In general, “slip and fall” accidents (also referred to as premises liability) occur when a person is injured by slipping and falling due to a dangerous condition on the floor or walkway, either inside a building (often a store) or outside in a parking lot or uneven surface of a sidewalk. For example, a shopper slips in a grocery store after a substance spills on the floor and is not cleaned up by the store in a timely manner; or someone slips on a slippery area in a parking lot or sidewalk which is not cleared of hazardous ice, snow, or other slippery condition by the lot owner despite adequate time for the parking lot owner to remove the slippery, hazardous condition.
In all such cases, the party who owns or operates the parking lot, sidewalk, or store floor, or other public walking area owes a duty to those who walk on the floor or outside area to maintain it in safe condition and thus avoid such foreseeable slip and fall injury. Failing to meet this duty result in premises liability for the property owner, and the legal right of the injured party to be fully compensated for the expenses and costs resulting from his or her injuries.
What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Depending upon the extent of the injury, there are several steps you as the injured party (or a friend or family member) can take to make sure your rights are adequately protected and you can be fully compensated for your injuries:
1. Seek medical attention immediately if you are injured and report accident to the police. If you have any physical complaints after the accident, seek medical attention right away. Any delay in seeking medical care can negatively affect your case. Call the police and emergency medical services to bring you to a hospital emergency room if necessary. Doctors there can provide immediate evaluation and diagnostic tests such as x-rays. Then see your personal doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor and other medical personnel all your physical complaints that began after your fall.
2. Gather evidence (information) from the accident location
a. Depending on the degree of your injury, obtain right away the names, addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses to you fall. This includes names of any store employees who witnessed your fall and the slippery condition that caused you to slip and fall.
b. Depending on the degree of your injury, photograph the accident scene, particularly the “dangerous condition” that caused your fall. If you cannot photograph the area ask someone else to do it for you (with their cell phone) if necessary).
c. Take notes describing the size, shape, and color of the location where you fell. Include how the accident occurred, the date, time and location of the accident, names of eye-witnesses, the persons to whom you reported the accident, the premises owner or manager, and weather conditions (if your fall was outside).
3. Report your fall to the property owner or manager as soon as possible, but do not give them an extensive description until you speak with a lawyer first.
4. Photograph any visible bodily injuries immediately, such as bruises, scrapes, or scratches.
You should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident. Experienced slip and fall attorneys at Johnson County firm of Lovelace Law are ready to assist you by answering your questions and representing you in your slip-and-fall case.
If you have any additional questions regarding a personal injury claim, please call our office at 817-953-9656 to make an appointment with W. Cade Lovelace.