If you have been injured in a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The property owner, be it a business or personal residence, has the responsibility by law to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition for invitees (persons there by invitation or as a business customer) on that property. These types of cases are called premises liability cases.
Evaluating premises liability cases is very complex; it requires the use of a skilled and experience attorney. Our office has handled premises liability cases for well over three decades. Evaluating these cases often require the use of experts in human factors and OSHA safety regulations for maintenance workers.
It is very important if you are involved in a fall injury to immediately take photographs of the area in which you fell and note or photograph if there are any cones or warnings of the hazard. Also, get the names and phone numbers of all witnesses to the accident/fall. Ask the property owner if they knew about the hazard (ice, puddle on the floor, trip hazard) before you fell or if they were trying to do anything about it. The information the property owner gives you at the time of your fall may be the best evidence that you have in your case that the property owner was neglectful in protecting those on their property.
Certainly, it is important to retain an attorney quickly in these cases. Be very careful about giving recorded statements to the insurance company before speaking to or meeting with an attorney. At times, insurance companies will attempt to get you to say you were not paying attention or not watching where you were going, attempting to place all blame for your fall on you instead of the hazard located on their property.
Seek medical treatment for your injuries immediately. A delay in treatment is often seen by insurance companies as a way of arguing that you ‘were not really hurt’ in the accident. Report all your pain and limitations to your doctor so that they can record your condition accurately in your medical records.
If you were hurt in a fall accident while at a store, a restaurant, a business, or even someone’s home; remember that the property owner has the responsibility under Indiana law for safely maintaining their property. You can and should be compensated for your damages.