How A Michigan Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help Your Recovery
A fall can occur at any time, in any location, and under any circumstances. The key to determining if the slip and fall accident was the fault of another party is to determine if the fault was due to a defective or dangerous condition on another person’s property. The property can be private or public, but the key is still whether a dangerous and hazardous condition caused your fall and injury.
Proving the Cause of a Slip and Fall Accident
Under Michigan’s premises liability laws, every property owner owes a duty of care to the guests and visitors who come onto the property. The duty of care is to provide a safe environment that is free from hazards, dangers, or defects that can lead to a slip and fall accident. In the event a dangerous condition does exist, it is up to the owner to warn visitors and guests of the danger and act according to remedy the situation.
To win compensation in your slip and fall case, you must prove the following elements:
- A condition that was dangerous or hazardous existed on the property at the time of your fall;
- The owner of the property should have known or knew about the condition;
- You had a legal right, as an invited guest, customer, or visitor, to be on the property at the time of the fall;
- The property owner was negligent in failing to correct the dangerous or hazardous condition or in his failure to properly maintain the property; and,
- You suffered an injury because of the fall that resulted in physical, emotional, and financial damages.
If you can prove your case, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages, including lost wages, medical bills, future losses, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Because slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries including brain damage, back injuries, and spinal cord injuries, the damages in a case can quickly reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is especially true if you are unable to return to work because you suffered a permeant disability because of the fall.
What Are the Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Michigan?
There are numerous reasons why a slip and fall accident may occur. Some of the most common causes of falls that we see in our state include:
- Snow and ice on walkways, parking lots, stairs, and other surfaces
- Slippery surfaces in stores, homes, or other businesses
- Broken steps, missing handrails, or defective stairs
- Inadequate lighting
- Swimming pool accidents
- Falling merchandise or merchandise left in walkways
- Uneven or torn floor covering, including rugs and loose floorboards
- Escalator and elevator accidents
- Potholes, cracks in the pavement, and other parking lot hazards
- Raised, uneven, or broken sidewalks
- Recently waxed or mopped floors
- Spills on floors
In some cases, it could be a matter of the person’s footwear that causes a fall. Wearing improper footwear is linked to almost one-quarter of the slip and fall accidents according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Because the insurance company for the property owner will try to use everything it can to avoid paying your slip and fall claim, including blaming your choice of shoes, it is important to take the proper steps to protect your right to recover full compensation for your injuries.
Steps to Take After a Michigan Slip and Fall Accident
If you are injured in a slip and fall accidents, these steps can help protect your health, well-being, and your accident claim.
- Immediately report the accident to the property owner or property manager. Demand a copy of the written report before you leave.
- Request immediate medical attention for your injuries. Follow through with all doctor appointments and follow your doctor’s instructions.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, if possible, to show the conditions at the time of your fall.
- Ask witnesses for their names and contact information. Eyewitness testimony is very powerful in a slip and fall case.
- Keep a detailed journal of your physical pain, emotional distress, and how the injury impacts your work, daily life, and relationships with others.
- Retain the shoes and clothing you were wearing at the time of your fall as evidence.
- Call a Michigan slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. It is not a good idea to discuss your claim with the insurance adjuster or attorney for the property owner without first consulting with an attorney. This is especially true if they ask you to provide a written or recorded statement as this could hurt your claim.
The steps you take after a slip and fall accident can greatly impact your ability to recover full compensation for your injuries. Seek medical attention and call an attorney!
Call for a Free Appointment with a Michigan Slip and Fall Lawyer
Call The Clark Law Office at 517-347-6900 to schedule a free legal consultation. We have offices in Okemos and Lansing for your convenience.