Anytime you leave the house, it is possible that you could become the victim of a slip-and-fall. Many slip-and-falls occur while people are shopping at the grocery store, visiting a friend at an apartment complex, or staying at a hotel. Property owners have a responsibility to those who enter their property to keep their premises reasonably safe. However, many shoppers, hotel guests, and apartment complex visitors end up injured due to the negligence of property owners.
Why do slip-and-falls occur?
Generally, slip-and-falls often occur due to a dangerous or hazardous condition on the property. These conditions may include:
- Loose mats, uneven carpeting, or uneven flooring
- Malfunctioning elevator or escalator
- Poor lighting
- Faulty equipment
- Ice or snow (store entryway, parking lot, sidewalk)
- Obstruction in aisles or fallen objects
- Broken stairs
What should I do if I have been involved in a slip-and-fall?
The most important thing to do after an accident is seek medical attention. Even if you do not think the accident was that bad, it is in your best interest to get checked out by a medical professional. Many injuries start out mild, but get much more serious over time.
Once you have gotten the medical help you need, you should file an incident report with the store manager or property owner. You will also need to collect witness information, if possible, and take photos of the scene.
Proving a slip-and-fall accident
If you decide to file a premises liability claim against the parties responsible for your accident, your personal injury attorney will review the facts of your case and collect the evidence necessary to build a case to prove negligence.
Generally, the goal is to prove that your injuries were caused by a dangerous condition on the property and that the defendant knew or should have known of the condition but negligently failed to warn of the condition or fix the condition. If you can prove that the defendant failed to take reasonable steps to inspect or maintain the property, and that their negligence caused you injury, you will have a good chance at recovering damages to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other accident-related costs.