Did you know that slip and fall accidents are the 2nd leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States?
Having represented accident victims for over three decades, I can tell you firsthand that slip and fall cases are far more prevalent than you would ever imagine.
The key to winning a slip and fall case is proving that the property owner/manager knew or should have known about the hazard that caused the accident.
Let me give you a simple example:
Let’s say, for example, a woman is shopping at a grocery store and she notices that a Wesson Oil bottle fell off the shelf, broke and spilled oil on the floor. She takes it upon herself to go to the store manager and tell him that there is an oil spill on aisle number seven. For whatever reason, the manager is juggling several things at once and fails to tell a stock boy to mop of the oil.
Twenty minutes after he was put on notice, another woman walks down aisle number seven and slips on the oil, breaking her leg.
Is the store responsible for her injuries?
The answer is absolutely yes because the store had “constructive notice” of the hazard and failed to take appropriate steps to remedy it.
To further analyze the grocery store example, it is important to note that when someone comes into a place of business that business has the highest degree of duty owed to its customers. The customer is termed “a business licensee”. However, if someone were to wander onto another person’s property, the duty of care owed to that individual is very low.
A common defense used by the insurance companies in slip and fall cases is called “the open and obvious” defense.
This simply means that, even though the store owner knew about a problem and failed to do anything about it, the hazard was “open and obvious” and the customer should have seen it and avoided it.
For those reasons, slip and fall cases are extraordinary difficult to prove.
Recently, I settled a case for the family of a lovely woman who was shopping at a drug store. As she walked around the corner of an aisle, her foot got stuck on a wooden pallet that a stock boy had inadvertently left on the floor. Under cross examination, the store manager admitted that they had, in essence, created a hazard by leaving the pallet in that precarious spot.
There was no way my client could have avoided it as it was in essence, a booby trap. Tragically she fell and hit her head on the floor. She suffered a brain hemorrhage and died a few days later.
Many victims of slip and fall accidents suffer closed head injuries. These are the most debilitating of all physical injuries.
If you, a friend, or a loved one has sustained a severe injury as a result of a fall, you need to contact me immediately. Proving liability is often times a Herculean task that demands the knowledge, experience, and financial resources of my law firm.
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.