Falling is not always the result of clumsiness, untied shoelaces, or banana peels. Sometimes it is the direct result of negligence on the part of a property owner. It is important to determine who is responsible in the event of a slip and fall accident, in order to determine what, if any, damages should be paid to the injured party. There are a number of factors to consider when trying to determine whether or not your fall was the direct result of another’s negligence.
Record Everything You Remember About the Fall
Begin by recording everything you remember about the fall. Where were you? What time of day did occur? Was there something on the floor or sidewalk that caused you to slip? These kinds of details are important in determining who is to blame for the accident. If there was something in the environment, like a freshly mopped floor that was not marked with caution signs, or ice allowed to remain on a sidewalk approaching a business’s entrance, then the fall may, at least in part, be due to the negligence of the business owner.
Common elements in fall related negligence suits include:
- Broken railings
- Loose floorboards
- Tattered or shredded carpeting
- Uneven floorboards
- Pavement surface
- Trash, wires, and other objects left in a walkway
- Wet floors that do not have a caution sign
- Leaks which lead to puddles and black ice
Consider Extenuating Circumstances
Could someone not present at the time of the accident be responsible for the fall? For example, if you hit your head at work, and dizziness from the incident caused you to fall, your employer might be to blame. Similarly, if you fell when leaving a medical treatment facility, the fall could have been caused by weakness brought on by premature release. Consider the circumstances surrounding the fall, and try to determine if there is a third party involved in the occurrence.
Consider The Negligence of Multiple Parties
In some cases there is simply no denying that you have partial responsibility in the fall you suffered. Bear in mind that an accident does not have to be a single responsible party’s fault. When a fall occurs it is possible for a judge to find that you are responsible, and another party is also possible. The financial burden is then split according to the percent of responsibility determined by the judge.
The Importance of Representation
It is best to seek the professional advice of a personal injuries lawyer, after a fall. Finding a slip and fall attorney will guarantee that you get the best recovery for your injuries, and will know how to value the extent of your injuries. They may also help you gauge, to what degree, each involved party is culpable for the negligence that lead up to your fall. Illinois slip and fall lawyers are intimately familiar with Illinois state late regarding tort law for fall related compensation. With the help of a competent fall specialist attorney, most slip and fall related civil suits are settled out of court, with generous compensation for the victim.