Protecting Your Rights After a Slip and Fall Accident
Each and every year, hundreds of thousands of people seek legal representation from a personal injury lawyer for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident. In some cases, there individuals have sustained very serious injuries.
If you have suffered injuries in a slip and fall case in someone else's property, you may have questions about your rights. There is some basic information you need to understand about a personal injury case. If you have additional questions, a personal injury lawyer from The Doan Law Firm at (800) 349-0000 stands ready to consult with you about your case.
Understanding the Legal Concept of Premises Liability
Premises liability is a legal term of art. What premises liability means is that a person or company in possession of certain land or a structure is held responsible for injuries suffered by a visitor to those premises. The person deemed responsible can be the property owner, a renter, or both parties.
The possessor of the property has a duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition. If the possessor of the property fails in this duty, and a person is injured in a slip and fall accident, that injured individual may have the ability to make a claim for losses and damages.
Slip and Fall Statistics
What you may nor realize is that slip and fall accidents are second only to automobile accidents when it comes to fatalities, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An amazing 15 percent of all accidental deaths in the United States are the result of slip and fall accidents.
In addition to the number of people who are killed each year in slip and fall accidents, hundreds of thousands of people are injured seriously because of slip and fall accidents. A considerable number of these slip and fall accidents occur because of the negligence of someone else, including a property owner.
Types of Premises Where Slip and Fall Accidents Occur
A third party can be held responsible for slip and fall accidents that occur in a wide range of different types of properties. Slip and fall accidents frequently occur at commercial premises, businesses where a patron, customer, or client ends up injured or even killed. Examples of these types of commercial premises include:
- stores of all types
- professional offices
- entertainment venues
In addition to commercial venues, a homeowner, or renter, is responsible for keeping residential premises safe. There are hundreds of thousands of incidents each year in which a person is injured in a slip and fall accident in someone else's home.
The Responsibility of a Property Owner or Occupier
As mentioned previously, the possessor of property has a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe. Failing that obligation exposes the possessor of the premises to liability for injuries that may occur in a slip and fall incident.
The responsibility of a property possessor can best be understood by presenting you with an example. Assume there is a customer in a grocery story. Water spilled onto the floor. The manager of the store, and other staff members, now of the spill. However, they failed to mop up the mess in a timely manner.
The customer is exercising an appropriate level of care in marketing at the store. While doing so, the customer ends up slipping on spilled water, falls to the floor, and breaks a leg. This sequence of events highlights the property owner or occupier's duty to a customer, breach of that duty, and an accident that occurred because of that breach of the referenced duty.
Documenting a Slip and Fall Case
Properly documenting a slip and fall case is crucial. Of course, the circumstances may not permit this to occur. If that is the case, a skilled personal injury attorney at The Doan Law Firm can provide post-accident assistance in regard to documentation.
When possible, a video should be made of the accident scene. This includes what caused the slip and fall in the first instance as well as injuries sustained.
In addition to a video, witnesses should be identified. Contact information needs to be collected from the witnesses. A short statement should be taken from them at the scene. The statement and contact information can be videoed.
Types of Compensation in a Slip and Fall Case
The type of compensation received in a slip and fall case depends on the specific facts and circumstances of an accident. Examples of compensation commonly awarded in a slip and fall accident case include:
- medical expenses
- pain and suffering
- permanent disability
- lost wages
- emotional distress
Oftentimes, an injured person receives not only compensation for current losses but also for those that reasonably can be expected to be incurred in the future. In addition, if a lawsuit is pursued, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages represent additional money paid to an injured person. This type of payment is made if the conduct of the negligent party is considered to be particularly reckless or egregious.
Who is Responsible in a Slip and Fall Case?
A party must have what legally is known as control over the premises in order to be responsible for damages and injuries caused in a slip and fall accident. The owner of premises which he or she occupies is an example of who can be liable. However, if the owner rents the premises, the renter may be the responsible individual if a person is injured. With that said, depending on the nature of the hazard that caused an accident, both the owner and renter could be held liable for damages and injuries.
Hiring a Skilled, Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
The first step in hiring a personal injury lawyer to assist you in your slip and fall accident is to schedule an initial consultation with The Doan Law Firm. You can schedule an appointment by calling the firm 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at (800) 349-0000.