Slip and Fall Injury – Determining whose fault it is

by Guest » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:39 am

Accidents occur anywhere and slipping and falling is a very common accident. Although it is common the damages it can cause can sometimes be really big and expensive to repair, treat or replace. You may sustain cuts, bruises or smaller damages. Again, you may also sustain fractures, broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or other serious damages for which you may need expensive medical treatments

Who can seek compensation?

If you slip and fall on someone else's property and hurt yourself for no fault of yours but for the negligence of the owner of the property then the property owner will be liable for your injuries. Many of you may have slip and fall injuries on someone else's property but only sometimes the property owner is responsible and sometimes you are responsible for your own injuries.

A property owner, however, will not be responsible or liable for your injuries that can be caused by something common. If you slip on a floor and hurt yourself because there was some object on the floor, the property owner may not always be responsible. There are factors that help determine this. Here are a few questions you can ask:
  • Was the object there for many days and hadn't been removed? If it was there for a relatively long time that must have been enough for the property owner to notice and get it cleaned/removed.
  • Did the property owner have information about the object and yet he chose to ignore it?
  • Does the owner have a regular process of cleaning or examining the premises? If yes, then there must be a proof of such maintenance.
  • Was there any logical or legitimate reason for the oil to be there on the ground? If yes, then was there any notification or warning sign about the oil being there.
  • Was there a safer place where it could have been put?

Although there isn't enough or rather precise ways to determine whose fault it is in accidents like these, it largely depends on how responsible the property owner has been to make sure that no one gets hurt in his premises. Below are few of the factors when you can claim liability:
  • The premise owner or an employee must have caused a spill on the floor, a worn or caused a slippery or dangerous surface.
  • The premise owner must have chosen to be ignorant about any dangerous signs in his premise that could hurt others.

If you have the answers in your favor then there is a good chance you can claim. You cannot always find adequate proof for this but judges and juries deciding a case need to use their common sense to make a decision.

Related Readings

I slipped and fell March 2008 on a rug that was floating on a large puddle of water at a grocery store ice machine. rug flew out I went up the down and I stuck my hand down to catch myself as I fell back. The manager came over and while I was laying onthe floor, told me they had just had the machine worked on. As a result of my fall, 1st had to cancel a big first easter gathering at our home. I strained the tendons in both knees, strained the tendons of the pelvic girdle, now have 4 bulging disks in my back and have nerve damage in my arm and hand. I had 2 MRIs 1 surgery on my arm, 5 sessions of deep tissue needle therapy on my back, 2 sessions of Physical therapy. I have missed a total of 102 days of work, currently can only work half days because I can not sit and work at the computer all day.
My attorney says he is going after Medical, Future Medical (i might have to have another surgery on hand), loss of furture earnings, pain and suffering and Liability. He has not put a number on it but the store's attorney says they want to settle sooner rather than later. The store manager said in deposition that yes the machine was leaking, yes I fell on the rug. the assistand manager said in her statement almost word for word what I said in mine.
How to they figure out what the settlement should be?

Total Comments: 128

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 05:51 am Post Subject: value of slip and fall settlements

It's based on the local of the accident, the nature of your injury, the cost of your current and future medical treatment, and partially on what happen in the accident. Take all this into consideration and apply it to similar prior settlements in order to get a semi-broad range.

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:38 am Post Subject:

Pat, your attorney hasn't brought in the ice machine repair company to this suit as well?

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:53 am Post Subject:

How to they figure out what the settlement should be?

They would base their decision on the statements made by the parties involved also on the documents forwarded by you. You may expect compensation for the medical bills, loss of wage, future medical expenses associated to the treatment of the injuries.

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 01:17 pm Post Subject:

My attorney has not depositationed the ice machine repair man. My attorney has the repair work orders and that speaks volumns. I would guess that IF the store does not want to pay the amount he comes up with, then he will do that. My attorney told me that he is prepared to go to trial and the store will not want to go there. As for the amount, I was just being curious. I do not want to press my attorney. He just tells me I need to get better and out of pain, which has not happened yet, it has been a month shy of a year. I can tell you this that the store manager and the assistant manager both said during their depositions almost word for word what I said in mine about the accident. The store is ready to settle NOW. they are waiting on a number from my attorney.

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 01:21 pm Post Subject:

Sounds like all is under control...brining in the ice repair company wouldn't necessarily reduce your settlement from the store, both had a duty and both were negligent...i was just curious, typcially an attorney will pull in every pocket available...i'm sure he/she has a plan...please keep us updated...and hope you get to feeling better..i'm so sorry you are suffering.

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 02:24 pm Post Subject:

I'm adding your post from a piggy back thread here tenderheart and deleting it from the other one:

I am not really sure what the attorney is going after but I can tell you this grocery store is one of the top ten. they have settled several lawsuits in the 50M and over in the last few years. these were not fall accidents. My attorney obtained repair records (which he had to have the judge demand the store proviide them) before and after my accident. they had a repair man at the store less than 2 hours after I fell. My son was in the store and took pictures with his cell phone. they had the ice machine fixed before I fell and was told in writing to clean the dirt and debris out from under the machine and around the condenser and coils. AFTER I fell the repairman noted that the machine condenser was clogged with dirt and debris and the the machine was leaking with a lot of water under and around the machine. I would guess this proves their liability in this.

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 07:49 pm Post Subject:

yea, just had a follow up with Neurologist last thursday and we are NOW in a wait and see period. If the nerve is gonna grow back will take roughly 400 days. Had follow up with Orthopaedic Dr today, she confers about the wait and see. I have better strength in hand which is good but my little finger and side of hand is still numb. Still have pain in both knees and lots of pain in the back. My accident was 11 months ago and I just want to be out of pain and NOBODY can tell me when OR if I will ever get there. My attorney was joking around with me and asked well How much do you want in your pocket. I told him right NOW I will take 5 MILLION but that doesn't mean I will get it LOL I have no high and low comparison on which to base my answer. Anyone care to guess what a high or low number would be?

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 07:57 pm Post Subject:

Anyone care to guess what a high or low number would be?

Oh I'd say somewhere between a dollar and a million ought to be about the right range.. :wink: Your attorney has given you no idea of a range even?

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:45 pm Post Subject:

LORI you are funny. yea between $1 and $1MILLION. well the Medical is at $50,000 right now. so I say between $50,000 and $2.5 MILLION. I have a consult with a Neuro surgeon to see if I am a canidate for back surgery, even though I really REALLY REALLY do not want surgery on my back. Is there an actual calculator or calculation that helps arrive at a estimated number? I do not think that the repair company is a Maintenance company for the store. I do not actually know. If they just come out to repair the machine when they are called, I do not picture them being liable in any way. they came they fixed they left. They stated the machine needed to be cleaned under it because of all the dirt and debris. The store did not clean under there and the condenser became clogged and then leaked. the repair company was called back and was at the store within 2 hours after I fell. Are there limits to the amount you can sue for? I know my attorney is suing for Medical, Future Medical, Pain and Suffering, Loss of Future Earnings and Liability.

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:06 pm Post Subject:

Hi Tenderheart, Sorry for your misfortune. I do not think that there is an actual calculator. I believe each case is individaul and alot goes into determining its value. You probaly are not going to get a specific number at this point. It seems you still have a lot of doctoring left to do. This has an impact on your case due to medical bills and prognosis.
More than likely if it is early on your atty will not give you a exact value.
He or she will want to see how much future medical care you will need.
One thing you need to remember is you are paying your atty for answers so I would not be afraid of asking straight out. This is the best way to get the answers you are seeking. Good luck.

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