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Do I Have a Good Slip and Fall Case?

Modern retail stores and other commercial settings have many risks. In addition to getting hurt by accidents related to the kind of business that goes on at a facility, customers and visitors also face other dangers. Slip and fall injuries may not seem like major hazards, but they can lead to permanent harm and high medical costs. Here's what defines these events and what victims should know about preparing legal cases after the fact.

What's the Difference Between a Slip, Trip or Fall?

Slips, trips and fall injuries often overlap, but these are distinct types of accidents. According to Carnegie Mellon University's Environmental Health and Safety, each kind of incident includes unique defining characteristics :

  • Slips are usually related to insufficient traction or friction between a victim's feet and the surface or material that they're walking on. Factors like weather conditions, spills and improper footwear could all contribute to the likelihood of such incidents.
  • Trips happen when people who are moving hit an object with their feet and can't catch themselves in time to stay balanced. Things like low-level obstructions, poor visibility, messy workplaces and broken pavement can all become trip hazards.
  • Falls typically happen when victims suddenly travel from one height to another at an uncontrolled pace. In addition to occurring after a slip or trip, these incidents may involve people dropping from one building level to another, such as falling down a flight of stairs. Factors like unsafe conditions and moving at a high rate of speed can all prompt falls.

Although slips, fall incidents, trips and other accidents differ, they all have similarly severe risks. Some 8.7 million Americans get hurt in slip and fall incidents yearly, according to assessments by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

In many cases, it may be beneficial to work with an injury accident lawyer. Legal advisers commonly work to examine the causes of incidents in greater detail. This process can potentially help victims understand whether they're eligible to seek restitution from a responsible party whose actions contributed to harm.

Understanding Business Owners' Responsibilities

Slip, trip and fall incidents have been widely studied by lawmakers and academics. After decades of assessment, many governments agree that the majority of the injuries resulting from these accidents are preventable. In general, victims are responsible for proving that their case involved an incident that someone else could have prevented by maintaining their facilities properly.

Someone who is determined to have been negligent failed to take actions that a reasonable person would have or did something that a reasonable person wouldn't do. For instance, in a business such as a restaurant, failing to clean up a spill that made the floor slippery or not placing hazard signs around the area may be considered negligence on the part of the business owner. Another form of negligence, known as gross negligence, occurs when the responsible party departs so far from ordinary conduct that it seems like it didn't care about other people's welfare. Actions found to be grossly negligent may justify harsher legal penalties.

Negligence and gross negligence often play roles in premises liability lawsuits involving slips, trips and falls. For instance, a company that fails to keep its premises free of trip hazards may claim that there was no way it could have anticipated that someone was going to fall. A victim, however, might argue that the business owner knew or should have known that a hazard existed.

Winning a slip and fall case requires proving many factors, including that the defendant's negligence was the cause of the victim's injury through their negligent conduct. It's also important to demonstrate that the victim actually suffered harm by furnishing treatment bills, medical opinions and eyewitness accounts.

Speak to an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney Today

This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified slip and fall lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local slip and fall attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.

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