If you have been injured in a Rhode Island slip and fall accident, you may have suffered serious, debilitating injuries that probably require long-term treatment and care. You may be looking at significant medical bills and time spent missing work. If your slip and fall accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses.
In slip and fall or trip and fall cases, there may be a number of liable parties. Personal injury law, especially in terms of liability and negligence, could get complex in this area. This is why injured victims need the counsel of an experienced Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer who can guide them through a complex legal process and help them secure maximum compensation for their losses.
Factors in Determining Liability
Slip and fall accidents in Rhode Island typically fall under the category of premises liability laws. Generally speaking, under the state’s premises liability laws, property owners are responsible for making sure visitors to their property are safe.
Landlords or property owners have a responsibility under the law, for example, to make sure they warn visitors, tenants and guests about known risks such as spilled liquids or trip hazards. Property owners and managers also have a responsibility to make sure these types of hazards are taken care of in a timely and efficient manner and they regularly inspect the property and monitor/fix potential safety hazards.
Different Parties Who Can Be Held Liable
Here are some of the different parties who can be held responsible in a Rhode Island slip and fall lawsuit:
Property owners or landlords: These are the individuals and/or entities that own the land where the incident occurred. A property owner can be held liable if they have been made aware of a dangerous condition but took no steps to fix the problem. For example, if a tenant reported a broken step and the property owner did not fix it in time, they could be held liable for a trip and fall accident that occurs as a result of that broken step.
Commercial tenants: A number of businesses in Rhode Island, such as grocery stores, malls and retailers, do not actually own the property on which they are located but lease them from other entities. Usually, the liability in slip and fall cases rests with the property owner. However, commercial tenants such as a supermarket or a big box retail store can be held liable if they did not remove a hazard such as spilled liquid in a timely manner.
Property managers: When a management company is responsible for maintaining the property, managers of the property can also be held liable for the injuries caused by a slip and fall accident. Many apartment complexes in Rhode Island, for example, are managed by different property management companies. For example, if a property management company failed to repair torn carpeting or failed to shovel snow from the property that in turn led to a fall, they can be held financially responsible for the damages caused.
Employers: If you suffer a slip and fall accident on the job, your employer can be held liable for the injuries caused. You may be able to seek workers’ comp benefits and also file a personal injury lawsuit depending on the circumstances of your case and other parties involved.
Governmental agencies: If your slip and fall accident occurred on government property (city, county, state or federal), then the governmental agency that is responsible for maintaining the property can be held liable for your injuries and damages as well.
If You Have Been Injured
If you have been injured in a Rhode Island slip and fall accident, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your legal rights:
- Make sure you report the incident to the appropriate parties, whether it is the property owner, the property management company or a commercial retailer. It is also important to ensure that you get a copy of this report for your own records.
- Obtain as much evidence as possible from the accident scene, including photos, videos, and statements from anyone who may have seen you fall. It is also crucial to get contact information from eyewitnesses who will be able to corroborate your account.
- Make sure you get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your slip-and-fall injuries.
- Contact an experienced slip-and-fall attorney who will guide you through the claim process.
Rhode Island Slip and Fall Lawyers
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to receive compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. The experienced Rhode Island Slip and Fall Lawyers at d’Oliveira & Associates can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Call us at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.