Have you or a loved one been hurt from a fall? Check out these 3 slip and fall facts for guidance, then contact our Hamburg attorneys today.
Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Cases
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.
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.
How Warning Signs Impact Slip and Fall Claims
A warning sign can definitely affect your slip and fall claim because it’s putting you on notice that there’s a dangerous condition and that you should be more careful. If you’re going into a department store and you see “wet floor” signs, and you decide, well, I’m just going to run in the store, knowing you see those signs, then you weren’t careful. That could definitely affect your ability to recover. It also comes into play where you may see these in stores where they have uneven pavement coming in and out of a store or some businesses. Because of their old structures they’re not quite surface level, and they may have “Beware of Step Down,” – things of that nature.
When you see those types of signs, you have an obligation, as a pedestrian, to obey them and watch where you’re going. Those things can be used against you, so if you see those warning signs you have to, of course, be careful of what you’re doing, but sometimes even the warning signs aren’t good enough. Sometimes floors are just so slippery and wet, and you’re being as careful as you possibly can and you still go down. Then, the owner of the property is on the hook.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured and have questions about our 3 slip and fall facts? 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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