Many people in the United States are injured in slip and fall accidents every year. A head injury or broken bone happens in one in every five falls.
In 2019, approximately 244,000 workers were injured by falls and needed time off from work, and 880 workers died as a result of falls.
A slip or a fall can be a very scary experience, especially if you need compensation and you’re not sure who is liable for your injuries. It’s best to consult with one of our Michigan slip and fall lawyers as soon as possible after a fall so they can help you understand how to proceed with a claim against those liable for the accident.
Examples of Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere, including sidewalks, staircases, and parking lots. These accidents often occur for the following reasons:
- Ice and snow may cause slippery parking lots and dangerous indoor conditions at hotels and businesses.
- Excessive wax and insufficient maintenance can leave extremely slippery floors in stores, malls, and restaurants.
- Broken stairs, crumbling cement steps, and worn-out wooden steps.
- Missing or broken handrails on a stairway.
- Poorly maintained parking lots and pavements marked by cracks, potholes, and other hazards.
- Private or public sidewalks that are damaged, uneven, or raised.
- Water, grease, or other liquids on floors and aisles in businesses such as stores and restaurants.
- Poor lighting that makes it difficult to see where you are walking.
Understanding Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident
If someone is injured on private property due to a dangerous condition, the property owner may be liable for recoverable damages. However, the insurance company usually pays for the damages if the property owner is at fault. If you want your claim to succeed, you will need to prove that the property owner is at fault.
Under premises liability law, an injury results from a dangerous or defective condition existing on someone’s property. In Michigan and other states, owners have a legal duty to maintain the premises in good condition.
In Michigan, the comparative fault statute plays a role in your claim. Under this statute, if you are partially at fault, then your economic damages are reduced by the same percentage.
For example, in the case of a person who knowingly walks on an icy sidewalk outside of a store and falls, the store’s lawyer may argue the person was 40% at fault and, if successful, the store must pay only 60% of the total damages.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident?
If someone is injured in a slip and fall accident in Michigan due to a property owner’s negligence, they must file before the statute of limitations expires.
The plaintiff must prove negligence. Proving negligence requires the following elements:
- Duty of care: The property owner owed a duty of care to others. It is their responsibility to keep the property safe.
- Breach of duty: The property owner breached their duty, such as by failing to maintain the sidewalk. This also includes not putting up warning signs of hazards around the property.
- Proximate cause: A dangerous condition was on the property due to the owner’s negligence. Your injuries directly resulted from the owner’s negligence.
- Damages: You sustained physical injuries due to the property owner’s negligence and the defective condition on the property. Damages can also include medical bills, lost wages, and damaged property.
The experienced lawyers at Fieger Law can help you gather evidence to prove that the property owners knew about the unsafe conditions that caused your injury and did nothing to correct them.
Evidence can be provided by witness testimonies of your accident and photographs of the hazard, among other credible sources. Your medical records and bills will also be invaluable in proving your case if you suffered an injury due to these unsafe property conditions.
Fieger Law Can Represent You
Serious slip and fall accidents can be devastating, which is why you should always seek legal representation. The slip and fall lawyers at Fieger Law are ready to help you if you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident.
For more than 70 years, our legal team has provided legal guidance and counsel to slip and fall victims across the United States and understands premises liability.
For quality legal representation to help you get the compensation you deserve, contact Fieger Law to schedule your free consultation.