It can happen anywhere — in a restaurant where someone spilled something, a supermarket where slippery fruit gets in the way, and even in someone else’s home, tripping over faulty stairs. As embarrassing as it is to experience a slip-and-fall accident, it can also lead to serious injuries and damages.
A slip-and-fall accident is a form of personal injury that involves the victim slipping or tripping on someone else’s property. It is a form of premises liability, which holds the property owner responsible for an injury that occurs on the property. These injuries can happen in businesses and commercial spaces, as well as in private homes. A slip generally happens if there is not enough traction between a person’s foot or shoe and the surface on which they are walking. A trip usually occurs when a person’s foot makes contact with an object, or the individual encounters a sudden change in elevation, such as a curb.
Typically, slip-and-fall accidents occur as a result of some dangerous condition, whether that’s a wet floor, ice, or a tripping hazard. And often, liability for that dangerous condition lies with the property owner or business, allowing the victim to recover for their injuries by filing a personal injury claim.
What Should You Do After a Slip-and-Fall Injury?
If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of slipping or tripping on someone else’s property, you should be sure you seek adequate medical care first. Some injuries do not appear until much later, and others may be exacerbated by delaying medical treatment.
You should also document the circumstances and aftermath of your accident carefully. Take photos, write up a statement about what happened, obtain contact information for any witnesses, gather insurance information for the home or business in which you fell, and keep close track of your medical treatments and medical bills. The more organized you are in maintaining supporting documents and information, the more you will help your attorney present an effective case.
You should also consider speaking with an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney regarding your potential slip-and-fall claim. An attorney can go over your options and explain your rights, as well as discuss with you the elements you will need to prove in order to prevail on your claim.
What Can Help Recovery After a Slip-and-Fall Injury?
Being compensated for your personal injuries in a slip-and-fall can be a complicated process. It usually involves premises liability, a type of negligence, which holds the property owner liable for the victim’s injuries. Recovery often depends on your status as a visitor. For example:
- If you are a trespasser, you are generally owed no duty by the landowner, unless you qualify for an exception
- If you are a social guest, you are generally owed a duty of reasonable care to keep the property safe for your use
- If you are a business visitor, you are generally owed a duty to be warned of dangerous conditions that create an unreasonable risk of harm
Based on your status as a visitor, you will need to prove that your host—the property owner or business—owed you a specific duty of safety, and failed to provide you with that duty, such as by failing to repair the unsafe or dangerous condition that caused the accident. You will also need to prove that your damages resulted directly from the property owner or business’s conduct. As part of your claim, you’ll want to focus on proving liability: that the property owner or business is responsible for the dangerous condition that ultimately caused your injuries. You may also need to prove that you did not cause the accident yourself, though you may file a claim even if you were partially at fault.
People often suffer various types of personal injuries in a slip-and-fall injury. Broken bones, abrasions, traumatic brain injuries, hip injuries, fractures, sprains, back injuries, and soft tissue injuries are just some examples. Those injuries may cause the victim to incur many different types of damages. Being injured may mean hefty medical bills, doctors’ or hospital bills, and prescription medication costs. It may also mean having to miss work and losing income. Additionally, you might be able to recover losses from pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other damages that come with substantial changes to your lifestyle as a result of your accident.
How Can FVF Help?
It is critical to act fast to preserve evidence, because proving liability in slip- or trip-and-fall accidents frequently requires strong proof and documentation that an unreasonably dangerous condition was at play. We understand the importance of getting appropriate medical treatment and diagnostic testing for your injuries and will counsel you to make sure you get the right type of treatment and documentation for your injury and case.
We also work hard to get you the compensation you need following an injury, whether it’s reimbursement for medical bills or coverage for loss of future employment. If you have questions about potentially making a slip- or-trip-and-fall claim, call our experienced Austin slip-and-fall attorneys.