A: Slip and fall accidents can happen nearly anywhere. From parking lots to sidewalks, shopping malls to playgrounds, and everywhere in between. Unsafe property conditions can lead to serious injuries. A common mistake people assume is that their fall was their own fault and that they should simply “watch where they are walking.” That’s generally not the case. In fact, business owners, homeowners, and landlords have a responsibility to maintain safe property conditions at all times. This is called premises liability.
A: Some of the most common causes include: slippery, wet floors, defects in pavement, snow and ice accumulation, torn, raised or buckled mats, inadequate lighting, missing bathroom grab-bars, holes and depressions in the ground, spilled food or drinks, stray electrical cords and wires.
A: Proving liability in a slip, trip, and fall case can be complicated. Your case needs to be evaluated by an experienced lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases. It’s not always about breaking a law, but it could be a safety compliance violation.
A: NO! In fact, if wet floor signs are posted when floors are not wet (hazardous), it may be an OSHA violation. There are specific requirements for how, when and where warnings are to be posted.
A: No, in fact, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI,) only 3-10% of slip, trip and fall claims are considered fraudulent.
A: There are three reasons why slip, trip and fall lawsuits are difficult to win:
- First, many states have legal barriers that can be steep and often requiring that Plaintiffs to prove that the Defendant had notice of the hazard.
- Second, Plaintiff attorneys fail to approach the case correctly and often confuse the jury,
- Third, the media has done a great job convincing the general public that slip-and-fall victims are perpetrators of fraud who file frivolous lawsuits for self-gain making it hard to find an impartial jury.
A: It depends. If you are wanting to base your case on the walkway’s Coefficient of Friction (COF) measurements, hire a Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder (WACH) before you hire a testifying expert witness. Having that data can help establish whether or not the walkway in question was in compliance with the national standards. Mechanical or civil engineers are usually over-qualified, and because of their lack of specialized walkway safety training, wind up spending a lot of time (and your money) researching what you assumed they should already know. Lastly, look for someone with experience in slip, trip and fall causation and prevention, walkway safety, and a strong understanding of industry standards, codes, and laws… and don’t be offended if they tell you that you don’t have a case!
A: Sometimes. Relying upon third-party independent testing can be extremely helpful regardless which side of the docket you are on. A recent case in Missouri which was based in part on slip-resistance testing that was performed 2-1/2 years after the Plaintiff’s slip and fall, was found to be reliable and was affirmed under appeal.