Injuries caused by slip, trip and fall accidents are the most common of any injuries not related to traffic accidents. Leaving aside injuries that happen in the home and that cannot be blamed on anything except personal carelessness these injuries are commonly caused by negligent property owners. If you have been injured through a slip and fault type accident through no fault of your own, you will probably be considering how you can recover the often considerable cost of dealing with the injury.
Commercial property owners should all have property liability insurance if they allow members of the public on to their property. The insurance is taken out in case someone is injured on their property and it can be proven that the property owner or their managers or employees were in some way negligent.
Insurers may try and insist you weren’t careful enough
Insurance companies are rarely keen to pay compensation to slip and fall victims if they can help it. A common ploy is to allege that the plaintiff could have avoided the accident altogether if he/she had been keeping a better lookout where they were walking. In other words, the insurer is saying that their client wasn’t the one who was negligent. It was the person who was injured who was negligent! This can be a hard argument to counter, partly because many people who slip or trip over automatically think that it might have been their fault, even if it wasn’t.
If you have slipped or tripped over on something in somewhere like a store or supermarket, it’s unlikely it was your fault. The reality is that when you go shopping you don’t really expect to keep staring at the ground to see if it has any hazards on it. You are looking around to see what you can buy, how much it costs and what the alternatives are. You expect the store or supermarket to be safe to move around in. The managers of these sorts of places are expected to maintain them so that their customers can move around safely. If there has been a leak near the deli counter, there is an expectation that the mess is cleaned up as soon as it is discovered, not that customers should be so observant that they see the hazard and walk around it or over it.
It could be reasonably argued by insurers that if you had been using your cell phone while walking and slipped over or otherwise were doing something that wasn’t sensible, like running down an aisle, or wearing dark sunglasses inside a well lit building, you were partly responsible for the accident happening.
Slip and fall injury claims are not easy to win, but not impossible. You do have to have proof that the property owner was negligent. The best evidence you can get to counter misleading claims from insurers that you weren’t careful enough is to get eye witness statements from anyone in the vicinity of the accident. This shouldn’t be too difficult if you slipped over in a store or supermarket as there are almost always other customers around to help you. You just need to be able to get their contact details so you can call on them later for confirmation of your account of the accident, especially if an obvious hazard was present, like food or liquid spilled on to the ground.
If you are able to do so, take any photos you can of the accident scene. Showing the hazard, the lack of warning signs and your injuries can all help to counter any arguments from insurers about your own negligence.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured in any sort of slip, trip and fall accident, you need to contact an experienced and dedicated accident attorney as soon as you can to discuss how to pursue a personal injury claim. In Nashville, contact the Keith Williams Law Group. You can call to make an appointment for a consultation at (615) 313-3999.