Slip and fall accidents are prevalent, costly, and serious. Victims should look into their legal options for recovery as soon as they are able so they will have the means to pay for their important needs after a slip and fall accident. You might be able to file an insurance claim or lawsuit to get compensation for your damages. For a free consultation with a slip and fall attorney in Cincinnati, call Levy Law Offices at 513-587-1323.
Can I hold someone liable for my slip and fall accident?
If your accident was in your own home, you will likely need to use your own health and disability insurance to cover your expenses. It may seem counterintuitive, but your homeowner’s insurance will likely not cover you or your family members for injuries on your own property. Similarly, if you slipped and fell at work, you can usually recover under workers’ compensation. In fact, 22% of slip and fall incidents resulted in more than 31 days away from work.
If your accident occurred on another person’s or business’s property, you might be entitled to file a premises liability claim or lawsuit against the property owner. There are four basic elements you must be able to prove in order to bring a successful claim:
- Duty of care: The property owner must have owed you a duty of care. If you were a patron or guest or if the victim was a child, then you have likely satisfied the element of duty of care. If you were trespassing, though, the property owner did not owe you a duty.
- Negligence: The owner somehow breached her duty, i.e., acted negligently. He or she must have known about (or should have known about) the hazard that caused your fall, and failed to fix it or at least warn you about it.
- Causation: The owner’s negligence must have been the cause of your accident. If you slipped and fell on the owner’s property, but it was a result of your own doing (e.g., you lost your balance because of you were unaccustomed to walking in high heels), you cannot hold the owner liable.
- Damages: You must have sustained actual harm, i.e., compensable damages that you can prove.
Even if you were partly at fault, you may still be able to recover partial damages. Ohio adheres to the comparative negligence rule which provides that victims can still seek recovery for damages so long as they were 50 percent or less at fault.
Can a slip and fall lawyer establish If someone is liable?
Our firm handles numerous types of slip and fall accident cases for people all over Ohio. Some of the most common ways people fall are, in fact, the result of another party’s negligence. Below are a few examples of owners’ carelessness that could indicate negligence in a slip, trip, and fall premises liability case:
- Failing to clean up spilled liquids (in fact, 85% of worker’s compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors.)
- Failing to clean up tracked in snow and rain
- Failing to fix loose carpeting or rugs
- Leaving cords or merchandise strewn about
- Failing to fix a loose or otherwise dangerous threshold
- Failing to use adequate lighting in the store, parking lot, or stairwell
- Failing to fix shoddy stairs or handrails
If your injury occurred at work and a third party was involved, you might be able to file a third-party liability suit (in addition to a workers’ compensation claim). An example of third-party negligence would be an outsourced cleaning company that failed to put up wet flooring signage at your workplace. Your attorney can review your case and determine if negligence exists, and identify which party to file against.
How do I prove liability?
Business owners and insurance companies diligently fight liability claims because they are so costly. You will need sufficient evidence to prove the owner is liable. The specific types of evidence that may be useful vary depending on the circumstances of your accident, but in general, the following items are usually instrumental in supporting victims’ claims:
- Photos: Photos of the scene/hazard, either taken by the victim or someone else, can make or break a claimant’s slip and fall case. Without photographic evidence of what caused you to slip or trip (e.g., snow, cords, bumpy carpet), it will become a matter of your word against the owner’s — a situation that makes it very difficult for you to win.
- Surveillance videos: If the property has surveillance cameras in place, your attorney can request the footage. Video can illustrate what transpired better than photos can, so footage can be pivotal to your case.
- Eyewitness testimony: If others witnessed the accident, their input can serve as testimony to your case. They can testify about the hazard and how it caused you to fall.
- Maintenance records: During the discovery phase, your lawyer will also request the store release its maintenance and repair records for proof of negligence.
How much is my slip and fall claim worth?
You may be able to recover various damages, not just your medical bills and lost wages. If your case is successful, your settlement can include damages for many injury-related expenses, including medical devices, rehabilitation, and the cost of hiring help until you improve.
Your damage award can compensate you for your non-monetary losses, too, such as emotional harms and pain and suffering. Seek help from a professional at Levy Law Offices to assess the totality of your damages and value your claim.
Get Help from Levy Law Offices
Each year, millions of people slip, trip, and fall, and over eight million people visit the emergency room for fall-related injuries, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). A serious fall accident can result in medical bills, lost work time, and long-term disability. In fact, slip and fall injuries involving older people cost our nation over $30 billion annually, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.
For help getting compensation from the property owner or other negligent party to cover your losses and expenses, contact an injury attorney at Levy Law Offices in Cincinnati. Our team is dedicated to helping injured Ohioans hold negligent parties liable for their losses. The consultation is free. We can explain your legal options, help you estimate the value of your case, and then walk you through the claims or lawsuit process so you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 513-587-1323 to get started.