Have you been recently injured due to a slip and fall and have questions? Check out these 3 slip and fall questions, then call Chiacchia & Fleming today for a free consultation.
1. Can You Receive Compensation If You’re Injured While Trespassing on Private Property?
Trespassing cases can be interesting because the fact that someone is trespassing doesn’t mean the property owner is off the hook – especially in cases where a hidden danger exists on the property. For instance, there may be an uncovered hole on a person’s property – and not only is it 10 feet deep, it’s not readily visible. If a person walking through the property falls into it, the landowner may be responsible for that person’s injuries because of that hidden danger.
I have friends who own property out in the country and, when they ask me for advice about these kinds of things. I say, “You just have to make sure your property is reasonably maintained. In other words, if you see something that’s really out of the ordinary – like a hole – you must try to do something about it. Just because someone’s trespassing on your property, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you, as the property owner, are totally off the hook.” Of course, there can be variations to that scenario. Maybe that injured trespasser was a repeat trespasser, so we get into the facts and circumstances of each case. Every case is different, but don’t presume that, just because the injured person was trespassing, the landowner is not responsible.
2. What are the Steps to Take When Notifying the Property Owner After a Slip and Fall Injury?
Oftentimes, clients want to know if a property owner must be notified before a claim can be brought against them. Although the answer to that question is yes, I would caution you to remember that, in many situations, it’s best not to notify the property owner right away. It’s more important to reach out to an attorney first so that they can hire an investigator, perhaps send someone out to the property to take pictures, get statements, and speak to other people who may have been injured by that same dangerous condition. If you notify the property owner before taking those steps, they may get rid of some evidence or repair the condition that caused you to fall, and you can’t recreate that condition. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s important to reach out to counsel first and have them take the appropriate steps, including notifying the property owner.
3. How do I prove I wasn’t at fault for my slip and fall injury?
Many times when we get involved in these cases, the other side tries to blame you for your accident, that you weren’t being careful enough when you were walking. Well, how do we disprove that? One, of course, is by eyewitness testimony. You get your witnesses to say, “You know, I saw her walking in the store. She wasn’t running; she wasn’t doing anything crazy.” One thing they always say is, “What type of footwear did you have on?” “Well, I had good footwear. They had a good sole on them. It wasn’t like I was running around in flip flops, or bad shoes, or things like that.” Getting your witnesses involved right away and getting an investigation done helps get rid of that defense that you did something wrong. We want to make sure that we get that investigation done and have our witnesses to show that you didn’t do anything wrong. Part of that investigation, many times, involves video. If there’s video that shows your fall, great! It might show that you did nothing wrong and that it was totally a result of the imperfection or the slippery stuff that was on the floor that caused the accident, and nothing that you did.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured and have follow up thoughts after reading these 3 slip and fall questions? Contact a Hamburg slip and fall lawyer at Chiacchia and Fleming today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.
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