We have all had a moment when our feet just seem to get the best of us and we end up on the ground. While a slip and fall accident is often caused by our own misstep, there are times when it can happen as a result of some else’s negligence. Here are some things to consider when determining if you should file a claim.
Was the fall the result of an unsafe property condition?
Property owners are responsible for ensuring that there are no avoidable hazards that could cause someone to stumble. These might include excess snow or ice accumulation, a wet or slippery floor, an uneven or damaged walkway or even debris. If you are injured as a result of these or other conditions, you must also be able to show that the property owner allowed the unsafe condition to persist.
It is important to point out, however, that a property owner is only required to ensure that their land is “reasonably” safe. For example, if there is a storm with significant snow accumulation, a homeowner must clear their walk within a reasonable amount of time. If someone falls on their snowy walkway during a storm, it may not be a valid slip and fall claim.
Was the property owner made aware of issues?
If there is an unsafe condition of which the homeowner is unaware, they may not be responsible for an accident that occurs because of it. The property owner is entitled to a realistic amount of time to discover and rectify the issue before they will be found negligent. For example, if a grocery store patron drops a bottle of juice which causes another shopper to slip and fall immediately after the spill occurs, the store owner will likely not be found liable for the incident.
Was the issue posted?
If there is an issue with the property that could pose a potential hazard, the property owner should post a warning if they are unable to fix it immediately. This is also true of a temporary issue such as a wet floor that was recently mopped and is being left to air dry.
Are you responsible?
Generally speaking, if a hazard is open and obvious, you have a certain responsibility to take care around the area of concern. It is important to do everything possible to avoid the dangerous condition if it is obvious that it could cause an injury.
Depending upon the seriousness of your injury, it might not be logical to file a claim. If you suffered a broken limb or other serious injury, filing an insurance claim could be beneficial. However, if you are unable to resolve the issue through the property owner’s insurance company, you will need to file a lawsuit in an attempt to collect.
If you were injured from a slip and fall incident on someone else’s property, and you believe you have a valid claim, contact a qualified personal injury attorney. They can help you navigate the insurance filing process and ensure that your rights are properly upheld. Call the experts at