A slip and fall accident can cause you to accumulate substantial medical bills. You may need treatment at the emergency room, diagnostic testing, or even surgery. Then, once you are healing you may need physical therapy and medications. All the while, you are losing valuable time at work.
One of the most common questions that people ask after a slip and fall accident is "who pays for the injuries?" Ultimately, who is responsible for the costs of your injury depends on who is legally liable.
Who is Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident?
A property owner is held legally liable for slip and fall accidents resulting from unsafe or hazardous conditions on their property. In order for the property owner to be responsible for paying for your injuries, you must be able to prove one of the following:
· That the property owner was aware of the danger and did not correct it.
· That the property owner should have known about the danger and should have taken reasonable steps to prevent injuries.
· That the property owner created the danger.
To determine if the property owner is liable, the court will consider these elements, as well as factors like the amount of time the danger existed, previous unsuccessful attempts to correct the danger, if the property owner was negligent.
Who Pays for the Injuries?
Even if the property owner is found to be liable for the hazard, that doesn't mean that he or she will be fully responsible for the cost of your injuries. Many states have what is called a "comparative negligence" law, which asserts that you can also be held partially responsible for the accident in certain situations. For example, was there a warning sign posted but you ignored it? Was there a wet floor sign, but you walked on the floor anyway?
In these cases, you may be partially responsible for the injuries, and therefore, partially responsible for the costs. You may be able to pursue a slip and fall claim against the property owner, but the amount of compensation you can receive may be limited based on your own degree of fault.