With the winter weather here to stay, the risks of slip and fall accidents increase. There are some important things to note about these types of injuries from a legal standpoint and what you need to do if you or someone you love suffers a slip and fall injury this winter. Read on for what you need to know.
You deserve to be safe whether you’re visiting a private residence, a retail shop, restaurant, government building or any other type of building. Laws exist outlining what the owners or occupiers are liable for, thus the name “occupier’s liability.”
If you sustain an injury as a result of a slip and fall caused by the condition of the property, you may be entitled to compensation. The injuries you sustain can range from minor, such as bruising, to serious in nature, such as a spinal cord injury. The incident can affect you temporarily, or have life altering consequences.
While seemingly straightforward, slip and fall accident claims are dependent upon many factors including, but not limited to, where the incident occurred, who owns or occupies the property and the extent of your injuries. Your injury may be have been the result of:
- Broken/uneven flooring
- Falling merchandise
- Improper snow and ice removal
- Lack of warning signs and caution notices
- Poor lighting
- Sharp edges
- Slippery surfaces or wet floors without signage
- Slippery sidewalks and parking lots (failure to salt/sand)
- Weak guardrails/handrails on staircases
Each of these situations has its own complexities when seeking compensation. Regardless of the location and conditions of the accident, always write down the following information as soon as possible:
- Date and time the fall down accident occurred;
- A description of the circumstances surrounding the accident, such as ice on the stairs and there not being any signs warning you that the stairs may be slippery;
- Who was present at the time the fall down accident occurred and a written record of the comments made by those who saw or helped after the fall;
- If possible, take photos of the area as soon after the accident occurred as possible; and
- If you were physically hurt, have your injury treated immediately to help substantiate your slip and fall claim. If treatment is delayed, the property owner may argue that it was not his or her negligence that caused your injury, but rather something that occurred between the time of the fall down accident and your visit to the doctor.
Do your best to stay safe and avoid slip and fall accidents this winter, but in the case that you do suffer an injury, it’s highly recommended that you contact a personal injury lawyer right away to learn your legal rights and options.