A slip and fall case arises when someone slips and falls on someone else’s property and is injured. Each year in the U.S., over one million emergency room visits are attributed to slip and fall accidents, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Because so many people slip and fall, suffering serious injuries, they are entitled to recover compensation through a personal injury claim filed by an experienced slip and fall lawyer.
People over the age of 65 are the most likely to be injured in a slip and fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year in the United States, one in three people over the age of 65 will experience a fall. However, a slip-and-fall accident can happen to anyone. Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents are:
Wet or slippery floors
Changes in floor level
Worn or torn carpets
Cracks or holes in the floor
Exposed cables or otherwise obstructed walkways
Improperly maintained stairs
Snow or ice on the sidewalk
The property owner fails to maintain the property
When someone slips and falls due to these temporary or permanent conditions, they may suffer serious injuries, including:
Neck and back injuries
Knee and hip injuries
Shoulder, elbow, and wrist injuries
Concussions and other head trauma
This is not an exhaustive list of injuries. After you have sought medical attention, you need to consult fall attorneys to evaluate your slip and fall claim to determine if you have a case against a negligent property owner to recover fair compensation.
Premises liability is the underlying legal concept for slip and fall cases. Under premises liability law, commercial and residential property owners have a duty to ensure that their property is not in a dangerous condition that presents an unreasonable risk to people on the property.
If the property owner’s negligence led to the fall victim’s injuries, the property owner may be liable for the accident that took place on his or her premises. To prove negligence in a slip and fall case, the injured party must be able to prove at least one of the following is true:
The property owner created the dangerous condition
The property owner knew of the dangerous condition and did not remedy it
The condition existed for such a time that the property owner should have discovered and remedied the hazard because a reasonable person in his or her position would have done so
Comparative negligence is a rule of law that some states, including Delaware, apply to accident cases. It is applied in order to attribute fault to all parties who were partially to blame for the accident, including the victim. Delaware courts may decide whether the plaintiff was partly to blame for the accident and reduce compensation accordingly.
To be eligible for compensation, the plaintiff’s negligence must not have been greater than the negligence of the defendants. Plaintiffs who are determined to be less than 50 percent responsible may still be able to recover damages but their percentage of fault will be deducted from the total amount of compensation to be awarded. If a victim is determined by the court to be more than 50 percent at fault, their recovery for their injuries will be barred completely.
Delaware property owners will attempt to attribute as much blame as possible to the victim in order to avoid or mitigate liability. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help plaintiffs determine the cause of their slip and fall accident and fight to protect their best interests and obtain maximum compensation for their injuries.
Delaware slip and fall victims may be able to receive compensation to cover costs associated with their injuries. Compensation may be available for:
All injury-related medical expenses, including future expenses
Pain and suffering, depending on the severity of the injury
Lost wages, if you missed work due to the injury
Loss of earning capacity, if the injury is so severe that it renders you incapable of performing the type of work you performed before the accident
Incidental expenses incurred because of the injury, such as gas expenses to travel to and from doctor’s appointments
If you suffered injuries from a slip and fall accident, an experienced Wilmington slip and fall lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow can evaluate your claim to help you determine your best course of action. For over two decades, our firm has helped thousands of slip-and-fall injury victims to obtain justice and compensation. We provide clients with honest, knowledgeable advice and we aggressively fight for the best outcome in each case. We handle slip and fall cases throughout Delaware, including Bear, Wilmington, Milford, and throughout New Castle County. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online, or call our Bear office at (302) 600-1107, our Wilmington office at (302) 427-9500, or our Milford office at (302) 422-6705.
To prove fault in a slip-and-fall case, you generally need to establish that the property owner or occupier was negligent. This means showing that they knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your fall, and failed to take reasonable steps to address or warn about it. Gathering evidence such as photographs, witness statements, incident reports, and surveillance footage can help support your claim.
In Delaware, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including slip and fall claims, is generally two years from the date of the accident. It is crucial to consult with a slip-and-fall lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you meet the necessary deadlines for filing your lawsuit.
It is generally advisable to exercise caution when speaking to the property owner’s insurance company after a slip and fall accident. While you may need to report the incident to initiate the claims process, it’s important to be aware that insurance adjusters are primarily focused on minimizing the liability of the insurance company. Anything you say to them could potentially be used against you to reduce or deny your claim.
If the property owner’s insurance company contacts you, it is recommended to be cautious in your interactions. You can provide them with basic information about the incident, such as the date, time, and location of the accident. However, it is generally best to avoid discussing details of your injuries, making recorded statements, or accepting any settlement offers without first consulting with your fall lawyers. It’s important to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
While it is possible to handle your slip-and-fall claim without directly involving the property owner’s insurance company, it can be challenging to navigate the legal process and negotiate a fair settlement on your own. Insurance companies have experienced adjusters who may attempt to undervalue or deny your claim. Consulting with a slip-and-fall injury lawyer can help ensure your rights are protected and that you have professional guidance throughout the claims process.
A slip-and-fall lawyer can be a valuable advocate in your interactions with the property owner’s insurance company. They can communicate on your behalf, handle all negotiations, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the claims process. By having legal representation, you can level the playing field and increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.