Slip And Fall Accident Lawyers
A “slip or trip and fall” happens when a person slips or trips on a surface or obstacle and gets hurt on someone else’s property. It could be a commercial property or a residential property. These cases are usually classified under the broader category of “premises liability” claims. This is because slip or trip and fall accidents happen on someone else’s property or “premises”, and the owner may be held legally responsible.
Many hazardous conditions, such as torn carpeting, modifications in flooring, lousy lighting, steep stairs, or wet floors, can make someone slip or trip and fall. The same is true if a person trips on a faulty or cracked sidewalk or falls down a flight of stairs. A slip or trip and fall case may also arise due to weather conditions or a hidden hazard.
Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Savannah | Thomas M. Hunter
In any case, the victim of a slip or trip and fall, just like every other kind of bodily injury claim, will have to have suffered an injury of some degree to receive compensation.
Contact the Thomas M Hunter Law Firm if you’ve been in a slip-or-trip-and-fall accident in Savannah, GA. We will assist you in obtaining compensation from negligent property owners or occupiers to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
Contact us today for a no-obligation free consultation.
Things To Consider in Slip and Fall Cases
As in every bodily injury claim, many fact need to be considered when determining whether another party is to be held legally liable for injuries in a slip or trip and fall claim. For example, did the property owner create the hazard? Was it open and obvious? Did the injured person have prior opportunities to notice or discover the hazard? Was the injured person distracted and, if so, by what and by whom? What level of care was owed by the owner to the injured person? Was the injured person an “invitee”? A “trespasser”? Did the property owner take reasonable precautions to prevent slipping or tripping? Was the injured person careless in his or her own right? How might fault be apportioned between a careless injured person and a careless property owner? The list goes on and on…
Guidelines In Determining Responsible Party For Slip and Fall
While a prima facie case may differ among states, it is typical that one must at least establish that a dangerous condition on the premises caused or contributed to the slip or trip and fall and that the owner or occupier of the premises knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known, about the dangerous condition. If the owner of the premises created the condition, the owner certainly was aware of the condition, but what if a guest on the premises created the condition without the owner’s knowledge? Then, it might be the owner’s duty to periodically check the condition of his premises to discover any dangerous condition created by a guest. Think of a patron in a grocery store who “tests” a liquid product in the aisle and spills it. “Clean up on Aisle 4!” Now the owner knows of the spill and if the owner lets the spill remain for too long, only to be encountered by another, unsuspecting patron later on, the slip and fall that occurs might be the responsibility, in whole or in part, of the owner.
Typically, a dangerous or hazardous condition must pose an unreasonable risk to a person on the property and be one that the injured person could not have foreseen. People are always charged with the personal responsibility of being vigilant, so this latter provision simply recognizes that notion of personal responsibility.
To establish that a property owner was aware, or should have been aware, of a dangerous condition, consider:
The owner/possessor created the condition; the owner/possessor was aware of the situation and negligently failed to correct it; or
- The condition existed for an extended period, and the owner/possessor should have discovered and corrected it before the slip and fall situation occurred.
As with any negligence case, to hold a property owner liable, it must have been reasonably foreseeable that his negligence could result in injury to someone.
Determine What Parties Are Liable
A responsible party must exist to recover for a slip or trip and fall injury sustained on another’s property. Here are some examples of liable parties:
Commercial Real Estate
To be legally liable for injuries sustained on another’s property as a result of slipping or tripping and falling, the owner/possessor of a store, restaurant, or other business (or an employee of the company) must:
- Must have been responsible for creating the spill, hazard, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item underfoot
- Must have known there was a dangerous surface but failed to correct the hazardous situation
- The hazardous situation should have been evident, because a “reasonable” person caring for or possessing the property should have discovered the hazard and removed, repaired or rectified it.
The third situation is the most prevalent and the most ambiguous due to the phrase “should have known.” Common sense determines the liability, in this instance. In such instances, courts look at the situation “retrospectively” and decide whether, under all of the circumstances, an owner or occupier of property should have anticipated the creation of a hazard and been vigilant to detect and remedy such hazards for the care and safety of those on their property.
In slip or trip and fall cases involving commercial property, it is possible that multiple entities may be held liable for an individual’s injuries.
Residential Real Estate
Landlords may also be accountable for slip or trip and fall injuries sustained on rental property in residential settings. To make a landlord liable for a damage, a tenant should establish:
- The landlord knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, of the condition that caused the slip or trip and fall;
- Correcting the condition would not have been prohibitively expensive or difficult;
- An injury was a foreseeable result of failing to correct the condition, and;
- The landlord’s failure to take reasonable precautions to prevent an accident resulted in the tenant’s slip or trip and fall injury.
Different rules may apply when a slip or trip and fall injury occurs on government-owned property. Specifically, there may be strict ante litem notice requirements that benefit the governmental entity and there may be immunity provisions that may absolve government entities of liability or limit recoveries for injuries on their property. Your lawyer can assist you in dealing with these technical issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Hard To Win Slip and Fall Cases?
When pursuing a personal injury claim, the evidence you present is critical. This is especially true for slip or trip and fall cases, a type of premises liability claim. Because a large body of case law has developed around these cases, winning and losing is often dependent of the quantity and quality of facts you can establish. That is why getting your lawyer on your case as quickly as possible is so important! Evidence on the issue of liability tends to degrade and disappear as time goes on, so tying down those important facts early will often make the difference.
Should You Consult an Attorney in a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall cases are incredibly complicated. Sometimes an outcome can hang literally upon a single statement or fact, so the way that fact is communicated and characterized is very important. Knowing how to communicate your version of the facts of the occurrence – what to say and how to say it – may be the most important aspect of your claim.
To allow yourself time to recover without compromising your case, begin working with a local slip and fall attorney as soon as possible and certainly before you give a written or oral statement to anyone. The sooner you give your attorney the facts of your case, he or she can get to work gathering evidence and protecting your rights, all of which is necessary to have a successful claim.
Under What Type Of Claim Is A Slip and Fall Classified?
Slip and fall accidents are a subcategory of premises liability claims. Premises liability claims are personal injury claims in which the property owner, occupier or third party defendant is held accountable for the accident and for the plaintiff’s injuries. The negligent party in premises liability cases might be the property owner, property occupier, property manager or even a vendor who creates the hazard which causes the injury.
Victims of Slip-and-Fall Accidents Have Legal Rights
IIf you sustained injuries in a slip-and-fall accident on another’s property, you should safeguard your rights. If the property owner’s negligence contributed to your fall – for example, by failing to clean up a spill or repair damage – you might be able to pursue a claim. In addition, you may be able to obtain insurance reimbursement for medical expenses and other losses incurred as a result of your injury.
Although premises liability is a complicated area of law, victims of slip-and-fall accidents can successfully pursue legal claims. The Thomas Hunter Law Firm has helped victims of slip and fall accidents in the Savannah, GA area whose lives have been altered due to severe injuries sustained in preventable accidents.
Protect your legal rights by speaking with us. We have a strong track record of obtaining favorable results for our clients.
These are workers’ compensation claims, and, as I have said many times before, state laws vary. They vary on bodily injury claims and run on worker’s compensation claims. Every employee expects to work in a workplace that is as safe and healthy as possible. Still, on-the-job injuries occur. Typically, if employees are injured at work, and the injures are not due to the employee’s misconduct, employers will be obligated to provide medical care for injuries, disability benefits for time missed from work, and other associated benefits.
If you were injured on the job in Savannah, GA, you might be entitled to medical care, disability benefits, and other services and benefits.