Get a Free Claim Review

Slip & Fall Injury Lawyer

Slip and fall accidents are a commonplace occurrence in the US. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), over one million Americans suffer from a slip, trip, and fall injuries and more than 17,000 people die after sustaining these injuries. These injuries can be due to a wet floor, poor lighting, uneven flooring, or torn carpeting. In the absence of these factors, injuries can be avoided. This forms the foundation of a slip and fall lawsuit. If you have sustained to sustain any injury on someone else’s property you may have a case against the property owner. If proven to be at fault, the property owner will be liable for paying for all the damages you incur due to the injury. Navigating the slip and fall injury law landscape can be difficult for a layman. Hiring a slip and fall attorney is the best way to ensure your interests are protected.

What Is Slip and Fall Law Exactly?

Slip and fall injuries fall under the broader legal concept of premises liability. Under this concept, the owner, manager, or occupier of a property is responsible for providing a safe environment to anyone who visits or stays on the premises. If in case a hazard develops on the property, the responsible party is liable for providing warnings until it is fixed. In case the property owner fails to do so, and the hazard causes harm to a visitor or resident then it becomes a legal liability for them. This means that if you suffered from an injury due to a property manager’s negligence, you are liable for compensation.

Slip and fall accidents can occur on any property. Therefore, premises liability applies to both public and private property. This means everything from an office building to a personal residential apartment should offer a safe environment for visitors and occupants.

What Qualifies as Slip and Fall Accident?

Determining whether or not your injury was due to the negligence of the property owner or manager is not difficult. However, proving it from a legal perspective can be difficult. Liabilities differ for different types of properties. Here is what you should keep in mind when evaluating your injury for different properties:

Commercial Property

To consider filing a lawsuit for your injury against the owner, manager of a theatre, store, restaurant, or any other business, you should keep the following things in mind:

  • The worn or torn spot, spill, or the presence of other dangerous and slippery item or surface was caused by the owner or an employee hired by the owner of a business
  • The owner knew about the hazard but ignored fixing it
  • The owner behaved unreasonably by ignoring an obvious hazard to the safety of its customers and it resulted in a customer’s injury

If you suffered from a slip and fall accident on a commercial property, it could be due to several entities other than the business and property owners.

Residential Property

In the case of residential property, landlords are liable for the upkeep of their property. If you suffered an injury while staying at a rental place, you can hold your landlord liable for your injury. To prove liability you must show that:

  • The landlord was responsible and in control of the condition that caused the injury
  • The landlord failed to repair the hazard even though it was not unreasonably difficult or expensive
  • The injury was a foreseeable outcome of not fixing the hazard
  • It was the landlord’s failure to correct and fix the hazard that led to your slip and fall injury

Government Property

The chances of filing and winning a slip and fall injury claim against a government entity are slim. Special rules apply if you sustain a slip and fall injury on a property owned by local, state, and federal government entities. In such cases, you will likely have to meet stringent notice requirements and find ways to overcome immunity provisions that these entities get to protect them from being held liable against injuries.

The Process

If you believe you have a strong slip and fall claim, you should file a personal injury lawsuit. Although laws vary from state to state, here are the stages that the lawsuit will go through:

Filing a Complaint

For initiating a lawsuit, you will be required to file a complaint explaining the nature of your claim. Because the laws vary from state to state, the level of details to be provided in the complaint varies. In some states, the victim or plaintiff is required to provide a factual summary of the accident. In others, plaintiffs are only a small amount of information that is enough to put the defendant on notice regarding the claim.

Your complaint should contain the following information:

  • The parties involved in the lawsuit
  • A summarized description of how the accident occurred
  • The names of the parties you consider to be liable for the accident
  • What compensation you expect the defendant to pay for your injury

The complaint needs to be filed with another document called the summons that will order the defendant to file a response to the complaint within a limited time.

Defendant’s Answer

Answer is a term used to define the response to the complaint from the defendant. Unlike a Complaint, the Answer is only required to contain the admission or denial of the allegations stated in the Complaint. Besides this, the Answer will mention affirmative defenses. These are legal claims which if proved will reduce the defendant’s liability in the lawsuit or enable them to get the claim dismissed. Typically, most states expect defendants to respond within 20 days of receiving the summon. However, the defendant may secure another 20 days to respond by agreeing to waive off the usage of certain defenses.

Discovery

During this phase, the parties will try and build their cases. The phase involves both parties sending interrogatories to one another. Interrogatories are nothing but written questions that each party needs to answer under oath. In addition to this, the parties also issue requests of production to obtain things and documents related to the case. The phase also involves interviewing witnesses in the presence of a court reporter.

Mediation or Settlement

During this phase, the parties try to resolve the conflict by finding a middle ground. This happens through two procedures namely mediation and settlement conferences. The only difference between the two procedures is the party supervising the negotiations. In the case of mediation, the parties try to find a middle ground by hiring a private mediator. On the other hand, a settlement conference is ordered by the court and conducted in the presence of a judge.

Pre-trial Motions

There are certain motions that each party can file before a trial to resolve issues. Some common pre-trial motions are:

Motion to Dismiss

This motion is filed by the defendant early in the lawsuit to get it dismissed for failing on some technical legal grounds.

Motion to Compel

The motion can be filed by each party to request the court to direct the other party to do something they otherwise will not agree to do. This is used to gather evidence and documents that the parties may be unwilling to produce in court.

Motion for Summary Judgment

This is a powerful movement that can be filed by either party. The motion is filed to request the court to pass a judgment claiming that the other party does not have the facts or evidence to back their defenses or case. If granted, the motion would become the final judgment.

Motion in Limine

The motion requests the court to allow the party to keep certain evidence from being used in the trial because it may be too prejudicial. This means that the evidence could impact the judge or jury’s decision.

Why Hire a Slip and Fall Lawyer?

Hiring a slip and fall attorney will benefit you in the following ways:

  • More than often there is more than one party liable for a slip and fall injury. Determining the liable parties can be difficult. An experienced slip and fall attorney can help you determine who the parties at fault are and filing a lawsuit against them.
  • Slip and fall attorneys are well-versed with the state laws and know the statutory limits for filing lawsuits. Their guidance will ensure you do not miss out on filing a lawsuit
  • Defendant and insurance companies can try and pressure you to settle the claim quickly. With a slip and fall injury lawyer by your side, you can evaluate the compensation you deserve and negotiate with the other party better
  • If the lawsuit goes to trial, a slip and fall attorney will represent you in court and safeguard your interests against the defendant

Have you suffered from a slip and fall injury? Are you looking to collect compensation for your damages? Fill in the form provided alongside and we will help you find the best slip and fall attorney near you.