Slip and fall accidents - A personal injury sustained by means of a defective condition of the place or due to the negligence of safety regulations in a property is called as premises liability in legal terminology. Slip and fall falls into the category of premises liability cases. Anyone can slip and fall anywhere and sustain injuries. This is mainly due to the negligence or the ignorance of the property owner in the maintenance of the said property where the accident happens. There is law that instructs the owners of a property to maintain it so it doesn’t present harm to anyone who happens across it.
EXPERIENCED SLIP AND FALL CLAIMS SOLICITORS IN DUBLIN
Slip and Fall Claims
Slip and fall accidents are not confined to a place or a person and the injuries sustained can be as minimal as a sprain to as serious as a head injury. Some of the common injuries that one sustains from a slip and fall are:
- Fractures, Sprains: A very common injury and relatively the less serious injury when you slip and fall is to sprain your ankle or wrist or having a fractured hand. Most common are the fracture of leg, arm, wrist, hand and ankle. As per recent surveys, elderly people top the list in sustaining these injuries especially from falling.
- Injury to the shoulder: This is a slightly more severe injury where the victim dislocates his shoulder during the fall. Also known as the branchial plexus injury, in medical terms, this is the tearing or stretching of the nerves connecting the shoulder, hand and arm to the spinal cord. However, this doesn’t require surgery most of the times and hospitalization is also very rare.
- Fracture in the hip: This is a severe and a serious injury that requires both surgery and hospitalization. It is also followed by rehabilitation in a nursing centre until the victim can return to normal routine. Sometimes if it is very severe, it can also result in the death of the victim.
- Injury to the spinal cord: A serious injury caused where the vertebrae suffers a blow or there is a slip disc. Since spinal cord is the centre for all our nerve connections, a blow to it can result in significant damage like disrupting the movement, strength and in general the functioning of certain parts of the body, even permanently at times.
- Injury to the head: When we hit our head during the fall, then we can suffer from TBI, or the Traumatic Brain Injury. The victim has a concussion that can last for several weeks depending on the severity of the blow. Sometimes this can result in a permanent damage causing seizures, impairment of senses, etc.
Given the severity involved in slip and fall accidents, it is imperative that you seek expert guidance on the legal front to claim compensation for the suffering you have to undergo. It is not just the compensation for the fall, but it is also a compensation for the loss of income, suffering, loss of life in general.
Who is responsible for a slip and fall accident
There are thousands of cases reported every year in Dublin where one person slips and falls when visiting the property of another person. Slip and fall claims also fall under workplace accident claims category. While there is no specific rule or regulation to assign the fault on anyone, we need to check if the accident was resultant of negligence from the property owner in adhering to the safety regulations. In order for you to assign the liability onto the property owner, you should be able to ascertain either one of the below statements:
- The item or object which caused you to slip and fall, was indeed left there by the owner or a person working for the property owner unattended.
- The surface was dangerously slippery and yet you were not notified to be careful on it by either the owner or the employees.
- The property owner neglected to follow safety rules and did not repair or remove the substance which can cause a slip and fall accident.
More often than not, the liability of such an error is always pinned onto the owner of the property. This is decided after taking into account the steps, that are to be employed to deem a property safe, was indeed employed or not. While the above statements will hold good for the claim in case the accident occurs in a commercial property (defendant would be the owner of the property) and residential property (defendant would be the landlord in most cases), the same may not be the scenario when you encounter such an accident in Government property. There are quite a few immunity statutes that can shield Government agencies from these cases. However, with a good Dublin slip and fall solicitor who has prior expertise in this field, you would be able to move your claim forward irrespective of the kind of property.
What to do when you have a slip and fall accident in Dublin
There are a few things that you need to do immediately when you are the victim of a slip and fall accident:
- Do not comment or make statements on whom and where the fault lies before speaking to your lawyer, not even to the insurance adjusters.
- Seek medical care immediately for any injuries.
- Try to get address of the property owner and the managers.
- If possible, try to get witnesses and their addresses.
- Keep your clothes you were wearing handy in case you need to present them.
- Collect evidence by means of photographs of the scene.
You should also try to ascertain if the accident occurred due to the negligence of the owner or due to the carelessness of your actions. This is where the term comparative negligence comes into play. If your negligence was low relatively compared to that of the property owner’s then you can proceed with the litigation against them. You need to be clear on how the accident occurred so that you can articulate it clearly to the insurance company and if required to the jurors/the judge.
Slip and Fall Claims: A solicitor with a good track record can help you gain insight into the case and provide you with a fair trial and a free recovery.
ACT PROMPTLY AND CONSULT WITH A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT SOLICITOR