You think something like this will never happen to you, at least, not until you’re dealing with the hospital bills, the missed work, and the pain. Slip and fall accidents might not seem like they can do a lot of damage—we’ve all fallen before, especially as kids. However, it doesn’t take that much force to cause a sprain, a strain, or even a broken bone, all of which can develop into serious health issues in the future.
If you experience a slip and fall accident, you may find yourself asking “now what?” You aren’t alone. What many don’t realize is that their misfortune is often the direct result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, a fact that can help ensure that you aren’t left to deal with the consequences by yourself.
Here’s what you can do if you’ve been in a slip and fall accident:
Determine Whether Negligence Is a Factor
Some accidents are unavoidable. However, stores and businesses have a responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe. If you want to be compensated for your injury, you have to be able to prove two things:
- First, that negligence was involved.
- Second, that the negligence was at least partially responsible for your fall.
Your case rests upon the wrong-doing or carelessness of the person or persons responsible for the safety of the property, so if you fall in a clean, safe area, you will have a hard time proving that negligence led to your injury. To help prove your case, document the conditions of the store or business, especially where you fell and hurt yourself. Take pictures. Talk to other patrons. Write down what you see so you can remember it later. If you are unable to document your surroundings because of the injury, try to send someone in your place so that you have support should you decide to pursue compensation.
Decide Who Is Responsible
When you decide to move forward with your case, you’ll have to determine whose negligence led to your fall. There are usually two parties that could potentially be at fault: the landlord or the business owner. You’ll have to determine which to pursue in court.
If your fall occurred because of hazardous conditions caused by the day-to-day operation of the business, you’ll probably want to pursue remuneration from the business owner. Things like spills, clutter, or debris can easily cause a person to fall and hurt themselves, so business owners need to keep things clean and dry.
On the other hand, your fall might have been caused by issues that are more structural in nature. For instance, leaks in the roof can cause standing water, which can make the floor slippery. Likewise, unstable structures, such as improperly secured banisters and handrails can lead to serious injury. In such instances, any injuries are the fault of the building owner.
Demonstrate the Cause of Your Fall
As mentioned briefly above, you have to not only demonstrate the unsafe conditions of the property but that those conditions caused, at least in part, your fall. When demonstrating cause, pay attention to the following:
- Why was the floor or structure unsafe?
- How long were conditions unsafe prior to the accident?
- Was there any warning of the unsafe conditions?
- Were you aware of the conditions when you fell?
- Was the responsible party aware of the conditions and for how long?
The more concretely you can demonstrate that the conditions of the property caused your fall, the better your case will fare in court.
If you or someone you know has recently become a victim of someone else’s negligence, there is no time to waste. Contact our offices to set up an appointment to discuss your case. Our experienced team of attorneys will do everything in their power to get you the compensation you deserve.