As the temperature drops, and snow piles up on stoops and sidewalks across Rochester and Southeastern Minnesota, slip and fall accidents become more frequent. Slip and fall accidents can be dangerous and costly to people of all ages. Below are some basic guidelines of which to be aware from a liability standpoint. It is important to be proactive and know when to consult with a lawyer regarding a slip and fall injury.
What Qualifies as a Slip and Fall Accident
A ‘slip and fall accident’ is any accident that results in an injury resulting from slipping, falling, or tripping due to a hazard. Common hazards include icy sidewalks and other slippery surfaces, hidden hazards such as potholes, and other common dangerous conditions.
These slip and fall accidents can result in a personal injury case if it can be proven that the accident was a result of property owner negligence.
What to Do if You Slip and Fall
The first thing you should do if you slip and fall is to make sure you get the necessary medical attention. If you believe your fall and injuries could have been prevented had the owner of the property taken specific precautions, you should review your accident and prepare to call a lawyer.
Information to have available:
- A complete description of the accident including details such as: how it happened, where you were, when it happened, and so on.
- Your injuries and consequences of your injuries (missed work, continued therapy, etc.)
- Were you aware of any potential hazards?
- Were there any eye witnesses?
- Do you have access to a security camera or video footage?
- Anything else that would prove the owner of the property liable
After collecting the above information, contact a slip and fall lawyer to discuss whether you have a case.
Call a Lawyer due to a Slip and Fall Injury
If you do slip and fall, there must be proof that it was more than simply an accident. The fault has to be placed on the owner of the property.
In addition to your slip and fall details, a personal injury lawyer will review the following to determine who is liable for a slip and fall accident:
- Did the property owner cause the hazard and fail to fix the problem?
- Did the property owner know of a potential hazard and do nothing?
- If the property owner knew of a potential hazard, what steps did he or she take to warn people of a potential danger?
- How long has the hazard been an issue? Has it been long enough that the property owner had a reasonable opportunity to correct the hazard?
Your knowledge of these facts will be useful to an attorney reviewing your claim so provide your attorney as much information as you can.
In most cases, it is typical for the injured party to be responsible for a percentage of the fault due to contributory negligence. Even if the victim is substantially at fault for their own injury, the victim is entitled to a discounted amount of their damages so long as the victim’s share of the fault is less than the property owner. That can still amount to a significant sum where the injury was severe.
It’s important to be aware of these laws and know your rights in a slip and fall accident. A trusted lawyer will help guide and address your concerns.
Schedule a no-commitment consultation with an attorney from the O’Brien & Wolf, L.L.P family law team to see how they can make a difference in your case.