal with slip and fall cases. Some of the ways an attorney can help you after a fall accident are outlined below.
Building Your Case
Fall claimants need to prove that a business or property owner was responsible for the accident. An attorney may gather evidence to build your case proving the other party’s liability. They may use photographs from the accident scene, store security footage, witness testimonies, and more.
Your attorney will also generally help you prove that you were injured in the case, so you can be reimbursed for your medical treatment. Expensive medical bills are the last thing you should be worrying about while trying to recover from your injuries.
If you had any other injuries at the time of the accident, then your attorney may consult a medical expert to help determine which injuries were caused by the accident and which predated it.
Businesses often have a strong legal team to help them get out of trouble. Your attorney will likely handle all communications with the other side’s attorney and the insurance company. Your attorney will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement offer for you after your slip and fall accident.
If the insurance company refuses to settle, then your attorney may advise on whether you should take your case to trial.
Defending You in Court
You’ll need an excellent lawyer by your side if your case goes to trial. Your attorney will usually attempt to show the judge and jury why you’re entitled to the amount of compensation you’re claiming. They’ll typically try to prove how the other party was negligent and is liable for your injuries, and they’ll do everything they can to get you a successful outcome.
Types of Compensation You Could Win in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
You may have your medical bills covered after a slip and fall accident. The liable party’s insurance company generally must cover all the costs of your treatment, including treatment you’ll need in the future if your injuries are long-lasting. You should receive a sum to cover your medical bills even if your treatment will go on for the rest of your life.
Did you have to take time off work to recover from your injuries? If so, then you may receive a sum intended to reimburse you for the money you would’ve earned if you’d been working. If your slip and fall accident resulted in a permanent disability, then you may be reimbursed for your lost earning potential if you’ll be unable to return to full-time work.
When you slip and fall, you can end up injuring yourself severely. Some injuries, both major and minor, can leave you with lifelong emotional damage. If you’ve been left with a permanent disability, then your life will most likely never be the same as it once was.
You may be compensated for your emotional distress, loss of quality of life, and more. Even those who haven’t been left with severe lifelong injuries often receive some compensation for their emotional trauma.
Loss of Consortium
If you’re claiming on behalf of a deceased loved one, then you may be entitled to damages for loss of consortium. Damages for loss of consortium are sometimes awarded to surviving family members after injuries resulting in the death of a loved one.
Contact Wendt Law Firm P.C. if you were injured on somebody else’s property. A fall accident lawyer may be able to help you win compensation for your injuries by taking action against the party liable for your accident. Call us at 816-542-6734 for a free consultation.