Businesses have a legal obligation to exercise reasonably care to ensure their property is safe for their customers. This duty includes an obligation to remedy dangerous conditions which it knows of or that it reasonably should know of.
Businesses also have a duty to reasonably warn customers about dangerous conditions. This is often accomplished by the use of visible signs warning people of the potential danger. Similarly, owners or possessors of residential property also have obligations to those entering onto their property, and must warn of any dangerous conditions known to them. The law imposes different obligations on those in control of the property depending on the status of the person who is injured. For example, a business has a higher standard of care towards its customers than a homeowner owes to his/her social guests. It is important to speak to an attorney to evaluate the particular facts involved.
Slip-and-fall injuries are all too common and many people are seriously hurt each year through no fault of their own. If you’ve been injured on commercial or residential property you may have the right to file a claim against the owner or possessor of the property to seek the compensation you deserve for your, lost wages; medical bills; pain; interference with activities etc.
Thousands of injuries on unsafe property occur every year. Although most injuries are mild, sometime the victims suffer serious injuries, missed work and life-long problems. After you’re injured, you may be confused and unsure where to turn. We’ll listen to your story and help you determine if it you have a viable claim.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
These accidents can happen anywhere, and to anyone. You may simply be trying to walk through a parking lot of visit a friend and end up in the emergency room facing serious and painful injuries. While these accidents can happen anywhere, here are the most common places we see slips, falls or trips:
- Construction sites
- Grocery stores and shopping centers
- Apartment complexes
- Private Residences
- Sidewalks, parking garages and parking lots
How Liability is Determined
Liability (fault) is dependent upon the individual factual circumstance and application of the appropriate legal standard. Ultimately the heart of the matter will be whether the property owner or possessor acted with reasonable care. In analyzing the actions (or in action) of the owner/possessor of property it important to identify specifically what the owner/possessor did wrong. It is helpful to ask questions like these:
- How long had the hazard been there?
- Had it existed long enough that a reasonable person would have fixed it, or warned of it?
- Was a procedure in place for inspecting the aisles and other frequently used areas?
- Can the owner show proof of maintenance?
- Could the hazard have been made safe in some way?
- Was poor lighting a contributing factor?
- If there was a known hazard with a legitimate purpose, was there sufficient warning, such as a posted sign?
What You Should Do Following an Accident
While seeking an experienced personal injury attorney is paramount to getting compensation, you’ll need to take additional steps immediately after the accident to prove your case. Start by reporting the fall to the property owner immediately and get together the names and contact information from anyone who witnesses the incident or its immediate aftermath. Request a copy of any incident report that is filled out. If possible, take pictures of the scene. Ask if there is any video surveillance of the area and request the facility preserve the recordings. See a doctor right away for treatment of your injuries. Gathering documentation of the scene and your injuries will help your case and establish liability.
How Comparative Negligence Comes Into Play
Nearly all unsafe premises cases involve an allegation by the defense that the injured person was at fault to some degree. Under Oregon law, the determination of fault is not an ‘all-or-nothing’ proposition. Rather the jury is permitted to weigh the fault of each party and decide what percentage of fault applies to each party. In order to recover damages, the injured person must not have a greater percentage of fault than the other party. For example, if a person is determined at trial to be 51% at fault, and the defendant is 49% at fault, the injured person will not recover any of their damages. In contrast an injured person who is 10% at fault will be able to recover 90% of their damages.
Have You Been Injured? We Can Help!
Slip and fall injuries can happen to anyone and the effects can stay with you for years. While most of these accidents cause only minor injuries, some people are left with brain trauma, broken bones, a back injury, neck injuries, spinal injuries and more. Your first priority should always be getting better and we’re ready to help you get the compensation you need to cover lost wages and medical bills and protect your financial security.
We’re ready to hear your story and use our experience to help you during this difficult time. We’ll gather evidence to prove third party liability and secure you compensation to cover your pain, medical bills and even reduced earning capacity. Don’t give up! You need someone to tirelessly protect your rights under the law and we’re the firm to do it. We have extensive experience with many types of unsafe property accidents and we’ll put our resources to work for you.
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Disclaimer: The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that particular case and the results will differ from case to case. Our past results do not guarantee the same results in the future as each case depends on its own unique set of facts and circumstances. To get specific legal advice regarding your personal injury, auto accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, brain injury, workers’ compensation claim or wrongful death claim; please contact the law offices of Adams, Hill & Hess. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Oregon and may be considered advertising by the Oregon State Bar Rules.