Who is Liable for Your Fall?
While it’s true that anyone can suffer a fall just because they’re not paying attention or because they’re clumsy, plenty of falls are preventable. That’s right, many times falls are the result of environmental factors that, had they been addressed in a timely manner, would have posed no danger whatsoever. If you’ve experienced a fall that resulted in serious injuries, perhaps consulting with a local premises liability attorney could benefit you.
Potential Hazards While Walking
Any property owner or occupier is responsible for providing a hazard-free environment for people who will be on the property. Otherwise, the courts may determine that negligence was a key factor in the event of an accident, making liability a legitimate issue. In order to determine some level of liability, it must be demonstrated that a hazard that could have and should have been addressed prior to the accident was neglected, which ultimately contributed to the incident.
What is a Hazard?
Common dangers that lead to falls include:
- Spills that have been left unattended for an unreasonable length of time;
- Throw rugs that are placed on slippery tiles;
- Torn or loose carpeting;
- Doorway thresholds that are slightly raised;
- Narrow pathways that hinder the passage of pedestrians;
- Poor lighting;
- Objects placed in the walkway;
- Snow or ice that has not been removed shortly after a storm;
- Damaged sidewalks or boardwalks;
- Loose or damaged hand railings
Did You Know?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),reports some disturbing facts relating to falls in this country:
- One in five falls sends people to the hospital with head injuries or broken bones;
- Older Americans are at the greatest risk of falls, with more than three million winding up in emergency rooms every year for related injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries occur more often following a fall than from any other incident;
- Over $50 billion is spent on medical costs associated with falls every year in this country.
Mississippi has a comparative negligence rule (11-7-15) when it comes to slip and fall accidents. This means that the amount of damages you are eligible to collect for your injuries are directly proportional to the degree of fault you are found to have in the incident. Let’s say, for example, that you were walking along in a hotel hallway while texting. Because a section of carpet has lifted, you catch your foot and fall, breaking your leg. The court may find that the hotel is liable for the fall because it had a responsibility to provide a safe walkway, and the lifted carpet should have been repaired or replaced. On the other hand, you would likely have seen and avoided the hazard had you been paying attention, so the court may determine that you were 25 percent responsible for the accident. Thus, you are entitled to sue the hotel for only 75 percent of the damages.
Your Legal Advocate
It’s almost inevitable that, following a fall, a battle over liability will ensue. That’s why you want the heavy hitters at the office of Derek L. Hall, PC fighting for you. Contact our Jackson office today for a free, confidential consultation regarding the circumstances of your case.