Louisiana Slip and Fall Injuries AttorneysIn general terms, "slip and fall" accidents refer to situations where a person is injured by slipping, or tripping, and falling due to a dangerous condition on the premises. Such falls can happen inside or outside a building and be caused by such conditions as bad flooring, wet floors, poorly lighted steps, or, in the case of outdoor accidents, weather-related or hidden hazards. An algae growth on the sidewalk or pothole in the parking lot can be the cause of slip and fall injuries, for instance.
If you or a family member suffer an injury in a fall due to dangerous conditions on public or private property you may be able to seek financial compensation for your injuries.
Determining Negligence in Slip and Fall InjuriesAll slip and fall accidents are covered by negligence law and deal with the concept of premises liability. Property owners have a "duty of care" to see that their property is safe. This includes ensuring that the building has no structural defects that could cause an accident, both inside and out. The property owner may also have a duty to reduce problem areas caused by weather.
Defects can include:
- Loose floor mats, rugs, or tiles
- Water on the floor, stairs or walkway
- Badly lit stairs or steps
- Cracks or holes in sidewalks or parking lots
- Loose railings on stairs, ramps or balconies
- Unmarked drop-offs on walkways
- Leaks in the ceiling or roof
How Can You Help Improve Your Odds in a Settlement?If you experience a slip and fall accident, you should first seek proper medical attention for your slip and fall injuries. Then, try to determine what made you fall and if it could have been anticipated and prevented. If anyone saw you fall, be sure you get the names and addresses of all witnesses. Try to note the conditions in the area - was the lighting poor, broken stairs or was there some substance that made you slip. If you did slip because of something on the floor, try to obtain a sample.
Whether it was a retail or grocery store, apartment building or swimming pool, try to get pictures of the area. Buy a disposable camera to photograph the scene, if necessary. It is important to preserve this evidence, as it is critical. Report any accident to the manager or owner and insist they make a record of it.
It will be your responsibility to prove that a hazard existed and that it was the cause of your accident. In Louisiana, it is also the claimant's burden to prove that the hazard existed for some period of time so that a reasonably prudent premises owner would have discovered and corrected the defect.