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If you tripped, slipped or fell on the property of another person, and you found that he or she was unable to take care of their property in a way that would not have caused an accident, then the owner would likely be held responsible for your injuries. In this article, we’ll take a look at common examples of outdoor slip-and-fall accidents, the conditions that make them possible, and the rules that define owner’s duty of care toward visitors. Contact our Austin personal injury attorneys for help today.
Generally speaking, owners are not required by law to remove snow or ice that has accumulated outside the premises of the building, especially if it is due to the weather. However, if there are certain conditions on the property that caused the unusual accumulation, and they failed to act on it, resulting in injuries for pedestrians, then they may be held liable for the injuries following a slip-and-fall accident. Here are some conditions in which the owner could be held accountable:
When it comes to parking lots, stairs and curbs, inadequate lighting may be grounds for an establishment to be sued for personal injury. If it can be proven that the owner knew that there was inadequate lighting in the area, and that correcting this problem would have prevented injuries from happening, then he or she can be held liable for personal injury.
A parking space owner has the responsibility to ensure that the space is well-maintained that customers, pedestrians and other individuals are safe while in there. Maintenance could involve patching and filling cracks and holes that can be potentially dangerous especially if paired with poor lighting.
Furthermore, for multilevel parking lots, the elevation going from one level to another should be subtle and gradual to prevent injuries from those who are walking through the ramps.
Sidewalks are typically owned by the town or the city, and are usually not a part of an establishment’s area of responsibility, per se. However, if a condition on the establishment exists, that creates a problem in the sidewalk and ends up causing injuries to people, then it is possible that they could be liable for personal injury. An example of which is if the establishment occupies the sidewalk then pedestrians are forced to walk on the street. Had the established not occupied the sidewalk (which is not their property anymore), the individual would not have walked on the street and therefore avoided possible injuries.
There are different kinds of injuries that can occur while shopping. Some of which include:
Those who are injured on commercial property may file for a personal injury claim, provided that the establishment was found to be negligent of its duties, which caused the accident to occur. The law of premises liability states that establishments have a duty to its customers to exercise reasonable care to ensure that they are safe from potential situations or dangers that can result in an injury. As an example, a restaurant should clean up any spilled food or drinks immediately to ensure that no customers slip and fall because of it. This also includes the installation of security systems to ensure that the customers are safe while in the establishment.
In proving that an establishment is responsible for the injuries sustained, the following must be established:
For the establishment on the other hand, they can raise the following defenses to a claim being made against them:
If you were hurt in an accident that left you deformed or disfigured, you can sue the plaintiff on the grounds that knowledge of the permanent physical damage is giving mental anguish.
When settling, you don’t want to just present the current medical receipts and bills. Instead think about the medical changes that have resulted from this accident — in this case you will want to relate how often you will need to see a doctor in the future to your current settlement suit.
Sometimes included in the medical bills, these charges include compensation for having someone come over to take care of daily household things such as cleaning or cooking while the patient was recovering.
If the injured party is married, he or the uninjured spouse may claim they suffer from a loss of consortium, which may include solace, comfort, intimacy and sexual relations as a result of the accident. If the marriage was stable before the accident and certain forms of connection are now lost, the parties may sue for these types of damages.
This may mean an inability to enjoy the daily comforts or joys of the world that could previously be seen. This means that if a victim typically plays golf every day and finds great comfort from it and it had been an integral part of the lifestyle and finds himself no longer able to enjoy the game, he has experienced a loss of enjoyment.
If a victim of an injury can prove that he or she will not be able to find the same caliber job that they enjoyed before the accident and can no longer make as much money or will be unable to work, they can sue on the grounds that they no longer can earn what they would have made without the injury.
Similar to the lost earning capacity, lost wages refer to the unearned wages specifically between the time of injury and time of settlement.
Medical expenses include bills and expenses for doctors, hospital visits, treatments and surgeries, ambulances, etc. The medical expenses must be the direct result of the injury in question.
Any mental suffering or emotional distress is considered mental anguish and may include fright, terror, apprehension, nervousness, anxiety, worry, humiliation, mortification, feeling of lost dignity, embarrassment, grief and shock.
While slip-and-fall accidents are always a concern and can cause injury to even the youngest children, senior citizens are shown to have an increased risk of fatal falls. A study recently reported that the number of people aged 65 and over who have died following a slip-and-fall incident has increased in the past years. With an increasing life span, this only means more slip and falls that result in a fatal or permanent injury. For those wanting more information about this phenomenon, check out the facts associated with slip and falls among the elderly:
There are many other types of suits that can be filed, so if you are considering a personal injury lawsuit and are wondering what kind of damages you may be able to recover, call our office today so we can discuss the best settlement available to you. Our Austin personal injury attorneys offer consultations.
If you or a loved one has suffered from injuries due to the negligence of other parties, then we encourage you to contact Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, for a discussion of your possible case.