When you slip and fall, you can sustain serious injuries. The difference between being clumsy and having a slip and fall case is that someone needs to be negligent for failing to maintain the area or failing to advise you of hazards that may exist when you are filing a personal injury claim. If you have a slip and fall personal injury case, it is important to understand what determines that a lawsuit is valid and who may be considered responsible for your injuries. Read on and learn what you need to know before you assume that you do not have a valid case.
The Cause of the Slip and Fall is Very Important
If you are strolling around your home and you trip and break your arm, you have no one to hold liable for your injuries but yourself. To have a valid slip and fall personal injury case, there needs to be a hazard or some type of negligence present from the property owner, the person, or the business who is responsible for maintaining the property. The environmental factors play a huge role in whether or not the person who maintained the property is negligent. Here are some environmental factors that must be considered when you are evaluating whether or not you have a case:
* Hazardous Physical Obstacles
If you are walking into an office building, you do not expect to have to watch the floor for poorly placed cords or bunched up floor mats. If you trip over a hazardous physical obstacle, you may have a case. The obstacles can be anything from furniture to equipment.
* Weather and Failure to Minimize Potential for Injuries
As you may know, there are some things in life you cannot control. Weather is one of these things. If you fall on a slippery tile floor after walking through a rainstorm, you might think that no one is to blame but Mother Nature. In actuality, businesses and property owners are expected to minimize the risk of injury by placing non-slip rugs and by keeping all of the walkways dry. The property owner also needs to place “Wet floor” signs to show where hazards may lie.
* Lighting Issues
If an entryway is poorly lit, you might not have the sight you need to avoid obstacles. Failure to maintain the proper amount of lighting could be considered negligence.
* Other Causes
Some other causes that may be considered as negligent include: failing to maintain flooring, failure to use the right floor materials, and poor design elements that might camouflage changes in elevation.
Who Is Responsible for Your Slip and Fall Injury?
To file a lawsuit, you need to find the party who should be considered responsible for your injury. If you slip and fall in a restaurant or some other establishment, the party responsible for maintaining the property could be held liable. If you slip in fall in someone’s home, the homeowner could face a lawsuit if they were negligent. If you slip and fall in a city building like the library or the City Hall, you may have to sue the state or local government.
Not all slip and fall cases are cut and dry. If the the details are not obvious, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your options. The best personal injury lawyers will tell you whether or not you have a case, and if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit or submit a claim through the liable party’s insurance.
Cheryl Lawrence has worked in the legal field for many years, and knows how confusing slip and fall injury cases can be. Seeking help from an Atlanta injury attorney can bring great results.