Slip & Fall Attorneys

Injured in a Slip & Fall Accident?

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Slip & Fall Injuries

If a person is injured by a dangerous condition on a premises, they may have a premises liability claim. If, however, the person was injured by activity that was taking place on the premises, then a general negligence cause of action may be more appropriate. The most common type of premises liability case is a slip-and-fall. A common misconception about premises liability cases is that just because a person is injured on someone else’s property does not mean that the other person is automatically liable. The fact analysis is more complex. Below are two major types of premises liability cases we handle.

Customers Injured at a Business

While slip-and-fall injuries are the most common type of premises liability claim, the vast majority of these occur in the context of a customer who is at a business location.

Businesses have a duty to use ordinary care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition for customers and patrons. This includes the duty to inspect their premises regularly to discover unsafe conditions. Once the business becomes aware of the unsafe condition, or if a reasonable business would have known about the unsafe condition, the business has a duty to either make the condition safe (e.g. clean the floor or repair weak steps) or warn customers of the unsafe condition (e.g. wet-floor warning signs or bright yellow paint on curbs). Businesses do not, however, have a duty to warn about conditions that are open and obvious.

In a slip-and-fall case, a business can have knowledge of a dangerous condition in one of three ways: (1) the business, through its employees, put a substance on the floor; (2) the business, through its employees, knew that the substance was on the floor and failed to remove it; or (3) the substance was on the floor for so long that a reasonable business would have discovered and removed it.

For non-slip-and-fall cases, we look at past injuries from the condition, past complaints about the conditions, whether the condition was unusual compared to other objects in the same class, and whether the condition met applicable safety standards.

Common examples of these cases include:

  • Shoppers slipping on fruit or wet floors at a grocery store,
  • People slipping on ice at a near drink machine at a restaurant,
  • Patrons slipping in bathrooms,
  • Hotel guests slipping on hall floors due to pool water that accumulated,
  • Customers tripping over curbs that aren’t marked or painted,
  • Tenants falling on damaged stairs at an apartment complex,
  • Hotel guests burned by faulty water heaters,
  • Ice from a sprinkler system in the winter on sidewalks and roads, and
  • Hotel guests that suffer carbon monoxide poisoning due to faulty heaters that do not vent CO properly.

Because premises liability claims can be complex and fact-specific, it is best to call a qualified personal injury lawyer if you have any questions. We provide free consultations to anyone who calls, so there is never a risk in placing that first call.

Guest Injured at a Friend’s Home

The second most common type of premises liability claim we see is people who get injured while at a friend’s house. The law treats this situation differently than a customer at a business location by lowering the duty a possessor owes to social guests. Under these circumstances, a possessor can only be held liable if (1) the possessor had actual (not constructive) knowledge of the dangerous condition, (2) the guest did not have actual knowledge of the dangerous condition, (3) the possessor failed to warn the guest of the dangerous condition, and (4) the possessor failed to make the dangerous condition safe. Unlike businesses with customers, regular people do not have a duty to inspect their premises to discover unsafe conditions.

These cases tend to turn on whether the condition that caused the injury posed an unreasonable risk of harm. This complex test also involves the likelihood and magnitude of injury. Again, because premises liability claims can be complex and fact-specific, it is best to call a qualified personal injury lawyer if you have any questions. We provide free consultations to anyone who calls, so there is never a risk in placing that first call.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident regardless of where you live, we will be happy to evaluate your potential case through a free consultation.

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    I was immediately impressed by the fact that, due to the severity of my injury, they offered to come to my home so as not to inconvenience me or cause any further discomfort to my recent injury, nor did they put any type of pressure on me to commit to them in any way by doing so. - Catina B., El Paso, TX

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    Our Team is Here to Help

    Below is a list of some of the most-frequently-asked questions by our clients and prospective clients. If you still have any questions, feel free to contact us.

    • Why should I hire an attorney?

      Potential defendants are usually covered by insurance. The insurance companies are notified immediately when an accident occurs, and they usually hire attorneys and expert witnesses to investigate the claim. It is important that witnesses be interviewed as soon as possible and evidence be preserved. Witnesses will often be more difficult to locate or will have a poor memory if they are interviewed much later after the accident has occurred. Evidence such as machinery parts or skid marks on the highway will disappear unless preserved quickly. Insurance companies have insurance adjusters who will contact you and try to be friendly. You should not trust the statements that insurance adjusters make to you. They are not working for you and will sometimes make misleading statements in an effort to trick you into resolving your case. Insurance adjusters also might record your conversations with them and use your statements against you in order to try to save money for the insurance companies.

      The main thing we try to impress upon people is that it’s never too early to talk to an attorney, and it’s always too late. By that we mean that speaking with an attorney very soon after a crash or other accident in no way will harm you. Along the same lines, the longer you try to handle a claim on your own or delay hiring competent counsel, irreparable damage can be done in the form of recorded statements given to the insurance companies and evidence not being preserved. There is no risk or fee for speaking with an attorney and arranging an initial consultation.

    • How and when do I pay for a personal injury attorney?

      Most personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay the attorney only if and when the attorney has successfully made a recovery in your case, either by settlement or by winning a jury trial. Our philosophy is that clients have enough to worry about, so clients at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman never pay us a dime out of their pockets directly; when you’re case is finished, the insurance company sends a check to our law firm, we take our percentage fee from that check, and send the remainder to the client.

      In the rare event we are unable to make a recovery on your case, you still don’t pay us a dime, and that even includes case costs, court costs, expert fees, and any advances. There is truly zero risk in hiring a personal injury law firm like Glasheen, Valles & Inderman.

    • What is my claim worth?

      Personal injury claims are usually resolved by either settlement or by a jury. When a case is settled, it is the client’s decision of whether or not to accept a settlement offer. The lawyer will advise the client as to the potential value of the claim. Lawyers evaluate the potential value of a claim by predicting what a jury would do based on experience with similar claims.A jury can consider all sorts of damages in a personal injury case including medical expenses in the past and in the future, loss of earnings in the past and in the future as a result of the injury, physical pain and mental anguish in the past and in the future, compensation for impairment – that is loss of use, and disfigurement damages. The jury has discretion in awarding the sums. We can give you advice on the value of your claim based on our experience with some of our claims and similar jury results.

    • How long will my claim take to resolve?

      The time it takes to resolve a personal injury claim depends very much on the type of case. We believe that it is important to prosecute claims as quickly and efficiently as possible. We usually like to have our client finish with their medical treatment so that we can fully and properly evaluate their injuries before we attempt to settle the claim. Sometimes we can assist a client with making advances to cover lost wages or living expenses while the client is waiting for the case to be resolved. Typically, automobile accident cases with fairly minor injuries can be resolved in about six months. More serious accident cases usually take anywhere from six months up to a year and a half or longer.

    • Will my case go to trial?

      Whether a case goes to trial depends on dozens of factors, including your damages, the amount of insurance available, and the circumstances of the case. However, generally speaking, approximately 98% of personal injury cases settle without going to trial.