“Slip and fall” accidents are those in which person is injured by slipping, stumbling, or tripping, and falling due to a dangerous condition on the premises. These types of falls may happen inside or outside; they may result from poor or wet flooring, badly-lighted steps, or other hazards. In the case of outdoor accidents, weather is often to blame, in the form of an icy patch outside a door or deterioriating pavement, as a crack or pothole.
Negligence law covers slip and fall accidents through premises liability. As premises/property owners, individuals have a “duty of care” to maintain the safety of their property. This begins with structural defects inside and out. Some states require that the property owner reduce problem areas caused by weather.
Structural defects may include: loose flooring – mats, rugs, or tiles; standing water; badly-lit stairs and steps; cracks or holes in sidewalks and parking lots. Hazards related to weather include standing water and icy spots.
Safety responsibility does not rest with the property owner entirely. Any entrant onto a property also has a duty to exercise reasonable care, and such careless action may mean that a plaintiff shares in the negligence.
After a slip and fall accident, attempt to determine what caused the fall, and whether it could have been anticipated or prevented. Collect names and addresses from all witnesses. Note the conditions in the area, including those factors already mentioned – lighting poor, standing water or another substance, etc. If your fall was caused by something on the floor, try to obtain a sample. Get pictures of the area if possible. Finally, report your accident to the manager or owner and insist that they make a record of it.
It is your responsibility to prove that a hazard existed and that it was the cause of your accident.
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call Underwood Law Offices, Inc. at (304) 522-0508 or toll free 866-523-0499 or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.