Slip and Fall
Slip and fall cases may be the subject of cartoons and jokes, but it is no laughing matter when you’re the one who is injured. If you’re injured from slipping or falling, don’t hesitate to obtain medical treatment. Sprains, bruises and broken bones can result from unexpectedly falling on a hard surface or down an unsafe flight of stairs, even for healthy people. After proper medical treatment has been obtained, consider the cause of your fall.
While specific laws vary from state to state, store owners and property owners generally have a duty to make their property safe for visitors (or from a different perspective, they have a duty to prevent unsafe conditions). Slip and fall accidents can run from a dangerous crack or hole in a sidewalk to defective bleachers in a stadium to spilled ketchup at your local grocery store to icy conditions in a parking lot. Who was responsible for the dangerous condition? Were warnings posted (and if so, were the warnings adequate, visible and in the right locations)? Could the accident have been avoided by the property or store owner taking simple remedial actions? Did the owner take actions to make the property safe, and if so, were the actions sufficient? These and other questions can be discussed and evaluated with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Whose Fault is it in a Slip and Fall Cases?
There are many factors to consider when someone is injured in a slip and fall accident. Here are some examples of questions your attorney might ask in evaluating a slip and fall case:
Does the store owner have an established practice when it comes to examining and cleaning public areas in the store? If so, is there a cleaning checklist that might show whether the routine was followed or not?
If you slipped or tripped over an obstruction on the floor, a slippery spot or a loose area, has the hazard been there long enough for the property owner to know about it? Is there a legitimate reason for it to be there in the first place?
If a hazard exists, could the property owner have fixed or removed before someone got hurt, or would it cost too much money to fix the dangerous condition?
If a dangerous piece of equipment or hazardous chemicals contributed to the injury, was there a safer location where those things could have been stored without great expense or inconvenience to the property owner?
Could the property owner have placed barriers or warnings near the dangerous location? Were any existing warnings visible and sufficient to protect visitors?
Did insufficient or malfunctioning lighting contribute to the accident?
This list of questions is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it illustrates the kind of questions an experienced attorney might ask in evaluating your case.