Who is at fault when you or a loved one slips and falls and is injured on someone else’s property? Like all good legal questions, the answer is: it depends. No two slip and fall cases are the same, and determining fault can be a tricky process.
To add to the complexity, your own actions and the laws in the state and city where the slip and fall accident occurred can also contribute to determining liability. Given all the varying factors, if you are injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you may want to consider hiring an experienced attorney from Kirkendall Dwyer LLP.
With years of experience handling complex premises liability cases, the slip and fall lawyers at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP can work for you to help you get the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with our personal injury attorneys to get started.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Many slip and fall accidents are the result of hazardous property conditions. As such, slip and fall accidents are often preventable. In fact, the National Safety Council lists falls as the third most common cause of preventable death in the US.
In many trip and fall cases, a property owner fails to maintain safe conditions on their premises. Many cities have municipal codes and standards that property owners must adhere to in order to ensure safety on their land and in their dwellings or workplace.
Examples of hazardous conditions that can cause slip and fall accidents include:
- Icy steps
- Slippery walkways
- Uneven flooring
- Debris in walkways
- Low hanging electrical lines
- Dangling branches
- Broken railings
Typically, the aforementioned municipal codes and regulations require landlords and property owners to fix such problems in a reasonable amount of time. If they fail to do so, the landlord or property owner in question could be liable for negligence.
Negligence in Trip and Fall Claims
In slip and fall cases, as in other premises liability cases, the concept of negligence is often key to determining liability. If a person is negligent, it means they have failed to exercise a reasonable duty of care when it comes to protecting the safety of others.
For example, a homeowner may fail to shovel the snow and remove ice from their front step in the winter within a reasonable timeframe, as prescribed by the municipal code in the city they live in. If a visitor to their home falls and is injured as a result, it could be said the homeowner was negligent and therefore liable for the subsequent damages.
Proving negligence and ultimately liability can be difficult and requires thoroughness and care. That is why it is crucial to hire a skilled slip and fall attorney to help in your case. A good lawyer will know exactly what type of evidence is required in such a case and how to go about getting it.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Certain injuries are more common in slip and fall accidents than in other types of accidents. These injuries include:
- Broken wrists: If a person falls, they might break their wrists when they put their arms out to break their fall.
- Back injuries: On extremely slippery surfaces, it is possible for your feet to completely slip out from underneath you, causing you to land directly on your back. This can cause injuries to your back and spinal cord.
- Concussions: Landing on your head could cause a concussion or other traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Cuts, bruises, and broken bones on other parts of your body are also common slip and fall injuries. For the elderly, broken hips as the result of a fall can dramatically alter the remaining years of their lives.
Eligibility for Filing a Trip and Fall Lawsuit
Generally speaking, a person who is injured in a fall on another person’s property as the result of the property owner’s negligence is eligible to file a slip and fall lawsuit. There are, however, a few things you need to keep in mind when considering legal action.
First, your reason for being on the property can impact your eligibility for civil compensation. If you were an invited guest, a customer, or were on the property because you were hired for a job, you might have a great case against the negligent property owner. However, if you were trespassing, you would be deemed ineligible to file a lawsuit, even if you were injured because of the property owner’s negligence.
Second, if you contributed to the accident (i.e., you were distracted or engaging in unsafe behavior) your case may be harmed or compensation may be limited.
The best way to determine success rate of your slip and fall case is to consult a lawyer. A competent slip and fall attorney can analyze the details of your accident, gather the necessary evidence, and determine the best course of action.
Possible Compensation after a Slip and Fall Injury
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you know all too well the kinds of expenses that can add up. Medical bills, physical therapy, and lost wages can take a huge toll on those who are injured in trip and fall accidents.
The good news is that if you were injured because a home or business owner failed to adequately maintain their property, you could be due damages to cover those expenses and more. The list of potentially compensable damages includes:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy expenses
- Daycare expenses
- Lost wages or income
- Loss of enjoyment
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
It is easier to determine the dollar value of some of these expenses than others. Intangible losses such as pain and suffering and emotional distress are much harder to calculate.
A good slip and fall attorney can help calculate your damages and get you the compensation you deserve. At Kirkendall Dwyer LLP, we don’t charge any up front fees to represent you. Instead, we work on a contingency basis, meaning we only earn money on your case if you do.
Hire a Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Slip and fall accidents are notoriously challenging to litigate. They require a firm grasp of municipal codes as well as state law. They also require great attention to detail and a diligent gathering of evidence and witness testimony.
In order to have the best chance of winning your trip and fall accident case, it is important to have a skilled slip and fall lawyer on your side. The attorneys at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP understand how to win and would be more than happy to evaluate your slip and fall case to see if we can help get you the compensation you deserve.