Being injured in a slip and fall can quickly upend your life. A fall can result in painful injuries that prevent you from working, enjoying the activities you love, and more.
If you are considering your legal options, you have come to the right place. If our slip and fall injury lawyers can determine that a property owner or occupant was negligent and that this was the cause of the accident, you may be able to recover financial compensation. This compensation can cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
However, it’s important to understand that slip and fall cases require a great deal of experience and work to win. Being injured in a slip and fall doesn’t automatically mean you have the right to compensation. Instead, you must build a case on evidence and legal precedent.
Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop is here to help. Our slip and fall attorneys have helped many accident victims recover the compensation they need and deserve after an accident, and we are always available to hear your story and help determine if you have a case.
Keep reading for more information on slip and fall injury claims. For a free consultation, please call (402) 241-5020 today. Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop serves clients in Omaha, Sarpy County, and all of Nebraska and Iowa.
Was There a Dangerous Condition on the Property?
The first thing to determine in a slip and fall case is if a dangerous condition on the property caused your accident. If you fell without there being a dangerous condition, you likely don’t have a case.
Dangerous conditions may include:
- Broken stairs
- Slippery or wet floors
- Poor or defective lighting
- Dangerous balconies or stairwells
- Weather-related situations (such as icy sidewalks)
- Uneven pathways or aisles
- Cracked sidewalks
- And more
It is important to understand that a dangerous condition doesn’t only mean that something on the property is defective or broken. It could also include the absence of proper safety measures, or when property owners don’t provide adequate warnings of potentially dangerous conditions.
It might not be entirely clear if what caused your accident would be considered a dangerous condition at this point, which is why it’s important to contact an experienced slip and fall injury lawyer. Also, it’s better to start sooner rather than later. If the property owner or another liable party recognizes the danger after your accident and then fixes the issue, it might be more difficult to prove the condition was present and caused your injuries.
Was the Property Owner Negligent?
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a viable slip and fall case. If, for example, a store patron in front of you knocks over an item that you then trip and fall over, the store owner is not likely to be held responsible for the accident.
Instead, we must be able to prove that the property owner was negligent, meaning he or she was aware of – or should have been aware of – the dangerous condition and did not take the appropriate measures to fix it.
Legally speaking, a property owner has several responsibilities when it comes to the safety of the premises:
- Regularly inspecting the property to ensure its safety
- Making a reasonable effort to fix any dangerous conditions quickly
- Addressing any known or potential risks
- Warning visitors on the property that hazards exist when they have not yet been fixed
This is why, for example, you see “Wet Floor” signs around so often. While the property owner might not be able to clean up a spill or leak immediately, they must alert individuals on the property that the danger exists in a reasonable amount of time.
If the property owner fails to uphold this duty, then they may be considered negligent. If their negligence results in your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation.
Did You Suffer Slip and Fall Injury on the Property?
To hold a property owner negligent for a slip and fall, the accident must have occurred on the property. That is, you need to be able to prove your injuries were caused by the fall, not a pre-existing injury or condition. If, for example, you slipped and fell, breaking a bone or tearing a muscle, the defendant and the insurance company may argue that you already had this injury to begin with and it wasn’t caused by a slip and fall.
That is why, if you are ever asked to sign a medical release form by an insurance company, you should decline. This form would give the insurer the right to look through your medical records in an attempt to find past injuries that could account for your current injury.
What If I Am Partially at Fault for My Slip and Fall Injury?
Sometimes slip and falls aren’t as simple as the property owner being totally negligent and the visitor on the premises having no fault whatsoever. There may be shared blame for an accident, which in Nebraska is referred to as comparative negligence.
When it’s established that both parties are at fault to some extent, the percentage of fault placed on you will impact how much you can receive in compensation. For example, if the total cost of your damages is $100,000, and you are deemed to be 30% at fault, you would only be able to recover $70,000 in compensation.
In cases where you are deemed to be equally or more at fault than the defendant, you are unable to receive compensation whatsoever. In other words, if it is decided you are 50% or more responsible for the accident, you will not be able to receive any compensation for your damages.
Contact Our Slip and Fall Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident and are considering your options, it is important to work with attorneys who understand your situation. The lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop have more than 230 years of combined experience representing accident victims. We investigate the circumstances of your slip and fall and build a strong case for compensation on your behalf.
Please call (402) 241-5020 today for a free consultation with Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop. Our slip and fall injury lawyers serve clients in Omaha, Sarpy County, and all of Nebraska and Iowa.