Slip and Fall: Personal Injury 101

Slip and fall personal injury claims are among the most common types of personal injury cases.  Trip and fall personal injury claims are also very common.  If a person is injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall, the property owner may be liable for his injuries.  The most common injuries associated with slip and fall and trip and fall accidents include: 

  • Sprains;
  • Strains;
  • Broken bones;
  • Back injuries;
  • Neck injuries;
  • Head injuries; and
  • Internal injuries. 

What are the Causes of Slip and Fall and Trip and Fall Accidents?

Often, slip and fall and trip and fall accidents are the result of clumsiness, horseplay, drunkenness, or inattention.  However, just as frequently, slip and fall and trip and fall accidents occur as the result of unsafe conditions.  Examples of dangerous conditions which can lead to a slip and fall or trip and fall include: 

  • Unlit or poorly lit stairwells;
  • Black ice;
  • Missing or broken steps;
  • Missing or broken hand rails;
  • Uneven pavement or flooring;
  • Wet floors;
  • Torn carpet;
  • Loose cords or mats; and
  • Poorly marked construction areas. 

Proving Liability

An owner of property where a slip or trip and fall accident occurs will only be found liable for the plaintiff’s injuries if the plaintiff can show one or more of the following: 

  • That the owner or one of his employee’s caused the spill, worn or torn spot, or other dangerous condition which caused the accident;
  • That the owner or one of his employees knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and did nothing to remove it; or
  • That the owner or one of his employees should have known of the dangerous condition because a reasonable person taking care of the property or premises would have discovered the condition and removed or repaired it. 

Did the Plaintiff’s Carelessness Contribute to the Accident?

In most slip and fall and trip and fall cases, the defendant will raise the plaintiff’s own negligence as a defense.  Moreover, in some states, such as Georgia, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that he did not assume the risk of entering a dangerous area or walking on a slippery, dangerous, or defective surface.  Additionally, if the plaintiff was trespassing at the time of the accident, his right to recover damages may be substantially impacted. 

Getting Legal Help

Proving a slip or trip and fall case can be very difficult.  However, by hiring a qualified personal injury attorney, you greatly improve your chances of obtaining a fair settlement.

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