One of the most prevalent causes of action in personal injury cases is falls. Owners of a property can be held responsible almost any time a visitor or customer is hurt. However, victims must take the right actions so that they have a better chance of being paid for their damages. Read on and find out more.
You Can be Paid for These Damages
Those that get hurt on someone else's property may be eligible to be paid for these sorts of damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost or damaged personal property (such as a phone or ruined clothing)
- Reimbursement for lost wages from a job
- Pain and suffering for more serious injuries
Falls can happen for no reason at all, but many times, a cause can be identified. Some common issues with both residences and businesses are:
- Liquids such as water or other slippery substances on the floor
- Ice on the exterior walking areas
- Holes in the pavement or in a yard
- Cords or other tripping hazards on the floor
- Uneven flooring or pavement
Who is Responsible?
In some cases, victims could find that the responsible party disagrees with their opinion about who is at fault. Here is how the law looks at fall cases. At least one of the below statements must be true:
- The hazard was caused by the owner of the property, either through lack of care or failing to warn others of the hazards. Warnings include signs, cones, roped-off areas, and more.
- The owner had knowledge of the hazard and failed to act on it. For example, they knew the floors were being repaired but forgot to rope off the area to visitors.
- A reasonable person (or owner) would have known about the hazard and acted to protect visitors. For instance, if a visitor had already complained about the lack of lighting outside of a residence, that owner may be held liable when a visitor to the home trips and falls over a toy left on the driveway due to lack of lighting.
What Victims Need to Do
Acting quickly could pay off. With that in mind, take these actions:
- Don't wait to seek medical care. You could be more seriously injured than you think, and you need to have proof of your injuries to be paid compensation.
- Do your best to photograph or video the hazard as soon as possible. The owners may take immediate steps to eliminate the evidence that caused you to take a fall. If you cannot gather this evidence yourself, try to get a friend or loved one to do it.
- Speak to a personal injury lawyer about your fall. That is the best way to ensure you are paid what you deserve because of an owner's carelessness or negligence.
Keep these tips in mind when looking for a personal accident attorney near you.