Slip and fall accidents occur on a daily basis. In fact, it is estimated that over 1 million slip and fall accidents occur on a daily basis. Sadly, some of these slip and falls do result in death. Throughout the years, I have seen a vast myriad of issues that cause slip and falls. These issues can include:
- A spill on the floor that is not cleaned up;
- Throw rugs or carpet that have been flipped up or rolled;
- A surface that does not have proper drainage causing water or ice to build up;
- Sidewalks, entryways, or stairs that have not been shoveled;
- Improper railings on stairs;
- A hole or defect in the floor that causes someone to trip; and
- An item is placed on the floor that should not be there.
Who can be Held Responsible?
Do not assume that just because you experience a slip and fall the land or property owner is at fault. There are factual scenarios and circumstances that need to be considered. Was the land or property owner aware of the hazard and failed to remedy the situation? Perhaps a repair was needed but not addressed. How long had the issue existed? If the issue should have been discovered and wasn’t, what would a reasonable person have done? Did the land or property owner cause a dangerous condition to exist? In most instances involving the above-mentioned circumstances, a land or property owner may be held liable.
That said, if you contribute to the negligence which causes you to slip and fall, then perhaps a land or property owner may not be held liable, or will only be held partially liable. For instance: if you spill something on the floor and slip in it; you are wearing improper footwear for a certain activity, you fail to see something that others have seen and avoided, or you did not use proper caution, you could have some contributory negligence or even full negligence for the fall. Liability and negligence will need to be established in order to have a successful resolution of your case.
Once liability and negligence have been established, you can being to explore the issue of damages. Damages include medical bills, pain and suffering, past and future costs of care, lost wages, and permanent damage. Slip and falls are not always minor. Rather, slip and fall accidents can cause significant injury, broken bones, or even a traumatic brain injury.