Trip-and-Fall Lawsuits: Who Can Sue

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What Is a Trip and Fall?

Trip-and-fall lawsuits involve at first a trip, where a person’s foot encounters an abrupt object coming up from the ground, which results in a fall to the ground.  One may have heard of a slip-and-fall lawsuit, where the precipitating event is a slip, as opposed to a trip

How Can I Sue for a Trip and Fall?

Firstly, in order to sue for a trip and fall, a person needs to have a legally “cognizable” injury. Temporary pain, inconvenience, or “injuries” that heal themselves quickly and without medical treatment are usually not sufficient to recover damages in a trip-and-fall.

Secondly, in order to sue, a person needs to have some legal relationship with the person in charge of the property, such that the person in charge has some legal duty to protect or warn the person of dangers on the property.  For example, this kind of relationship arises when a pedestrian trips and falls in a store or shopping mall meant to invite members of the public, or when a person trips and falls on public sidewalks maintained by the city, or when a person trips and falls in a private residence where the person has been allowed on the premises. 

Lastly, the danger needs to be unreasonable, unexpected, surprising, a “trap,” or unusual in the area.  The danger causing the trip-and-fall needs to be extreme enough that a reasonable person who heard of it would declare it unsafe.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Sue for a Trip and Fall?

If you have been injured by a trip and fall you should contact a personal injury attorney who can evaluate the strength of your case. If you are being sued for liability for a trip and fall, you should speak with an attorney who can defend your case and evaluate your options.

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Last Modified: 01-13-2014 12:22 PM PST

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