Though often trivialized, many thousands of people are injured each year — some very seriously — when they slip or trip and fall on a dangerous floor, a flight of stairs, a rough or icy patch of ground or as a result of countless other dangerous conditions.
Many Causes of Slip & Fall Accidents
There are numerous causes of slip or trip and fall accidents. These include foreign objects in a walking path, obstructions or defects in the walking surface, unexpected holes or dips in the walking path, and dangerous walking surfaces caused by uneven, rough, or slippery paths.
The property owner or manager has a duty keep the property safe which includes safe walking surfaces. The injured person also has a duty of due care. As such, these cases often involve an allocation of fault between the injured person and the property owner. The first question that should be asked is whether a simple barrier or warning sign could have prevented the accident. The second question is whether the injured person should have been aware of the dangerous condition.
Important to Document the Slip & Fall Accident as Quickly as Possible
If an accident does occur, it should be documented immediately. Businesses will generally provide an accident report. If the business will not provide a report or the accident occurs on private property, it is critical that you document the accident yourself. You should write down the circumstances, make a list of any witnesses, take photos of the area and any dangerous conditions and seek immediate medical attention if you were injured.
As soon as possible after the accident, you should contact an attorney. It is important that you put the business, resident, property owner or manager on notice of the accident. It is also important that you understand any applicable time limits on your claim.
Steps to Take in Case of a Slip & Fall Accident:
- Identify The Property Owner And/Or Property Manager
- Get The Accident Report From The Property Owner Or Manager
- Obtain The Name Of The Other Party’s Insurance Company And Policy Number
- Obtain The Names, Addresses And Phone Numbers Of Any Witnesses
- Seek Medical Attention If Needed
- Contact An Attorney To Understand Your Rights And Any Applicable Time Limits
Important Deadlines May Apply to Your Claims
All personal injury claims have deadlines. The one that folks are most familiar with is the statute of limitations. Slip and fall personal injury lawsuits typically have a 3 year statute of limitations. However, there are important exceptions.
The 3 year statute of limitations applies only to claims against private parties or private entities such as a business or homeowner. Claims against the government have much shorter deadlines. This is important in slip and fall cases since government entities cover a lot of ground.
Lawsuits against the government, including city, county, state and federal, have only a 2 year statute of limitations. More importantly, the first deadline on cases against city, county and local government runs in only 90 days. This is the Tort Claims Notice deadline. Missing either the Tort Claims Notice deadline or a statute of limitations will bar your claim completely with rare exceptions.
Do not delay. The Albuquerque personal injury attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. will provide a free initial review of your case.