Slip, trip and fall cases are amongst the most common way I see people being injured. It is very common for someone to fall on uneven or broken sidewalk or curb, or to step into a pothole they did not think was there, or slip on spilled milk or pop or even grapes at a local supermarket.
The first thing you should understand about these cases is that they are a lot more complicated than people think. A lot of people I talk to think that a property owner or manager is automatically responsible for injuries on their property. But the exact opposite is true. We have many more Personal Injury Help Articles Now Available.
The law is written to protect landowners. Like in every injury case, you must be able to prove that the land owner did something they should not have, or failed to do something that was their duty to do, and as a result, you got hurt. In a car accident case, that’s pretty simple-who ran the red light or stop sign, right?
But in premises liability slip trip and fall injury cases, there are a whole set of rules that, if you are not familiar with, you will have no chance at all at properly evaluating your injury case. First, the thing that caused you harm must be “unreasonably dangerous.” In other words, if a hole is too small, or a problem with a sidewalk is too minor, the Court will throw your case out before you ever see a jury. Second, you must be able to prove that the landlord or property owner knew about the problem OR that they should have known about it, with enough time before you were injured to fix the problem. That’s called “Notice” and it is the death of so many fall down type cases, you might not believe it. It is a very hard to prove, but experienced lawyers can do it if they get a case right at the beginning.
Other rules that few people know about include the “natural accumulation” rule, which means that you cannot sue someone when snow or rain falls on a sidewalk and you fall because of it because no one shoveled. And another is the “open and obvious rule” which says that if a hole in a sidewalk or other problem is something that is obviously dangerous or could cause an injury, you cannot sue for it.
There are exceptions to all of this, and I do not mean to scare you away from consulting with a lawyer or making a claim. Just be aware that this is a much tougher area of law than many give it credit for.
Believe it or not, I see more broken bones in fall down cases than I do in car accidents. A broken leg or broken ankle is the most common type of injury I see when someone has a fall down accident. I also commonly see a broken hand or wrist when someone tries to catch themselves when they fall, and chipped or broken teeth are not uncommon. A fall down injury can also involve a blow to the head, which can cause subdural hematoma (bleeding in the brain), which can result in serous injury, permanent disability, or even death.So not only does handling such personal injury cases require knowledge of liability law (the rules, their exceptions, and all the wrinkles and exceptions-to-exceptions carved out in the case law), but skill and knowledge of a broad base of medicine and medical treatment to handle proof of the injury aspects of the case.
And, insurance companies these days do everything in their power to defeat an inured person’s claim right from the beginning, before the injured person knows their rights. They do things like take recorded statements from witnesses and injured people before they know their rights, and get injured people to sign papers before the injured person knows what is at stake. Insurance companies ALWAYS want a recorded statement from a fall down injury victim, because they know they can destroy the injured person’s case with just a few of the wrong words..I hope that this information has been helpful to you. These are just tips —> You should consult a lawyer for proper legal advice based on experience. We have many more Personal Injury Help Articles Now Available.