Slip and fall cases fall under the premises liability category of negligence cases. Generally, premises liability means that a property owner or possessor is legally liable for torts that occur on the property. Usually legal liability arises when a person is injured by a dangerous condition on the property. These dangerous conditions may include wet floors, snowy or icy sidewalks, falling objects, or insufficient lighting.
According to the National Safety Council, over 9 million slip and fall accidents occur each year with each of these accidents costing an average of $20,288. The frequency and substantial cost associated with slip and fall accidents reinforces the importance of knowing your rights if such an accident occurs.
The Elements of a Slip and Fall Claim
Like any negligence claim, a slip and fall case requires a showing of duty, breach of duty, legal causation, and actual causation. A property owner/possessor has a duty to protect others from injuries caused by dangerous conditions present on their property. This duty is breached when the owner/possessor creates this unsafe dangerous condition, had notice of the dangerous condition, or the condition existed for a sufficiently long length of time that the owner/possessor should have known about it.
Legal causation simply means that the injury that occurred was reasonably foreseeable. For example, it is reasonably foreseeable that a customer may slip and fall if a store does not shovel and salt a snowy walkway as well as provide adequate lighting. Actual causation stands for the proposition that “but for” the negligence the injury would not have occurred. Extrapolating on the previous example this means that “but for” the failure to shovel and salt the snowy walkway and “but for” the failure to provide adequate lighting, the customer would not have been injured by a slip and fall. It is important to remember that no two slip and fall cases are the same and the elements listed above are only the starting point of a negligence claim.
Things to do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Your primary concern after any accident should your safety and health. This means you should determine whether you need immediate medical help. After making this decision, you should take pictures or record the facts surrounding the accident. This includes taking note of weather conditions, light conditions, any warnings posted about the dangerous condition, and any other fact that might be relevant.
Next, you should also gather the contact information of the property owner/possessor and any witnesses. If you did not get immediate medical attention, you should still schedule a visit with your doctor as soon as possible. Additionally, you should avoid performing any activities that might aggravate any injuries caused by the accident. Finally, you should retain a slip and fall lawyer to represent your interests to the other party and to the insurance companies.
Do You Need a Premises Liability Lawyer?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, the lawyers at d’Oliveira & Associates want you to know that you may be entitled to receive compensation. Our law firm has 29 years of experience handling slip and fall lawsuits, and we can provide you the legal representation you need for your personal injury claim.
Please contact the law offices of d’Oliveira & Associates at 1-800-992-6867 or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation.