Trip and fall accidents can have very serious consequences. If you have been injured due to a fall you’ve had on someone else’s property, you will want to get the compensation you deserve to help cover medical bills, lost wages, and possible pain and suffering. But how do you know if a trip and fall accident is your fault or the fault of someone else?
About Trip and Fall Accidents
Trip and fall accidents occur when dangerous conditions on someone else’s property causes another to slip, trip, or fall and are injured because of it. Possible causes on trip and fall accidents include uneven flooring, a wet floor, poor lighting, defective stairs or stairs without a handrail, cracked sidewalks, or even torn carpeting.
A trip and fall accident does not occur if the individual is not injured because of their slip, but there are no qualifications on how serious the injury must be. Even minor injuries can be cause for a trip and fall accident.
But the owner of the property one was injured on is not always at fault for the damage. For a trip and fall accident case to be legitimate, you will need to prove fault.
What Constitutes a Trip and Fall Accident?
To determine if your trip and fall accident is legitimate, you need to first consider the situation around which you fell. If you fell out of your own mistake or carelessness, such as if you weren’t paying attention while walking down the stairs, you probably are at fault for your slip and fall.
Other cases where a slip and fall accident would not hold up is if you fell over an item that was in its rightful place. Consider drains in sidewalks or in areas like garages or warehouses. If you trip over a drain, you may not have a trip and fall accident case because they serve a purpose by being there. You should also expect their presence in these locations, so should be looking out for them.
You cannot use a trip and fall accident case to blame another person for your careless mistake or because you were hurt while not paying attention to where you were going. The scene must be considered dangerous for a trip and fall case to hold up. Here are some simple things to keep in mind when determining if you have a legitimate trip and fall accident:
The dangerous condition was created by the owner of the property.
The owner of the property knew that the area was dangerous and did not correct the issue or alert others of the danger
The dangerous conditions have existed for long enough that the owner of the property should have recognized the area as unsafe and taken the proper measures to fix it.
This means that your trip and fall case may not have fault if the property’s owner displayed signs warning of the danger, such as wet floor signs or caution tape. Although these are dangerous situations, not paying attention to the warnings makes the accident your fault.
Proving Your Trip and Fall Accident
If your trip and fall accident was the fault of another individual and not out of your own carelessness, you will need to do your best to prove that the owner knew of the dangerous situation and did not take reasonable measures to protect others from harm.
Trip and fall accidents can occur on commercial property, residential property, or even government property, although a trip and fall accident on government property will have special instructions that you need to follow. Otherwise, to prove your commercial or residential property trip and fall accident was the fault of the landlord or property owner, you will need to prove the following:
- The property owner or landlord caused or was aware of the dangerous condition, yet did not take the steps to fix or remove it.
- You had a legitimate reason for being in the dangerous area, such as it was in the middle of the store or you were in your rental home.
- The property owner or landlord did not post any warnings or explicitly tell you to avoid the dangerous area.
- You were injured while playing full attention to your surroundings, meaning you weren’t otherwise distracted.
- You could not have avoided the trip and fall accident by being more careful or paying closer attention.
Trip and fall accidents can be complicated to prove, especially when trying to show that you are not to blame for the unfortunate situation. To help you prove your trip and fall accident, you will likely need the help of a personal injury lawyer.