The most important thing to keep in mind about a slip and fall is that not every slip and fall creates a cause of action. In fact, there’s good reason – a lot of folks have tried to fake them to seek a pay day. The sad part is that it has made it more difficult for those who have been seriously injured by a slip and fall actually caused by another’s negligence to get the compensation needed for their injuries. Nevertheless, slip and falls still happen where someone owes a duty to another to keep an area clean or maintained so others can avoid injuring themselves. When this duty is breached and causes injury, that injury and the associated losses need to be covered.
When we speak about duty, often we’re really speaking about control. So, the question becomes: who had control over the area at the time of the slip and fall? In these cases, the circumstances and timing of each individual set of facts is extremely important. If you slip on a wet spot in the hotel lobby, had it been there a minute, an hour, a second? These are all factors that play into the duty and associated culpability of a party.
Negligence goes hand in hand with duty. If someone or some business has a duty to keep the area clean or maintained, why did the individual occurrence happen? For example, it is very different if you spill your water and then immediately slip on it than if the doorman to the hotel saw a patron spill water ten minutes ago, but took no action to clean it up or inform patrons that a wet area existed. Although these are rather simple examples, it is easy to imagine how complicated it can get if you obscure matters to say, a private waterpark where someone falls due to a crack in the pavement at the split between the park and the city parking lot. You can start to see why it is important to have an attorney evaluate your potential case so that you know where the pieces of your situation fit into the legal puzzle.
As we’ve discussed, not all slip and falls are equal. In fact, just as the scenarios of the fall can vary enormously, so can the injuries. To have a legal right of action doesn’t mean that you have to have life-long injuries. Many folks make the mistake of not seeking any recourse because they feel their injury is too small or they are simply embarrassed. The fact is that if your injury is caused by the negligence of another that owed a duty to keep the area safe, you have a right to be made whole again.
What to do?
If you are the victim of a slip and fall, you should immediately seek medical treatment. Don’t let embarrassment get in the way of your health. From there, if you are interested in addressing your legal rights, or at least determining your options, you should seek a consultation with a slip and fall attorney. The attorney should be able to walk you through the relative strengths and weaknesses of your case from a legal perspective. And, should a cause of action exist, the attorney should be able to walk you through the steps and preliminary expectations for you.
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, call Carpenter Gandhi today for a free consultation.