Slip and Fall
Slip and fall accidents occur every day and can often result in very serious injuries such as head injuries, fractures, and even wrongful death. It is important to contact the an experienced Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer who understands the laws surrounding slip and fall accidents. A landowner is not always liable for falls that occur on their property. If the landowner was unaware of the flaw because it recently occurred through another's fault, or resulted from sudden changes in the weather, the landowner may not be liable.
The most common scenarios in which a landowner is legally responsible for injuries sustained in a slip and fall include:
- The landowner, or an employee or representative of the landowner, caused the flaw in the surface that resulted in the accident and injury, by damaging the surface, spilling something onto it, or otherwise creating a hazard.
- The landowner, or an employee or representative of the landowner, knew of the flaw on the property and did not take the necessary and proper steps to correct the flaw or warn visitors.
- The landowner, or an employee or representative of the landowner, should have known of the flaw in the property from routine observation or inspection and failed to repair the flaw or properly warn visitors.
In the first two scenarios, the landowner is aware of the flaw in the property either because he or she caused it or because he or she was told directly. In the third scenario, often the most litigated, we will have to prove that a responsible and reasonable landowner would have discovered the flaw and taken the necessary steps to repair it.
In determining whether a landowner should have known of the flaw, some considerations for the Court include:
- What is the nature of the flaw?
- Was the fall caused by a foreign object or substance? If so, how noticeable was it?
- Does the landlord maintain a routine inspection? Is the inspection process sufficient?
- How long has the foreign object or flaw been on the surface?
- Would a warning regarding the foreign object or substance prevented the fall?
As you can see, slip and fall accidents can become very complicated matters. If possible, report the fall immediately to someone of authority so that it is reported and documented. Try and identify any and all potential witnesses to the fall. Also, try to obtain pictures of the foreign object or flaw on the surface that caused your fall. Modern cell phones and digital cameras have made obtaining pictures easier and it can really strengthen your case. Finally, do not try to resolve the case on your own. I am a slip and fall attorney who has handled hundreds of these cases and can help obtain all the money to which you are entitled including: medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Most landowners will try to defend the fall by stating that they did not know the hazard existed. Therefore, if you are aware of a flaw or potential hazard in either your work space or rented apartment, be sure to notify the owner immediately so that they can take steps to remedy the situation.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in either Rhode Island or Massachusetts, contact our office for a free initial consultation.