Cause of Slip-and-Fall Injuries
At some point in life, most people have tripped and fallen to the ground. Most slip-and-fall injuries are caused by a sudden or unexpected change in the walking surface. An accident can occur if we are not previously aware of a change in the surface making us unable to change our behavior to avoid the fall. When a fall is caused by the carelessness of another person, then the fall can be cause for a slip-and-fall claim.
'Slip-and-fall' is a term used for a personal injury case in which a person slips and falls and is injured due to the negligence of another person. These type of accidents fall under the broader legal term, 'personal premises liability.' 'Premises' means that the fall took place on someone else's property. The owner of the property may be held legally responsible for the accident. Properties can include a home, business, government facility, public property, town or city property,etc.
There are many situations that can result in a person falling. This can include poor lighting, wet floor, narrow or damaged stairs, a change in the surface of the floor, and torn carpeting. Hazardous conditions such as snow, ice, or rain on the ground, a pothole, cracked pavement, and damaged stairs or escalators, can result in a slip and fall incident.
When walking in a public place or on another person's property, we have the right to be informed about any hazards that may likely cause us harm. If we are aware of a dangerous situation, and choose to proceed, we assume some risk. If we are not informed of a hazardous situation, and we are in an accident, the owner may be held liable for the accident.
When determining whether a business or property owner knew of a hazardous condition, the following must be proved:
- The owner was responsible for creating the dangerous situation
- The owner was fully aware of the hazardous situation and failed to remove, repair, or properly inform people about the hazard
- The hazardous situation existed for a long enough time that the owner should have become aware of the situation and took the necessary steps to correct it.
There is no accurate way to determine slip and fall negligence. Generally, for a person to be held liable for another's slip and fall accident, it must be shown that the owner was careless in preventing a trip and fall condition and the victim had no way knowing about the hazard so they could not take the necessary steps to avoid the accident. A dangerous condition must present an unreasonable risk to a person on the property. For example, if a person falls because they were not looking where they were walking, the owner may not be at fault even if a serious injury occurs.
Slip-and-fall claims can be quite complicated. They can involve giving depositions, filing the appropriate paperwork, enlisting expert witnesses, and using the services of professionals who reconstruct slip-and-fall accidents. A personal injury attorney will be able to determine whether or not you have a personal injury claim. An attorney who has experience with slip-and-fall claims will know how to handle all of the details involved with proving a claim.
It is important to be aware of your environment when you are out and about. Unfortunately, there are situations where you may not be aware of the dangers. This can result in a slip and fall accident. If you suffer an injury from a slip and fall, seek medical attention immediately. If you feel someone else is responsible for the accident, consult with a personal injury lawyer.