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Slip-and-fall accidents are among the most common kind of personal injury lawsuits. Just as it sounds, a slip-and-fall accident occurs when you trip over or slip on something on the floor, then fall down and injure yourself. A slip-and-fall accident may also be known as a:
- Trip-and-fall accident, when you trip over a foreign object
- Stump-and-fall accident, when you trip over an impediment while walking
- Step-and-fall accident, when you encounter an unexpected failure or hole while walking
Slip-, trip-, stump-, step-and-fall accidents can occur from problems such as water, ice, grease, or food on a walking surface. They can also occur from a poorly maintained walking surface, including broken floorboards or crumbling steps, and in poorly lit areas.
When there is a potentially dangerous walking surface, both the property owner (or tenant) and the person who is walking on the surface bear some responsibility for preventing the slip-and-fall and avoiding injuries. The property owner must keep the property safe. Anyone who encounters a slippery or otherwise dangerous walking surface must also exercise reasonable care to avoid hurting themselves.
In a slip-and-fall lawsuit, each party has some degree of responsibility. The injured party must show that he or she exercised reasonable care when walking on the dangerous surface, and the property owner has to show that he or she took reasonable care to keep the property safe.
Compensation for a Slip-and-Fall Injury
If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Past, current, and future medical bills associated with the slip-and-fall injury
- Lost wages if you were unable to work while recovering from the injury
- Pain and suffering
- Property that was damaged (such as broken glasses) during the accident
The court will look at the comparative liability of each party (in other words, how much responsibility the injured party bears and how much responsibility the property owner bears for the injury). This percentage of liability is then used to calculate how much the property owner must pay in damages or compensation to the injured party, and how much of the cost the injured party will have to bear.
Slip-and-Fall Injuries at Work
If you are involved in a slip-and-fall injury at work, you normally cannot sue your employer under state personal injury laws. Work-related injuries instead would be covered under your state's worker's compensation laws.
Hiring an Attorney for Your Slip-and-Fall Case
If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident, trip-and-fall accident, step-and-fall accident, or stump-and-fall accident, you should speak to an Atlanta personal injury attorney who has experience handling these types of cases. Know that you may be able to sue within a certain timeframe following the case. Even if you are unsure of the extent of your injuries, it makes sense to contact a personal injury attorney quickly, so you understand your options.