WHO IS LIABLE FOR MY INJURIES IN A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT?
Property owners and managers owe a duty of care to those on their property, and failure to properly maintain a safe property may make them liable for damages suffered if they fail to do so. This is known as premises liability. Those who may owe damages under premises liability include the owner or occupier of the property, a store or business, the state, local, or federal government, or a homeowner.
The duty of care owed to a person on the premises depends on why type of guest the injured party is at the time of the injury.
TYPES OF GUESTS INJURED IN SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
Invitees include social guests of a property who do not live there, or customers or patrons of a store or business who are invited onto the property to conduct regular business. Invitees are owed the highest duty of care.
Licensees are a type of visitor who have the privilege to enter a property, such as a mailman, a guest, or a door to door salesman. Licensees are owed a lesser duty of care but may nevertheless recover damages depending on how the slip and fall takes place.
Trespassers are individuals who either enter or remain on the property without the owner’s permission. Notwithstanding that the entry may be illegal, property owners nevertheless owe a duty of care to a trespasser and he or she may still be able to collect damages for injuries sustained due to a slip and fall on the property.
ELEMENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SLIP AND FALL LAWSUIT
- The property owner knew that the hazardous condition existed, or should have known in the exercise of ordinary care. For instance, a store owner has “actual notice” of a dangerous condition such as a loose step because he steps over it every day; or “constructive notice” of a spilled item on the floor because it had been there for a period of time and he should have known.
- The property owner neglected to take the reasonable steps necessary to prevent your injury due to the dangerous condition, either by failing to fix it, such as by repairing the step; or failing to give adequate warning, by putting up a “Caution: wet floor” sign.
- That the negligence resulted in the accident and the injuries sustained. For instance, a customer tripped on the broken step or slipped on the spilled liquid
Determining liability is a necessary step in recovering compensation for your slip and fall injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, call us today and take the first steps towards recovering the money you deserve. The call is free, there is no obligation, and we only get paid if you get paid.
EXAMPLES OF TYPICAL SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
Slip and fall accidents can happen anytime and almost anywhere. There are virtually limitless examples of these types of accidents, each with its own nuance and variables. Here are a few:
- A patron of a grocery store is pushing her cart down the dairy aisle. She doesn’t notice the puddle of water coming out of a leaky cooler case and her foot slips out from under her.
- A package delivery driver dropping off a parcel does not notice that the second porch step has rotted. He places his foot down on the broken step, it breaks underneath him, and he tumbles to the ground.
- A department store customer is exiting the store and fails to notice the black ice that has accumulated in the walkway and had not yet been cleared. He slips backwards on the ice and falls to the pavement.
- A young woman at a casino fails to notice that one of the machine wires has come loose above the carpet. She snags her foot on the obscured wire and falls forward.
COMMON CAUSES OF SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
Sometimes slip and fall accidents are just that – accidents. But oftentimes there is a problem that either directly caused or contributed to the accident. The owner or operator of a public property or a property to which the public is invited owes a duty ensure that the premises are safe. Failure to do so is negligence and lead to some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents, including:
- Wet, slippery, or uneven floors
- Snowy or icy walkways
- Ripped or loose carpeting and rugs
- Broken, uneven, or missing stairs
- Broken, incomplete, or missing handrails
- Poorly lit walkways or stairwells
- Fluids spilled on floors
- Poorly or unmarked construction zones
- Holes or gaps in the sidewalk or walking surface
- Hoses or cords in the walkway
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE INJURED IN SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS?
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of injury in the United States. They can happen on a sidewalk, a parking garage, a supermarket, or at work – anywhere one can walk. These types of accidents happen without warning and oftentimes occur while people are going about their daily activities at a time that they least expect it. All age ranges are susceptible to slip and fall accidents, although the dangers and injuries can be particularly severe for the elderly and those of advanced age.
HOW MANY SLIP AND FALLS RESULT IN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT TREATMENT?
On average, over 800,000 people per year are hospitalized due to slip and fall accidents and account for total healthcare costs in excess of $50 billion. Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of ER visits in the United States, accounting for 21.3% of all total visits. The dangers of slip and fall accidents are a significant problem in the work place as well; in 2016 over 48,000 workers in the U.S. were hurt badly enough from a slip and accident that they missed at least one day of work.
Slip and fall injuries hurt businesses, they tax the healthcare system, but most importantly, they hurt the individual victim physically, emotionally, and financially. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
RHODE ISLAND SLIP AND FALL ATTORNEYS: HOW CAN WE HELP YOU RECOVER FOR YOUR INJURIES?
Slip and fall accidents are accidents for a reason – it is not a part of everyday life and victims never plan for it. Insurance companies do plan for it, and they make their business – and their money – by paying out as little as possible on every claim. To that end, they will fight you tooth and nail, or attempt to squeeze through a settlement for considerably less than it is worth, oftentimes requiring victims to sign away their rights to sue.
Here are Marin and Barrett, Inc., we are here to fight for you against the insurance companies so that you don’t have to and we stand committed to fighting for every penny your case is worth. There is no obligation and the consultation is free and confidential. We only get paid if you win, so you have nothing to lose. Call us today at 401-228-8271.
Rhode Island Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys – Contact us 24/7 at 401-228-8271
To Learn More About Your Rights and Receive a Free Initial Consultation
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