How Common Are Slip And Fall Accidents That Result In Injuries?
Slip and fall injuries are very common. In fact, they are as common as car accidents. Every single business, home, or common area is an area where slip and fall or trip and fall accidents could occur.
What Is The Legal Standard Surrounding Premises Liability? How Does It Relate To Slip And Fall Injury Cases?
The standard of care owed by the owner of a property depends on the standing of the person who is injured at the place where the accident occurred. An invitee is owed ordinary care to keep the premises safe. An invitee means you are on the premises with the owner’s permission, related to the owner’s business. When you are shopping in a store, you are an invitee.
When you have a social guest, your duty is to warn that person of known dangers: this is someone who is in your home by permission. A social guest is considered a licensee by invitation. We have to warn these licensees of known dangerous conditions that are not easily discovered.
A person who is on the premises with the owner’s permission, but for their own purpose, is considered to be a bare licensee. If you are, for example, using a public restroom, the duty that is owed is to you is to refrain from wilfully injuring you, or refrain from creating a dangerous situation. Even trespassers are owed a duty to make sure the owner doesn’t intentionally harm the trespasser; even though they are on the property without permission.
What Are Some Examples Of Conditions That Make It Ripe For A Slip And Fall Accident To Occur?
These cases are difficult cases to prove (negligence). In order to prove negligence, you have to prove, first of all, who owns the property: the owner is the party who may be liable. Secondly, you must show that a dangerous condition exists, and prove the owner knew, or should have known of this condition, then failed to repair and/or to warn the injured party. Finally, you have to show that the injured person is negligence free, or else there is no recovery.
When Should I Retain A Personal Injury Attorney If I Have Been Injured In a Slip And Fall Accident?
Anytime that there is an injury, unless you decide to handle the matter yourself, you want to seek out an attorney as soon as possible. You don’t want to make statements that are not correct and/ or statements that can easily be taken out of context. The insurance adjusters (who interview injured persons) do this for a living, so the way their questions are worded can throw you off. Sometimes there are questions that just plainly should not be answered. In addition, you definitely want to make sure that you contact the right attorney to ensure evidence is preserved.
For example, a lot of people don’t know that if there is a video recording, there is only a certain amount of time before the store will record over it. An experienced attorney will send a letter to the store informing the business that they need to preserve all evidence. It is also important to follow up with witnesses as soon as possible because witnesses may change their address and/or phone number. Many times, you win or lose your case based on witness testimony.
Under What Circumstances Would A Store Owner Not Be Liable For A Slip And Fall Injury?
The person who is injured has to be negligence free, regardless of what the owner did and/or should have done to make sure someone is not hurt on the property. In a lot of cases, the court will look at whether the person was paying attention to an obvious sign. For example, did the person see that the floor was wet but instead of going around it, they decided to walk through the puddle/moisture? The trier of facts will look at the age of the person and see if they acted prudently for a person of that age. Were they paying attention? This comes into play a lot when people are talking on their cellphone and walking, and not paying attention to where they are going. Then this person trips on a number of dangerous conditions that they would have otherwise seen.
Sometimes, you are carrying a lot of things in your hands and that’s the reason why the accident occurred. There is often an argument over whether or not you were wearing the right type of footwear; you may have hurt yourself because you were in flip flops while running. Bottom line is you have to be negligence free in order to recover. These cases are very hard to prove because of the notice requirements and because the injured party may have been negligent as well.
For more information on Slip And Fall Accidents In Maryland, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (800) 400-2350 today.