Slip and fall accidents are second only to motor vehicle collisions when it comes to accidental deaths in the United States annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Slips and falls rank after automobile collisions in the number of injuries caused by accidents in the country each year as well.
Responsibility for causing a slip and fall accident arises from a legal doctrine known as premises liability. Premises slip and fall accidents can result in complicated legal matters. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in a property controlled by someone else, you need to understand some basic elements associated with a lawsuit or insurance claim of this nature.
According to the doctrine of premises liability, which governs slip and fall cases outside of your own home, the party responsible for the accident is the individual or entity that exercises control over the premises. For example, if you slip and fall in a store that is in rented premises, the store owner is likely to be the responsible party. Unless the hazard is something structural, the landlord or owner is not likely to be considered a responsible party.
Conversely, there are scenarios in which a landlord would be responsible, but the tenant would not bear liability. Moreover, there are situations in which a slip and fall accident occurs that proves to be the responsibility of both the landlord and the tenant.
Oftentimes, people think sprained ankle or something of that sort when thinking of a slip and fall accident. Although a sprained ankle can be painful, it typically is not considered a serious injury in and of itself. Believing that slip and fall accidents result in more minor injuries is also incorrect.
A significant percentage of traumatic brain injuries are the result of slip and fall accidents, according to the CDC. Broken bones, including broken hips, are examples of injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents. Bear in mind that for an older person, a broken hip sometimes is akin to a fatal diagnosis from which an individual never rebounds.