Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Slips and falls are among the most common causes of injury in the United States. Falls account for 21% of all preventable injury deaths and 33% of non-fatal injuries in the U.S. Many falls happen when a negligent property owner fails to fix or warn of a dangerous condition on their premises.
Dangerous conditions that cause slip and fall accidents include wet floors, inadequate lighting, uneven floor, or uncleared ice in parking lots. If negligent business owners fail to uphold the legal duty of care to maintain their property in a safe condition, they may be held liable for your resulting medical bills and other damages.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, don’t wait to seek compensation. Find a slip and fall injury lawyer in Michigan who can help you get the compensation you deserve. The lawyers at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can help you seek a fair settlement from the negligence owner’s insurance company under a Michigan premises liability claim.
Premises Liability Law in Michigan
In Michigan, premises liability law protects property visitors against unreasonable risks while on another person’s property. A building owner must take reasonable care to maintain a safe environment on their premises. This level of care includes performing a casual inspection of the property to look for defective conditions like broken steps and slippery conditions. If they find a dangerous condition, they must take prompt steps to clear them or warn of the danger.
For example, a spill in a grocery store poses a slip and fall danger. The owner must warn of slippery substances with a wet floor sign to announce the hazard. If they fail to do so, they may be liable for any injuries a visitor sustains.
The building owner or property manager of apartment buildings or medical buildings must also adhere to premises liability duties. The floors in buildings they own must be free of wet substances that can cause external and internal injuries from a slip and fall.
Who Does Premises Liability Law Affect?
Premises liability law affects owners of private and public property. A commercial building owner or property manager has limited duties under premises liability law, as do homeowners for guests at their residence.
Premises liability law protects all visitors invited onto premises, whether implied or explicit. For example, retail shoppers at grocery stores and shopping outlets are implicitly invited, while family and friends may be explicitly invited to someone’s home. Maintenance and utility workers also have a legal right to visit properties if it is in the course of their job.
Michigan also protects trespassers under premises liability in certain circumstances, such as when an owner willfully harms them or when the trespasser is a child. For instance, a property owner who does not take steps to prevent children from accessing their pool can be liable for the child’s injury or death.
What Qualifies as a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall is an injury claim based on a fall that occurs on someone else’s property and is caused by that property owner’s negligence. The term slip and fall does not apply to cases when victims stumble because they aren’t paying attention or wearing unsafe footwear for the terrain. To qualify for a slip and fall case, it must be clear that another person’s negligence led to your fall.
Slip and fall cases fall under the broad category of premises liability claims because the accident occurs on property owned or maintained by someone other than the injured person. Locations where premises liability applies include:
- Commercial buildings
- Business location
- Private homes and apartment complexes
- Sidewalk or street
- Rental home
- Public transportation
- Store or shopping center
- Stairways inside buildings
- Aisles in stores
- Health Clubs
- Complexes in parking lots
There are many reasons you might slip and fall in one of these locations, from faulty construction to poor maintenance, including:
- Accumulation of ice or snow on sidewalks
- Poor lighting
- Defective flooring or raised carpeting
- Standing water puddles
- Slippery floors and slippery surfaces
- Improperly secured floor mats
- Defective steps
- Unsafe stairs or steps
- Hidden drop-offs or holes
- Cheap building materials
You may have a right to financial compensation if you have sustained an injury after slipping and falling on someone else’s property.
What Are Common Slip and Fall Injuries?
Slips and falls can lead to severe injury. Falls are currently the leading cause of hospital visits (21.3%), accounting for over 8 million visits to the emergency room. However, even less severe falls can negatively impact a victim’s quality of life.
Slips and falls are particularly dangerous for older adults. One in three people over 65 will experience a fall in the United States each year.
Common types of slip and fall injuries include:
- A head injury, such as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Shoulder injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Nerve damage
In severe cases, a fall can cause death. Even if the fall itself does not cause instant death, victims with certain health conditions may not be able to recover after the fall if their injuries are too severe.
These injuries can cost you a fortune in medical bills, and long-term medical treatment can prevent you from returning to work. It can be particularly challenging to stay financially afloat without an income, especially when facing mounting hospital bills.
How Do I Build a Slip and Fall Case?
Slip and fall cases are often complicated because negligence can be challenging to prove. Victims of slip and fall accidents must seek out the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to help them navigate their case and collect the evidence necessary to prove their claim.
A slip and fall accident victim is required to provide proof of five factors to win a slip and fall case in Michigan:
1. The property where the fall occurred contained unsafe conditions
You must prove that the property in question contained a hazardous condition. To prove this, you and your lawyer will use witness testimony, documents like an injury or accident report, repair records, and any photographs and videos taken at the scene. Your legal team may have access to video surveillance available, depending on the location.
2. The premises owner or manager knew or should have known about the dangerous condition before your fall
If other people have previously complained about the dangerous conditions at the accident scene or others have fallen before, you can use that information to bolster your case. Additionally, if the hazardous condition has existed for a long time, your personal injury attorney may be able to prove that the property owner should have known about it.
3. You were lawfully on the property where you slipped and fell
You must prove that you were either a social guest or business invitee and were not trespassing on private property. If you were trespassing, or if the victim was your child who was trespassing, Michigan offers certain protections. The lawyers at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can help you collect valuable evidence for your case to prove you are covered by the protections provided by premises liability law.
4. The property owner either failed to repair the dangerous condition or was neglectful of property maintenance
To win your case, you need evidence such as repair records, videos, or photographs to prove that the property was not a safe environment or there was no warning of the hazard. This process can be challenging since proving that the property owner should have known about the dangerous conditions is difficult. Therefore, negligence claims typically concentrate on whether the property owner or manager regularly and thoroughly keeps their property safe and clean.
5. You suffered an injury because of hazardous conditions
You must be able to prove that your fall was the cause of your injuries. Medical records recording your injuries and treatment and your doctor’s testimony can help prove that the fall was the direct cause.
For help building your premises liability lawsuit, contact Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. today. Our personal injury law firm offers outstanding care to victims with all types of injuries and helps them prove the defective condition of their accident site.
Senior Partner, Eileen Kroll, is exceptionally skilled at analyzing accident victims’ medical records because she is also a registered nurse. Along with her legal team, she can access the records provided by your doctor and care team to help you prove the severity of your slip and fall injury.
Comparative Negligence and Slip and Fall Accidents
Comparative negligence is based on the idea that more than one person may be at fault for an accident. When multiple parties have acted negligently, comparative negligence determines what proportion of compensation you are eligible to receive.
Comparative negligence varies from state to state but generally falls into three categories: pure comparative, modified comparative, and slight and gross.
Michigan employs modified comparative negligence, also known as the 50% rule, which means that if you are assigned 50% or more of the fault for an accident, you are not entitled to recover any monetary damages. If you are found to be less than 50% responsible, you are likely able to recover damages.
In a slip and fall case, an obvious defense for the premises owner is to claim your negligence contributed to your accident. If they succeed in proving this element, you may not receive a full settlement. An experienced attorney who understands the intricacies of comparative negligence can help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Possible compensation includes economic damages like medical bills and missed wages and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Contact Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. Today
A premises possessor must keep their premises safe to prevent their visitors from real injury. You deserve justice and compensation when their negligence results in your slip and fall injury.
Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. has the skill and experience to fight for your rights as an injured person and prove negligence on the property owner’s part. Our slip and fall attorneys can help you seek the compensation you deserve to pay for medical bills, attendant care, and lost wages resulting from your accident.
The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities, and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
The doctrine of “comparative negligence” often applies in slip and fall cases, and that generates another set of issues to be explored by legal counsel. The comparative negligence standard looks at whether the victim had a legitimate reason to be at the place where the hazard existed, if a careful person could have observed and avoided the hazard, if any warnings existed, and if the victim was distracted.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates will make sure you obtain necessary and timely medical consultation and will help you preserve the valuable evidence about what caused the injury. Cochran, Kroll & Associates also will make sure the lawsuit is filed on time, which is very important. For instance, if you fall on a sidewalk owned by a municipality then you might have less than 90 days to file a claim.
If you believe you are a slip and fall victim, let Cochran, Kroll & Associates fight for your rights. Click here for a free consultation or call 866-868-3779 and ask for Terry Cochran or Eileen Kroll.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates will provide a free consultation, either on the telephone, over the Internet, in person and sometimes at your home or in the hospital room. You will be charged a contingency fee, which means that the attorney will only be paid a fee if a recovery is made. “The purpose of the contingency fee agreement is to provide access to justice, says Cochran. “It would be totally unfair if an injured person was unable to seek compensation because he or she couldn’t afford an attorney.”
The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.