Everything You Need to Know about Trips, Slip & Fall Laws
Everyday people suffer from trips, slips, and falls. Sometimes these accidents result in serious injury. If you are one of the unfortunate people who have been injured in a trip, slip, and fall accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses.
Before you file a lawsuit, you will want to have an understanding of the law. To help you better understand this area of personal injury, you should consult a personal injury lawyer who has experience with these types of cases.
Trips, Slips and Falls Law Basics
When you suffer from an injury such as trips, slips, and falls, and you file a lawsuit, you will have to prove in court that the property owner where you sustained your injury is at fault. In other words, you will need to prove liability.
However, in many of these types of cases, the person who suffers the injury will also share some degree of liability. This is because, under the law, you are expected to exercise an ordinary degree of care while walking across slippery surfaces. For example, if you are running along a tile floor that is clearly marked as wet, you may be held partially accountable for the accident.
This sharing of blame is known as comparative fault. In tort law, which trips, slips and falls cases fall under, the victim's potential award in court may be decreased based on the degree to which it was the victim's fault that the accident occurred.
Liability laws will vary from state to state. Learn more about some of the basics of slip and falls.
When it comes to trips, slips and falls, there are two types of conditions that can cause your injuries.
The first type is called a permanent hazardous condition. This means that the part of the property that caused your injury is a fixture of the property, and the property owner should have known about it. For example, a broken stair would be considered a permanent hazardous condition. Accidents caused by permanent hazardous conditions are usually found to be the fault of the property owner.
The other type is called a temporary hazardous condition. These are not part of the property but rather are a condition of the property that makes it hazardous. For example, ice on a sidewalk would be a temporary hazardous condition. Property owners may not know about temporary hazardous conditions and thus might not have complete liability in such accidents.
If the owner is found to be at fault for your injuries, then the court will likely order him or her to pay you for certain damages. These damages can include your medical expenses, lost wages due to time you had to take off work, and pain and suffering. There may be additional damages if your injuries were so extraordinarily severe as to cause permanent disability.
If the property owner has premises liability insurance, then you may end up dealing directly with his or her insurance company throughout the course of your trips, slips, and falls lawsuit.