You didn’t slip or fall for no reason. It wasn’t because you were clumsy or weren’t paying attention. Your accident could have been caused by a negligent property owner who knew about a problem and didn’t address it, or a at a business that has wet floors without a wet floor sign. You slip and fall could potentially leave you injured, out of work, and with medical bills. This isn’t right.
If you were hurt as a patron of a place that is neither your home nor your place of employment, then you may have a premises liability claim. This refers to accidents that happen to a guest on property belonging to another person, business, or organization. Typically premises liability cases arise from unsafe conditions as a result of negligence. If the person who owns the property (whether it be a home or a business) was negligent, and the negligence resulted in your injury, then you may have a claim for which you can be compensated. If your claim is successful, you may be able to recover monetary compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and loss of normal life.
However, there are a few factors that go into establishing liability and determining negligence. These include:
• the hazard that caused the injury
• how long that hazard has existed
• did the business owner/homeowner know of the hazard
• should the business owner/homeowner know of the hazard
These cases can be complex. They require an experienced slip & fall lawyer who knows what questions to ask and what to look for in a case, among other things, and who is ready to take your case all the way to court if it’s necessary.
If you or a loved one were a victim of a slip & fall accident, and you’re looking for help, contact us for a free, no-risk case evaluation today. Attorney James Feinman has decades of experience with slip & falls and other premises liability cases, and might be able to get you compensation for your injuries.
Let’s say you’ve just had a slip & fall accident. Maybe it was a wet and slippery spill on a grocery store floor, an un-noticeably broken step on a staircase that was never fixed, or some other condition that caused you harm through no fault of your own.
Those initial moments after the accident are crucial. If you need to, you should seek medical attention before you do anything else. If you’re able to, you should also take photos of the conditions that caused your injuries, because this could be helpful later on.
Considering you could end up with medical bills and other losses because of the accident, you might be thinking about filing a lawsuit. This is where it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Here’s why: Attorneys typically know exactly what to look for. They can interview witnesses before they forget vital details; gather key evidence before it’s lost in the passage of time; take photos of your injuries; acquire your medical records; and, if your accident was in a public place, get a copy of the accident report.
Gathering evidence is only one aspect of building a case, though. There are other things attorneys will consider in order to prove your case, as we will establish below.
How do you prove your slip & fall accident was the result of a property owner’s negligence? You know it wasn’t your fault, but how would you and your attorney be able to prove this when filing a lawsuit?
It comes down to whether there was a “dangerous condition” on the property that the property owner should have known about, and that a “reasonable property owner” would have found and fixed before anyone could get hurt.
A dangerous condition has to present an unreasonable risk of harm to those on the property and must be a condition a reasonable person would not have expected — in other words, not an obvious, avoidable hazard.
Slippery spills on a supermarket floor that store management didn’t address would be a dangerous condition. After all, you don’t go to a store expecting an obvious hazard like unattended spills. Another example would be broken stairs in a movie theatre. When you’re descending stairs to your seat, you expect that those stairs will function as they should. But what if they give way and you fall, because the owner neglected to fix the problem? That’s a dangerous condition.
In addition to dangerous conditions that went negligently unattended, a slip & fall case requires proving that the property owner didn’t act as a reasonable property owner would. A reasonable property owner would have a plan in place to efficiently and comprehensively address any and all dangerous conditions so that no one gets hurt. A negligent property owner, however, fails to do this and potentially creates conditions in which people hurt, leaving them saddled with medical bills, lost wages, and upended lives.
With all of that in mind, your attorney and his or her team will seek to answer the following questions as they investigate your slip & fall claim:
Did the hazardous area exist long enough for the property owner to be aware of it?
Is there a standard procedure in place for examining the premises, and did the owner have proof of this procedure?
Was there a legitimate reason for the area to be hazardous, such as a slippery floor after being washed?
If there is a reason for the area to be hazardous, was there any way to make it safer?
If an object caused the slip, trip, or fall, was there anywhere else the object could have been stored to make the premises safer?
Could a warning sign or barrier have been created to prevent injury?
Being injured in a slip& fall and dealing with the aftermath is a lot to handle on your own. This is where an experienced Lynchburg premises liability lawyer can help you navigate the process. At Attorney Feinman’s office, we work diligently on your behalf so that you don’t have to worry about the growing medical bills, or time off of work. What you need to worry about is your recovery.
We are on your side throughout the entire personal injury process and will make sure that you achieve the best possible outcome for your injuries. We aim to maximize your compensation so you can heal without worry.
Our office is dedicated. Unlike many law firms, we answer our own phones and you will always be able to speak with someone at our firm who is knowledgeable about your case. We won’t make you jump through hoops to understand what’s going on. We know that this is likely your first experience dealing with the auto accident injury process, and we want to make this as simple and straightforward as possible.