Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
In general terms, a slip and fall accident is a situation in which a person is injured by slipping or tripping and then falling due to a dangerous condition on the premises.
This kind of case falls under the broader category of personal injury, and more specifically would be considered a premises liability case.
Such falls can happen inside or outside a building and be caused by such conditions as:
- bad floorings
- wet floors
- poorly lighted steps; or, in the case of outdoor accidents
- weather-related or hidden hazards
For instance, an icy patch outside a door or a crack or pothole can be the cause of a slip and fall in a parking lot.
It is important to contact a skilled personal injury attorney to assist you with your slip and fall injury claim.
Responsibility to Ensure Safety on the Property
All slip and fall accidents are covered by negligence law and deal with the concept of premises liability.
Property owners have a “duty of care” to see that their property is safe.
This includes ensuring that the building, inside and out, is free of structural defects that could cause an accident.
In some states, the property owner may also have a duty to reduce problem areas caused by weather.
Structural defects can include:
- loose floor mats
- rugs, or tiles
- water on the floor
- poorly lit stairs or steps
- and cracks or holes in sidewalks or parking lots
Weather-related hazards may include standing water and icy spots.
A plaintiff or claimant also has a duty to exercise reasonable care, so if any action of yours contributed to the accident, you may share in the negligence.
What to Do After A Slip and Fall Accident
If you experience a slip and fall accident, you should try to determine what made you fall and whether it could have been anticipated and prevented.
- If anyone saw you fall, be sure you get the names and addresses of all witnesses.
- Try to note the conditions in the area.
- Was the lighting poor?
- What were the weather conditions (if you were outside)?
- Was there some substance that made you slip?
- If you did slip because of something on the floor, try to obtain a sample.
- Also, try to get pictures of the area. Report any such accident to the manager or owner and insist that they make a record of it.
What Are Some of the Most Common Injuries After a Slip and Fall?
There are many types of accidents that can happen during a fall, and a lot of it depends on if it’s a slip and fall or trip and fall, how you land, and where you land.
Some common injuries that may occur are:
- sprained wrist or ankle
- broken wrist or ankle
- shoulder dislocation
- broken hip
- bone fractures
- traumatic brain injuries
It is important to seek medical treatment after any accident injury, even if you don’t feel like you have a serious injury.
Who Has the Burden of Proof in These Cases?
It is your responsibility to prove that a hazard existed and that it was the cause of your slip and fall accident.
While a property owner has a duty of care to make sure that hazards don’t exist on their property, you still have a duty of care to watch where you are going, that you have proper footwear for weather conditions, etc.
It is usually your job to prove negligence using steps in the previous section to record the incident and secure evidence that the property owner failed in their duty of care.
If you need extra help in proving your case, it’s usually a good idea to speak to a personal injury attorney about the incident.
Contact a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
The initial consultation is free of charge.
If we agree to handle your injury case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if, and when, there is a money recovery for you.
In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations.
Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.
Our team of personal injury attorneys is licensed to practice in Illinois, Iowa, and the federal courts.
We have handled and can handle serious cases all over the country. No matter where you reside, VanDerGinst Law can help you.
Slip & Fall FAQ
Premises liability means property owners are responsible for any injuries that occur on their property.
We can help by gathering all the necessary legal information and evidence surrounding your case. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case.
Yes. A property owner needs to ensure that his or her property is maintained safely.
The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.