Did you know you may be entitled to financial compensation if you fall on someone else’s property and get injured? Every business owner or property owner must create a safe place for their guests. They must ensure the property is free from dangerous conditions – such as poor lighting or an uneven surface – that could cause a slip and fall injury. If any hazards cause someone physical harm, the owner could assume financial responsibility. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident on another person’s property, it’s important you contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away. Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers is here to answer your call at (219) 286-7361
Slip and fall accidents are common, and the injuries sustained can range from mild to severe. In extreme cases, some are fatal. If you’ve been hurt in a fall that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you deserve to seek justice for their careless actions.
If you believe your injury occurred because of a poorly maintained property, call Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers today at (219) 286-7361 to speak with a Valparaiso slip and fall lawyer.
What’s Considered a Slip and Fall?
A slip and fall, or premises liability, is when someone slips or trips on another person’s property and sustains an injury. It can occur on commercial property like that of a restaurant or at a private residence, such as a friend’s house.
Slip and falls typically happen when the person responsible for the property fails to repair the damage or remove hazards from floors and walkways. It’s possible to fall and hurt yourself inside or outside. As long as the area is owned or maintained by an individual or entity, it’s their job to make sure no dangers exist.
The most common conditions resulting in injury from a slip and fall include the following:
- Wet or slippery floor
- Inadequate lighting
- Walkways containing cracks, holes, or other types of damage
- Potholes in a parking lot
- Icy sidewalks that aren’t salted
- Loose carpeting, floorboards, or mats
- Lack of handrails in steep or narrow stairwells
- Uneven surfaces
- Debris, objects, or other hazards left where people typically walk
- Cords or electrical wires running across a hallway
How to Prove Fault After a Slip and Fall Accident
It’s often a difficult task to try to prove someone else is legally responsible for your injuries. You have to show that your injury was the result of a hazardous condition and that the business or property owner knew about it. Additionally, you must prove that upon knowledge of the risk, the owner failed to remove or repair the hazard to prevent injury.
To prove fault, whether at a private residence or commercial property, at least one of the following circumstances must exist:
- The owner created the dangerous condition;
- The owner knew about the hazard but failed to correct it; or
- The existence of the situation was for a length of time that the owner should have known about or discovered it and promptly fixed it.
To pursue financial compensation from an owner or possessor of a business, or the employee of a company, you’ll have to show evidence of at least one of the following:
- The business or employee caused the danger or object that was in an area where people walk;
- The entity or employee knew about the hazard but didn’t do anything about it; or
- The business or employee should have known of the condition because a reasonable person would have noticed and repaired it.
Common sense is usually a deciding factor in blaming someone for a slip and fall accident. It’s safe to assume that anyone who owns or operates a business inspects their property regularly. If they’re careless in maintaining the area, anyone could get injured.
Whether you’re at a private residence or rental property, the person who owns it is responsible for maintaining a safe space. A homeowner should take caution to ensure there’s nothing on their property that could cause another person harm. On a rental property, it’s the management company or landlord’s duty to perform inspections regularly and renovations when necessary.
It’s essential to show at least one of the following situations occurred if you want to seek compensation from a landlord or homeowner:
- He or she could have controlled the condition that caused your slip and fall;
- It wouldn’t have been difficult or costly to repair or remove any damage;
- He or she knew an injury could occur if they didn’t fix the hazard; or
- The homeowner or landlord’s failure to reasonably avoid an accident caused someone’s slip and fall.
Any property owned or maintained by a local state or federal government entity falls under the category of government property. That includes a damaged public sidewalk, city building that’s under construction, or parking lot in a strip mall.
Proving fault and recovering compensation from a government entity is more complicated than public or private property. There are exceptional circumstances that must exist at the time of the slip and fall. Additionally, it’s difficult to determine whether the city or the owner of a nearby business maintains certain areas. Talking to an experienced premises liability attorney can help you determine how to proceed with your slip and fall case.
Steps to Take After Getting Injured on Another Person’s Property
The decisions you make after a slip and fall accident could impact your ability to seek compensation. Evidence is crucial in proving liability and that you deserve the maximum settlement available.
After falling and sustaining any type of injury, you should take immediate action.
- Notify the property owner or someone in management and request a written incident report. Obtain a copy of it and get their contact information;
- Before leaving the scene of the accident, take photos of the hazard that caused your fall. Also, ask for the names and phone numbers of any witnesses;
- Seek medical attention. Even if your injury seems minor, you should go to a nearby hospital or an urgent care facility immediately. Sometimes injuries progress slowly over time and don’t become more severe until days or weeks later;
- Take detailed notes about what happened. Write down the date and time your fall occurred, if anyone saw it happen, what exactly caused it, and the injuries you suffered;
- Keep records of all your expenses that resulted from the slip and fall. That includes medical records and medical bills, pay stubs from a decrease in earnings because of the injury, receipts from prescribed medications, and any additional costs; and
- Hire a Valparaiso slip and fall lawyer from Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers.
You Are Entitled to Compensation
If you’re able to prove fault in your slip and fall case, there’s a range of damages you could claim for compensation. There are two categories of damages: economic and noneconomic. Expenses fall under economic, while physical or emotional pain falls under noneconomic.
Under Indiana law, you can pursue the following damages resulting from your slip and fall injury:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Travel to and from the doctor
- Mental anguish
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
It’s easy to calculate most of your expenses because bills and receipts show how much everything costs. However, noneconomic damages are more difficult to define. There are no billing statements, invoices, or other evidence to prove how painful your injury is or the psychological effects you endured.
An insurance adjuster or jury at a trial usually estimates how much money you could receive for noneconomic damages based on how and why the fall occurred, and how it impacted your life. Your pain and suffering damages will likely increase if your injury caused a permanent disability, left any physical scars, prevented you from returning to your job, or requires future medical treatment.
Slip and Fall Statistics
Around one-third of all non-fatal injuries in the U.S. occur from a fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an older adult dies every 20 minutes from a fall-related injury. Additionally, over 800,000 people end up in the hospital because of a head injury or hip fracture after falling.
Despite individuals over 55 years old accounting for a majority of slip and fall cases, it’s the most common cause of injury for everyone above the age of 24. For those between 10 and 24 years of age, it’s the second-leading cause.
Most people probably associate a brain injury with a severe car accident or contact sport like football. However, suffering a brain injury is most likely to happen from falling. Falls are also responsible for 95% of hip fractures.
Each year, around $34 billion in medical bills results from slip and fall accidents in America. Many of those expenses are from required surgery and physical therapy. That type of treatment adds up over time and puts many in a tight financial situation.
Why You Should Choose Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers
Our Valparaiso slip and fall lawyers dedicate their time to pursuing justice for our clients. In most slip and fall cases, we’re able to negotiate a settlement and avoid going to trial. However, insurance companies do everything in their power to pay as little money as possible in a claim.
When you hire us, you can depend on our knowledge, experience, and resources to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available. We use proven methods and aggressive tactics to get you a fair settlement. We never back down from a fight and won’t give up until you’re satisfied with the results of your case.