Indiana’s premises liability laws cover a wide range of injuries caused by trips, falls, and slips. This type of personal injury claim is commonly referred to as “slip and fall accidents.” The injury claim is filed against the property owner because the owner allowed a dangerous property condition to exist and did nothing to warn people of the danger or correct the condition to prevent an accident. However, every fall on another person’s property is not considered a premises liability claim. To determine if you have a valid claim, you need the assistance of an experienced Indiana slip and fall lawyer.
Elements of a Slip and Fall Claim
When determining if you have a valid injury claim against the property owner, your slip and fall lawyer investigates the circumstances of your fall to ensure the facts prove the elements of a premises liability claim.
To prove that you are entitled to recover money from the property owner for your claim, you must prove that:
- The property owner created the dangerous condition that resulted in your fall (e. the owner waxed the floor but did not use warning signs or rugs to warn/prevent falls until the surface was dry); or,
- The property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, but did nothing to correct the condition to prevent injuries; or,
- The dangerous condition existed for a length of time to allow a reasonable owner to discover the hazardous condition and correct the problem.
In addition to the above, you must also prove that the condition was the proximate cause of your injury and you suffered damages because of the injuries. Our slip and fall lawyers understand how to investigate accidents to identify the correct responsible party, obtain evidence to prove the elements of a claim, and value a claim to maximize your chance of recovering full compensation for your damages.
Who Is Responsible For Paying My Damages?
To recover compensation, you must identify the party who is responsible for your injuries. This may be the property owner, contractor, tenant, business owner, or another third party. It is very important to correctly identify the party who is liable for damages because you cannot recover money unless you file your claim against the correct party.
Damages in a Slip and Fall Claim
Each injury claim is unique; therefore, the damages you suffer may be different from the damages suffered by another party, even if you sustain the same injuries. Damages in an injury claim are based on several factors including the severity of your injuries, the cost of medical care, the length of your recovery, lost wages, and whether you suffered permanent disability because of the accident.
Common damages that you may be entitled to receive money for when filing a premises liability claim include:
- Medical expenses, including costs of surgeries, therapies, and future medical bills
- Loss of income, including your past lost wages, bonuses, future lost wages, and loss of earning capacity
- Physical, mental, and emotional damages (i.e. “pain and suffering” damages)
- Permanent disability, including scarring and disfigurement
- Other out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs, medical equipment, the cost of paying someone to perform household chores, etc.
To help increase your chance of recovering full compensation for all damages, you should document your expenses by keeping copies of all receipts, invoices, and bills. You also need to obtain information validating your loss of income and any future losses that you may incur. A premises liability lawyer can help you obtain the documentation that you need to prove your level of damages.
Common Injuries and Causes
Head injuries and broken bones are some of the most common injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident. Other injuries that are common in a fall include complex fractures, paralysis, back injuries, neck injuries, and wrongful death.
Falls can result from a variety of circumstances and conditions. Hazards that can lead to a fall include:
- Uneven flooring or pavement, including cracks, worn carpet, unsecured floor mats, etc.
- Slippery or wet surfaces (e. snow, ice, rain, spills, etc.)
- Inadequate handrails, guardrails, lighting, and broken steps
- Defective seating
- Cluttered floors or walkways
- Defective or poorly designed areas
- Poor housekeeping and improper maintenance procedures
To determine if the negligence of a property owner caused your fall, call The Ken Nunn Law Office at 1-800-CALL-KEN or 1-800-225-5536 to speak with a slip and fall lawyer. You can also use the Live Chat feature on our website to request additional information.