When you trip and fall on someone else's premises, you may not always know who to sue. In this article, you'll learn about slip and falls and liability in Columbus.
A slip and fall accident usually happens when you trip over an object or slide over a wet surface. Apart from wet floors, other dangerous conditions like poor lighting, loose floorboards, etc., are responsible for slips and falls. Most of the time, this type of accident causes devastating injuries. If a negligent party caused your accident, a Columbus slip and fall attorney might be able to file a compensation claim on your behalf.
That would mean negotiating an insurance settlement with the defendant's insurance companies or filing a personal injury lawsuit. It will also involve many processes like filing and preparing documents, gathering evidence about the accident, etc. However, the essential part of an injury claim is determining who the at-fault party is. That's because you cannot get compensation from someone the law doesn't hold liable for your injuries. So, we'll show you how to determine the party responsible for your accident in Columbus.
What Are the Most Common Slip and Fall Injuries in Columbus, Ohio?
You may be lucky enough to suffer little or no physical injuries after a slip and fall. Sometimes, however, your accident can cause severe or catastrophic injuries. The following are the most likely injuries from a typical slip and fall case:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
You're likely to develop a traumatic brain injury when you hit your head on a hard surface in a slip and fall. As your head hits the floor, the impact of the crash can damage your brain cells and tissues. Common TBI symptoms include headache, vomiting, memory loss, confusion, loss of consciousness, etc. TBI treatment plans may include medications, surgery, and rehabilitation.
- Spinal Cord Injuries
When you slip and fall from a significant height, you're likely to suffer spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries affect the spinal cord and can cause temporary and permanent disabilities in severe cases. The symptoms include headaches and back pain, arm and leg immobility, unconsciousness, numbness, etc. There's no cure for spinal cord damage, and you can only manage your condition through medications, surgery, and rehabilitation.
- Broken Bones or Fractures
Bone fractures are another likely effect of a slip and fall accident. They happen when a strong external force breaks a bone in any part of your body upon impact. The different types of fractures include closed, complete, partial, displaced, and stress fractures. Broken bones usually cause excruciating pain and can take a long time to heal.
- Torn Ligaments and Tendons
Ligaments and tendons are connective tissues that connect muscles to bones and bones to bones. Trauma from a fall can easily damage or tear them. The medical terms for torn ligaments and tendons are strains and sprains.
Strain and sprain symptoms include swelling of the affected part, pain, immobility, bruising, and many more. Fortunately, you can treat torn ligaments and tendons at home by resting, applying ice, compression and elevation.
- Severe Lacerations
Lacerations are another name for cuts. This happens when a sharp object pierces your skin and causes bleeding. A doctor will treat a cut according to the severity of the injury. While minor cuts can get infected, patients with severe lacerations can bleed to death. It's not recommended to leave your cuts unattended, no matter how small.
Who Is the Liable Party in My Compensation Claim?
Slip and fall injury cases are the most common types of premises liability claims and lawsuits. In fact, most of the time, when people want to file premises liability claims, it's because of a slip and fall injury. Often, liability in slips and falls rests on the party responsible for managing the accident site. Usually, those are the property owners.
However, to hold a property or business owner responsible for your injury, you must prove that they were negligent. That is, you must provide evidence to show that:
- They Owed You a Duty of Care
Generally, a property owner must foresee hazardous conditions on their premises and prevent them. They do that because they must provide reasonable care for the guests on their premises. Under premises liability law, such responsibility is called the duty of care. It encompasses the activities that a reasonable property owner will undertake to keep their guests and visitors safe.
Many people may think that every business owner is responsible for caring for everyone on their premises. However, that is not the case. They only owe a duty of care to guests and anyone legitimately in the building premises during the accident. That is, if you're a trespasser, you cannot hold a negligent property owner responsible for your injuries.
- The Property Owner Breached Their Duty of Care
As an injured legitimate guest, showing that the defendant owed you a duty of care is just the first step. You must also show that they failed to carry out their responsibility to keep you safe.
It could be anything from ignoring unsafe conditions (e.g., a slippery floor) to neglecting to place a warning sign. Your personal injury lawyer will inform you of any breach of the duty of care in your case.
- You Sustained Personal Injuries and Property Damage
Regardless of whether the property owner was reckless or not, you can't win an injury claim without actual injury. So, to have a valid claim, you must show that you suffered some harm in the slip and fall accident. If you damaged any of your property in the process, you must prove that too.
- The Injuries Were As a Result of Such Breach of Duty
Sometimes, you notice some injuries after your accident that may have been there before the fall. You may have also sustained other subsequent injuries that the accident didn't cause. Those injuries don't make you eligible for compensation. To get damages for your injuries, the accident must be directly responsible for them.
Will I Get Fair Compensation in My Accident Claim or Lawsuit?
Just like in every other case under Ohio's personal injury laws, injured people with valid claims will receive damages. However, what amounts to fair compensation will depend on your case's specifics. Based on Ohio's modified comparative negligence rule, your compensation may reduce if you also contributed to your injury.
Generally, though, you may receive the following types of compensation for your bodily injury and property damage:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Funeral expenses or burial costs
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Columbus, Ohio ASAP!
There are many ways a property owner can fail in their duty of care to you. They may have been unable to repair damaged structures or inspect hazardous conditions. They may have also neglected to place adequate warning signs where necessary. Regardless of how they were careless, you may be able to take legal action against them for causing harm to you.
If you've suffered an injury from a slip and fall accident, it's not a bad idea to reach out to an experienced Columbus personal injury attorney.
If we are able to take on your case, our legal team will strive to get fair financial compensation for your case. We offer free case reviews and ensure that you pay nothing until we win your case. Call today and schedule a free consultation.