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It only takes a split second - one stumble on a cracked sidewalk, one loose step on the office staircase you've climbed for years, a momentary lapse in awareness of your surroundings. Suddenly, your feet go out from under you. Time seems to stand still as you desperately flail for balance - but it's too late. Unable to stop the momentum, you hit the ground hard, pain shooting through your lower back. Dazed, you look up to see faces staring down, people rushing over to ask if you're okay. But even as you reassure them, you suspect something isn't right. As the adrenaline wears off, you begin to feel waves of pain. In the hospital room later that day, you discover you have slipped a disc in your spine. Now unable to work or move without pain, you struggle to make up the wages you've lost, perform daily activities, and even pick up your children.
After a slip and fall injury, pursuing fair compensation is often complicated. Property owners typically try to evade responsibility, and insurance companies tend to downplay victims’ pain. Our experienced slip and fall attorneys level the playing field. We thoroughly investigate liability, quantify losses, and negotiate tenaciously to help clients move forward. You should not have to bear these burdens alone. If unsafe property conditions contributed to your slip and fall accident, our injury lawyers will help you seek fair compensation. Our attorneys will build an ironclad negligence case against property owners and their insurance firms, working tirelessly to document every healthcare cost, lost week of wages, and mobility limitation you're facing as a result of your easily preventable injuries. Our lawyers will ensure that liability parties take full financial responsibility, and recover damages on your behalf that ease your burdens so you can focus on healing. Contact Wettemark Keith at 877-715-9300 to discuss your options in a free evaluation.
Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen in almost any location - stores, offices, restaurants, apartments, public sidewalks, recreation areas, and more. Fall injuries typically occur when a person slips, trips, or loses their balance due to unsafe conditions - and suffers serious harm from the uncontrolled fall. To have a viable personal injury claim after a slip and fall, the injured victim must prove negligence on the part of a property owner, manager, tenant, or other party responsible for premises safety.
Slip and fall litigation falls under the legal realm of premises liability. This complex area of law establishes definitions and standards for the "duty of care" property owners and managers owe to different visitors based on their legal status on the site. For instance, more care is owed to paying customers than uninvited trespassers. Owners breach this duty when they fail to promptly address known hazards or conditions likely to cause slips, trips and falls.
Determining Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident
The overarching factor in determining liability in a slip and fall accident is demonstrating the property owner’s “breach of duty” - their failure to take reasonable steps to mitigate known hazards or conditions likely to cause slip and fall risks to lawful visitors. Proving liability often involves showing the owner knew - or reasonably should have known - of risks like uneven floors or poor lighting but neglected to fix them or warn visitors about them. However, nuances apply based on the injured person’s specific legal status on the property. For instance, a trespasser entering private property uninvited has limited options compared to a paying customer who reasonably expects safer conditions where their business is welcomed. Prior complaints or incidents help establish the owner was on notice about risks. For example, if previous slips in a grocery store aisle prompted past lawsuits or injury claims yet no corrective action was done, it strongly shows negligence about a foreseeable recurring danger. Turning a blind eye does not relieve liability.
While insurance policies cover a portion of damages, our lawyers dig deeper to identify all parties who may share liability. This may include construction companies who built unsafe steps, flooring contractors who installed inappropriate materials conducive to slipping, maintenance companies who neglected safety lighting, and more. Involving all negligent parties maximizes recovery potential.
Premises Liability and Slip and Fall Accidents
Premises liability laws hold owners and occupiers responsible for taking reasonable steps to keep their properties safe for lawful visitors. The law extends liability to dangers a reasonable owner should have identified and fixed to fulfill their duty. Failing this basic standard of care makes owners accountable for preventable falls, even without prior notice.
But in slip and fall claims, owners often deny awareness of the specific hazard that caused a victim's accident. However, compelling legal arguments can still establish liability under a "should have known" standard. For instance, a large puddle in a grocery aisle is clearly visible and should be swiftly addressed before an accident occurs. High-traffic restaurant areas prone to spills mandate close monitoring and floor treatment to reduce foreseeable slip risks. And disregarding needed stair repairs due to cost concerns suggests willful negligence about probable dangers. With extensive premises liability experience, our attorneys know how to handle these nuanced cases. We conduct thorough investigations to identify the negligence behind slip and falls so injury victims receive fair compensation.
When Property Owners Are Legally Responsible:
Owners who directly created a hazardous situation by improperly constructing or repairing walking surfaces may often bear liability for resulting falls. For example, laying carpet on stairs unevenly or installing a warped entrance platform that later causes injury. Similarly, owners aware through direct notice of risks like a recurring leak accumulating water near basement stairs or torn lobby carpeting but who then neglect to properly fix the hazard or adequately warn visitors can be deemed negligent. However, liability also justifiably extends to dangers property owners reasonably should have noticed and addressed proactively even without actual prior notice. For instance, a perpetually dark, cluttered basement with no handrail poses an obvious risk that a reasonable owner should mitigate without needing prompting, or they may be liable for any falls that result. With experience building strong negligence arguments, our attorneys overcome denial and avoidance tactics to establish accountability.
Common Causes of Slips, Trips and Falls
Our experienced slip and fall attorneys know injuries can happen anywhere subtle property defects or negligence lead to slips, trips, or falls. These falls can be caused by:
Wet floors from leaks, weather, or spills
Uneven walking surfaces like cracked and eroded sidewalks
Poor lighting in stairwells, basements, or dim corridors
Unsecured throw rugs on polished slip-prone floors
Damaged steps and absent guardrails on staircases
Obstructed views from temporary impediments or distractions
Loose boards, tiles, or torn carpeting
High foot traffic areas like food courts with messy spills
Our attorneys conduct thorough investigations to identify the root cause behind each preventable accident, establishing what conditions, oversights or hazards directly precipitated the events.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents inflict a wide range of injuries, from minor to life-altering. The sudden, uncontrolled forces involved in a hard fall can traumatize bones, soft tissues, and organs throughout the body. Some of the most common severe injuries our attorneys see include:
Hip Fractures - a hard fall often shatters fragile hip bones in older adults, requiring hospitalization and surgical screws or replacement. Prolonged rehabilitation is often necessary to walk again.
Traumatic Brain Injuries - head impact with hard surfaces can lead to concussions, bleeding around the brain, memory deficits and even permanent disability.
Spinal Cord Injuries - sudden trauma can pinch nerves, herniate discs or fracture vertebrae, impairing mobility and sensation. Some effects may be permanent.
Shoulder Dislocations - the momentum of falls violently wrenches and dislocates arm joints from sockets. Surgical repair and therapy helps regain function.
Fractures - fractures often require immobilizing casts or traction pins for many weeks - leg and ankle fractures often require physical therapy to eventually walk again.
Back Injuries - herniated discs, muscle pulls, and tissue tears can cause debilitating pain and ongoing limited mobility.
Our personal injury attorneys have recovered countless verdicts and settlements for clients suffering these painful and life-changing injuries from preventable slip and fall accidents. We are wholly dedicated to easing slip and fall victims’ burdens so they can focus on healing and recovery.
Slip and Fall Lawsuits: Navigating Your Case Step by Step
Suffering a serious slip and fall injury often means a long, challenging recovery ahead both physically and emotionally. The uncertainties can feel overwhelming. Our attorneys are here to walk you through each step of the process so you don’t have to face it alone. With decades of experience guiding injured victims, we will help you take the right actions at the right times while we handle the legal complexities.
Below are the steps you should take immediately after a slip and fall injury:
The moments and hours immediately following a slip and fall accident are important for gathering evidence and promptly seeking treatment. As soon as you are able, use your phone to take photos and videos documenting the accident scene from all angles. Capture any spills, uneven floors, lack of warning signs, or other dangerous conditions that may have contributed to the fall. Also, get contact details of anyone who witnessed the incident firsthand. Their accounts could be very helpful later. Finally, follow up right away with emergency care or your doctor to have injuries examined and recorded while still fresh. Early medical records will support treatment needs down the line.
Consult an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as realistically possible after the accident. You want to discuss your situation candidly and preserve all legal options before negligence investigation deadlines or statutes of limitations expire. A knowledgeable lawyer will guide you on steps to potentially maximize compensation down the line. Share every aspect of what happened and any pain you are experiencing, no matter how minor. Your attorney can connect you with physicians, accident reconstruction experts, or other specialists whose opinions may strengthen your case.
Work closely with your lawyer to continue gathering a thorough file of helpful documentation. Keep a detailed journal tracking how symptoms like pain, limited mobility, stiffness or emotional struggles are impacting your daily activities and quality of life. Have witnesses write out accounts of what they observed. Try to respond fully to your attorney's requests for additional records, photos, logs or other information. Anything validating the severity of your injuries or showing negligence can help your injury lawyer make the strongest argument possible for fair compensation.
Utilizing the above documentation, available evidence and their deep knowledge of personal injury law, your attorney will calculate both immediate and future financial losses - from medical bills to lost income and reduced quality of life. They will negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company on your behalf, or if necessary, file a lawsuit. We realize that initial settlement offers are often low- your lawyer will be able to advise you whether or not to pursue more through litigation. With a fair settlement or court award, you gain both closure and ongoing financial support by holding the negligent party fully accountable. With a supportive attorney on your side, you can focus on healing from your injuries, both physically and emotionally.
Frequently Asked Questions
A slip and fall accident refers to an incident where a person slips, trips, or loses balance due to unsafe premises conditions and is injured in the resulting fall. For example, slipping on a wet floor or tripping over an uneven sidewalk. The property owner's negligence in allowing the hazard typically must be proven for injury liability claims.
Slip and fall accidents can occur in virtually any property where walking is involved, including: commercial establishments like stores, restaurants, hotels, medical offices, etc.; apartment buildings and private residences; workplaces and office buildings; parks, beaches, camping sites; public sidewalks and government-owned properties; and recreation areas like pools, trails, gyms, and stadiums.
Typical causes include wet or slippery floors; unmarked transitions from one flooring type to another; uneven walking surfaces; broken or absent handrails; unsecured mats or rugs; poor lighting obscuring hazards; clutter or debris blocking pathways; icy sidewalks; damaged steps; and improper construction or maintenance issues. Any premise defect creating tripping or loss of traction risks can potentially cause a slip and fall.
Sudden falls can cause a wide range of injuries, including: sprains, strains, and broken bones; head, neck, and back trauma like cracked skulls, concussions, or slipped discs; dislocated or shattered joints requiring surgery; spinal cord damage resulting in paraplegia; traumatic brain injuries causing long-term disability; hip fractures making elderly victims bedridden; and fatalities from internal organ trauma.
Most states allow injury liability claims as long as the property owner's negligence contributed at least partially to the accident. However, your compensation amount may be reduced based on your percentage of fault. An attorney determines how contributory negligence laws in your state apply.
Parties who may share liability depending on circumstances include property owners/managers, landlords, business owners, tenants, construction companies performing repairs, maintenance workers, etc. Basically, any entity contractually obligated or responsible for keeping the premises reasonably safe from slip hazards through monitoring, cleaning, repairs, or warning patrons may be liable.
Photographs of the hazard or defect, accident scene measurements, video surveillance footage, eyewitness statements, proof of past similar incidents, documentation of injury severity, medical opinions, maintenance records showing lack of care, and documentation of negligence like outdated building codes or safety violations.
Not necessarily. In most states, the legal standard extends to conditions an owner "should have known" about and remedied regardless of whether they were actually aware. So obvious dangers like a long-standing broken step should be fixed whether reported or not. However, unknown "hidden dangers" typically have higher notice requirements to establish liability.
You can potentially recover damages for medical expenses, lost income and diminished future earnings, pain and suffering, permanent disabilities or disfigurement, out-of-pocket accident costs, reduced quality of life, rehabilitation and at-home care costs, modifications like wheelchair ramps, and certain multiplied or punitive awards if gross negligence is proven.
No, slip and fall settlements and court awarded damages do not impact your health insurance, auto insurance, Medicare, or other personal coverage. However, the compensation may need to reimburse state Medicaid programs or private health insurers who paid accident medical costs initially through subrogation liens.
Only if the portion for lost wages or earning capacity is large enough. Non-economic damages for pain, suffering, disfigurement, etc. are tax-free. Your attorney helps determine taxable amounts and provides the appropriate paperwork to account for settlement income when filing your tax return.
Deadlines called "statutes of limitations" dictate how long you have to pursue a case, typically 1 to 3 years depending on your state's laws. The clock starts running from the accident date. Filing a lawsuit before this window expires preserves your claim. Letting the deadline lapse will destroy any chance of recovery.
If the slip and fall happened at your workplace due to employer negligence, they may discourage legal action to avoid liability. Thankfully, you have rights. Your attorney will handle communication and settlement negotiations to minimize any direct friction, and the law prohibits retaliation for exercising injury claim rights.
These cases involve complex laws and procedures best navigated by experienced legal professionals. Attorneys also substantially increase claim value through skilled negotiation or litigation, lowering your recovery risks. On average, self-represented accident victims get 50-60% less compensation than claimants with lawyers.
Yes, businesses carry liability insurance policies to cover injury lawsuit damages. But insurers fight aggressively to deny claims or minimize payouts. Without proficient legal representation pushing hard for your entitled compensation, you often end up settling for pennies on the dollar after insurer delays and stonewalling.
Yes. Most personal injury firms handle cases on a contingency-fee basis, meaning legal fees come from any settlement you win - no upfront payment needed. This gives experienced attorneys an incentive to maximize your claim value. Initial consultations are also free. Top attorneys are very accessible.
Insurers often dispute obvious liability, blaming victims' carelessness. Experienced plaintiff lawyers rebut such assertions and aggressively negotiate fair settlements. Most cases settle out of court. If needed, seasoned trial attorneys take uncooperative defendants to court and win before juries. Don't let insurers off easy.
Not necessarily. Constructive notice legal standards mean a reasonable store owner under the circumstances should have known of and remedied the dangerous condition regardless of actual notice. For instance, failing to promptly clean up a smashed beverage spilled in an aisle. Judges and juries determine if the owner fell short of reasonable care.
Yes, if medical evidence shows the initial slip and fall accident directly led to or contributed to the additional injury or health deterioration. For example, if you had a minor knee sprain at the time of the fall and you later required a total knee replacement due to accident-caused arthritis or meniscus damage, you may be able to get compensation for the cost of the knee replacement surgery, as well as any other medical expenses and losses that you incurred.
However, it is important to note that proving causation in these cases can be difficult. This is because it is often difficult to say with certainty whether the slip and fall accident was the sole cause of the additional injury or health deterioration, or whether other factors, such as the natural progression of the existing injury, also played a role.
Yes, lack of witnesses does not automatically doom your case. Security or cell phone footage capturing your fall may exist. Circumstantial evidence may establish the dangerous premises condition. However, proving liability becomes more challenging lacking eyewitnesses. An attorney thoroughly investigates other avenues demonstrating fault.
Possibly. If the dangerous snow and ice accumulation resulted from the property owner's unreasonable failure to clear walkways promptly despite ample warning of the weather risk, you may have a strong claim. Naturally occurring minor slick spots that are unavoidable with winter precipitation are harder to build liability around.
Inclement weather does not absolve owners of responsibility to monitor and remedy slip risks. For example, knowing heavy rain is forecast, a diligent store owner puts down extra floor mats or cautions patrons of slippery conditions. Failing to take such reasonable precautions may strengthen a victim's premises liability case if they were injured soon after entering.
Inadequate lighting that hides or obscures hazards like uneven steps can help prove property owner negligence. Victims may have difficulty seeing or avoiding dangers in poorly lit public access areas. Lighting maintenance falls under standard safety codes. We obtain expert opinions on minimum illumination standards.
Absolutely. Documentation of overall disrepair and lapses in safety protocol make it far easier to prove negligent maintenance directly leading to slip and fall risks. Photograph and fully describe run-down conditions indicating lack of care. Jurors understand such evidence readily. Deferred maintenance is inexcusable when it causes harm.
Statutes of Limitations for Slip and Fall Accidents
Each state sets strict deadlines, or "statutes of limitations" for filing personal injury claims - these time limits typically expire 2-4 years after an accident. Missing this narrow window can irrevocably destroy any chance of compensation, regardless of how clearly the property owner was at fault. Our lawyers immediately prepare and file appropriate claims documents, backed by early evidence gathering, to preserve our clients’ rights. We also advise on state-specific nuances around statutes of limitations and deadlines so clients do not inadvertently delay past a cutoff. Timeliness is critical, as even highly valid claims will ultimately fail if filed too late.
How An Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Ensure Success
Handling a premise liability case takes extensive expertise and resources injured victims simply don't have on their own. An experienced slip and fall attorney will improve your chances of a successful case by:
Launching immediate, skilled investigations, looking into factors like lighting, floor traction, past falls, etc. before evidence disappears.
Identifying all potentially liable parties - property owners, management companies, contractors, etc.
Consulting building code experts to assess if safety standards were violated, and medical experts to assess injuries and prognosis
Filing required documentation within strict deadlines.
Gathering witness interviews and sworn statements.
Quantifying even difficult-to-substantiate damages like pain, trauma, and disfigurement.
Maximizing claim value through assertive negotiation on your behalf
Explaining legal complications and risks so you can make informed decisions.
Advocating for your needs in the courtroom, if necessary.
With so many complex moving parts, seasoned legal guidance makes all the difference. Don't gamble with your case - hire our dedicated legal experts to obtain justice on your behalf.
What Damages Can Victims Claim in a Slip and Fall Case?
Slip and fall accidents can inflict immense physical pain, emotional distress, and financial burdens. Our attorneys help injured victims pursue compensation through claims or litigation so they can focus on healing, not fighting uphill legal battles alone. Below are typical damages we assist clients in recovering:
Medical Expenses - both current and future costs of all treatments, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, assistive devices, in-home caregiving and rehabilitation related to accident injuries. This includes compensation for ongoing therapies and care due to permanent disabilities.
Lost Income - if injuries prevent you from working for a period, you may claim lost wages. If disabilities inhibit returning to the same career, you can seek compensation for reduced future earning capacity as well.
Pain and Suffering - in addition to physical trauma, fall accidents often cause PTSD, anxiety, depression, and lasting loss of enjoyment of life. We secure appropriate compensation for enduring emotional harm.
Property Losses - reimbursement for eyeglasses, phones, medical equipment or other personal items damaged or broken in the fall.
Punitive Damages - if negligence is particularly egregious, courts may additionally award punitive damages to punish defendants and deter similar conduct harming others.
With experienced legal representation, we maximize recoveries to cover every facet of harm and loss resulting from preventable accidents. Our attorneys leverage decades of litigation experience to build strong cases proving full liability and damages.
Don’t Deal with a Slip and Fall Injury Alone – Consult an Attorney Today
The stress of coping with severe injuries is trying enough without having to fight uphill legal battles alone against insurers and property owners. Equipped with years of experience, our team of slip and fall lawyers specializes in cases like yours. We ensure that victims aren't bullied by large insurance companies into accepting unsatisfactory settlements. Their thorough approach involves gathering evidence, consulting with medical professionals, and interviewing witnesses to ensure your case is well-established. While you focus on recovery, our injury lawyers will guide you through the intricacies of your slip and fall case, negotiate with involved parties on your behalf, and tirelessly defend your rights to the compensation you deserve, even if it means taking your case to court.
We understand you may be facing a challenging financial situation. In light of that, our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, only charging if they win, with no fees upfront or out of pocket. This means that if no settlement or favorable verdict is reached, you pay nothing. If you've experienced a slip and fall injury, don't wait - contact our team today at 877-715-9300 or through our website for a free consultation.
Wettermark Keith was extremely professional and helpful. This personal injury law firm helped my husband over 10 years ago when he fell and broke his foot on vacation. I called them first because I liked their TV commercials. They are very nice people and I would call them again if I needed a lawyer.
Law firm Wettermark Keith has exceeded my expectations! I recommend these lawyers to anyone and everyone I come across. Their commitment to their clients is outstanding. Communication is easy. And I got my settlement very fast. I definitely recommend working with Lee Hawker. He is very gracious and kind. He looked out for me and my family and went above and beyond for us. I’m very grateful!
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I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Mark English at Wettermark Keith law firm after my car accident in December 2021. He was very thorough in everything, did a wonderful job of explaining everything that was happening, and was super easy to get in touch with when I needed him. I never had a question that was left unanswered by this lawyer. He's very kind and patient, and he made the personal injury claims process so easy for me. I absolutely recommend him, it was a pleasure working with him!
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