Are you aware of just how hazardous it can be to walk across the floor? According to OSHA (Occupational Safety Health Administration), slip and fall accidents account for 15% of all accidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities in the U.S. Slip and fall accidents are not just the result of a clumsy person who has tripped over his/her own feet. Slip and fall cases fall under the area of premises liability which is an area of law that deals with the liability that property owners assume when their premises are open to the public. Property owners are said to owe a “duty of care” to keep the premises safe.
Premises liability accidents have several causes most of which can include things such as wet floors, uneven floors or pavement, icy stairs or pathways, weak railings and things of that nature.
How do I know if I have a worthwhile case?
There are many factors to consider with slip and fall cases. In order to pursue a case there must have been some kind of a dangerous condition that the property owner either knew about or should have known about and did not address. If the property owner could have foreseen that the condition could cause an accident and did not address it that might provide grounds for legal action.
Whom can I sue if I slip and fall?
Let’s say, for example, that a person is in a public restaurant. The patron is walking down a flight of stairs from one level to the next. The carpet that lines the step is not firmly attached to the stair beneath it and the person’s shoe catches the edge of the carpet, causing him/her to fall backwards and sustain an injury.
In this case the commercial property owner who invited the public to his premises is responsible for making sure that the premises are properly maintained and safe for their customers. The property owner did not take care to make sure that the stairways were safe, and a patron was injured. In this kind of situation, the patron might pursue an action against the restaurant owner, but depending upon all of the facts of the case there could be other parties at fault.
Whether your accident occurs on private, commercial, residential or government property, if you sustain an injury due to a dangerous condition that you encounter, you may be able to bring a case and get compensation for your injuries. Talking to an experienced TN premises liability attorney will help you determine what your case is worth and whether it makes sense to pursue the case.
It is important to act quickly if you have been injured in a premises liability case because there are statutory time limits for taking legal action.