Slip and Fall Accidents
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slips and falls account for over one million emergency room visits annually. Injuries from slip and fall accidents are sudden and often severe, and they can be permanently life-changing. In North Dakota, winter conditions can also create slip and fall situations.
Although slip and fall accidents can be unforeseeable and unavoidable, some accidents could have been prevented had the property owner or manager taken proper measures. When a property owner is at fault and someone is injured as a result, the injured party may be entitled to compensation.
At Fremstad Law, we understand how difficult it can be to manage after a sudden and serious injury. Our experienced personal injury team is committed to moving you forward. We have helped numerous people recover the funds they need and deserve after a slip and fall injury.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen almost anywhere: at work, in a private home, in a business, or on a public street. There are a variety of conditions that can cause someone to slip or trip and fall, such as:
- Uneven or defective pavement
- Wet floors
- Uneven floors
- Unnatural accumulations of snow or ice
- Damaged carpet or tile
- Obstructed walkways
- Missing handrails
- Insufficient lighting
- Lack of workplace training
- Failure to adequately warn of dangerous conditions
The mere presence of one of these conditions may not be enough to create liability for a slip and fall accident. In order to hold a property owner or manager liable, certain elements must be present. Liability in slip and fall cases depend heavily on the facts of the case. To determine if you can recover damages for a fall injury, contact an experienced North Dakota personal injury attorney.
“Duty of Care” in Premises Liability Claims
The owner or manager of the premises owes a duty of care to keep visitors, employees, or other invited persons safe while on the property. There must be a breach of that duty by failing to protect people from an unsafe condition about which the owner knew or reasonably should have known. There must be an injury which was caused by the breach of duty; and there must be damages that result from the injury, such as current and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life.
An example of a typical slip and fall case is this scenario involving a grocery store. One of the coolers in the store has had a leak for weeks which causes puddles of water to form at the base of the cooler. Customers and staff have complained to the store owner, but he has neither fixed the problem nor put up signs to warn people of the wet floor. An elderly customer is shopping in the store, slips on the water in front of the cooler, and breaks her arm. Because of the injury, she incurs thousands of dollars in medical bills and expenses for help around the house until she recovers.
The store owner has a duty to protect customers from hazardous conditions on his property. He failed to correct or give warning of a hazardous condition of which he was aware, breaching his duty. The customer was injured as a result of the breach (the broken arm) and sustained damages (medical and personal care expenses). If she can prove these facts, she may recover against the store owner for her injuries.
Work with an Experienced North Dakota Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured, your priority should be healing and recovering your physical function. Between concerns over mounting medical bills and lost wages, however, it can be difficult to focus on taking care of yourself.
Our compassionate, skilled attorneys understand the difficulties you are facing after a sudden slip and fall injury. You must act in a timely fashion in order to ensure your rights in these cases are protected. We encourage you to contact Fremstad Law today to schedule a consultation.