Slip and fall injuries are some of the most common situations that our personal injury lawyers, and even our workers’ compensation lawyers, here at Malek and Malek come across. Slip and fall injuries account for over 40% of all spinal injuries and are often serious, affecting people for the rest of their lives. Here are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with a slip and fall case.
What does a typical slip and fall situation look like? In order to have a slip and fall claim you must be able to show that the property owner owed a duty to not cause injury to you, they breached this duty, and that the breach of the duty caused your injury. Breach of duty by the property owner in a slip and fall case almost always involves a hazardous condition and the failure to properly clean up this condition or to notify people of this condition. A hazardous condition can either be permanent (like a broken stair) or temporary (icy conditions or a puddle of water on the floor). This hazardous condition must have caused the slip and the injury must be the proximate result of this. A good example of this is when an owner of a restaurant allows a walkway to become icy (temporary hazardous condition), fails to properly make the walkway safe for customers (breach of duty), and someone slips and falls on the icy walkway which causes a back injury (breach of the duty was the cause of the injury).
The theory of negligence is important to keep in mind while pursuing a slip and fall claim. Negligence establishes who was at fault for your injuries and to what extent each party is responsible for damages. Negligence is when someone fails to use reasonable care and that failure results in an injury. A property owner will be found negligent if they failed to notify people about the potential slip and fall risk, this includes posting a sign about the risk or actually telling the person about a risk. Negligence can be proven through evidence of what the building was like at the time of the accident which includes witnesses, photos/videos of the site of the accident, and/or things that show weather verification (if it was caused by snow, rain, or ice). This theory can also be used against the injured person in what is called comparative negligence. Through this, the judge compares the negligence of the all the parties involved. In Ohio if a person is found to be more negligent in causing their injuries than the property owner then they cannot recover from the owner or the property, but if not then the amount you can recover will be reduced in direct proportion to the extent that you are at fault. Negligence is very important in slip and fall cases because it can be used by and against you.
The location is very important in a slip and fall claim because it determines who is liable and what kind of claims that can be pursued. If a person slips and falls while on private property, not their own property, then there is a possibility that the owner of the property is liable for the injuries. Another important thing about the location is that if this injury occurred while at work then you may have both a personal injury claim and a work injury claim. Location of the accident also affects what type of benefits you may be able to recover for your injuries. For slip and fall injuries that occur on private property outside of employment you are eligible to receive medical benefits such as hospital bills, physical therapy, and help to pay for medication. For an incident that occurs at the workplace, you may be eligible to also receive benefits which include lost wage benefits, and can include temporary disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits or permanent total disability benefits.
The last important thing to keep in mind when you are injured as a result of a slip and fall accident is your friends at Malek & Malek. Our lawyers are very familiar with these types of injuries and we will get you the maximum compensation for your claim.