Slip & Fall Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Should I report my slip and fall accident immediately?
- Can I sue my employer for my slip and fall?
- What compensation might I be entitled to?
- What is a ‘hazardous condition’?
- What if I’m injured at someone’s house?
- What if I fall on ice or snow?
- What if a property owner denies responsibility?
- What is comparative negligence?
- How can a lawyer help with my case?
Should I report my slip and fall accident immediately?
If you’re injured in or on someone else’s property, such as a business or store, then you should request an accident report. It is common for store owners to complete one in the case of an accident. You should avoid signing any sworn statements or making recorded statements about what happened. Inform them of what transpired, when it occurred, and if anyone witnessed the accident. Make sure to obtain a copy of the report before you leave. You should also privately capture what occurred including:
- the dangerous condition that caused the accident (wet floor, objects in the vicinity, etc.)
- the names of those present and contact information if possible
- take pictures of the scene on your phone
Can I sue my employer for my slip and fall?
In general, you are not allowed to sue your employer for injuries sustained while performing the functions of your job. In that case, you may be able to bring a workers’ compensation claim. However, if a third-party or outside person or company is responsible for your slip and fall, you may be able to bring a separate legal action against them.
What compensation might I be entitled to?
As with most personal injury claims, an individual can typically pursue compensation for a variety of economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Current and future medical bills
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Disability and impairment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages
What is a ‘hazardous condition’
A hazardous condition can be virtually anything that is dangerous and causes injury. This can be a permanent hazard like a dangerous or defective stairway. This can also be a temporary condition such as snow and ice. A property owner is responsible for maintaining a safe environment, identifying potential problems and taking action to address them. Liability may exist if the property owner was aware of a problem and had a reasonable amount of time to address it, but did not.
What if I’m injured at someone’s house?
If an injury occurs at a residential property, rather than a commercial property, you may still be able to pursue compensation for your injuries, though different rules apply which usually make it harder.
What if I fall on ice or snow?
While each scenario is different, property owners are generally required to take reasonable precautions to ensure a safe environment for potential visitors to their property. If a property owner had a reasonable amount of time to address potential hazards but failed to do so, they may be responsible for accidents that occur on the property.
Whether property owners can be held responsible for falls on snow and ice — and to what extent — will vary depending upon the situation. Ice and snow are temporary hazards, which under certain circumstances a property owner should clear within a reasonable amount of time. Failure to do so could leave them liable for slip-and-fall injuries.
What if a property owner denies responsibility?
It is not unusual for property owners and/or their insurers to deny responsibility for slip and fall claims. In this case, you may need to litigate in court, where, as a plaintiff, you will need to prove the property owner’s negligence as well as your damages. An experienced attorney can help with your claim and present the most impactful case on your behalf.
What is comparative negligence?
“Comparative Negligence” is a legal concept wherein a plaintiff may be found partially responsible for causing their own accident and injuries. While different states follow different rules when applying comparative negligence, NJ typically allows juries to consider a plaintiff’s own alleged fault in causing an accident. As a practical matter, a finding of comparative negligence can decrease a plaintiff’s recovery.
How can a lawyer help with my case?
A personal injury lawyer can help with multiple facets of your potential claim. They will work with you to fully understand your rights and options, properly investigate the incident, gather evidence, and prepare a case.
The slip & fall attorneys at the Reinartz Law Firm are available to help answer your questions and offers a free consultation to discuss your potential case. Contact us today.