| Read Time: 2 minutes | premises liability

Slip and falls, broken sidewalks, and premises liability

Premises liability is an incredibly important area of law, even though it is one that most people won’t think about on a daily basis. Everywhere you go and everything you do can be connected back to premises liability. If this area of law didn’t exist, then there would be very few people in the world trying to maintain safe buildings or cleaning up obvious spills that could cause serious injury. You will hear about premises liability lawsuits in the form of slip and falls quite often. These usually occur when a company or restaurant fails to clean up a spill on the ground, or they fail to put up a warning sign that alerts customers or patrons to the danger. There are other ways that these situations can occur, but this is a very common theme. Other circumstances for premises liability cases include: Apartments or housing complexes with negligent landlords that fail to properly install shelving units, leave broken staircases unattended, or generally leave dangerous conditions around without adequately addressing them. Security problems at clubs or restaurants which contribute to an injurious incident. Cracked, broken or busted sidewalks that cause innocent pedestrians to suffer serious or even life-changing injuries. When filing a premises liability lawsuit, it is imperative for the plaintiff to be supported by experienced and passionate legal counsel. At Gerling Law, we fit both of these descriptors. We want to help you with your premises liability claim, and we will review your case and answer any questions that you may have about the legal process.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | premises liability

What protections are available after a slip and fall accident?

Falling incidents can be unexpected and result in serious physical, financial and emotional harm for victims. Victims may wonder what protections are available to them if they have been harmed in a slip and fall accident. In general, when a victim has slipped or tripped on a property owner’s premises and the owner failed to take the proper precautions to correct the dangerous property condition or warn of the dangerous condition, they may be liable to the victim for the damages suffered as a result. Property owners may be liable for harm that results from a wet floor other dangerous or hazardous property condition in circumstances when they fail to provide adequate warnings, such as wet floor signage, of the hazardous property condition; when they fail to property restrict or close off the area where the dangerous property condition exists with barriers; when they use an excessive amount of wax, polish or other product on the floors; when they apply an uneven amount of wax, polish or other product on the floor; when they create an uneven condition on the floor and in other circumstances as well. Property owners may also be liable for poorly maintained carpeting, rugs or mats that create an unsafe condition for those on their property. In addition, property owners may be liable for harm that results because of hazardous or dangerous stairway conditions that the property owner was aware of, or should have been aware of, and failed to correct or provide warnings concerning. Victims of slip and fall accidents can suffer serious harm that can result in debilitating injuries. When the victim of a slip and fall accident suffers medical expenses, an inability to work related to their injuries and the emotional harm associated with a serious injury and its aftermath, it is important for them to be familiar with the legal protections available to them. Legal remedies may allow them to recover compensation to help with the costs and losses they have suffered because of an unsafe property condition. Source: Injury.findlaw.com, “Indoor Slip and Fall Accident Conditions,” Accessed May 9, 2017

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | premises liability

Can somebody really sue me if they slip and fall on my ice?

Every year, over eight million people pay a visit to the ER for a common mishap – a fall. While some falls are minor, others have serious consequences, including brain and spinal cord injury, lost time and wages, and even death. For the elderly in particular, a fall can be fatal. The causes for a fall are numerous – slippery surfaces, trip hazards, loose floor coverings, uneven surfaces, and even mobility issues common in older adults. During the winter months, the odds of someone – regardless of age – slipping and falling increase every time the area is visited by Old Man Winter. Snow and ice can make even the most secure surface treacherous, and property owners bear responsibility for reducing the likelihood of a fall when surfaces turn icy. Should I Clear My Snow and Ice In Indiana there is only one specific snow removal law on the books; most municipalities have some sort of regulation in place to guide property owners in their responsibilities to the public. The main law regarding snow removal in Indiana concerns where to place the removed snow. Property owners must exercise reasonable care not to interfere with safe travel on public roadways; a hazard or obstruction such as a pile of snow scraped from a sidewalk or parking lot needs to be placed out of the way of a public roadway. While this may fall under the heading of common sense, laws such as these exist in order to protect the public from danger. It is the responsibility of property owners to make an appropriate effort to clear snow and ice from their property in order to reduce the likelihood of someone slipping and falling on their premises. Scraping and plowing large areas, shoveling entrances and sidewalks, and putting down salt and/or sand are all measures that can be taken to provide a reasonably secure surface. Repeated winter blasts can complicate these efforts, but property owners must work to keep surfaces clear. In Evansville, the occupant or owner of a property is required to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk and entrance to their premises. If the weather is such that removal is impossible, the responsibility shifts to providing traction on the surface by the application of salt and/or sand. Staying on your feet Even with the responsibility of a property owner or tenant to keep their sidewalks and entrances clear, it’s always a good idea to take precautions to prevent falling during icy weather. Pay attention to your feet – Proper footwear can go a long way toward giving you needed traction on an icy surface. Shoes with lugged rubber soles provide the best form of traction on ice and snow, and on indoor surfaces that are wet from tracked-in snow. Slow down – If you usually walk at a brisk pace, walking slowly might be a challenge. But a slower pace and shorter steps can help you to navigate a slick surface more safely. Short strides help to keep your body centered over your feet, which allows you to adjust if your feet start to slip. Keep your hands free – Our hands and arms are part of our natural equilibrium, and our bodies’ automatic reaction to a fall is to use our arms and hands to rebalance ourselves or break the fall. Try to avoid carrying items across slippery surfaces, and leave your arms free to help you stay upright. Take care getting into or out of a vehicle – Many times, parking areas are slick with packed snow or ice, and it’s easy for your feet to slip when you move from a sitting position inside your car or vice versa. Don’t assume a cleared path is a sturdy path – Black ice is dangerous and hard to see, even on surfaces that appear to be clean. Watch for vehicles – Just because you’re using a sidewalk, don’t assume that you’re safe from traffic. A car sliding on a slick surface may not be able to avoid pedestrian paths. The same goes for pedestrians and vehicles in parking lots. Indoor surfaces can be slick, too – During winter weather, it’s hard to keep the outdoors from coming inside, and building entrances often harbor wet floors and slip hazards. Don’t assume you’re home free once you get indoors. While most property owners do indeed look out for the welfare of those entering their property, there are some who don’t put forth the necessary amount of effort to assure no one falls. It is in these instances that speaking with a slip and fall attorney with experience in premises liability laws is in the best interest of someone who has been injured. Contact Gerling Law if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident – it won’t cost you anything to see if we can help!

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