Premises Liability: Slips, Trips, Falls and Unsafe Premises Conditions
Slip, trips and falls are one of the most common causes of injury. These claims usually arise from a defect in a walkway or a hazardous condition on a floor, hallway, parking lot, or set of stairs.
Premises liability laws can make an owner, lessor, leasee, manager, or possessor of land responsible for injuries suffered on the premises. The owner’s liability extends beyond inside the building to areas such as sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.A property owner has an obligation to keep their space free of hazards and defects that could cause a fall and a subsequent injury.
Premises liability laws vary from state to state. For example, in Wyoming you will need to prove that you were on the property legally, that the owner or manager had a duty to protect you and that your injury was a result of the owner or manager’s negligence. In addition, if you rent or lease, your property owner may have a duty to make sure there are no structural problems to the building. Additionally, owners, lessors, lessees and occupiers may be responsible for providing adequate security measures to protect both their tenants and visitors from injury. Premises liability claims include slip, trip and fall cases, and cases where there is a lack of security which result in violent crimes. A failure to provide upkeep on a property which leads to broken sidewalks or falling objects and incorrect signage or no signs at all can also lead to liability for the owner, lessor, leasee, or possessor of the property.
Injuries can range from simple broken bones to more complex and severe injuries such as spinal cord and other nervous system injuries, traumatic brain injuries, serious orthopedic injuries and even death.
The Difference between Premises Liability and Slip and Fall
Premises liability is a broad category under which slip and fall accidents are placed. The various injuries that are sustained on another’s property include trip and fall, slip and fall, and other property hazards that could cause injuries:
- Broken locks
- Sidewalk and parking lot defects
- Obstacles that could cause someone to trip
- Ice, water, or other slippery substances such as oil
- Failure to provide signage and warnings
- Inadequate security
- Inadequate lighting
Under most state laws, public entities, cities, counties and the state have an obligation to maintain public properties to provide safe condition for the public. This covers sidewalks, public buildings, landmarks and parks.
Why You Need an Attorney
It is wise to consult with an attorney if you were harmed from a slip and fall accident. Oftentimes, property owners do not fairly deal with patrons that have been injured due to a hazardous condition on the property. Also, property owners are reluctant to provide an injured visitor with the compensation he or she deserves for the injuries sustained.
Slip and fall cases can be complicated. These claims require experts that understand the different aspects of the case including the property condition standards and how they can maintain a safe environment for their customers. If the slip and fall occurred on public property, experts are needed to show how the ground condition was inadequate.
A slip and fall attorney needs to be skilled in proving negligence and determining the appropriate amount of monetary compensation for the resulting injury.
Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Case
To prove that the property owner was at fault, expert testimony is needed. For example, if a visitor fell in a grocery store, we would have an engineer test the floors and determine how slippery the floors are with and without substances on them.
An expert would also look at floor maintenance procedures to see if they were properly followed. Finally, we would assess surveillance video, if available, and talk to witnesses to see if there are any other details to assist in the claim. Trip and fall cases involve understanding codes and determining the property was adherent to the applicable regulations or whether there was a defect in the property layout. Some codes may require railings to be provided to keep people from falling and will specify what type of railing must be used.
List of Things to Obtain, Save or Abstain From After Receiving Injuries From a Fall.
- The names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the fall
- Photos and video of the accident scene. Make sure the pictures show the substance that caused a slip or the defect that caused a trip. The more pictures of the area, the better. If possible, compare the size of the substance to another item so that an expert could take measurements and show how big it was.
- Another important piece is to refrain from signing any statements provided by the property owner. Without the assistance of an attorney, you will not know the implications of what you are signing. Additionally, you may be in severe pain and not in the mindset to know what you are signing.
- Name of the store manager as well as the supervisor on duty
- Seek medical care if you have been injured
- Documentation of any medical treatment, including costs, time away from work, amount of treatment needed in the future
If you or a loved one believes the negligence of a property owner caused you harm, make it a priority to contact an accident attorney at Lawson Law. Allow us to put our Courage, Strength and Dedication to work for you.
Let us help you and fight for you. Call now for a free consultation 1-888-508-2406 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org