A slip and fall injury is a type of personal injury that occurs when a dangerous condition causes a person to trip, fall and injure themselves while on another person's property.
Common slip and fall injuries include those resulting from spilled liquids on floors in retail establishments like cafes and grocery stores. Most floors in commercial buildings have highly polished surfaces that look good, but can actually be dangerous. If the weather is rainy or snowy, the water can be tracked in to the store by customers and this adds extra problems.
There are many slip and fall attorneys waiting in the wings to take these types of cases.
Owners can be held liable for these injuries if they are aware, or should have been aware, of a hazardous condition on their property. It is up to a property or business owner to take sufficient measures to prevent any injury. They must also warn customers of any hazard that may suddenly appear, such as spills. Any failure on the part of the owner to properly maintain floors, warn of hazardous situations, or correct a known hazard can result in legal liability. This is also called "premises liability."
Slip and fall injury cases are generally handled by personal injury lawyers. In deciding whether to take a slip and fall claim, attorneys consider whether there is credible evidence that the plaintiff was injured as a result of hazardous conditions on someone else's property. They must also ascertain that the owner of the premises did not make a reasonable effort to prevent the injury from occurring.
Attorneys will also consider the nature of the person's injuries, and whether the property owner has been the subject of previous claims, as this could constitute a pattern of negligence. If they believe that they can recover money for the plaintiff, they will take the case.
In general, most slip and fall attorneys pursue these cases on a contingency fee basis, in which they receive a percentage of the plaintiff's settlement or award. The lawyer's percentage is usually about one fourth to one third of any amount that is received. Attorneys can also collect money for any of his expenses that were incurred.
There is a legal time limit – known as a statute of limitations – in which an injured party can file a slip and fall claim. The time to file a case will begin from the date of the injury and it may be a year or more before the actual case is filed. The length of the statute of limitations for these types of cases may be different in each particular state. If someone attempts to file a claim after the time limit has expired, it will not be valid.
These slip and fall injury cases can vary in the amount of time that it takes to settle them. Many of the minor cases are settled in just a few weeks or a few months, others can take over 2 years to finalize. A lot will rest on the type of injuries sustained and how severe the injuries were. Regardless of the length of time to settle the claim, there is a great deal of aggravation involved, and insurance rates are likely to go up steeply.
Some slip and fall injury lawyers have presented cases that have resulted in very large settlements or jury awards. These large settlements have sometimes led to the filing of fraudulent claims in which a person claims injuries resulting from conditions created by the injured party.
An example of such a claim is if a person intentionally spills some type of liquid on a floor, then slips and falls, and subsequently pursues an injury claim. Some people have even been known to pretend to fall, but business owners are finding ways to guard against these types of lawsuits. In cases of a fraudulent claim, the perpetrators can be fined or sentenced and the property owner is not liable for any injuries.
Using our products to prevent falls from happening and cameras to observe the happenings in a store are two of the best ways of preventing slip and fall injury lawyers from coming after you. It is very important that business owners document the floor treatment and follow up cleaning procedure.