Slipping on a wet surface, tripping over an unseen obstacle, or falling can be more than embarrassing. Slip-and-fall accidents can be extremely painful, causing injuries with long recovery periods. We tend to blame ourselves for being clumsy, but in many cases, the accidents are not our fault. They’re caused by poor maintenance or negligence on the part of a property owner.
In Evansville and throughout Indiana, federal, state, and local laws require property owners and managers to maintain their facilities properly.
If you have suffered an injury, you should contact Gerling Law’s Evansville slip-and-fall attorneys. We may be able to help you recover medical expenses and compensation for pain and suffering from the negligent property owner or manager.
Typical Injuries in a Slip-and-Fall Accident
A slip-and-fall accident can cause many different types of injuries. These can range from a minor injury, such as a bruise, that you can quickly recover from to an injury that is permanently debilitating. There are a couple of slip-and-fall injuries that are very common.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can be excruciating and completely upend a person’s life. Spinal cord injuries include a slipped disc, a pinched nerve, or a fractured vertebra. These injuries are very serious and often require surgical treatment and long-term care. The Evansville slip-and-fall attorneys at Gerling Law can help you get compensation to cover your treatment and care costs.
A broken bone is a very common injury suffered by people who slip on an icy sidewalk or a slick floor. This type of injury is especially common when an elderly person slips and falls because they are more likely to sustain fractures. Common fractures in slip-and-fall accidents include fractures in the arms, hips, and shoulders.
Common Reasons for Slip-and-Fall Injuries
Slip-and-fall injuries can occur for a number of reasons. Some of the most common causes of these types of injuries are discussed below.
If floors are not maintained or repaired properly, someone can slip or trip. Property owners must complete any needed repairs in a timely fashion or warn customers or visitors about a hazard if they cannot fix it immediately. If you slipped and fell because a property owner failed to fix uneven floors, they might be liable for your damages.
Icy Stairs or Sidewalks
Icy stairs or sidewalks are one of the most common causes of slip-and-fall injuries. Icy stairs are especially dangerous because a person who slips might further injure themself on the stairs or the railing. If you were injured after slipping and falling on an icy step or sidewalk, our slip-and-fall attorneys in Evansville, IN, can help you hold the person responsible for your injury accountable.
Sometimes a person slips and falls because they cannot see a hazard due to insufficient or improper lighting. Improper lighting might be the cause of a slip-and-fall or might be the reason why someone slipped and fell on another common hazard, such as a pothole in a sidewalk or an icy patch on a staircase.
Slipping on spilled liquids or food is a very common cause of injury in restaurants and grocery stores. Spills can be caused by food or drinks falling onto the floor or from liquids leaking out of refrigerators or storage containers. Business owners are required to keep their property free of hazards like spills. If you slipped and fell on spilled liquid or food, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Failure to Display Warning Signs
If employees do not put up a caution sign to alert customers to slick surfaces, the business might be liable for your injuries. Business owners are required to make sure their property is free from hazards like slick surfaces, or if they cannot immediately fix the hazard, they must warn customers about it. Business owners must also train their employees to correctly use wet floor signs when needed.
Defective Balconies or Decks
Problems with balconies and decks can also cause a slip and fall and result in severe injuries. This can be due to improper construction of the balcony or terrace, a lack of adequate maintenance, or not warning people about slippery conditions.
What Elements of Negligence Do I Need to Prove?
To recover compensation for your injury, you must prove the defendant was negligent. An experienced Evansville slip-and-fall lawyer can help you prove each of the elements of negligence so that you recover compensation. There are four elements to negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages. If you can prove all four, the property owner will likely have to pay for your expenses and losses.
The duty of care is the first element of negligence. If you were a customer or a social guest, the property owner owed you a duty of care. That means the property owner had a duty to keep you safe. What a property owner had to do to keep you safe will depend on whether you were visiting the property to conduct business or if you were a social guest.
Many slip-and-fall accidents happen in businesses where food and drinks are being sold, such as restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores. If you were visiting a property to shop, buy goods, or transact business, the property owner or operator was required to identify hazards and either fix them or warn you about them.
A breach of duty is the next part of negligence your attorney will help you demonstrate. A breach of duty means the property owner or operator failed to live up to the duty of care they owed you. For example, leaving spilled soda on the floor of a restaurant for hours with no warning sign would breach the duty the restaurant operator owed to you as a customer.
You also need to show the breach of duty caused your injury. This is called causation. Usually, your attorney will show the breach of duty caused your injury by applying what is known as the “but for” test. When applying this test, you can establish causation by showing that, but for the breach of duty, you would not have been injured. For example, but for the shop owner’s failure to clean up the spilled soda, you would not have slipped and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Lastly, you have to prove that you have suffered losses you can be compensated for. These losses are called damages. If you do not have any damages, your negligence lawsuit will not succeed. Our slip-and-fall lawyers in Evansville, IN, can help you identify and calculate all of your damages. They can also help you collect evidence to prove your damages. Common types of damages you can recover after suffering a slip-and-fall injury include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
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How Our Lawyers Can Help You
If you were injured because of a property owner’s negligence, Gerling Law has the experience you need on your side. Thanks to the passion, skill, and determination of our attorneys, we have helped clients in the tri-state area recover more than $500 million in compensation for their injuries. Our Evansville slip-and-fall lawyers are here for you 24/7. Contact us today online or by phone so that we can help you hold the person responsible for your slip-and-fall injury accountable.