A slip and fall case is a type of personal injury lawsuit in which the injured person seeks to recover damages from a person who was responsible for the area where the slip or fall took place, and who owed them a duty of care.
Many people every year slip and fall over in the United States causing injury to themselves which requires medical treatment. Sometimes they can trip over, or slip up by accident and there is no one else to blame, for example, if they weren’t looking where they were going. In other circumstances, the area in which the person fell may be in a dangerous condition and the owner, proprietor or other person responsible for the area may be to blame for not having fixed it or made it less hazardous.
If someone either owns or maintains property they have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to prevent someone from hurting themselves while on that property. In theory a slip and fall accident can take place anywhere where there is responsibility to ensure that the premises or area is not in a dangerous condition.
Generally, the plaintiff is the person who has been injured in the slip and fall accident.
Perhaps somewhat obviously, there needs to be a party who is responsible for the area in which the slip or fall happened. If it can be shown by the defendant that they were not negligent, they will not be to blame for the accident. In a contested slip and fall case, the defendant may try to prove that they were not negligent or that the plaintiff took unreasonable risks or put themselves in danger. For example if the defendant could show that the plaintiff was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may be able to rid themselves of some or all of the responsibility for the incident.
The statistics show that only about four in every one hundred slip and fall cases go to trial. The rest are settled between the parties without any need for a full hearing.
Immediately after you fall it is important to establish the cause of the accident. Is there water on the floor? Did you trip over something? You should also gather the names and contact details of any witnesses. Even if they did not see the moment you fell, they may still be useful in that they can describe your demeanor, and the conditions surrounding your accident (the weather, the surfaces, the lighting, etc). If your accident occurred at business premises, you should report it to the manager or owner of the business. They may write out an accident report, so you should make sure you get a copy. You should also arrange for photographs to be taken of the exact location of the accident.
The laws vary widely from state to state and it is very important that you consult a specialist personal injury attorney at the earliest possible opportunity.