Too often, people simply limp away from a slip-and-fall accident too ashamed of their own perceived clumsiness to consider who was actually at fault for the injury. While victims often blame themselves for not overcoming environmental hazards, the danger should not have even reached that point.
Slips, trips and falls often result in broken bones, torn ligaments, head trauma or spinal cord damage. Depending on numerous factors including the type of surface, the inciting event or the height from which the fall occurred, injuries can be quite severe. Unfortunately, proving liability in such a case can be challenging.
There are three main questions
When attempting to prove liability in a slip-and-fall personal injury claim, the challenge generally rests upon three questions:
- Who created the condition? It is essential to understand who or what caused the dangerous condition. Did the danger occur naturally such as a puddle of rainwater, or did the individual trip over a stack of product placed haphazardly in a department store aisle? Finding those answers, though, is only a part of the process.
- Who knew about the condition? In many situations, it is possible that the property owner, supervisor or area manager knew about the dangerous condition and failed to correct it. Even if natural conditions created the puddle of rainwater, the property manager should have taken steps to clean it up and prevent an accident. To act otherwise would be negligent.
- How long did the condition exist? Certain dangerous conditions such as cracked pavement, broken tile or a faulty handrail tend to occur over time. During this time, did the property manager know about the issue and take steps to correct it? Clearly not if the dangerous condition caused a serious slip-and-fall accident.
A slip, trip or fall accident can have lasting effects on the victim and their entire family. From multiple fractures and traumatic brain injuries to ligament damage and paralysis, individuals must take these injuries seriously and seek monetary compensation when appropriate.