People trip and slip every day with few consequences, but when those incidents are caused by another person’s error or negligence, you may have a personal injury case on your hands. Slip and fall cases are a type of personal injury lawsuit designed to help individuals who are seriously harmed after tripping, slipping, or falling. For example, someone might trip over a loose floorboard in a store and break their wrist, or they could slip on spilled soda at a restaurant and injure their head. As straightforward as these types of cases may seem, they can be extremely damaging and are often far more complex than they first appear.
If you or someone you love was injured in a slip and fall accident, find out what you need for a valid personal injury claim.
Every slip and fall personal injury claim must have a few necessary components to be valid. Not every fall leads to a lawsuit; some slips and trips are simply accidents and cannot be blamed on any one party. However, when a fall occurs because of someone’s negligence, carelessness, or error, you may have a valid claim. In every slip and fall accident there must be an established duty of care, an act of negligence, notice of the potential hazard, and the accident must have caused some type of damage.
Duty of Care
First, the injured party must prove that the property owner had a responsibility to maintain the premises and to keep the injured person reasonably safe. For example, a store owner has a duty to his or her customers, just as a homeowner has a duty to his or her guests. However, if the injured person was illegally trespassing when the injury occurred, the property owner may not owe the injured person duty of care.
There can be no personal injury case if there was no error or act of negligence. Normal wear and tear is not enough to cause a slip and fall case, there must have been some sort of carelessness that caused the incident to occur. In other words, the property owner may have had a hazardous condition on the premises that they failed to take care of in a timely manner, leaving the property visitors susceptible to a potential injury.
When a property owner knows of a dangerous condition on their property, they must remove the danger, repair it, or tell visitors about the potential danger. The property owner cannot be expected to fix a hazardous situation without due notice. If the danger occurred recently and the owner was unaware of its presence, they may not be held liable for the resulting damage. However, if the owner is negligent in monitoring the property or fails to check for hazards, they could still be found liable for dangers they were unaware of.
Keep in mind, proving notice can be extremely tricky. The injured party must be able to demonstrate that the property owner was aware of the hazard that caused the incident, but still failed to make the hazard safe.
In order to have a valid personal injury claim, you must be able to prove that the incident caused some type of damage. Even if all other components of a slip and fall case are present, if the plaintiff cannot prove that the fall caused any damage, they do not have a personal injury case. Damage may include broken bones, concussions, contusions, lacerations, burns, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries. Most importantly, these injuries must line up with the circumstances of the incident in order to prove that the damages were a direct result of the fall.
If you think you may have a slip and fall claim, our firm wants to help. Contact Goodman Acker P.C. today to get started on your Detroit personal injury case.
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