Many thousands of people each year are injured in slip and fall accidents both at work and in the home. In a world full of perilous fall risks, there is no perfect answer for how to protect yourself.
Fall risks are everywhere, and while the occasional fall is bound to happen to everyone, the vast majority of slip and falls are avoidable.
If you’ve been the victim of a slip and fall accident, there are a variety of things that likely go through your mind: Am I hurt seriously? Will I be able to pay my bills? Who will pay my medical costs?
But the most important question you should be asking at the outset is “whose responsible for my injuries?”
The answer to that question largely depends on the nature of your fall and where it happened. Read on to learn more about what happens when you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident.
Slip and Fall Accidents: Who’s Responsible?
The first thing to do once you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident is to seek medical attention. No matter who is responsible, you won’t be able to receive any compensation for your injuries if you have no documentation of them.
Be sure to seek medical attention right away, stay up to date on all of your appointments and procedures, and take extra care to ensure your medical records are documented at every step.
Next, you absolutely must get in contact with a seasoned personal injury attorney, such as Hare Wynn. The value of professional and competent counsel in your case can be the difference between a substantial payout and nothing.
There are a few different questions that need to be asked in order to determine who is responsible for your slip and fall case and whether you can receive damages from them.
Where Were You? Who Are You? Was Your Injury Reasonable?
Determining who is responsible for a slip and fall accident hinges on a number of factors, not least of which begins with where you had your accident.
If you had the accident on public land, you would be looking at the government owners for recompense. If it was at a business, the business owner would be who is responsible. If it was at a home, then the homeowner would be the one responsible.
Slip and falls typically fall under something called premises liability, which is a fancy word for law having dealing with people on property that isn’t their own.
There are 3 categories that a person can fit into for the sake of premises liability:
- Invitee – this is the highest classification of premises liability. As an invitee, you are owed the highest standard of care. Essentially, you are an invitee if you were welcomed onto the premises you got hurt on. This includes businesses, grocery stores, and other similar places. Owners are responsible for almost ALL harm caused to an invitee on their premises
- Licensee – this is the middle ground between an invitee and a trespasser. Licensees are people who are in a friends house, or on a property they are allowed to be on but are not necessarily going to confer a financial benefit onto the property owner. Owners are responsible for all harm that a reasonable person would have expected the owner to protect them from.
- Trespasser – this is the lowest class you can be in premises liability. This is when you are on a property you are not permitted to be on, perhaps even unlawfully. Owners owe you almost no standard of care at all, only to protect you from deliberate harm or booby traps.
After determining which of these categories you fall into, you then go into an analysis of your injuries and how much those injuries are worth based on normal personal injury calculations.
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Slip and fall accidents are a harrowing experience, but with the right knowledge and good attorney by your side, it can be dealt with and you can achieve the compensation you deserve.
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