Suffering an injury after slipping and falling on someone else’s property can be a disorienting experience. It’s hard enough dealing with the physical pain but knowing that the incident was caused by someone else and could have been avoided can make the situation even more stressful. Understanding liability in these cases and your rights is essential in seeking compensation for damages.
What Are Common Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents are common causes of injury in the workplace and public areas. The harm suffered can range from minor bruises to traumatic head injuries. In severe cases, death can result.
Various situations can lead to a slip and fall accident, including the following:
- Ice or snow
- Objects in walkways
- Exposed wires
- Wet floor
- Loose tiles
- Cracks or potholes
- Uneven pavement
- Broken stairs
Regardless of what caused your fall, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor’s assessment of your injury and the treatment they recommend are two primary determinants of compensation amounts if you pursue a personal injury case. Victims often hesitate to get care because they don’t feel injured. However, even if the injury isn’t immediately apparent, it is still a good idea to get a full workup soon after the accident.
What Is Ohio’s Law on Slips and Falls on Someone Else’s Property?
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, premises liability law may apply. The law provides that property owners may be held responsible for injuries suffered by visitors or guests. However, that doesn’t mean they are automatically liable for every injury resulting from a fall. For them to be considered responsible, it must be proven that the accident occurred because of their negligence.
Negligence can be shown by demonstrating that:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care: They were expected to keep the premises in a safe condition.
- The property owner breached their duty of care: They knew or should have known about the existence of a hazardous condition but failed to address it. That could mean that they didn’t timely fix the issue or warn you about it.
- The property owner’s negligence was the proximate cause of injuries: Because of the danger on the property, you fell and were hurt.
- The accident resulted in compensatory damages: You suffered expenses and losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain/suffering.
How Can an Attorney Help If You’ve Been Injured?
A personal injury lawyer can provide the legal guidance you need if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident. They can protect your rights and help you pursue just compensation.
An experienced attorney will know investigative techniques and how to collect and preserve evidence that can help prove negligence. They can also apply legal principles and relevant case law to build a strong argument regarding fault, liability, and damages. It is essential that immediately after your accident, you document the scene and your injuries. Recording what happened and why will help your attorney develop a compelling legal strategy.
Most importantly, your lawyer can explore avenues to seek financial recovery for you. That might mean that your attorney fiercely negotiates with the at-fault party’s insurance company, not backing down until a just settlement is reached. That could also mean they take your case to trial, present arguments before a judge or jury, and have them decide what you’re owed.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from a Slip and Fall Accident?
In some slip and fall cases, the property owner’s insurance company might argue that the victim was at least partially at fault for the accident. By shifting the blame, the carrier could minimize the amount it must pay.
Below are some things you can do to keep yourself safe:
- Stay alert and mindful of your surroundings.
- Wear appropriate footwear for the environment.
- Be aware of your pace. Go slower when walking on slippery or uneven surfaces.
- Use handrails where available.
Although you can take every precaution, a property owner’s negligence could still lead to an accident. If this happens, reach out to a lawyer right away.
Speak with a Member of Our Legal Team
Falling can lead to serious injuries, costly medical bills, and time missed from work. If you were hurt because of a property owner’s negligence, it’s important to know your legal rights and who’s responsible in these situations. After an accident, an attorney may be able to evaluate your case and seek compensation for any losses and expenses you sustained.
At Rourke and Blumenthal LLC, our lawyers understand the challenges you face following a slip and fall accident. We can provide compassionate guidance during this time.Schedule a consultation with one of our Columbus attorneys by calling (614) 321-3212 or submitting an online contact form today.