We hear it so much, it is almost a joke. People slip and fall on someone else’s property and immediately yell, “Lawsuit!” Of course, falling and being injured is no laughing matter.
There are times when a person is seriously hurt because a property owner was negligent or simply did not want to spend the money to repair their property. When a person is injured because of their actions (or inactions) they must pay.
Violation Of An Ordinance
Every city has city ordinances and building codes. When an ordinance has been adopted as a building code, it means the property owners in that city must adhere to it. For example, perhaps there is an ordinance that handrails must be present on all stairs. If that ordinance is adopted into the building code for the city, then every property owner who has stairs on their property must have a handrail.
If the property owner does not have the handrails installed or repaired when they are broken, they are in violation of city code. That violation is enough in most cases to prove negligence in court. If the property owner is negligent and a person falls and is injured because of it, they must pay them for their injury.
What Items Do They Have To Pay?
Assuming that the person did not die, which would cross over into a wrongful death claim, the property owner must pay for the pain and suffering of the victim. Here are some of the claims that can be requested from the court:
● Pain and suffering
● Medical bills
● Medical equipment purchases or rentals that were needed
● The cost of having private help in the home
● Loss of any wages they suffered due to inability to work
● Future medical bills (in some cases) for emotional trauma
● Physical therapy
This is a partial list. A qualified attorney will look at your specific case and determine your specific injuries. Trying to negotiate with an insurance company without the help of legal counsel is not recommended and most certainly will cost you money.
When There Is Doubt
The law is not cut and dry on this issue. There are times when a person can slip and fall in water, ice, or mud and the property owner cannot be held liable.
For example, if it is snowing or recently snowed and the property owner has not had time to clear the walk, the courts expect you to be smart enough to not walk on the dangerous walk.
Your lawyer has to show that the property owner knew or should have known of the danger and did not take steps to correct it or warn people of it.
If you slip and fall, and sustain injuries, seek medical help immediately. Have someone take pictures of the area. Gather statements if you are in a position of doing so. Contact your attorney as soon as possible.
This gives him the time to gather information needed for court while people are still around, and evidence is obtainable. Never give a statement without a Coeur d’Alene premises liability law firm on your side, and do not sign anything or accept any money from the insurance agent. Let your lawyer get what is fair and just on your behalf.