When you visit the personal property of a friend, go to a restaurant, a shopping mall, a car dealership, or any other location that is not your own home, you do so with the peace of mind that the place will not represent a hazard for you nor will it put your health in jeopardy. However, slip and fall accidents are extremely common, and they can happen in an instant and for a variety of reasons. If you have suffered injuries after slipping and falling on someone else’s property, you may want to schedule a consultation with a slip and fall lawyer to understand your rights and who might be liable for your injuries.
Although you might be convinced that you slipped and fell because there was something on the floor that should not have been there, like a bunch of unsecured cables, a water spill, an unmarked difference in floor heights, or any other, the owner or the manager of the premises may argue that they were not aware that this hazard existed. They may further argue that they had no way of knowing or had not been informed about it and therefore took no action to correct it.
A skilled slip and fall attorney may be able to convince the judge that the property owner or manager was in the wrong, that they did time to correct the dangerous situation on the floor before you walked through it, slipped, and fell.
Several factors can contribute to a slip and fall accident. Among them:
- Floors that are wet due to spilled liquids, having just been mopped or waxed, or due to an oil leak.
- Surfaces that are not even because there are potholes, cracks, rugs that have not been properly secured, or floorboards that have come loose.
- Objects that should not be on the floor, such as boxes, electric cables, or debris.
- Wet floors due to weather conditions like rain, sleet, or hail.
The above conditions should have been addressed quickly, or the problem area should have been marked.
To prove that the owner or manager of the premises was negligent, your lawyer must show that:
- The property owner or manager had a duty to maintain their premises in reasonably safe conditions.
- This duty of care was breached by allowing these unsafe conditions to exist.
- That these unsafe conditions were the cause of your accident and your injuries.
After a thorough investigation into the accident, your lawyer will be able to build the strongest case in your defense.
When investigating your case, your lawyer may decide to pursue the claim against one or more parties. These may be:
- Whoever owns the property.
- The business owner if they are leasing the premises from another company.
- A company responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of the premises.
- A contractor or subcontractor for installing walking surfaces that are not safe, including stairwells, decks, and carpeting.
- The manufacturer of the material used on the floor when the flooring material is defective.
These and other parties might be liable for your slip and fall.