A slip and fall (or trip and fall) can happen anywhere, even when you least expect it. If the fall is bad enough, you may suffer serious injuries. If the business or owner of a property is responsible for your injuries, you may have a case for collecting damages, including your medical bills, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering and more.
Many times, slip and fall accidents are preventable by making sure the property is maintained properly. If proper maintenance was not performed, you may have the right to receive financial compensation from a negligent property owner for your injuries.
This area of practice is known as “premises liability” law, and it seeks to hold responsible parties liable for injuries that happen on private or public property. Premises liability cases can be very complex and fact-sensitive. For that reason, you’ll want a qualified slip and fall accident attorney on your side who knows the law and has experience with personal injury matters.
These types of cases often involve working with insurance companies. This is because businesses, homeowners, and employers often have policies that are meant to cover injuries like slip and falls. Remember, insurance companies generally do not have your best interests in mind and are interested in settling a case as quickly and cheaply as possible, if they do not deny your claim, altogether. Make sure you talk to an attorney who has experience in personal injury claims before you begin talking with an insurance company.
Keep in mind that these injuries can be either minor or serious. Typically, the types of injuries we see as a result of a slip and fall include bumps and bruises, broken bones, sprained ankles or writs, knee damage, permanent disability and more.
The standard of care only requires reasonable efforts. In other words, an owner is not required to make sure the property is absolutely free of any and all dangers.
With the standard of care in mind, the important question to ask is whether or not the owner of the property was acting according to this standard. If not, the owner would be considered negligent. However, it’s important to note that proving negligence is not enough. To win a lawsuit, you must also show that this negligence was the cause of your injury.
This is important because often we assume that just because we slipped and fell, someone must have done something wrong. However, you must show that an owner or employee either caused the condition and did nothing about it, or should have known about it and the property owner failed to act.
For example, if a roof started leaking only minutes before you slipped in water, this would likely not be a case of negligence. By contrast, if the roof had been leaking for weeks in front of a busy store, this could be a basis for finding negligence. Because determining negligence is very fact-sensitive, a premises liability attorney will fully investigate every case, asking questions such as:
However, keep in mind that an owner is not always deemed negligent even when made aware of a dangerous condition on the premises. As long as warning signs were placed in a way that could have reasonably prevented the injury, this is generally an acceptable solution. For example, if an employee notices a spill, but can’t mop it up immediately, he or she would likely not be negligent if a wet floor sign is placed near the spill and customers have a viable path around the hazard.
Slip and falls that occur while you are working are handled differently. These types of claims are processed through the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that most employers in Louisiana are required to carry.
Unlike premises liability law, workers’ compensation offers what is known as “no fault” coverage. This means that it generally doesn’t matter whether your employer was negligent or not in maintaining the premises. It also typically doesn’t matter if you were partially or totally to blame for the accident.
Workers’ compensation benefits can cover an employee’s medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and in some cases, even lost earnings during the period when the worker is unable to work, or can only do so in some diminished capacity. However, note that workers’ compensation doesn’t cover your pain and suffering damages, or “general damages”.
If you believe you qualify for workers’ compensation, it’s important to follow the correct procedures. This requires reporting the injury to your employer as soon as possible and, with a few exceptions, obtaining treatment only from providers that have been pre-authorized by the company. Keep in mind that this is typically your only remedy for your injury, which means that you can’t collect workers’ compensation and then sue your employer for premises liability.
CONTACT ATTORNEY MIKE FOR YOUR SLIP AND FALL CASE TODAY. Call today at (504) GOT-MIKE to schedule a free consultation and initiate your claim.
Got Hit. Got Hurt.
CONTACT US to discuss your slip and fall case with an experienced personal injury lawyer for FREE.