Additional Slip & Fall Considerations

Additional Considerations After A Slip & Fall Accident

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere due to dangerous conditions. Unsafe conditions that lead to indoor accidents include defective flooring, torn carpeting, insufficient lighting, or wet floors. Causes of outside accidents include cracked cement, broken concrete, potholes, or slippery conditions caused by weather. When a slip and fall accident occurs, you may have a case for personal injury under the theory of premises liability, which means it would be prudent to consider your legal options.

Consulting a personal injury attorney provides you an advantage in securing the justice and compensation that you deserve. Do not short-sell yourself when it comes to fighting for your physical, mental, and financial well being. Contact the experienced team at Spear Greenfield to learn more about the legal process surrounding your slip and fall case. We offer a free initial consultation either via phone or an online form. This appointment carries no obligations or pressure, so schedule your appointment today!

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Additional Considerations

The following are additional considerations to explore as you evaluate the legal options for your slip and fall case.

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Defining Types of Visitors on a Property

Even though a property owner has a general legal obligation to protect individuals who enter their property from unreasonable hazards, slip and fall cases are far from clear cut. One grey area is the circumstances surrounding an individual’s entrance onto the property, which can affect the landowner’s duty of care. Generally, there are three types of visitors to property:

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  1. Invitees – An invitee is someone who is expressly invited to enter the property. For example, a store with an “open for business” sign on the door issues an express invitation for people to visit and shop. The shoppers are purchasing items from the property owner, which benefits the owner. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care when it comes to protecting them against hazards on the property.
  2. Licensees – Licensees are people with permission to enter someone else’s property, but they do not give the property owner a benefit from their visit. Property owners owe licensees a duty of care, but that duty generally does not carry an obligation to remove hazards that the owner or a reasonable person would not know about.
  3. Trespassers – A trespasser does not have the property owner’s permission to be on the property. Property owners do not have a duty of care to protect a trespasser from getting hurt, but the law does not permit a property owner to set up any hazard with the intention of harming a trespasser. Exceptions to the duty of care exist, such as when trespassers are children. Specifically, property owners might be liable for injuries to children if they keep an “attractive nuisance” on their property.

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Common Slip and Fall Injuries That Plaintiffs are Compensated For

Besides car accidents, slip and fall accidents are the most common causes of accidental injuries that personal injury attorneys litigate. While minor injuries are the most common, there can be serious consequences from slip and fall accidents, including permanent injuries or death. Some of the most common types of slip and fall injuries include:

  • Soft Tissue Injuries – These types of injuries are not outwardly noticeable, which makes them more difficult to prove in a lawsuit. Soft tissue injuries may not be evident to a victim until days or weeks after a fall. These injuries include sprains of muscles, tendons, or ligaments, bruising, and muscle strain.
  • Brain Injury or Head TraumaHead injuries of any degree should be attended to by a medical professional. Concussions and other brain injuries, even if they do not seem serious, need immediate medical care.
  • Lacerations and Abrasions – These types of injuries are the most noticeable, but are typically not as dangerous as some of the other injuries listed.
  • Spinal Cord InjuriesSpinal cord injuries are among the most serious and the most expensive to treat. Since back injuries can be life-threatening, medical attention should be sought immediately.
  • Broken Bones – Even though fixing a broken bone is generally easy, this injury is extremely painful. Despite the earlier statement, there can be breaks that require multiple surgeries to repair, and physical therapy may be required after the break has healed.

Alongside injuries, a slip and fall victim can claim other damages, such as emotional or financial. If you are unsure of your case’s value, allow our Spear Greenfield team to provide you a free estimate based on some information specific to your case. To complete this evaluation, please click below.

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At Spear Greenfield, we understand the hardships that are associated with slip and fall accidents and are here to act as your advocate every step of the way. The first step in that is by offering you a free consultation that carries no obligations or pressure. This consultation will allow our team to learn more about your slip and fall accident and guide you through your legal options. Fill out this form to schedule that free consultation today with the most successful personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey!

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    Defining Shared Liability in a Slip and Fall Case

    Shared liability in a slip and fall injury case occurs when there are multiple parties responsible for the same accident. Examples of additionally liable parties are listed below:

    • The property management company for the premises
    • The tenant who is renting or leasing the property
    • A contractor who is performing construction on the property
    • Other agents or people working on behalf of the property owner

    For example, a contractor’s repair job may generate hazards on a property, which if left unmarked can cause injury. If a property visitor is injured due to the hazards created by the contractor, the injured party has a case against both the contractor and the store owner.

    Another example of shared liability is when a property management company is notified of an unsafe situation on the premises. If the property management company fails to ensure safety through a warning sign or repairs, both the property manager and property management company can be found liable for injuries caused by the hazard. It does not matter if the management company notified the owner of a hazard, because the owner’s liability is imputed (responsible for the actions of someone under his or her control) from the owner’s relationship with the property management company.

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    Defining an Open and Obvious Hazard

    In some slip and fall cases, a property owner might raise the defense that a hazardous condition on the property was open and obvious. Generally speaking, if the hazard was clearly a danger, a reasonable person would have recognized it as such. Based on this doctrine, a property owner should not be under any obligation to remove or otherwise address the hazard. There are two general exceptions to the open and obvious defense.

    1. Negligence Per Se – In a negligence per se situation, the injured person does not need to show that a reasonable person would have been safe, because the defendant is deemed negligent automatically. A common example of a negligence per se case in a slip and fall situation is a building code violation. If the property owner was required to install handrails and failed to do so, the property owner is most likely negligent as a matter of law.
    2. Distraction Exception – As the name indicates, a slip and fall victim may be able to argue that he or she was too distracted to notice an open and obvious hazard. For example, in a case in Illinois, the state’s supreme court reversed a lower court decision in which a woman argued that she was too distracted by an eye clinic’s sign to notice a tree root in the sidewalk. The city, which defended the case, said the tree root was part of an old historical tree, and that the woman had walked past it several times previously. As such, the city argued, the tree root was open and obvious to anyone walking by, and the woman couldn’t claim to have been too distracted to see it.

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    With this list of considerations, it’s easy to see how slip and fall cases can become very complicated and fact-specific. In many cases, the court’s decision depends on precise details, which is why it is important to work with an experienced Pennsylvania and New Jersey slip and fall lawyer if you have been injured in this type of case. At Spear Greenfield, we offer a complimentary consultation containing no pressure or obligation, and if you decide to partner with our law firm, we offer a no fee guarantee. This guarantee means you do not have to pay for our services unless your case has a successful outcome. Contact us today!