You wouldn’t think that a simple slip and fall could result in a serious injury. Well think again. Slips, trips and falls just a few feet to the ground can result in very serious injuries and sometimes death. Remember Dr. Atkins? Famous people who died in slip and falls.
In fact, there are more injuries from slip and falls than there are from car accidents and medical malpractice combined.
In Michigan, when a property owner invites customers into his store or onto her property then they have a duty to maintain the premises in a safe condition. If the property owner fails to keep her premises reasonably safe then the property owner can be held liable if someone is injured because of an unsafe condition. Examples of unsafe conditions can include, unnatural accumulation of ice, slippery substances on floor, obstacles, defective lighting to name a few.
Ideally, an accident report should be completed at the time of the incident noting what happened, who witnessed the accident, telephone numbers, medical treatment, the conditions that caused the fall along with any other important information such as weather, lighting or other conditions contributing to the injury. The necessity for a report is generally a store or business policy, rather than mandated by law. Slip and fall accidents are personal injury and are one type of fall-down accidents.
There are four types of slip and fall accidents:
- Trip-and-fall accidents, where there is a foreign object in the walking path.
- Stump-and-fall accidents, where there is an impediment in the walking surface.
- Step-and-fall accidents, where there is an unexpected failure or hole in the walking surface.
- Slip-and-fall accidents, in which the interface of the shoe and the floor fails.
Since Michigan Tort Reform, slip and fall cases have become more difficult to pursue. There is the open and obvious doctrine which is a defense to any slip and trip lawsuit. It means that you need to watch where you are walking and avoid open and obvious dangers that could cause you to slip, trip, stumble or fall. Pretty basic stuff. Of course, you’re not going to be able to sue if your nose is glued to your iPhone as you step into a sewer hole. You have a responsibility to pay attention to where you are placing your feet and walk normally and naturally.
As you might surmise, Slip and Trip cases are not easy cases but are not impossible cases either. If you have been injured in a fall on commercial premises or in an apartment complex you may still be able to make out a prima facie case in Michigan courts. Landlords have a statutory duty (in additional to common law) to maintain premises in a reasonably safe condition for their tenants including ice removal, adequate lighting, stairway handrails, compliance with building codes etc. Storeowners have similar duties.
A great deal of mutual effort and cooperation between you and your attorney will be necessary to ensure that you make a well-prepared, well-informed, and persuasive presentation of your claim. It is in your best interests to consult with an attorney who is experienced in in litigation and personal injury law. With proper counsel and cooperation, you will be able to move forward in an organized, efficient and positive manner and reach a prompt and fair resolution of your claims.
Be aware of your rights. Insurance companies will attempt to contact you after an accident and minimize your damages. Protect yourself if you feel that you might be hurt. Do not let them keep you from getting adequate compensation if you are hurt. This is exactly why we pay for insurance. Quality of Life comes with a cost. Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to know your rights.
I hope that this article helps you if you’ve been in a slip and fall accident or have one in the future.
For more information, please contact us:
Rex C. Anderson, PC
Attorney at Law
9459 Lapeer Rd. Ste 101
Davison, MI 48423
Phone: 810- 653-3300