Slip Trip Accidents
If you have had an Accident in Public Place*, you should contact us.
Such accidents usually involve a slip and fall on a path due to the defective nature of the path or a road sign or similar object falling and injuring you. Whatever the circumstances, call us and we can advise you if you are entitled to make a personal injury* claim.
Trip and fall AccidentsTrip and fall injuries can occur almost anywhere, from private homes to supermarkets to public pavements. An icy step or a wonky curbstone can mean significant injury and days or even weeks off work. In many instances, a slip trip and fall is a normal–though unfortunate–part of life. Perhaps we trip over a curb, or simply aren’t looking where we’re going. Other times, however, trips and falls occur because of a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. If you have been injured by a trip or fall, the owner of the property where the accident took place may be responsible. Following a slip, trip or fall on someone else’s property, you should:
- Request that the property owner or an employee (if in a place of business) document the accident, and obtain a copy of their documentation;
- Take a picture of the hazardous condition if possible;
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think you have been injured;
- Seek help from a solicitor if necessary.
Determining LiabilityTo be legally responsible for the injuries you suffered from slipping or tripping and falling on someone else’s property, one of the following must be true:
- The owner of the premises or an employee must have caused the spill, worn, or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item, to be underfoot.
- The owner of the premises or an employee must have known of the dangerous surface but done nothing about it.
- The owner of the premises or an employee should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it.
What Is “Reasonable”?In determining a property owner’s “reasonableness,” the law concentrates on whether the owner makes regular and thorough efforts to keep the property safe and clean. Here are some initial questions you can ask to determine whether a property or business owner may be liable for your slip or trip and fall injuries:
- If you tripped over a torn, broken, or bulging area of carpet, floor, or ground, or slipped on a wet or loose area, was the dangerous spot been there long enough so that the owner should have known about it?
- Does the property owner have a regular procedure for examining and cleaning or repairing the premises? If so, what proof does the owner have of this regular maintenance?
- If you tripped over or slipped on an object someone had placed or left on or in the floor or ground, was there a legitimate reason for the object to be there?
- If there once had been a good reason for the object to be there but that reason no longer exists, could the object have been removed or covered or otherwise made safe?
- Was there a safer place the object could have been located, or could it have been placed in a safer manner, without much greater inconvenience or expense to the property owner or operator?
- Could a simple barrier have been created or a warning been given to prevent people from slipping or tripping?
- Did poor or broken lighting contribute to the accident?
Your Own CarelessnessIn almost every slip or trip and fall case, you must decide whether your carelessness contributed to the accident. The rules of “comparative negligence” help measure your own reasonableness in going where you did, in the way you did, just before the accident happened. There are some questions you should ask yourself about your own conduct — an insurance adjuster will almost certainly ask them after you file your claim.
- Did you have a legitimate reason — a reason the owner should have anticipated — for being where the dangerous area was?
- Would a careful person have noticed the dangerous spot and avoided it, or walked carefully enough not to slip or trip?
- Were there any warnings that the spot might be dangerous?
- Were you doing anything that distracted you from paying attention to where you were going, or were you running, jumping, or fooling around in a way that made falling more likely?
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