Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases. Typically, these involve a victim slipping, tripping or falling on someone else’s private property or commercial property. A municipal property involves different standards, but may also be the site of the injury. Private or residential property typically indicates a home, while commercial property is a restaurant, store or other business. Those who fall on commercial property can be either a customer or an employee. There must be a failure to maintain a safe property or another type of occupant or owner negligence for a personal injury case to move forward in either setting.
Common examples of slip and fall
Each injury will have specific circumstances, but typical examples include:
- A business may have a wet floor that causes a customer or employee to fall.
- A business did not mark an obstacle in an area with foot traffic.
- A residence or business did not have handrails on a stairway.
- The injured slips and falls on an icy or wet sidewalk maintained by a business, property owner or municipality.
- A building code violation.
Building a case for negligence
It is not enough for a person to slip and fall. The injured victim needs to prove that the responsible party was negligent in their obligation to maintain reasonably safe conditions where the surface is not slippery or dangerous in some way. Essential steps to prove negligence include:
- Seek medical treatment: It is important to get the necessary treatment to facilitate the healing process and to document the injury.
- Report the accident: Ensure that you or a family member notifies the business manager, owner or landlord that a severe injury occurred.
- Document everything: It is vital to collect names and contact information of potential witnesses, take pictures of where the injury occurred and write down essential details while still a fresh memory. It also is vital to document shoes and clothing worn by the victim.
- Avoid giving statements: It is essential to remain calm and say little about who is at fault. Do not blame them or yourself.
- Call an attorney: Slip and fall injuries can be quite complicated because they often involve a back, neck and head. Negligence can be difficult to prove without the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience handling slip and fall cases. These legal professionals often offer the best chance of securing the compensation you deserve.