Slip and fall accidents are incredibly common and are one of the leading causes of personal injury lawsuits. When a person falls on someone else’s property, the laws that attach are called “premises liability” and can result from a number of conditions. When this happens, it can be tricky to get compensated for your injury, and education is vital. Learn what to do if you slip and fall and are injured at an establishment, and if you need help recovering from your injuries.
Slip and Fall Accidents
There are a number of conditions that can result in slip and fall accidents. These include bad flooring, torn carpeting, spills and debris, bad lighting, narrow or poorly-maintained stairs, broken sidewalks, or environmental issues like rain or ice. Even a pothole that you don’t see can be a contributing factor.
Duty of Care
Slip and fall accidents all qualify under the idea that the owner or manager of a property or establishment has a reasonable duty of care to those who enter the place. This can apply to a private home, apartment, hospital, hotel or restaurant. The key to proving fault in a slip and fall case is to demonstrate that this duty of care has been violated.
The first thing you need to prove when filing a personal injury and premises liability case is that there was a dangerous condition present, and the owner or possessor knew about it but failed to take reasonable precautions to avert accidents. There are essentially three elements that can go into such proof. Not all three are necessary, but at least one or two must be present:
- The possessor of the property caused the condition.
- The possessor knew that the condition was there and did not take action to correct the problem.
- The condition was present for long enough that the possessor or owner should have known about it and taken action.
In short, a reasonable person must be expected to have foreseen the condition would eventually cause an accident.
Who Is Responsible?
The next thing you need to determine is who is responsible for the accident. In a commercial property, the business owner and/or staff may be held responsible if they can be shown to have caused the condition resulting in the accident or otherwise knew (or should’ve known) about it and failed to repair the condition.
In a residential property, the owner of the property or the tenant who currently possesses the property is the most likely responsible party in the accident. While landlords are responsible for maintaining properties, tenants are responsible for making them aware of conditions that need to be addressed. This can create something of a gray area.
Government properties can be very tricky when it comes to premises liability issues. Special rules attach that apply broad immunities to government facilities. There are also specific requirements regarding notice that must be filed. You should never try to bring a case against a government facility on your own.
What to Do
If you are involved in a slip and fall injury, the first thing you should do is get seen by a medical professional. Make sure that any injuries are not serious and that you get set up for proper treatment. Keep every last record of every bit of treatment you receive from prescriptions to doctor’s visits, surgery and rehab.
Next, contact a qualified personal injury attorney. You have nothing to lose by doing this—a solid attorney will not charge you a fee for consultation or services rendered unless they win your case. Further, the person against whom you are filing claim certainly has lawyers in their corner. Having your own attorney is an important counter to this fact. A personal injury lawyer can be your best friend as you seek the compensation you will need to get back on your feet and regain control of your life.
If you are involved in a slip-and-fall or premises liability accident in Tennessee, we are ready to help get the full compensation you deserve. Read about our slip and fall accident services, and drop us a line to discuss your case with no obligation or cost today.