Thursday, 25 September 2014

Help! I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Decide If I Should Press Charges

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere. When a fall results in a severe injury, it’s important to know who’s responsible. In short, the answer will be situational. Sometimes the property owner is responsible for the accident, and sometimes he or she is not. Slip and fall accidents are a personal injury and are considered a tort. There are four general types of slip and fall accidents:

Help! I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Decide If I Should Press Charges
Trip-and-fall: When there is a foreign object in the walking path.
Stump-and-fall: When there is a barrier in the walking surface.
Step-and-fall: When there is an unexpected hole or malfunction in the walking surface.
Slip-and-fall: When the combination of the shoe/foot and floor fails, oftentimes involving a slippery substance on the floor surface.

It is the duty of the property owner to keep their facility safe of hazards. They must take the appropriate amount of steps to ensure that their property is free of dangerous conditions. The property owner can be at fault if they knew there was a permanent hazardous condition (such as broken flooring) but didn’t do anything about it.

Comparative negligence is also considered when a slip and fall accident occurs, and is often a significant hurdle in making claims. This means that you, in some way, contributed to your own accident.  You may have fallen because you were running on a slippery floor when there was a warning sign by it. Because of your own carelessness, you may have a lessened award for your injuries or none at all.

Most often the issue of comparative negligence arises because the property owner will say the cause of the fall was “open and obvious.” In other words: the person who fell should have seen what caused their fall, but as they didn’t, they are at fault themselves.  This can be tricky to balance against a property owners duty to keep their premises safe.

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you may receive compensation. Compensation may include damages already incurred and those in the future that may be incurred for: medical bills, time away from work, and pain and suffering.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, and are not sure who is at fault, McCullough & Associates will be there to answer any questions you have.