Winter = ice. Ice = slippery. Weather can easily become the best and worst aspect of the winter season. Midwest weather is notorious for being 50 degrees at noon and 10 degrees at night. This fluctuation means we must be prepared for anything when we walk out the door in the morning! Many of us keep salt on our driveways throughout the bulk of the cold months because we know how bad ice can get. But what about if you slip and fall in front of a business? Can you sue?
How to prevent a fall in front of a business or at home:
Be on the lookout for slick spots on the asphalt and in dips or potholes in the concrete. These spots can hold water in them that will freeze overnight. Ice isn’t the only thing you need to be on the lookout for. Also pay attention to cracks or liquid on the ground that could cause you to trip. Looking at your phone also will make you more prone to tripping over things you can’t see. If you are at home, you probably know which spots to be on the lookout for on your sidewalk and driveway and where you need to put salt.
How do I know if I can sue a business for a fall?
There are multiple criteria that must be met before you are able to sue for a slip and fall:
- The business owner did not take precautions for others’ safety
- The owner was negligent (he/she knew something was unsafe, but did not fix it)
- The victim is not at fault (he/she couldn’t reasonably tell/notice that something was unsafe)
After a Fall:
- Immediately look around and see if you had missed a trip hazard sign, if there is a sign there is no grounds for a law suit
- If you are injured, immediately seek treatment from a doctor
- If the business’s insurance or attorney approaches you, don’t down play the incident– it would be their goal to create a case where they wouldn’t have to pay you as much as you deserve!
- Hire a lawyer. An attorney can walk you through the entire process and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve!
Slip and fall cases can be a very stressful time. While multiple factors must be met for you to be able to successfully sue, this does not mean that there is no hope. You should not have to be punished for a business’s negligence. To be on the safe side, always keep your eyes open for potentially unsafe areas to make sure no one gets injured. You know what to do if you slip and fall, call Tad Morlan!
The above information is not legal advice. Talk to your lawyer before making any legal decisions so that he/she can inform you on the applicable laws.