Accidents are just a fact of life. But when someone’s recklessness has caused an accident that results in serious injuries, the law regards it as negligence. If you’ve suffered a slip-and-fall accident that was caused by someone’s disregard for your safety, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. At Silver & Silver, our experienced West Chester slip and fall attorneys have dedicated our practice to getting injured victims the compensation they deserve.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip-and-fall accident is a common term for an avoidable accident caused by someone’s negligence. In most cases, the at-fault party is a property owner, management company, or even municipality that was remiss in their obligation to keep their premises safe for those who use it.
Slip and fall accidents can happen on public or private property, in stores, businesses, nursing homes, or even government buildings. When a dangerous condition causes a fall and subsequent injury, the victim may be able to hold the owner or manager liable for the costs of their injuries and other damages.
Common Hazards that Can Result in a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents are a common source of injury claims today. These accidents often happen as a result of
- Wet flooring
- Uneven surfaces and floor transitions
- Worn or frayed carpets or mats
- Hazardous debris in a walkway
- Construction debris
- Cluttered common areas
- A buildup of ice or snow in walkways or parking lots
- Poor lighting
- Missing or broken handrails at stairways
- Unclear signage
- Loose cords or electrical wires
- No warning or insufficient warning signage for hazards
In most cases, slip and fall claims are matters of premises liability. A slip and fall accident claim can hold the owner or manager of premises liable for damages if the accident was the result of their negligence.
Nursing Homes and Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are often the result of nursing home negligence.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, slip and fall accidents are common occurrences in aging adults, often requiring extensive hospitalization and resulting in long-term disabilities. Unfortunately, these falls can happen when older adults are in institutional care and can be the direct result of nursing home neglect.
If you or a loved one has suffered a slip and fall injury on public or private property because of a dangerous condition, it’s important to seek experienced legal guidance. The West Chester personal injury lawyers at Silver & Silver can determine if you have a valid slip and fall claim and help you pursue compensation for your injuries from the at-fault party.
Levels of Duty of Care in Establishing Negligence
Personal injury cases are usually centered around negligence. To prove negligence, it first must be established that one person owed another a “duty of care.” In premises liability claims, there are three categories of visitors to a property, each owed a different duty of care by the owner.
- Invitees – Visitors to a business, store, restaurant, or other commercial property are considered invitees under the law. A property owner owes the highest level of duty of care to an invitee by keeping the premises in a reasonably safe condition, routinely inspecting the property for dangers, fixing any hazardous condition, or warning visitors of the dangerous condition.
- Licensees – When a visitor is on a property with the owner’s permission, they are considered licensees under the law. These can be friends and family, neighbors, and social guests. Furthermore, if there isn’t a “no soliciting” or “no trespassing” sign on the property, those who aren’t expressly invited can also be considered licensees. Property owners have a slightly lesser duty of care regarding licensees.
- Trespassers – Someone who enters another’s property without the owner’s consent is considered a trespasser. In this case, a property owner only needs to refrain from willful, wanton, or reckless conduct that could harm a trespasser.
A successful slip and fall claim needs to establish negligence by determining the duty of care owed the visitor, that the owner breached that duty, that the breach resulted in an accident, and that the accident resulted in financial damages. Each of these elements must be proven to prevail in a slip-and-fall claim.
How Owners (and Their Insurance Companies) Defend Themselves in Slip and Fall Cases
While proving negligence may seem very straightforward, there are many commonly used defenses that property owners use to deny fault in a slip-and-fall case. Three of the most common are:
- The danger or hazard was open and obvious, and the victim should have seen it.
- The owner was unaware of the issue.
- The injured party was partially or completely at fault for their injury.
Many slip and fall accidents are a matter of the victim’s word against the owner’s and often lack sufficient evidence. Because of this, if you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, proactively gathering evidence can be an important step:
- Fill out an accident report with the manager of the property.
- Seek medical attention immediately and follow all the doctor’s orders.
- Take photos of the area where the accident occurred from many angles.
- Take photos of your slip and fall injuries.
- Note the name and contact information of anyone who may have seen the accident.
- Keep the clothing and footwear you were wearing at the time of the accident.
- Get the advice and guidance of the West Chester slip and fall attorneys at Silver & Silver to understand your rights to compensation.
Our Experienced West Chester Slip and Fall Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, don’t try to navigate it alone. Slip and fall claims can be difficult to pursue. Insurance companies are not always forthcoming with fair slip-and-fall settlements, and you may be left paying for your injuries out of pocket.
At Silver & Silver, we have protected innocent injury victims for over 40 years. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (610) 658-1900 or through our online contact form to schedule a no-cost consultation.
This website is designed to provide only general information. The information presented on this website is not formal legal advice. You should not rely on any general information from any source for making legal decisions. Each legal matter is unique and requires specific attention from a qualified and experienced attorney. Unless a representation agreement has been signed with the Law Offices of Silver and Silver, we are not your legal representatives.