Trip and fall injuries occur when there are hidden hazards, poor lighting, abrupt changes in the walkway, lack of adequate handrails, or inadequate warning of a change in elevation. Slip and fall injuries often result from such conditions as water, ice, paint or other slippery substances on a walking surface. Trip and fall, or slip and fall accident cases, can occur at work or on commercial, residential, or government property.
Trip and fall actions require evidence that:
- The property owner or manager created the condition;
- The property owner or manager knew or should have known the condition existed;
- The property owner or manager failed to correct the condition or adequately warn others; and
- As a result, the victim suffered a personal injury.
- The victim did not cause the accident, in part, or in full
Removing yourself as a cause of the accident
In slip and fall cases, the property owner (or his or her insurance carrier) may argue that the party claiming injury is partially, or fully, responsible for the accident that led to the injuries. In Louisiana, an injured party’s damages award will be reduced by a percentage that is equal to his or her share of liability. For example, a party who is found to be 25% to blame in a slip and fall case would only collect $7,500 of a $10,000 damages award.
Below are some common causes for an injured party to be partially or fully at fault for the slip and fall accident:
- The injured party engaged in any activity that might have prevented them from noticing the hazard, such as talking or texting on a cell phone
- The injured party did not have lawful access to the location where the slip and fall accident occurred
- There was no legitimate reason for the injured party to be in a dangerous area
- The injured party either ignored or did not utilize posted warning signs, and/or other safety measures
If you are the victim of a slip/trip and fall accident, your claim should be investigated as quickly as possible and it should include documentation of the conditions that led to your fall. Proper notification should be given to the property owner and an accident report should be filled out immediately. The names and phone numbers of any witnesses should be collected. Sometimes expert evaluations of the accident site are required.
Slip and fall injuries may include soft-tissue injuries to the back or neck, as well as broken bones, knee injuries, nerve damage, spinal cord injury, and head injuries which sometimes result in permanent disabilities. If you have suffered an injury in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the experienced Louisiana accident attorneys at Smiley Law.