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Slip and Fall Accidents
All business owners are responsible to make their premises safe so their customers do not become the victim of a slip and fall injury. Accidents can happen when a business owner does not exercise reasonable care to maintain a safe environment. Poor lighting, improper building maintenance, and poorly trained employees can all be contributing factors in slip and fall accidents.
How To Prove Negligence
Personal injury law requires proving who was at fault for a slip and fall injury. The law requires that a plaintiff be able to prove that the defendant acted in a negligent manner. When determining liability in a premises lawsuit, the following facts must be proven against the defendant:
• They were the direct cause of the incident, such as not repairing torn carpeting or failing to clean up liquid spilled on the floor.
• They should have known about the dangerous condition but failed to take action.
• A reasonable person caring for the property would have discovered the problem and rectified it.
• The employees knew that a dangerous condition would cause harm to an individual, such as leaving water standing for a lengthy period of time.
• They failed to clean up a spill or debris left in the aisles of the store.
• They did not provide a warning of the danger to their customers by placing cones or signs around the obstacle or hazard.
• A store employee was the direct cause of the hazard; i.e. leaving garden hose running allowing large puddles of water to accumulate.
Local building codes may help the plaintiff’s case if they can show that the property owner was in violation of a legal statute. Some jurisdictions state that staircase handrails be installed in a certain place. If this was not the case and the victim became injured as a result, this can help their slip and fall injury claim. Business owners are required to continuously check their store for any condition or obstacle that may be a danger to store patrons.
Recovering Damages After Slip and Fall Accidents
Victims of slip and fall accidents may recover damages for their injuries, which may include the following:
• All medical expenses that may include emergency room treatment, x-rays, cat-scans, hospitalization, ambulance costs and medications
• Damages for lost wages if you were unable to work because of your injuries.
• Emotional trauma or anxiety you experienced as a result of becoming injured
• Physical and mental pain and suffering
• Permanent scarring, disfigurement or loss of mobility
• Loss of consortium if the injuries left the spouse unable to perform their regular household duties or engage in marital relations with their partner
Sometimes a victim’s injuries may be caused by the owner’s willful or reckless conduct. For example, they knew that someone would trip over liquid on the floor and made no attempt to clean it up. In that case, the person may be entitled to collect what are called “punitive damages”. These are awarded as a way to punish the defendant and hopefully deter others in the future from this type of behavior. Punitive damages are not often available in slip and fall accidents.
How A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Injured victims have the right to recover compensation for their medical expenses, time lost from being unable to work and enduring pain and suffering. While some cases may take longer to settle, a personal injury attorney can help speed up the process. Experienced lawyers will usually start out by sending a demand letter for payment. If that is unsuccessful, they will move to pursue litigation. Consult with an attorney that practices personal injury law. These professionals will tell you if your case is valid.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a slip and fall accident, call The Scranton Law Firm today for a free consultation with one of our experienced California accident attorneys. The Scranton Law Firm has been representing injured people for over 30 years – call us today at 1 (800) 400-8742 and find out how we can help you too.