Who pays for Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall injuries are common across the United States. Slip and fall injury claim cases are categorized in legal terms as premises liability civil torts that are usually directed at the property owner or business manager at the location where the injury occurred. However, just because an injury occurred when someone fell in a particular location, it does not mean that the owner or operator is automatically liable for damages resulting from the incident. There are specific elements of a claim that will often require proof presented by a personal injury attorney when the accident occurs in a remote location or is not documented properly by a business owner or operator. Depending on the specifics of the case, slip and fall injuries can be complicated, and are often defended vigorously. An experienced personal injury lawyer Washington DC trusts may be needed to ensure that you are compensated equitably.
Who is Liable?
The final determination of liability in a slip and fall injury claim is based on the material case facts of the accident. All business operators have a reasonable duty of care towards all business patrons and employees alike, and many accidents occur because of the operator’s negligence to maintain a clear and safe walking space. Issues such as water leakage onto a floor, or any other type of spill that is not addressed in a timely manner, could result in a customer or employee slipping on the slick spot. Actually, many slip and fall accidents occur in the winter in icy conditions, when injury victims lose their footing while walking on ice. If the injury happened due to a structural problem, the building owner could be liable, as well as a business operator who is charged with maintaining walking clearances. Depending on the circumstances, both parties could be liable to a degree.
Proving fault in a slip and fall injury case can be difficult because of several factors. If the accident occurs on personal property, trespassers will often have a difficult time winning a slip and fall personal injury claim, because they are not authorized to be on the property. For businesses that open their doors to the public, this can be an easier task. The business operator is usually the primary respondent when they have failed to address a dangerous condition in the store. Proving fault against a property owner usually requires specific evidence of failure to maintain the property. Proof of fault for each potential respondent requires your attorney to prove that an accident occurred resulting in the particular injury being claimed, and the injury was a direct or indirect result of the negligence of the respondent, or respondents.
Are You Responsible for the Injury?
This is the most common defense used in a slip and fall accident injury claim, and will always be addressed immediately when an insurance company will be required to cover the damages. This is the comparative negligence defense that applies to all injury claims in all states. In states that use pure contributory laws, an injured party that is even 1% at fault for the accident cannot file for any injury damages. In states where modified comparative negligence is used, injured parties found to be at least 50% or 51% at fault for their own injury through assumption of personal risk determinations will be barred from damage collection as well. States using pure comparative negligence law will allow an injured party who is even 90% at fault to receive 10% of total damages from the injury. Claims can easily be routinely denied in some states because of personal fault for your own injury.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into slip and fall injury cases.