Slip, trip and fall accidents are in the category of personal injury accidents and are defined as someone falling on another person’s property due to a dangerous situation.
While the operating definition is dangerous situation, there are various ways to interpret this according to the law. So if you do slip, trip or fall and injure yourself, make sure you discuss your potential case with a competent attorney. There are several exceptions in this area of the law – call them rules – that would mean a case is not viable for court. This is one of several things your attorney will let you know right away.
What are risky conditions? In general they could be related to snow, bad lighting, icy surfaces, wet surface conditions, cracks, gaps or breaks in floors, uneven pavement or poorly installed expansion joints. If any of these conditions apply in your circumstances, there is a good chance your personal slip and fall claim is eligible for compensation from the courts for things such as pain and suffering and your medical expenses.
Depending on the nature and extent of the injuries sustained as a result of a slip, trip and fall accident, other areas that may qualify for compensation are lost wages and rehabilitation. This means that you need to keep good records in order to put in a claim. Understand as well that liability in these cases is not always laid at the doorstep of the landowner. The law is written in such a way as to protect the owner, meaning the plaintiff needs to prove the landowner was negligent.
If you and your personal injury lawyer have decided to pursue a court case, you may do so against private or public property. One of the major factors in figuring out if there is liability is whether or not the property owners were negligent; if they knew or should have known about the hazardous situation (and had enough notice to fix it.) This is where you need to also know about those two rules mentioned earlier – the open and obvious rule, and the natural accumulation rule.
The open and obvious rule basically states if there is some really, patently obvious danger and you choose to walk right into it, you can’t sue for the consequences. The natural accumulation rule is pretty direct and states, for example, that you can’t decide to sue when it snows on a walking surface and you fall because it wasn’t cleared off.
Don’t let any of these rules stop you from talking to a personal injury lawyer. Each case is different and has different variables. You won’t know until you talk to a lawyer if you have a case or not; and the bonus is the first consultation with your lawyer is usually free.
Tony Francis is an Orlando personal injury lawyer. His practice specializes in being an Orlando accident lawyer helping innocent victims get compensation for their losses. To learn more, visit Francislawgroup.com.