Whether you’ve been injured from a slip and fall on ice or a fall while at work, you may have incurred serious injuries that keep you from working. If this is the case, you may be entitled to recover your expenses that resulted from the fall.
Who is responsible in ice-related slip and fall accidents (Duty of Care)
Ice-related slips and falls typically happen in parking lots or on sidewalks outside of businesses. In virtually every case, property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care when it comes to maintaining these areas and promptly removing snow and ice to reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
Often, property owners will have contracted with plow companies that perform snow and ice removal to keep their parking lots and sidewalks clear for pedestrians. Whether it is the owner performing these maintenance and cleaning activities, or a company hired by the owner, there is a duty of care to anticipate the dangers posed by snow and ice, and to maintain the property accordingly. The question to ask is whether the property owner’s conduct was reasonable considering all of the circumstances.
Members of the public also have a duty to exercise reasonable care when walking in an area they know (or should reasonably expect) will be snowy and/or icy. Failing to do so may either reduce your recovery in a potential lawsuit or bar any recovery completely. The effect that the injured person’s own negligence has on a slip and fall case varies depending on the jurisdiction.
What can you recover?
If you slip and fall, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical bills by suing the property owner and perhaps even the contractor who was responsible for clearing away snow and ice. You could also recover lost wages if you can demonstrate that your injury (and perhaps doctor’s appointments associated with it) caused you to miss work —or to work less during your medical treatment than you otherwise would. In addition, you may be able to recover for the pain and suffering that the injury caused you. In addition to the pain of the injury itself, you can also recover for the negative impact on your regular activities, such as exercise, chores, or leisure pursuits like playing on a sports team. All of these effects are components of your damages.
Documenting your case
Because weather conditions change frequently, it is important to document as much about the area where you fell as possible. If you can, take photos or send someone to take photos of the area as it looked around the time of the accident. Snow and ice are typically cleared on a regular schedule, so you want to make sure that you can give your attorney an idea of how the area looked when you were injured. Be sure you to write everything down after the accident and talk to accident witnesses to help your case.
Government liability for a slip and fall
If your fall occurred on government property (such as a county parking lot or city sidewalk), there are special rules that might affect your case. Governmental immunity may affect your ability to bring a lawsuit or your ability to recover even if you can sue. In most cases, you’ll need to jump through some administrative hoops by filing a notice of your injury with the government agency that might bear liability, and you’ll need to get this claim filed pretty soon after the slip and fall accident.
Slip and fall accidents are common in the workplace, especially in the construction industry. Over 25,000 fall accidents result in death each year, and falls from heights are the leading cause of fatalities in construction. Slip and fall accidents range from slipping and falling on a slick surface to falling off of scaffolding or a rooftop.
Fall hazards are present at most work sites and construction workers are exposed to these hazards every day. A fall hazard is anything that could cause you to lose your balance or support and result in a fall. Any walking or working surface at a construction site could be a potential fall hazard.
Each slip and fall case is different, and OSHA has put together standards to help keep construction workers safe while on the job. For example, when working on scaffolds, your employer should provide fall protection, such as guardrails, especially for work performed over dangerous equipment and machinery.
Documenting workplace slip and fall accidents
If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident while at work, make sure to seek medical attention immediately and file an accident report with your employer. As a victim of a slip and fall accident, you must document all aspects of your accident and construction injuries.
- Be sure to take pictures of the scene and the injuries you sustained.
- Get statements from anyone who witnessed the accident to help prove your case.
- Keep track of all of your lost wages, medical bills and transportation expenses throughout the process.
The lawyers at Klezmer Maudlin, PC can help you file all forms and meet deadlines, as well as guide you throughout your lawsuit as your worker’s compensation and personal injury lawyers. Call us at 317-348-2381 to speak to an experienced Indiana attorney now!