Whether it’s a slip, trip and fall in a grocery store aisle, a poorly lit stairway, an icy sidewalk or parking lot, or an abrupt change in flooring, slip and fall accidents can occur virtually anywhere and may result in serious injuries. After a slip and fall, it can be difficult to know what you should do, what your rights are and how to get the help you need.
Working with an experienced team of slip and fall lawyers is important to ensure you make well-informed decisions about your possible slip and fall lawsuit. Here are some simple tips to help you or someone you care about in the event of a slip and fall.
What You Should Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident that causes a serious injury (e.g. unconsciousness, broken bones, severe bleeding), it is essential to contact emergency medical services to not only stabilize the injury, but also, to receive urgent and appropriate medical care. Even if a slip and fall accident doesn’t result in serious injuries, seeking the advice of a medical provider is always a good idea, as not all injuries present themselves at the time of the fall.
In the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall, it’s very important to notify the property owner of the incident. In addition, talk to any people who witnessed the fall and get their contact information. From there, take steps to evaluate what caused the fall and use your phone or mobile device to take pictures of the scene. Gathering as much evidence and information as possible upfront will help your slip and fall personal injury attorney prove you have a case and who is legally at fault.
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“Ordinary Care” and “Negligence” - What it is and Why it Matters
In the aftermath of a slip and fall accident, it’s important to determine whether the cause of the incident was due to a lapse in ordinary care or negligence on behalf of the property owner.
Property owners are obligated to exercise ordinary care to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition or warn patrons about serious conditions that were either caused by the owner/operator, they are aware of, or they should be aware of.
Business owners, and operators of places open to the public, are often held to a higher standard under Wisconsin’s Safe Place Law, which law requires business owners and owners of public buildings to do everything reasonably necessary to make the premises safe for the public.
Providing ordinary care can include, but is not limited to:
- Shoveling snow, salting or sanding icy and slippery spots
- Installing anti-slip devices on steps
- Placing signage or markings to alert customers and workers to hazards (wet or uneven flooring)
- Quickly clearing up spills and leaks when they occur
If your slip and fall injury was a result of a temporary hazard, such as a leak or spill, you should have independent evidence proving the hazard was present long enough for the property owner to discover and correct it.
Structural damages to a building resulting from age or wear and tear can also be a significant cause of slips, trips and falls. Uneven steps, potholes in a parking lot, large cracks in sidewalks, broken flooring tiles or torn carpeting can create dangerous situations for building visitors. If the building property owner already knows or should have known about these types of hazards but failed to repair them, they may be found negligent because they failed to observe ordinary care for their property and customer safety.
For example, if you fell while walking down the stairs in an office building and sustained serious injuries and a jury finds that the building owner was warned about a trouble spot on the stairs weeks ago and failed to correct it, the building owner could be found negligent in the slip and fall case.
It’s important to note that ordinary care also falls on the injured individual. If a person is found negligent for failing to exercise ordinary care for their own safety (falling down the stairs in an office building while looking at a smartphone, etc.) the jury would find that their inattention contributed to the accident, meaning that even if there was a problem area on the stairs that caused them to fall, it wasn’t the only contributing factor.
Think you might have a slip and fall case? Complete a free case evaluation and a lawyer will contact you to discuss your possible case.
Why You Should Hire a Slip and Fall Attorney for Your Case
We often hear people who have been injured in slip and fall accidents say, “This is all so overwhelming and confusing. I’m not even sure if I have a strong case.” That’s why we encourage accident victims to contact experienced slip and fall accident lawyers to help evaluate the case and provide guidance through the legal process.
Hiring an attorney to work on your behalf and fully prepare your slip and fall case will help you determine the true value of your case and recover the maximum compensation. There are many elements to consider when selecting a personal injury attorney, including experience with your type of case, compassion and accessibility and whether they will prepare your case for trial.
What are Wisconsin’s laws when it comes to slips, trips and falls? Click here to learn more.
The Milwaukee slip and fall lawyers at Murphy & Prachthauser have seen a number of slip and fall cases result in settlements and trials. We’ve reviewed and handled cases that include: residential and commercial buildings, shopping centers and parking facilities, hotels and casinos, amusement parks, airports, healthcare facilities, nightclubs, and bars, as well as private universities.
We will help gather and review all the evidence of your potential case, such as photos, videos, and witness testimonials to determine if you have a strong slip and fall personal injury lawsuit case.
At Murphy & Prachthauser we practice personal injury law the way it should be practiced - motivated and equipped to do our best for you. We take pride in being good lawyers who help people.
For more than 30 years, our attorneys have been working diligently to help people in Milwaukee and its surrounding communities who have been hurt or injured in slip and fall accidents to thoroughly prepare their cases so they receive the favorable outcome and compensation they deserve.
If you have questions regarding a slip and fall accident that you would like to speak to a lawyer about, please complete a free case evaluation and get an experienced team of lawyers working on your behalf.