There may be times when an individual is injured when they fall, trip, or slip. This is a type of personal injury, or an injury to a person caused by another person. Sometimes, the injured person can hold a property owner liable for their injuries.
An accident where a person slips and is injured due to a slippery floor or object is known as a “slip and fall” incident. “Slip and fall” accidents can occur almost anywhere. Some common places for an indoor “slip and fall” accident to occur are staircases, elevators and floors in places where liquids or grease may be present, such as a restaurant or grocery store. Common reasons an outdoor “slip and fall” accident can occur are:
- Weather conditions, such as ice;
- Poor lighting conditions;
- Poorly maintained sidewalks; and
- Poorly maintained parking garages with issues such as low lighting and grease spots from cars.
There are many different types of “slip and fall” accidents.
If there is a dangerous condition on the premises when an individual is injured, they may have a premise liability claim.
Slip and fall cases can result in serious injuries that may be debilitating and prevent a person from performing everyday functions. The types of injuries sustained may be head injuries, neck injuries, spine or back injuries. These injuries may also prevent an individual from working at the same capacity as they did prior to the accident.
What are “Step and Fall” Accidents and Other Similar Accidents?
A “step and fall” accident occurs when a person steps on an object that would not normally be there or steps in some sort of deformation in a floor or an outdoor road or sidewalk. For instance, an individual could fall after stepping in a hole in their neighborhood sidewalk or on an object that should not be there such as a bucket in the hardware store aisle.
“Step and fall” accidents can cause a variety of injuries such as lesions, cuts, puncture wounds, or others. These accidents can also result in twisted ankles or knees from stepping awkwardly on the object.
Similarly, a “stump and fall” accident occurs when there is a crack in a walking surface or some sort of object. The individual stumbles over the object or defect prior to falling.
If the “step and fall” or “stump and fall” accident is a result of a dangerous condition on the premises, the individual may have a premise liability claim.
Can I Sue for My Injuries If I Tripped and Fell?
A “trip and fall” accident happens when a foreign object such as a broom is in the walking area or there is an uneven or change in a walking surface, such as a sidewalk. “Trip and fall” accidents can also occur if there is a lack of sufficient lighting in an area.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, a lawsuit may result. If the person responsible for keeping the area clear fails to do so, they can sometimes be held liable under a premises liability theory.
When Is an Owner Liable for a “Slip and Fall” Accident?
Premise liability laws are different in each state but there are some common factors across all states:
- The owner must have a duty to keep the premises safe.
- The owner must have been negligent in performing that duty. For example, the owner must have failed to clean up or correct the dangerous condition. That can mean the owner failed to warn individuals that there was a hole in the ground by taping around it or that the owner failed to clean up an olive oil spill in a grocery aisle.
- The dangerous condition caused the “slip and fall” accident to occur.
What Is a Premise Liability Claim?
Premises liability is an area of personal injury law that allows a plaintiff to sue a defendant for an injury that occurred on the defendant’s property, such as a slip and fall or a trip and fall.
Premise liability laws generally apply to most places an individual would visit routinely, such as a business or relative’s house. Business owners have a duty to protect those who visit their premises against dangerous conditions, and may be liable for injuries if they do not do so. This area of law also holds a defendant responsible for making sure that their home and their land is a safe place for people to be. It also makes them liable for injuries that occur on their property.
Remedies for premises liability claims can often include compensatory damages awards, which will pay for losses like medical expenses and lost wages during recovery. Damages awards may also include compensation for the lack of ability to earn an income in the future.
Another type of remedy that may be awarded is punitive damages. Punitive damages are used to deter the property owner from being negligent in the future. However, the amount of these damages may be limited. Remedies may depend on the type of case involved as well as state injury laws.
There may be a statute of limitations on the personal injury claim, which is a time limit on when a claim can be filed. Each state has different rules on how long the injured person has to file their claim.
Do I Need to Speak With a Lawyer About My Fall?
If you were injured in a slip, trip, stump, or step and fall, you may wish to contact a personal injury lawyer. An injury lawyer in your area can determine the best legal action to take and can file a lawsuit on your behalf.