What You Should Know About Slip and Fall Accidents
When you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, the injury can negatively affect your daily life. You may find it difficult to care for your family or get through your morning routine. And in some cases, you may be unable to work or earn an income for a time.
If you were injured on another’s property, you may wonder if you’re entitled to compensation. For more information about slip and fall accidents and who’s liable, take a look at the information below.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
The term “slip and fall” applies to just about any incident where something underfoot causes an injury. The incident may have been caused by cracks, uneven pavement, wet flooring, or similar conditions. And the injury doesn’t need to be caused by only slipping or falling, but it can also be a result of overextending, twisting, or stumbling.
To file for a slip and fall accident, you must have sustained your injury on another’s property and your injury must be a result of another’s negligence.
When Would Another Party Be Responsible for Your Accident?
Slip and fall accidents can happen at any time, anywhere. But when is it another’s fault? Generally, your injury has to be a result of someone else’s neglect, as mentioned above. An example of neglect would be if there’s slippery flooring on the premises that the responsible party knew about but didn’t handle. Or, perhaps he or she didn’t put up warning signs.
Another example of negligence would be if the exterior pathways at someone’s home were uneven and known to be a problem in the past and left unfixed. If you tripped on this uneven area and sustained an injury, the property owner could be held liable because they didn’t make the necessary repairs to a known issue.
Property owners have a responsibility to properly maintain the premises at all times. So, as long as the responsible party knew about the problem and didn’t fix it, you have grounds to file a personal injury claim.
How Do Your Own Actions Come Into Play?
In some cases, a slip and fall incident can simply be an accident. There may not have been any negligence involved on the other party’s part, and it may have simply been caused by the injured individual’s own clumsiness or inattention.
If you fell because you were distracted-perhaps looking at your phone or reading a book your injury would be caused by your own inattentiveness. Or, if you were messing around, trespassing, or dragging your feet, the accident may have actually been caused by your own behaviors.
In other words, if the hazardous area is easily identifiable or properly marked with warning signs, you should be able to avoid it. If you’re unable to do so because of your own actions or carelessness, you may not actually have a case.
Does It Matter Where Your Accident Occurred?
For every type of property, the owner or other related parties need to properly maintain the premises. But expectations and maintenance requirements can vary between residential, commercial, and government properties.
Residential property owners have a responsibility to preserve a safe environment. Whether you’re renting a home or apartment or you’re visiting a friend, the area should be maintained enough to avoid injury.
The owner of the property can be held liable if:
- The repair could’ve easily been fixed without spending unreasonable amounts of money.
- The owner previously knew the issue could cause injury.
- The owner didn’t make the proper repairs or adequately warn others.
Essentially, if they had enough control over the issue but neglected to take the right steps, they can be held responsible.
On a commercial property, the owner or employees have a responsibility to keep a clean, safe establishment. If they somehow caused the issue, such as leaving a puddle or bunched up carpeting, or they neglected to address a known issue, they can be held liable for your injury.
They can also be held responsible if they don’t fix a problem they should have known needed repair. If a reasonable person would have corrected the issue and they did not, that person can be held accountable.
Being injured on government property may complicate your case. You’ll have to follow special rules, and slip and fall cases against government parties require proper notice within strict timeframes. Even if you’re unsure if your injury was actually the government entity’s fault, file a notice of claim as quickly as you can so you won’t miss any deadlines.
Once you file a notice of claim, the proper government parties will be notified, and they can contact you about your injury and experience before you file an actual claim.
Being seriously injured can be a hardship for anyone. But no matter where or how you’ve sustained a slip and fall injury, have legal representation on your side. For a dependable attorney, turn to Hardee and Hardee. We’ll discuss your case with you and help you get the compensation you deserve.