No one expects to have a slip and fall or trip and fall accident but unfortunately, these types of accidents can happen anywhere: in the grocery store, at home, or at work, to name a few places. Anything from debris to uneven and wet flooring can create the perfect storm for this kind of injury. Slip and fall injuries can range from ankle sprains to traumatic brain injury. Consulting an experienced lawyer can help you recover what is owed to you from your fall.
Where Did the Slip and Fall Take Place?
One of the first questions a knowledgeable personal injury attorney will ask you is where you slipped and fell. Generally speaking, the owner of a property has a duty to act reasonably and keep people from getting injured while they are on the property. It then follows that a key issue is whether the property owner was ‘reasonable’ in the upkeep and maintenance of the property. In other words, if you tripped or slipped and fell on someone’s property and that person (or business) was not reasonable in their upkeep of the property, that person (or business) may be liable to your for your injuries. Alternatively, the party responsible for upkeep and maintenance of the property may be liable. This means that if you trip and fall on the uneven, slick floor tiles of your office lobby, and the building owner failed to maintain adequate, smooth flooring, the building owner may be liable for your injuries.
Your slip and fall attorney may also want to know if you have any reason to believe the building owner knew about the dangerous condition. For example, if an architect or contractor reviewed the property and reported on a dangerous condition, but the property owner failed to fix it, your attorney would try to point this out as an example of being “on notice” concerning the risk of an accident. When you speak with your legal counsel, try to remember any and all information about the building and the owner’s involvement or maintenance of it so your attorney can begin investigating potential legal theories.
Partial Negligence in Slip and Falls?
Not all slip and fall injuries are the result of a property owner’s negligence, however. Indeed, a property owner might try to place the blame on the victim, claiming that you were careless or intoxicated at the time of the accident or claim that he or she disclosed the danger. For example, a building owner could post a sign warning of “uneven floor” or cautioning you to “watch your step.” These disclosure efforts could serve as a complete or partial defense to a claim for negligence against the property owner. Nonetheless, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to slip and fall accidents, the property owner, or whomever maintains the property, has a duty to monitor and repair dangerous conditions quickly. Knowing about a maintenance issue and repairing the property promptly can be a strong defense to a personal injury claim.
For more information on how to recover financially if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact lawyer Barry P. Goldberg today.