Slip and falls can occur if we lose our balance or are simply not paying attention when we’re walking.
However, sometimes they can happen due to someone else’s negligence. In those cases, you may be able to receive compensation by filing a slip and fall claim.
The experienced attorneys at Whitener Law Firm in Albuquerque can help you gather evidence to file a claim, as well as seek the compensation you deserve for the accident.
What are common causes of slip and fall incidents?
Although slip and fall incidents can occur anywhere for any number of reasons, there are some common circumstances that have often led to slip and fall incident.
- Wet flooring from rain, melted snow, leaky pipes,
- spilled food or beverages, or recent cleaning
- Broken or uneven stair steps
- Uneven flooring or rugs from holes in fabric or extension cords
- Potholes or large cracks in the pavement of sidewalks or walkways
- Poor lighting in walkways, parking lots, hallways, or stairwells
- Unsafe or poorly maintained construction areas
All of these circumstances can easily lead to a slip and fall. Every slip and fall incident is unique; you may walk away totally unharmed, or you might suffer from a serious bodily injury.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 5 falls causes a serious injury.
Common slip and fall injuries might include:
- Broken wrist, arm, ankle, hip, or pelvis
- Head injuries or concussions
- Broken or bruised tailbone
- Sprained muscles
- Torn tendons or ligaments
Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury.
Do I have a slip and fall claim?
If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property or a public area maintained by a person or company, you may have a slip and fall case. However, you must prove that someone else is liable for your injuries.
Slip and fall claims fall under a type of personal injury claim called premises liability claims. These claims often occur in public buildings or spaces, and they can be tough to prove liability. It is possible to prove liability if you can provide evidence of the following.
There were unsafe conditions
A property owner has to try to make their space reasonably safe for the public. That doesn’t mean they have to keep it perfectly safe. Reasonably safe might mean shoveling snow and laying down ice melt on sidewalks, mopping wet floors and posting signs, or putting up signs next to trip hazards.
There was liability
The property owner also has to be legally responsible for the unsafe area. Some owners have liability insurance that relieves them of liability, meaning you’d file a claim against the company, not the owner.
If the owner is liable, you must prove that they knew of the hazard, that they didn’t try to solve the issue or make it safer, and there was no warning posted to others.
There was an attempt to prevent injury
Finally, you’re expected to prevent your own injuries to some extent. If you slipped and fell because you weren’t paying attention or you ignored any posted warning signs, you share liability with the property owner. By sharing liability, the accident is partially your fault, and you may not be awarded a full settlement.
Under New Mexico’s comparative negligence law, the amount of compensation you receive may be decreased based on the degree of your own fault.
If you’re found more at fault than the property owner, you may not receive any compensation at all.
What kind of compensation might I receive?
Every slip and fall claim is different. The amount of damages, or compensation, you can receive depends on:
- where you file your lawsuit
- the severity of your injuries
- your medical bills
- loss of income or wages
- pain and suffering
- other expenses from your accident
Again, if you’re partially at fault for your slip and fall incident, your damage award will reflect that.
How can a slip and fall lawyer help me?
Filing a slip and fall claim is a lot of work. You have to file a formal legal claim and gather evidence to prove your case. The other party may want to try settling out of court before your case goes to trial.
A slip and fall attorney who has experience with slip and fall cases can help you build your case, as well as prove liability, which can be the trickiest part of your claim.
The attorneys at Whitener Law Firm can help you or a loved one file your slip and fall claim and win your case.
To speak to a slip and fall attorney at our Albuquerque office, call (505) 883-RUSS. You may also reach us by filling out an online form. Don’t forget to like and follow the Whitener Law Firm Facebook page for firm updates and resources.