We’ve all fallen at some point. And thankfully, the vast majority of the time we can walk away with maybe a scrape or bruise. But sometimes, the fall victim isn’t so lucky. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that falls are the number one cause of concussions in the US.
Often, we hear people remark how a fall is an “easy lawsuit.” But is it? And when should you take legal action against a property owner?
This is a complex topic that you simply cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach to. Even so, we wanted to provide you with a few general guidelines about how to understand if a fall is not your fault. At the end of this post, we hope you’ll have a clearer idea if it’s time to pick up the phone and call a personal injury attorney.
Negligence: The Essential Element
When it comes to personal injury law, negligence is a key concept. Without negligence, you don’t have a case. So, what does this term mean, exactly? It means that someone failed in their duty to take reasonable action to keep you safe.
If a property owner is found negligent, they could be held financially responsible if you end up with serious injuries as a result.
Here are some common examples of how a property owner could be negligent:
- Lack of signage around hazards
- Improper maintenance of premises
- Failure to repair known hazards, such as cracked sidewalks or spills
- Poor lighting
- Snow/ice accumulation
The Role You Play
Let’s imagine you believe your injuries were caused by a property owner’s negligence. You should be prepared for the defense to try to shift the blame back to you. For instance, they might argue that:
- A reasonable person would have seen the hazard (in other words, that you should have “known better”)
- You were behaving in an unsafe way or were distracted
- You failed to notice their warnings or signs
- You caused the hazard
- The fall was caused by something else entirely
The defense may even suggest that you had on poor footwear, you’d been drinking, or your eyeglasses prescription was out of date. If you played any role in your injuries, the best thing you can do is to be honest with your lawyer. In the State of Washington, it’s possible to still recover a partial settlement if you share some of the fault for what happened.
Should You Call an Attorney?
Make no mistake. A slip-and-fall case can be time consuming and complicated to bring forward. The best way to know if you have a case worth pursuing is to reach out to an attorney. They’ll hear what happened, ask about what evidence you may have, and the extent of your injuries.
Ladenburg McKasy Durkin is now Ladenburg Law Injury Attorneys. Our team will never charge a fee for an initial consultation and we only charge a fee if we’re able to win you a settlement. Please call us or use the short form on our contact page to get started.