Slip and Fall: Is it just clumsiness?
Trips, slips, and falls are a staple of slap stick comedy and viral home videos. For whatever reason, our society loves to laugh at the human form flying downward. Because almost all of us have fallen at some point, we cringe in sympathy as unprepared pedestrians suddenly lose their footing.
What’s not so funny, however, is the very real injury that can occur after a slip and fall. Broken limbs, concussions, paralysis, and death can really take the humor out of most situations.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a slip and fall, you may feel embarrassed, but you may also be entitled to compensation from the owner of the property. The following points can help you decide if your slip and fall was just a matter of clumsiness:
- Did you trip or slip on something? Immediately after your fall, examine the ground or the floor where you fell. Was it icy or slippery wet? Did you trip on something that seems to be out of place? Did you step into a hole that wasn’t supposed to be there?
- What caused the dangerous condition and how long had it been dangerous? Property owners are generally responsible for keeping their property safe, but they can’t predict everything. If the condition only existed for a few minutes or in some situations a few hours, it is possible that a court may decide that your fall was an unfortunate accident that even with good safety policies and practices in place could not have prevented. If, however, the property owner knew – or should have known – about the dangerous condition and did nothing to correct it, he or she may be liable for your injuries. This is doubly true if the property owner or one of his employees actually caused the dangerous condition.
- Were you also negligent? For better or worse, citizens can’t close their eyes, walk recklessly down the street, and sue anyone who doesn’t protect them from their own foolishness. If you were texting and missed a sign warning you about a wet floor, or if you were too busy sight-seeing to notice a well-marked hole, or if you noticed the snow on the stairs and didn’t make use of the handrail, you might be found to have contributed to your own injuries. That may not always mean that you won’t recover anything, but the amount of your recovery could be reduced by the percentage the court finds you contributed to your injuries.
In most slip and fall cases, there are many factors that must be considered before you can predict whether a court would find the property owner liable. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, the law firm of Duce Bastian Peterson would love to assist you. Contact us today for a free consultation.