Slip and fall accidents are common occurrences that lead to severe injuries and even financial trouble for the victims. If you are ever injured in a slip and fall accident, you need to consult with the experienced Nashville personal injury attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC. These accidents are typically easy to prevent if property owners take care of the property and remove any hazards that could injure visitors and renters. Be sure to speak with our Nashville slip and fall accident lawyers today so you can begin building your compensation case.
Common Slip and Fall Accidents and Injuries
Most slip and fall accidents are completely preventable yet you’d likely be surprised how common they are. It is estimated that 1 million people go to the emergency room each year with a slip and fall-related injury.
The most common slip and fall accidents include:
Wet or uneven surfaces
Cords, wires, electrical devices, etc.
In addition, poor employee training leading to job injuries also is a major factor.
As a result of these accidents, some of the most commonly sustained injuries are:
As a result, these accidents can be costly and damaging to your health.
How to Prove Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
Proving fault in a slip and fall case is not easy. The outcome lies in the ability to verify that the property owner failed to prevent the incident from happening and that you were not negligent in seeing the potential hazard on the property. To be successful in a slip and fall case, you must prove that the owner of the property knew about the dangerous condition that caused your injury.
To successfully show that the property owner knew about the existence of the dangerous condition, the following must be proven:
The property owner created a dangerous condition.
The dangerous condition was known by the property owner, who also failed to correct the problem.
The dangerous condition was in existence for such a period that the property owner should have known about it and fixed it before the accident occurred.
The bottom line is you need to show the property owner’s negligence must have been foreseeable in the fact that it would lead to a dangerous situation such as the one that caused your injuries.
There also must be the presence of a responsible party in all slip and fall accident cases to prove liability. This responsible party must have acted negligently in order for the case to be successful. There are some injuries caused by slip and fall accidents that occur only because of the victim’s careless actions and not the result of anyone else’s actions.
Slip and Fall Accidents on Commercial Property
Slip and falls are widespread in commercial properties, including stores, restaurants, school grounds, and other public accommodations. The following must be present to prove liability:
The owner or employee of the property must have caused the hazardous condition that led to the accident (spill, tear, slippery spot, etc.).
The owner or employee must have known about the dangerous situation and did nothing to rectify it.
The owner or employee should have known about the hazardous condition since a reasonable person taking care of the property would know and then amend the situation so injury or accident would not occur.
Slip and Fall Accidents on Residential Property
A slip and fall accident that occurs on a residential property can wind up having various parties at fault for the accident. If the property is an apartment, condominium, or another type of rental property, then the landlord could be held liable for the injuries to the tenant. If the property is a single-family home, the homeowner could be held responsible for the sustained injuries of any visitor to the house.
If your injuries were suffered on a rental property, you would need the following elements to prove fault:
The condition that led to the slip and fall could have been controlled by the landlord.
The repairs for the condition would not have been too expensive or unreasonable to achieve for the landlord.
Not fixing the condition led to a foreseeable consequence like a slip and fall accident.
The tenant’s slip and fall accident and subsequent injuries were caused by the landlord’s failure to remedy the situation.
For slip and fall accidents that occur at a single-family home, the following must be present for fault to be established:
A dangerous surface, such as a crumbled or uneven sidewalk, torn carpet, or slick surface caused your accident and the danger existed because the owner failed to correct it.
The property owner does not regularly maintain the property.
An object that was haphazardly placed caused the injury.
There was no warning sign, barrier, handrail, etc. to prevent the fall or injury.
Poor lighting conditions caused you to not see the hazard before you.
There are often homeowners’ insurance policy requirements like handrails, fixed sidewalks, etc. that must be followed. This can lead to more financial headaches for the homeowner which could have been avoided had they not been negligent.
Slip and Fall Accidents on Government Property
There are special rules that apply to slip and fall accidents that occur on government property, including local, state, and federal levels. Government entities are often shielded from liability when it comes to injuries that are suffered in slip and fall accidents on their properties. This is done with strict notice requirements and immunity provisions that are typically very broad.
Under GTLA, governments can be sued for actions such as:
Injuries caused by unsafe and unkempt walkways, streets, sidewalks, highways, etc. that are owned and maintained by the government;
Injuries caused by dangerous conditions of government-owned and operated buildings.
In some cases, you may bear some burden of fault in the slip and fall accident. While the property owner whose establishment or home you sustained an injury may try to use this to mitigate some of the fault, there are sometimes cases where you actually do have some fault in the accident.
This is known as comparative negligence. In essence, under Tennessee comparative negligence laws, if you are more than 50% responsible for the injuries you sustained, you will not be able to recover any damages for your injury. Some examples of comparative negligence in slip and fall cases include:
The dangerous condition was obvious
The dangerous condition was clearly marked for safety
You weren’t paying attention
You didn’t have proper foot attire on given the circumstances
In these cases, the court will take whatever percentage you are responsible for the injury and deduct it from the total damages you would have received.
Contact The Nashville Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident on any type of property, it’s essential to speak with our Nashville slip and fall lawyers about your case. Contact Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC today to schedule a consultation. You deserve compensation for your injuries and shouldn’t have to struggle to pay the medical bills associated with the incident. Fighting for the injured of Tennessee is what we do.