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What if I slip and fall on someone else’s property?

You might be badly hurt after a slip and fall accident. If you have limited resources to support yourself while you recover, you are not alone. Many people are in the same situation and seek legal advice. A personal injury lawyer can help you protect your rights, but it is important to know some facts about premises liability law to preserve your options.

You Only Have a Limited Time to Sue

State law puts a time limit for you to file a claim, called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations may vary depending on where you fell and who is responsible for the property. For example, if you fell on municipal property, such as a sidewalk or at city hall, you may have only a few days to get the legal process started. If your accident happened on an individual’s property, such as your neighbor’s front porch, or if it occurred at a store or restaurant, you may have a few years. Knowing these time limits is very important, so talk to a slip and fall lawyer as soon as the accident happens.

Property Owners May Have a Defense

Your injury alone is not enough to prevail. Even if the conditions of the property caused your fall, the property owner or occupier can show there was no negligence. Proving negligence can be complicated — a slip and fall lawyer can assess your situation and advise you about whether you have a case. Slip and fall cases happen so quickly, things are often a blur — especially when you have been injured. Still, do what you can to gather or preserve evidence at the scene. Get witness names and take pictures if you can; a tumble in the produce aisle can cause your life to change in an instant, but the water on the floor only takes a minute to clean up.

Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall

If you have been hurt as the result of a slip and fall, you have legal options. Take note of these tips to make sure you have the best chance for a successful legal claim.

  1. Seek medical attention. See a doctor as soon as possible and follow any prescribed treatment plan.
  2. Report the accident. Tell the property owner or manager what happened.
  3. Take photos. Use your smart phone to take pictures of the accident scene.
  4. Record witness names. Take the contact information of anyone nearby who saw what happened.
  5. Call an attorney. Do not miss out because of the statute of limitations; get your case assessed quickly.

You are not alone. Even if your situation feels too much to handle, you can get help. Time is of the essence, so get started right away.

Image provided by ttarasiuk, under the creative commons attribution 2.o generic license

Last modified on February 29, 2016. Published by Friedman, Domiano & Smith Co., L.P.A.

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