Over one million people are injured by a slip and fall accident every year. Injuries related to these accidents range from minor bruises to major injuries that will require a lifetime of medical treatment. Seventeen thousand slip and fall accidents result in death every year.
People who are injured in a slip and fall accident should be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, loss of income caused by an inability to work during recovery and any reduction in their overall quality of life. However, proving that another person was negligent in a way that allowed the accident to occur can be difficult.
Proving Fault in a Slip & Fall Accident
Some slip and fall accidents cannot be attributed to the negligence of another person. People who are walking down a sidewalk or climbing up stairs in a public place do have some responsibility to watch their step, and some slippery substances or items that can be tripped over need to be on surfaces in public areas on occasion.
Slip and fall cases typically come down to determining whose actions were careless in relation to the accident. The property owner may not have taken the steps necessary to protect others who would be walking on their property, but the injured person may have been careless as well.
The first step in determining whether an injured person can file a lawsuit after a slip and fall accident is figuring out who was liable for the accident. If the owner of the property left a slippery substance or an obstruction in an area that they knew would be traveled by other people, they may be held liable for the accident. Property owners are also liable for the actions of their employees in most cases.
Property owners or employees must also be aware that a surface has been made dangerous because of the slippery substance or obstruction. It is necessary that these individuals know that someone could trip and fall because they have not taken the proper steps to clean up a spill or remove an obstruction.
Many spill and fall cases relate to a situation that the property owner or employee should have known about and cleaned up. However, these cases are difficult to prove because it may be impossible to show that the property owner or an employee had a responsibility to discover the hazard and take care of it.
The law states that a property owner is at fault if they or an employee should have reasonably known about the hazard. What does reasonable indicate in this instance?
Property owners are expected to inspect their property and maintain it in a way that ensures the safety of other people. During a slip and fall case, a legal professional works to prove that the owner did not take the steps necessary to prevent an accident. For example, a failure to change a light bulb that lights a pathway in the dark could lead to a fall caused by negligence.
The injured party also has a responsibility to watch their step and anticipate hazards that may be likely. The presence of warning signs could make the injured person partially responsible. If the person who was injured allowed themselves to be distracted by a phone call or a personal conversation, the distraction may have contributed to the situation.
Getting Help After a Slip & Fall Accident
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident that was caused by the negligence of another person, you are entitled to compensation. Getting that much-needed compensation is a matter of having an experienced legal professional fighting for you. The complicated process of filing a lawsuit and representing your case in court must be left up to someone with skill and knowledge when it comes to personal injury cases. A free legal consultation is the first step to getting the money you need to help pay for expenses related to your injury.