“Slip and fall” is a term that refers to a personal injury claim where a person slips or trips and falls, resulting in injury, often on someone else’s property. Dangers such as torn carpeting, uneven flooring, poor lighting, narrow stairs or wet floors can all cause someone to slip and fall.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and fall accidents result in approximately one million emergency room visits each year, representing over 12 percent of cases treated by emergency room physicians. The total number of falls caused by flooring materials, however, is much higher. The Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that nearly two million falls occur every year due to a flooring defect of some kind.
Those who have been injured from a slip and fall due to the carelessness and negligence of another should know that they might be entitled to receive compensation that will cover medical bills, pain and suffering, lost pay and other damages.
Holding the property owner accountable for a slip and fall
Someone injured in a slip and fall on another’s property must first show that a dangerous condition caused the accident. For instance, if a substance like oil or paint spills on the floor of a store and the owner or the owner’s employees do not clean up the spill, the store may be responsible for any injury resulting from a customer slipping on the substance.
To be held responsible for the injuries an individual suffers from slipping or tripping and falling in a store, restaurant or other business, the injured party must prove that the owner or employee acted in at least one of the following ways:
- Caused the slippery or dangerous surface or item to be underfoot
- Knew of the dangerous surface but did nothing about it
- Should have known about the dangerous surface because a reasonable person caring for the property would have discovered and removed it
The most common complaint in a slip and fall case is that the owner should have known of the danger. Whether the owner or employee should have known about the danger can hinge on whether the steps taken to keep the property safe were reasonable.
Compensation for slip and fall injury
If someone has been injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property, the individual should discuss the potential case with an experienced attorney. There may be a sense of urgency, especially considering the time limits in which injured persons may file a personal injury lawsuit. A person injured due to the negligent actions of another person may be eligible for compensation and awards for damages.