Slip/Trip and Fall
If you or your family member is injured because they slipped or tripped, you should consider seeking legal advice immediately. An experienced attorney will assess the circumstances of your case and protect your rights.
Time is of the essence. At Sobel Legal, we represent people who, through no fault of their own, have been injured by a dangerous condition on someone’s property which should have been repaired or at least, warned of. We do not take cases where someone falls due to their own carelessness. Everyone has a responsibility to look where they are going, but as we make our way there are sometimes dangerous conditions which should not be present and at a minimum, we should receive fair warning that they are there.
When a property owner creates a dangerous condition, doesn’t repair a dangerous condition or fails to warn of the condition, the property owner can be held responsible for the injuries caused by that condition. There are many examples of dangerous conditions which cause people to slip or trip and fall. Some include:
- Unleveled walking surfaces
- Slick walking surfaces which have become excessively worn by age
- Walking surfaces where slippery substances have accumulated and have not been cleaned
- Stairwells where the steps are of different heights and lengths, where handrails are missing or are not up to code
- Areas which do not have enough lighting
- Elevators which do not correctly level with the floor
One of the most common places people fall is in the grocery store. These stores know that when their products fall on the floor, the customers are usually looking at the merchandise and frequently, a product or substance on the floor will not be noticed. That is why supermarkets should constantly inspect their floors for dangerous conditions; and when they don’t, they know that they can be held responsible for the injuries caused when someone falls.
Time is of the Essence
Quite often, when someone falls, they are embarrassed. They find a way to pick themselves up and try not to call any attention to themselves. Unfortunately, our bodies are designed to work, even when injured, in order that we can remove ourselves from harm’s way. Frequently, people who have fallen only feel the full effect of their fall related injuries after they have left the store and they do not bother to call the store and report their injuries. Later, when they make a claim for injuries, the store will deny any knowledge of the fall. It is important that you report your fall to the store as quickly as possible, even before you leave. Often, there is very valuable evidence which could be gathered if the fall is quickly investigated. Cell phone photographs of the dangerous condition can provide essential proof of the store’s neglect. Photographs can document tracks which have been created as patrons have pushed their carts through puddles, which in turn can be used to show that the spill was present long enough for the store’s employees to have noticed the condition, put up warning cones and cleaned up the spill.
Photographs can also show how merchandise was dangerously stocked or how refrigeration units were leaking. Finally, most stores have installed video monitors which record all of the sales floor. If the store is not told that there was a fall, these video recordings are subject to being discarded. If you have fallen and advise the store of your fall, you will have created a very powerful fact which can be used against the store if they later destroy the video tape.
Legally, a store may have no obligation to retain a video tape, even if you have notified them of your fall. Instead, the law provides that you must notify the store of a claim in order to place a responsibility on them to preserve vital evidence, such as video tape recordings. One of the first things we do at Sobel Legal, when we are hired to represent fall victims, is to secure the evidence. If the property owner destroys the evidence after we have put them on legal notice of a claim, the court can instruct the jury that the there is a presumption that had the evidence been properly kept, it would have shown that the property had a dangerous condition which caused the fall.
Sobel Legal frequently represents the victims of falls due to the unsafe practices of their owners. Call us to see how we can help you at 954-526-7007. There is never a charge for our consultations; and if we accept your case, we will do so for a percentage of what we collect for you. We never get paid a fee or reimbursed our costs unless we make a recovery on your behalf.