A slip and fall can happen almost anywhere, and it can sometimes result in a serious injury. When a property owner or manager is negligent in keeping his property safe, and someone falls and is injured due to negligence, he can file a personal injury claim to obtain compensation for damages.
Understanding Premises Liability
Premises liability is the responsibility a property owner has to maintain a safe environment for anyone visiting that property. If the manager of a restaurant knowingly leaves food or spilled liquid on the floor and doesn’t place a caution sign in plain sight, he might be liable for damages if a customer falls and is injured. When filing a personal injury claim for negligence, determining who’s responsible for your injuries under premises liability law is your first step. Because this type of claim can be complicated, working with a personal injury attorney may help.
In general, most property owners don’t purposely create dangerous conditions. However, they may overlook a known danger because fixing it costs too much money, or they don’t have the time to repair it. Fixing a crack or uneven sidewalk may be much more time intensive and costly than replacing a burned out light bulb in an apartment building.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall and want to file a personal injury claim, you’ll need to prove negligence on the part of the property owner. Working with an attorney can ensure that you have the proper evidence to prove your case. There are many questions that must be answered to prove negligence, including:
- Did the responsible party have enough time to fix the problem before the incident occurred?
- Did the property owner or manager know of the problem or that the problem could have occurred?
- Could the property owner have taken reasonable steps to prevent the hazard from occurring?
- Was the property owner taking reasonable steps to maintain the property and checking for such hazards?
- Is there reasonable justification for the hazard being created?
To prove negligence, it’s important to show that the property owner or manager knew the hazard was present, could have anticipated the hazard was present, or did not take proper action to manage the hazard.
Injuries Caused by Slip and Falls
In a slip and fall case, injuries can be severe, especially if the victim hits his head on a hard surface. Although many injuries can occur, common ones include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Ankle and wrist sprains
- Broken bones
- Spinal column damage
- Head injuries, including brain damage
- Internal bleeding
- Knee and shoulder damage
What to Do If You Are Hurt in a Slip and Fall
After a slip and fall accident, get medical help as soon as possible. Then, gather information, including the names and contact information for the property owners and managers on duty. If witnesses are present, request their contact information. Take photos of the area to document what occurred. Try to do this as quickly as possible before someone changes the scene in any way. Take photos of your injuries, too.
Avoid making any statements about what happened. Don’t talk to insurance adjusters without the help of your personal injury attorney.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
A personal injury attorney will work closely with you to learn how the slip and fall occurred and then aid in filing a claim with the associated insurance company. Your attorney will also help document all of your damages, including medical bills, lost time at work, pain, and other costs. If necessary, your attorney will pursue your case in court to help you receive compensation for your losses. Call Lattof & Lattof, PC to discuss your case during a free consultation. Get insight into what your next steps should be.