No one expects to suffer unexpected injuries in a slip and fall accident when visiting a friend’s home, working in their office, or grocery shopping at the store. Unfortunately, these accidents happen more often than one might think. Slipping and falling can cause serious injuries and substantially disrupt your daily life. If you suffered injuries in this type of accident, you can pursue compensation for your losses. Read on to learn more about who is liable for a slip and fall accident and what compensation you can recover in this lawsuit.
Who Can I Sue for a Slip and Fall?
Once you get a better picture of the scope of your injuries, you may wonder who is liable for a slip and fall accident. Knowing who is responsible for a fall is the first step when pursuing compensation for your injuries. Various potential parties may be accountable for your losses.
Depending on their classification, property owners owe different degrees of care to individuals on their property. The categories of individuals and the duty of care owed to these individuals are as follows:
- Invitees. Invitees are those welcomed onto a property by invitation. Property owners must maintain safe conditions on their premises or warn invitees of any dangerous conditions that might exist.
- Licensees. Licensees are divided into invited or uninvited categories. Examples of uninvited licensees include solicitors, and a property owner must protect them from willful or wanton injury. Invited licensees are commonly social guests, and a property owner must take reasonable care to maintain a safe condition on the premises.
- Trespassers. A property owner owes little duty of care to a trespasser. The only limitation is that an owner must not intentionally harm trespassers.
If your injury happened on private property, your attorney works to determine your classification and then analyze whether the property owner was negligent.
Many property owners lease their properties out to businesses. If your accident occurred at a company, pursuing a lawsuit against the property owner may make sense. However, the business operator may be the liable party in certain situations.
Contractor or Subcontractor
Businesses and property owners often hire contractors or subcontractors to work on their property, installing carpeting, flooring, lighting, and other renovations. When such contractors negligently complete their work or create hazardous conditions when performing these jobs, these individuals or companies may be held responsible for your injuries.
A manufacturer may also be held responsible for your slip and fall if their defective product creates an unreasonably dangerous condition. Analyzing whether a manufacturer may be responsible for your slip and fall accident requires the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Common Causes of a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents happen when negligent property owners or business operators fail to address dangerous conditions. The most common causes for these incidents include the following:
- Spills on floors create a slippery surface;
- Cracks, dips, or uneven surfaces and a failure to warn of this condition;
- Loose carpeting or rugs;
- Falling debris or fixtures;
- Blocking aisles, walkways, or sidewalks;
- Stray wires that cause a tripping hazard;
- Potholes or cracks; and
- Loose floorboards.
Identifying the cause of your slip and fall accident is one of the first steps in determining who may be responsible for your injuries. Property owners and business operators will try to minimize their responsibility for your harm. You need an experienced slip and fall attorney who’s prepared to hold the proper party accountable.
What Can I Recover?
After suffering injuries in a slip and fall accident, you are entitled to recover compensatory damages for your losses. This means you can recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are calculated from the following losses:
- Past and future medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damage.
Your attorney supports the calculation of these losses through documentation, including pay stubs, invoices, and bills. Keep an accurate record of all expenses related to your injuries to provide to your attorney.
Non-economic damages represent intangible losses stemming from your injuries’ psychological and emotional effects. These losses include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Permanent disfigurement or injury,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
These subjective, intangible losses are challenging to calculate or prove without the help of a qualified attorney. Though difficult to establish, recovering the value of these damages supports victims in adapting to their new way of life.
At James Horne Law PA, our primary value is our commitment to our clients for personal injury matters. We never view our clients as a file number, but take the time to appreciate the serious nature of your legal situation. Our firm recognizes that each client brings a unique case with its specific facts and circumstances. We cater our representation strategy to your distinct needs and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible result in every case. Our legal team is skilled in negotiation, but we never hesitate to take your case to court if necessary. Contact us today by phone or email to learn how James Horne Law PA can help you.