There are many hazardous conditions that can lead to indoor slip and fall accidents, which may leave property owners vulnerable to legal action. As the manager or owner of a business or venue, it’s critical to be proactive when it comes to ensuring your premises are safe for visitors, and that patrons are adequately warned about potential dangers. Slips, trips and falls account for thousands of injury claims each year, whether caused by recently mopped floors or improperly maintained staircases.
Slip and fall lawsuits are typically based on theories of premises liability and negligence. In other words, the owner or manager of the premises has a legal duty to maintain their grounds in a reasonably safe condition and alert visitors of possible hazards, be it a broken handrail or debris cluttering an aisle. Louisiana personal injury attorney Bart Bernard outlines ways that business and property owners can protect themselves from civil action and indoor slip and fall settlements that can easily reach seven figures in cases involving catastrophic injury.
Even minor falls can culminate in severe, life-altering injuries, massive medical expenses and lost income. Building owners and property operators can avoid such accidents through routine maintenance.
Elevators and escalators are commonplace in many places of business. Property owners and operators are legally obliged to ensure that these machines are properly maintained to operate safely. When an elevator or escalator malfunctions in any way, passengers can be harmed, paving the way for an injury claim. Sudden stops, jerking movements or other malfunctions that cause clothing, hands or feet to get trapped or passengers to fall down can form the basis of a personal injury action. A successful injury claim against a negligent property owner can net compensation for all hospital and medical bills, lost income, and other losses. Broken or malfunctioning elevator and escalators should be cordoned off from visitors and patrons until they have been repaired.
Slipping or tripping on a polished floor, piece of loose carpeting or spilled liquid are among the leading causes of indoor slip and fall injury claims. Some examples of unsafe floor conditions that can lead to an accident include use of excess floor polish or wax, frayed or torn carpeting that sticks up, slick or wet floors, floor finishes with non-skid ingredients and uneven elevations in flooring. Owners are responsible for warning guests about all hazards, which would include a recently polished floor, a spill in a produce aisle, or a floor wax that is still drying. Business owners may be held liable in cases where they did not
Broken or damaged stairs and staircases are common sites for indoor slip and fall accidents. The owner of a movie theater, retail outlet, apartment building or other type of business may be sued by injury victims in situations where they knew about a unsafe condition, or should have discovered the danger under reasonable circumstances, but did nothing to remedy the problem. Examples of dangerous stairway conditions include broken or missing handrails, steps that are missing or rounded due to age and use, and steps that are slippery because of a recent polish or wax. In addition, debris or clutter that is blocking a staircase may be tripped on, causing serious injury.
Accidental falls are one of the top causes of injuries in the United States, and according to OSHA, these largely preventable injuries are responsible for 15 percent of all accidental deaths in the workplace. In Louisiana, injury victims may sue for a number of damages, such as lost wages, loss of future income, medical care and treatment, emotional pain and suffering, and, in cases of crippling injuries – compensation for future rehabilitation and in-home modifications.
As an experienced slip and fall accident attorney in Lafayette, Bart Bernard is well-versed in the types of evidence needed to establish liability in complex claims and pursue a fair settlement or court award.
For nearly 20 years, Lafayette & Baton Rouge slip and fall injury attorney Bart Bernard has been advocating for personal injury victims throughout the state of Louisiana, helping his clients and their families move past tragedy and recover fair compensation. If you were hurt in an indoor slip and fall accident and are uncertain if you have a valid claim, call our law offices to arrange a complimentary case review with Bart Bernard. All cases are taken on a contingent-fee basis, so there are no upfront fees or payments until we win money on your behalf. Dial 1-888-GET-BART for a free case evaluation today.
Last modified: June 07, 2019