Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, from your local grocery store to the stairway of an apartment building. To establish who is liable in a slip and fall accident, you'll need to consider a few factors including the circumstances, the seriousness, and the cause of the accident.
If you sustained injuries on someone else’s property, you could seek slip and fall injury compensation through a premises liability claim against the at-fault party. Speak with a personal injury attorney to learn about slip and fall liability and how you can recover damages in a slip and fall accident claim.
Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents occur when the victim loses their footing due to an obstruction or slippery surface. Common types of slip and fall accidents include:
- Tripping over loose flooring or wrinkled carpeting
- Tripping over objects in an aisle or walkway
- Slipping on icy or wet floors
- Losing footing on uneven ground
- Falling from a height due to lack of guards or handrails
- Falling from a ladder, stool, or scaffold
- Overloading a ladder, landing, stairway, scaffold, or other surface
6 Potentially Liable Parties in Slip and Fall Accidents
Premises liability law requires the victim to prove liability in a slip and fall accident claim consistent with the "reasonable person" standard. In essence, you must prove you suffered injuries while acting as a reasonable person would while on the property.
Since you can slip and fall in a wide range of settings, determining the liable party can be complicated. Potentially liable parties for a slip and fall accident include the following.
Property Owners and Occupiers
A property owner or occupier, such as a business owner, typically has a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent or warn of unsafe conditions on their property. If the property or business owner fails to address dangerous conditions, they could be held responsible for any resulting slip and fall injuries.
Property Management Companies
Property management companies contract with the property owner to handle property care, repairs, and maintenance. Depending on the contract terms, the property manager may be liable if they do not take reasonable steps to repair or warn of hazards.
Employees and Workers
Employees and workers in retail spaces, construction sites, and other commercial properties could be liable if they cause a condition that leads to an accident. Slip and fall liability in such cases may still be shared with the property owner, occupier, or manager.
Contractors and Maintenance Personnel
Contractors and maintenance personnel can be liable if they create hazardous conditions that lead to a slip and fall accident. For example, if a landscaping contractor leaves a rake on the sidewalk and someone trips on the rake, the landscaping company could be responsible for injuries caused by the falling accident.
Government entities may be responsible for maintaining public buildings, parks, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, and roadways. If they fail to correct or warn of unsafe conditions, the injured party could file a slip and fall accident claim. Slip and fall law may differ for government entities, so it's best to consult with a slip and fall liability attorney.
Negligent Third Parties
Slip and fall accidents due to negligent third parties often occur in workplaces where multiple contractors are present. Construction sites, for example, may hire separate plumbers, electricians, and other third-party contractors to handle specialized work.
For instance, if a third-party scaffolding company fails to erect the scaffolding consistent with safety standards and workers fall as a result, the third-party scaffolding contractor could be liable for the workers’ injuries.
What To Do if You Were Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident
If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, follow these steps to protect your legal right to fair compensation in personal injury claims.
Take Photos and Videos
Liable parties will often alter the site after a slip and fall accident. Photos and videos of the site from the time of the accident can help you prove slip and fall liability.
As soon as you can, write down a full account of the accident, including specific dates, times, and locations. Indicate how the accident occurred but avoid trying to guess about the cause. Stick to the facts and let them speak for themselves.
Obtain Contact Details
Write down the names and contact information of the property owner, property manager, business owner, or appropriate representative. For instance, if your fall occurred in a retail store, take down the name of the manager or employee responsible, the store contact information, and corporate contact details, if applicable.
Avoid Signing Anything
Some liable parties or insurance companies will ask you to sign an incident report, statement, or waiver of liability following a slip and fall accident. Avoid signing anything or agreeing verbally to a statement or settlement before you speak with an attorney. If you agree, you may waive your right to pursue a slip and fall accident claim.
Seek Medical Care
Even if you do not feel injured immediately after your fall, seek medical attention from an emergency room, urgent care, or primary care physician. A prompt medical evaluation will ensure you receive treatment for injuries that may be masked by adrenaline from your accident. In addition, medical records create a crucial body of evidence you will need to support your claim.
Contact a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Call an attorney with experience handling slip and fall negligence cases. They can advise you about your legal rights and provide guidance as you navigate a slip and fall injury claim. With an experienced slip and fall attorney on your side, you may improve your chances of winning a personal injury claim.
Seek Guidance From a Personal Injury Attorney and Secure Compensation
Even minor injuries from a slip and fall accident can take weeks or months to heal. In severe cases, serious injuries such as bone fractures, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord damage could lead to long-term or permanent disability.
As you recover from your injuries, you may face financial difficulties and stress related to medical treatment, mounting bills, and missed work. You do not have to face these challenges alone. A premises liability lawyer from Sands Law can help you seek the compensation you deserve after a slip and fall on someone else’s property. Contact our slip and fall injury attorneys today to schedule a free case review and discuss your next steps.
Recover more compensation. Save time. Worry less. Leave it to the experts at Sands Law to help you. It’s what we’re here for.