A Personal Injury Lawyer Explains Slip & Fall Accidents – Part 1
Part 1: The Basics
As any competent personal injury lawyer will tell you – not every slip and fall accident warrants a lawsuit. If you are injured from a fall on someone else’s property , your ability to recover compensation for your injuries depends on a number of factors. This article, the first in a series, will discuss the basic elements of a viable claim for damages from a slip and fall accident; more specific topics will be addressed in later postings. However, because the circumstances of every accident are different, the best way to protect your interests is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an incident. In fact, depending on the circumstances, a personal injury lawyer may be able to settle the claim on your behalf without having to file a lawsuit or go to trial.
In order to succeed on a claim for damages resulting from a slip and fall accident, it is necessary for the plaintiff (the injured party) to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. The essential requirements of a valid negligence claim are:
- The defendant must owe a legal duty to the plaintiff. In slip and fall cases, the party responsible for maintaining the property where the accident occurred has a duty of reasonable care to keep the property free of hazards such as snow and ice for example.
- The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a particular way, such as failing to promptly clean up a spill in a grocery store.
- The accident was a direct result of the defendant’s actions or failure to act as required and was foreseeable. For example, it is foreseeable that if an icy sidewalk in front of a store is not cleared (or otherwise made safe), customers entering the store could slip and hurt themselves.
- The plaintiff must show the nature and extent of any injuries suffered and must also establish the amount of expenses or other losses incurred as a result of the accident.
In order to determine whether you have a compensable negligence claim it is also necessary to consider any potential defenses such as governmental immunity, statute of limitations, comparative or contributory negligence.
For a variety of reasons, time is of the essence when it comes to establishing a successful negligence claim. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident take the following steps as soon as possible: (1) Take photographs of the scene and obtain contact information for any witnesses; (2) Seek medical attention for your injuries; and (3) Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Call an Alfred Abel Law Offices’ Personal Injury Lawyer for Experienced Guidance
Injuries can often cause more than momentary irritation. Sometimes medical care is required and you may even have a disruption in employment. If the injury was caused due to the negligence of another party, you should receive appropriate compensation. For advice about a potential claim, contact our personal injury lawyer today.