Beware of Winter Weather Slip and Fall Accidents
Many winter weather slip and falls can be attributed to property owners failing to keep their properties free of potential hazards to visitors and guests. Weather conditions combined with poorly maintained premises are the perfect mix for slip and fall accidents. A slip and fall accident might seem minor however, victims can suffer severe injuries after falling on a slippery or wet surface.
Slip and fall accidents occur almost anywhere, including indoor areas, where snow is tracked, blown, or leaked inside, causing wet and slippery floors. Parking lots are the most common site of slips, trips, and falls, followed by wood decks, cement or slate stairs, stone or brick walkways, and other areas open to snow, ice, and heavy traffic.
What is a Slip and Fall Claim Worth?
While each case is different, common considerations should help you get a feel for what your claim may be worth.
Compensatory damages are the out-of-pocket costs you incur as a result of the accident. The following are compensatory damages:
- Medical Bills-Present and Future. The amount used to calculate damages is usually the amount the medical provider billed, or the amount they agreed to receive as payment in full.
- Pain and Suffering. Attorneys and insurance adjusters typically determine an appropriate multiplier, along with the amount of your healthcare bills, and the severity of your injuries to calculate the amount of pain and suffering to which you are entitled.
- Lost Wages. When you miss work due to your injuries, you are entitled to recover the wages that you would have earned.
- Loss of Earning Capacity. Suppose your injuries render you incapable of performing the type of work you performed before getting hurt and you are not capable of earning as much as you did previously. In that case, you may be able to recover an amount that is meant to compensate you for your lost earning capacity.
Punitive damages can be awarded in some cases to punish a company for being reckless and irresponsible and to prevent a similar negligence in the future. Punitive damages are not always available in every case, but tend to be substantial when offered.
Who is Liable for Injuries Sustained?
Property owners have a responsibility to maintain a safe property during the winter for all guests and visitors. Their responsibility extends beyond the building to common areas, parking lots, and sidewalks.
Suppose a property owner fails to take the appropriate steps to ensure visitors safety on their property. In that case, they could potentially be held liable for a slip and fall accident that occurs on the property.
To achieve a successful outcome in your slip and fall personal injury case, you will need to establish:
1) Liability. The defendant had the duty of care to property visitors and was negligent in carrying out their duty.
2) Negligence. The defendant breached their duty, and the plaintiff was harmed.
3) Responsibility or Fault. The breach of duty, or negligence on the part of the defendant, was a significant factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you experienced an injury in a slip and fall accident, you might be entitle to compensation by filing a claim against the property owner or other individual responsible for maintaining the area where you fell. Contact GPW Law for legal experience throughout this process