Slip and fall accidents are personal injury claims that typically result from falling or tripping accidents. These claims require that a dangerous or hazardous condition exists and that it can in fact cause accidents and resultant injuries. Such conditions typically include an irregularity or impediment in the ground surface or walkway, a foreign object, a hole in the ground, or a substance on the ground.
A “hazardous condition” is a situation where there is potential for an injury. Hazardous conditions can be permanent, such as a broken railing, steps, or floorboards, or temporary, such as a slippery substance from a spill, leak, or weather condition.
Property owners are not always responsible for dangerous conditions and the law provides them defenses, such as whether the condition is “open and obvious,” and therefore, should have been avoided by the injured person. If the owner or his/her employees did not create the condition the owner may at times successfully claim that they had no knowledge of the condition or lacked an opportunity to protect people from the condition, such as when a person spills water on the floor and within a short time someone else comes along and slips on the water, injuring themselves. It’s important to notice whether there were any warnings, cautions, or notices of potentially dangerous conditions or hazards posted in the area.
Natural inclinations for people who sustain a fall are to be self-conscious or embarrassed and quickly try to pick themselves up and move on, but this can adversely impact a claim. The time to gather important information is when the fall occurs.
Identify the condition that caused the fall. Whether it was a hole, a spill, or some other cause, get out your cell phone or camera and take photos of the scene, specifically the dangerous
condition(s) that exists. Get the names and telephone numbers of everyone who saw your fall. Then, report the fall to the store employees and manager. Ask if they knew about the condition that caused you to fall. Look around for warning signs in the area.
If you are injured, seek immediate medical care and tell your doctors what caused your injuries and include how you fell.
Slip and Fall cases can be difficult, but they can often be won if you act quickly to preserve the evidence and facts about the accident, and seek immediate legal advice to protect your rights.