Slip and fall accidents are a very serious problem in the United States. They are the second leading cause of accidental deaths. In 2015, there were more than 33,000 deaths caused by falls. In 2016, there were more than 229,000 cases that involved slipping, falling, or tripping at the workplace.
If you have fallen and been injured on someone’s property do not let them undermine its severity. You have a legal right for compensation for your suffering and loss.
Slip and fall accidents refer to any injury that occurs when a person trips, slips, or falls while on someone else’s property. In most cases, these accidents happen when at work or on some business property, such as a bank, a grocery store, or an apartment building. The person who owns the property is the person who the claim will be filed against.
What To Do After Being Injured?
Following the right steps after a slip and fall accident will help the claim move as smoothly as possible. The very first step is to seek medical attention. Your health is obviously the primary concern. Call an ambulance or visit the emergency room if need be. Don’t let any legal confusion keep you from getting the medical help you need. And the medical records that you receive from the hospital will become a very important tool when its time to seek compensation.
You need to report the accident as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter where the accident has occurred. Contact the owner or manager and report the accident. You should have the owner or manager create a written report for the accident. Request a copy of that report and keep it with you.
If possible, you want to collect information from witnesses. This can be difficult if you require immediate medical attention. You can have a friend or family member collect witness information if possible. This should include their name, address, and phone number. Their statements will be crucial when it comes time to prove what happened
Whoever is collecting this information should also take pictures of the accident and the surrounding area. Whatever you believe caused the accident should be photographed. If there is water on the floor or a torn carpet, then there needs to be a picture of it. This will all become useful evidence later.
Contact a personal injury attorney before giving any statements or discussing the accident with any additional parties. That means no insurance companies and no social media. Your attorney needs to be there to advise you regarding what you should or shouldn’t say. Slip and fall cases can become very complicated and saying the wrong thing could make the case very difficult.
Who Is At Fault?
Your attorney will help determine and prove who was at fault for the accident. Proving legal responsibility for a slip and fall accident can be tricky. It will need to be shown that a dangerous condition existed on the property and that the property owner was aware of that condition. A dangerous condition is one that creates a serious risk to anyone on the property.
Furthermore, it needs to be a risk that the person would not have normally anticipated. That means a person cannot claim the property owner was at fault simply because they were not paying attention to obvious dangers.
An owner of a commercial property is considered at fault if they fall into one of the following three categories:
- They knew about the dangerous condition but did not fix it.
- They caused the dangerous condition themselves.
- They should have known about the dangerous condition because it is reasonable for someone who is taking care of the property to know about it.
If the attorney can prove that the commercial property owner falls into one of these three categories, then you have yourself a strong case for a slip and fall claim. The categories are slightly different for residential property owners and government property. In either case, the attorney will understand what is needed and can determine if the property owner was legally responsible.
Pursuing A Legal Claim
Many people who suffer from slip and fall accidents don’t pursue legal claims. They are simply unaware that they have a strong legal case and a right to receive compensation. That is why you should discuss your injury with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.