Slip and Fall Accidents
It can happen in the blink of an eye. A wet floor, non-treated slick pavement, and other factors can lead to a nasty slip and fall accident. In addition to leaving you bruised and battered, slip and fall accidents can result in potential loss of income, excessive medical expenses, impaired physical mobility, pain and suffering, and in extreme cases, serious injury or death.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), Slip and fall accidents account for over 1 million hospital emergency room visits, representing 12% of total falls. Even if your slip and fall accident results in seemingly simple injuries such as sprains and bruises, one out of five falls causes a serious injury, such as broken bones, head injuries, hip fractures, spinal cord damage, and even death. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips and falls cause 15% of all accidental deaths, second only to motor vehicles.
Premises liability laws serve to protect individuals from dangerous conditions and hazards while on another’s property, whether it’s a home, business, or even vacant land. Property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that their premises are reasonably safe, properly maintained, and without unmarked hazards. When they fail to heed their responsibility and people are injured as a result, property owners need to be held liable.
If you have been seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, call Hakim, Toma & Yaldoo. Our experience and successful track record of wins for Michigan slip and fall victims means we will fight hard to protect your rights and win you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What Are the Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injury and with them, pain and suffering, lost wages, and excessive medical expenses due to someone else’s negligence.
Many slip and fall accidents and resulting injuries occur as a result of sheer neglect on the part of property and premises owners and managers-and most are preventable when they simply do their jobs. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet, waxed or icy floors
- Spilled substances on floors
- Uneven floors
- Sidewalk defects
- Holes in pavement or floors
- Loose handrails
- Broken steps
- Inadequate lighting
- Elevators and escalators
- No posted warning signs
- Poor construction
- Lack of or inadequate maintenance
- Poor visibility
When Does a Slip & Fall Accident Result in a Premises Liability Case?
Slip and fall accidents account for thousands of injuries and numerous deaths each year. Like other kinds of premises liability cases, property owners have a duty to uphold certain standards of safety on their property to safeguard others from harm.
Compensation may be due for medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, income reduction, rehabilitation, and necessary health aids.
The following are cases where a slip and fall would result in a premises liability case:
- The owner of the property or an employee of a business caused the situation that led to the slip and fall, such as spilling a substance and not cleaning it up, tearing a piece of the flooring and not repairing it, or creating another type of dangerous situation.
- The owner of the property should have reasonably known that there was a dangerous situation and failed to responsibly take care of it, such as being aware of a slippery area and not posting proper warnings or drying the area. Owners, however, cannot be held liable if it was not reasonable for them to know about the instance. For example, if a spill happened and three seconds later, someone slipped, it would not be reasonable for them to know of the hazard.
- The owner or the employee did know about the dangerous situation but did nothing to remedy it or warn others. This is sheer neglect and carelessness.
How Do I Prove My Slip and Fall Case?
Regardless of the facts surrounding your slip and fall accident, the question for a premise liability claim is whether the property owner knew or should have reasonably known of the unsafe condition, and whether he or she took any steps to warn others of the risk.
Assembling the evidence is crucial, and every premises liability case requires that the same set of proofs be established:
- The defendant (person you wish to sue) must own or be in possession of the premises. Owning or possessing the property gives rise to a duty of care owed to all guests. The defendant must control the property and be entitled to occupy the land.
- The plaintiff (you, or the individual injured in the slip and fall) must have been legally on the land, and with a legitimate reason to be on the property. One of the most important aspects of a premises liability case is determining the plaintiff’s status as an “invitee” or “licensee.” If someone is trespassing on property and suffers an injury, there are no grounds to file a personal injury claim.
- The defendant must have acted negligently or wrongfully. Another critically important piece of the puzzle is the determination that the defendant actually behaved negligently in some manner. This could have been in designing the property in a way that left the plaintiff vulnerable to a violent action or it could have been in failing to keep the property safe from accidents or falls on dangerous walkways.
Once these elements are proven, the door is open to recovering just damages consistent with the injury. Only if they are proven to have behaved negligently can they be held accountable.
Not sure if you have a slip and fall claim? Contact us. Hakim, Toma & Yaldoo’s Detroit slip & fall accident attorneys are here to help you navigate your particular situation, and injuries and damages related to your pain and suffering.