Slip and fall accidents are a daily occurrence, and many people experience them with no long-term repercussions. Others, however, are not so lucky. Slip and fall accidents that require legal action may overlap with several other practice areas, including premises liability and wrongful death. Therefore, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of your rights and the options available should you ever need to pursue this type of personal injury claim.
Slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk or a wet floor in a restaurant are two of the most obvious circumstances that may come to mind when thinking of these accidents. However, there are a variety of conditions that may contribute to a slip and fall. Here are the most common causes:
In addition to these situations, there are many outside factors that may cause or exacerbate an accident. For example, a company may not provide its workers with adequate safety equipment, such as appropriate footwear, resulting in a deadly slip and fall.
Like any other areas of personal injury law, proving the negligent party’s failure to meet established duties of care is critical to proving a claim. Business owners, for example, must keep their grounds reasonably safe for all patrons and visitors. This means clearing potential hazards in a timely manner, posting caution signs as needed, and making sure walkways are safe and free from obstructions. Failure to correct such hazards may cause an injury that leads to a personal injury claim.
If you suffer a slip and fall and are hurt on a commercial property, you will first need to report the accident to a manager. Corporations such as Wal-Mart may ask that you fill out an injury report to document the event. Note that insurers may later use this information against you; it is a good practice to stick to facts such as the time of the event and what caused the slip and fall. Avoid commenting at this time on your condition until you can speak with a medical professional for an official diagnosis – some side effects of the fall may not present until a later date.
Before you leave, collect as much information as possible to document what happened. Get the names and numbers of any witnesses, and take pictures of the scene and the hazard that caused the slip and fall before someone cleans up or removes evidence. It will be difficult to proceed with your case without this information.
Next, see a doctor for an official diagnosis of your injuries. It is important to do this as soon as possible after the fall. Courts may misconstrue failure to do so as you having not been hurt even if you suffered harm that you were initially unaware of, such as a concussion.
These cases can be complicated, and you may not know whether you have grounds for a legal claim following a slip and fall accident. Take advantage of a free consultation from Fielding Law if this ever happens to you. After speaking to you about what happened, we can inform you of your options and provide recommendations for how to proceed.