Your Tampa Slip & Fall Accident Attorneys
Property owners and managers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of walking surfaces. Yet, accidental injuries sustained in falls account for close to nine-million emergency room visits each year—many caused by unsafe walking conditions, including wet or slippery floors, broken or uneven steps, cluttered walkways, or unsteady walking surfaces. [Source: National Safety Council, NSC Injury Facts 2011, http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/Pages/Falls.aspx, accessed November 2014.]
If if you slipped and fell on someone else’s property as a result of their negligence, the property owner could be liable for your injury-related expenses.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may have sustained injuries ranging from sprains or bruises to broken bones, brain injury, or even paralysis. You may have received emergency medical care; or you may need ongoing, costly medical treatments. As a result of the slip or fall, you may be out of work; and, as a result of these lost wages, unable to pay growing medical bills.
Proving a Slip and Fall Case
From time to time, we all slip and fall down. And if you are injured from a fall that takes place on someone else’s property, through no fault of your own, you may very well have a strong slip and fall case. Yes, the property owner may be a fault, but how do you go about proving it? To begin with, your attorneys need the right information.
In the end, it will all come down to whether there was a dangerous condition on the property that a reasonable property owner could have addressed prior to your accident. Let’s examine these two terms more closely.
Defining a “Dangerous Condition”
To be considered a dangerous condition, the situation in question must be an anomalous condition creating a risk of injury to those on the property, and must be one that a reasonable person would not expect to encounter. To put it another way, a dangerous condition is not an obvious, avoidable danger.
Examples of dangerous conditions that could lead to a slip and fall include:
- Spills on the floor of a supermarket that should have been cleaned up
- Faulty stairs in a movie theater that should have been maintained and repaired
- Damaged or uneven sidewalks caused by improper design or maintenance
- Inadequate lighting in public areas leading to tripping hazards
- Hotel showers with improper drainage or that do not have anti-slip tape
Defining “Reasonable Property Owners”
As mentioned above, not only do successful slip and fall cases depend upon dangerous conditions, they also require proof that the property owner did not act as a reasonable property owner should. When it comes to the possibility of dangerous conditions, a reasonable property owner always has a plan in place, a plan to competently and meticulously ensure that no one gets injured. A negligent property owner, however, fails to do this, opening the door for possible injuries, and leaving themselves vulnerable to possibly paying for another’s medical bills and lost wages.
Taking all this into consideration, the lawyers at John Bales Attorneys will do their due diligence in seeking answers to the following questions as they investigate your slip and fall claim:
- Did the dangerous area exist long enough for the property owner to be aware of it?
- Is there a standard procedure in place for examining the premises, and does the owner have proof of this procedure?
- Was there a legitimate reason for the area to be dangerous, such as a slippery floor?
- If there is a reason for the area to be dangerous, was there any way to make it safer?
- If an object was responsible for the slip, trip, or fall, was there anywhere else the object could have been placed to make the location in question safer?
- Could a warning sign or barrier have been created to prevent injury?
Was the Law Violated by the Property Owners
If your injury stems from a property owner’s neglect, such as the owner failing to follow local building codes, an experienced attorney could use that to prove negligence. For example, local building codes could dictate where railings and other safety features must be installed. If you fell and were injured due to a lack of appropriate railings, you could have a claim.
A Case of Your Own Carelessness
From the very beginning of the slip and fall case process, you must determine whether your carelessness contributed to the accident. This is where the rules of comparative negligence come in. The rules of comparative negligence help quantify your own reasonableness in going where you did, the way you did, just before the accident took place.
Below you will find some questions to ask yourself regarding your own behavior. It would be wise to be prepared for an insurance adjuster to ask you these questions after you file your claim. They almost certainly will.
- Did you have an appropriate reason for being where you were when the accident occurred? And is this reason something the owner should have anticipated?
- Would a normally careful person have noticed the hazardous area and avoided it, or walked carefully enough as to not slip?
- Were there any warnings or indications that the area might be unsafe?
Were you engaged in any type of behavior or activity that could have distracted you from paying appropriate attention to where you were going? Were you running, jumping, or engaged in any kind of tomfoolery that would have made the accident more likely?
Don’t worry. You don’t have to prove to the insurance adjuster that you were being careful, but do think about what you were doing and the time of the accident, and describe it clearly so that he or she will understand that you were not acting in a careless manner.
If you or someone you care about was injured in a slip and fall accident, we can help. Please contact John Bales Attorneys today for a free consultation.
If your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, the knowledgeable slip and fall accident attorneys of John Bales Attorneys will do everything we can to hold that person responsible for your injury. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What can you expect with John Bales Attorneys?
Care. Quality. Respect.
The physical injuries, and potential financial hardships, caused by a slip and fall accident can quickly become overwhelming. Our experienced and compassionate slip and fall attorneys will do everything they can to help you get the money you need to recover.
A Tampa slip and fall accident attorney of John Bales Attorneys will spend time with you to understand the circumstances of your accident and will investigate the conditions that caused it file the strongest claim possible and get you the compensation you deserve. We will keep you up to date throughout the entire process and will do our best to answer any questions you may have along the way.
If you or someone you love was injured in a slip and fall accident, contact us today.
Life does not wait. Why should you?
Call John Bales Attorneys now.