Huntington Slip and Fall Lawyer
While some people are lucky enough to get back up after a nasty fall with only their ego bruised, others are far less fortunate. A slipping or tripping accident could spell disaster, and negligent property owners should be made to answer for the harm they cause.
Common conditions surrounding slip and fall cases include icy walkways, wet floors in stores or businesses, restaurant spills, and unsafe stairwells. To prove your claims, we need evidence of the hazardous conditions that led to your accident. Photos or video footage of the scene before it can be cleaned up are crucial. Even without these, we can build a strong case on witness testimony. Property can be held legally liable to guests who were invited or guests that were not invited but should have been reasonably expected. Unknown trespassers are usually owed no duty of safety and do not have strong legal claims.
If you were injured in a bad fall, call our slip and fall lawyers at (631) 910-7493 and arrange a free assessment of your legal claims with our team at The Carrion Law Firm.
Common Conditions Involved in Slip and Fall Accidents in Huntington
In the wintertime, icy walkways are very dangerous for people walking to work, school, or just taking a stroll through their neighborhood. Homeowners are sometimes legally responsible for shoveling and clearing walkways and sidewalks in front of their homes. If they fail to do so, they might be liable if someone slips and falls.
Businesses might see a lot of foot traffic, and cleaning throughout the day is typical. You have probably walked through the grocery store and seen a wet floor sign. Perhaps someone spilled something or tracked dirt into the store. Businesses should place adequate warnings (e.g., wet floor signs) to notify customers of the risk. If they fail to do so, they open themselves up to liability.
Spills probably happen daily in restaurants, and restaurant workers are used to cleaning up spilled drinks or food. In these places, people tend to be constantly moving around, and it is crucial that a restaurant worker cleans up a spill and makes the area safe for customers as quickly as possible. Someone might slip, fall, and be badly hurt if a spill is ignored or overlooked.
Stairs can be dangerous even when they are safe and stable. Rickety or uneven stairs are extremely dangerous. A person might fall, tumble down a long flight of stairs, and be very badly hurt. You might fall down the stairs in a business, public building, or someone’s private property. In any case, the property owner should be held liable for negligently maintaining the stairs.
How to Prove Your Claims in a Slip and Fall Case in Huntington
We need to prove that the conditions of the premises where the accident happened were unsafe, and that the property owner’s negligence in maintaining the premises is to blame.
Our slip and fall lawyers can try to establish the defendant’s negligence by showing the jury photos of the accident area right after the fall. Usually, after someone slips and falls, property owners quickly clean up the area, remove any hazards, and repair any damage. When injured victims return to the scene to document the unsafe conditions, they have all been cleared away, and precious evidence is lost. Your photos from immediately after your fall can show the jury what the area looked like while the hazardous conditions were still present.
Even without photos, we can have witnesses testify about the conditions of the premises. Some witnesses might have been present when you fell. Other witnesses might have been present shortly before the accident and can attest to the unsafe conditions.
How Liability Works in Huntington Slip and Fall Accidents
Liability in tripping or slipping accidents is often based on property ownership and whether plaintiffs were lawfully present. A property owner may be liable for a slip and fall accident even if they are not present when the accident occurs. However, the plaintiff must be lawfully present to have a valid cause of action.
Duty to Invited Guests
Property owners owe a legal duty of care to people they invite to their property. This duty would apply if a neighbor invited you over for dinner or a friend hosted a party and invited friends. This duty includes the duty to remove or repair any known hazard and the duty to make reasonable inspections for unknown hazards.
Inspecting for unknown hazards does not have to be completely exhaustive. It only needs to be reasonable. For example, someone might be expected to make sure the stairs in their home are in good shape. They would not be expected to tear up the floorboards looking for possible wood rot that might compromise the integrity of the stairs, especially if there is no reason to suspect such damage.
Duty to Reasonably Expected Guests
Not all guests are explicitly invited by property owners, but that does not mean owners do not owe a duty of care. Guests who might not be invited but can be reasonably expected are also owed a legal duty of care by property owners.
In a private setting, this might include a mail carrier or solicitors who are expected to walk up the front steps of a private home and knock on the door. If the stairs on the front porch are unsafe and the visitors fall, the homeowner might be liable.
This duty also covers people who are expected to appear without invitation. Customers in a store or patrons of a restaurant often need to direct invitations to be lawfully present. The same goes for restaurant patrons or guests in public buildings.
Duty to Trespassers
A trespasser is unlawfully present on someone’s property. A trespasser might be someone not invited nor reasonably expected to be present. It might also include people who have been explicitly told to stay away.
For the most part, unknown trespassers are not owed a duty of safety or care and likely cannot sue for damages if injured on someone else’s property. In some cases, defendants attempt to argue that the plaintiff was an unknown trespasser who should not be able to sue for damages. In that case, we might need to counter this argument with evidence that you were lawfully present when the accident happened.
Call Our Huntington Slip and Fall Lawyers if You Were Injured On Someone Else’s Property
If you were injured in a fall, call our slip and fall lawyers at (631) 910-7493 and schedule a free review of your claims with our team at The Carrion Law Firm.