If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Slip and fall accidents fall under premises liability law, which means that property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their premises. If the property owner failed to do so and their negligence caused your slip and fall accident, you may have grounds for a legal claim.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries are often caused by:
- Wet or slippery floors or surfaces, such as those caused by spills, leaks, rain, or ice
- Uneven or damaged flooring, such as loose tiles, torn carpeting, or cracks in concrete
- Clutter or debris in walkways, such as boxes, cords, or equipment
- Inadequate lighting, especially in dimly lit or poorly lit areas
- Stairs without proper handrails or with uneven risers and treads
- Failure to post warning signs about potential hazards or slippery conditions
- Negligence or improper maintenance by property owners or managers
Injuries Associated With Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can lead to a range of injuries, including:
- Fractures, sprains, and strains
- Concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Cuts, bruises, and other soft tissue injuries
- Dislocated joints or herniated discs
- Chronic pain and reduced mobility
- Psychological trauma, such as anxiety or depression related to the injury
The severity of the accident and resulting injuries can vary widely depending on a range of factors, including the individual's age, overall health, and the specific circumstances of the slip and fall. It's important to take slip and fall injuries seriously and seek medical attention as soon as possible if you or someone you know has been injured.
Who Is Liable for a Slip and Fall Injury?
Slip and fall liability is often determined by whether hazardous conditions on the property were permanent or temporary. In the case of permanent hazards, such as a broken handrail, property owners are typically held liable because the hazardous situation should have been remedied.
In the case of temporary hazards, such as an icy driveway, slip and fall liability often depends on whether the property owner had ample time to realize and remedy the situation.
The victim's status is also considered when determining liability. A person who visits a property can be classified in one of three ways:
- Invitee. Someone who has been invited onto the premises by the landowner, such as a customer entering a place of business, is considered an invitee. Owners are obligated to practice reasonable care to maintain the safety of the property, including warning invitees of danger.
- Licensee. A guest or party attendee is considered a licensee. Property owners don't have a duty to inspect or fix defects but are responsible for warning of hazards they are aware of on the property.
- Trespasser. Someone who sets foot on the property without permission. The owner has no liability for trespassers they do not know about, but if a trespasser is found, the property owner needs to inform them of any danger.
Comparative negligence is also considered when establishing slip and fall liability. This concerns your responsibility in the event of a fall compared to the responsibility of the owner of the property. The court will assign a liability percentage to each, which will determine the percentage of damages to be paid by each party.
Types of Compensation After a Kansas City Slip and Fall Accident
If you have experienced a slip and fall injury, you may be entitled to receive compensation for expenses related to your injury. The types of compensation available to you will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, but some common examples include the following:
- Medical expenses. This includes compensation for past and future medical bills related to your slip and fall injury, such as hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, medication, and other related costs.
- Lost wages. If your slip and fall injury caused you to miss work, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your lost wages. This includes any income you would have earned if you had not been injured.
- Pain and suffering. Slip and fall injuries can cause physical pain and emotional distress. Compensation for pain and suffering aims to reimburse you for these non-economic damages.
How Our Kansas City Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help
If you believe you may have grounds for a lawsuit, the Kansas City slip and fall attorneys from Peterson & Associates, P.C. can help. With a proven history of claims success, our team is well-equipped to handle even the most complex slip and fall cases. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.