Filing A Slip And Fall Lawsuit: What You Need to Know (2024)

Sarah Edwards


Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


Read in 4 mins

According to the National Safety Council, falls outside of the workplace killed over 43,000 people in the U.S. in 2021. Hundreds of thousands more suffered injuries ranging from bruises to paralysis.

Many of these victims had grounds for filing a slip and fall lawsuit. These claims give injured people a path to recovering compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other losses resulting from their injuries.

How to Pursue a Slip and Fall Lawsuit

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere. However, to file a legal claim, you will probably need to show you were on someone else’s property. In other words, you must show that someone was responsible for maintaining a safe environment for you, and they failed to do so. Importantly, you must also show the failure was the product of negligence.

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Proving Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases

Most slip and fall claims rely on negligence law. Negligence requires proof of four elements:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Damages
  • Causation

Those responsible for property can include the owner, manager, or tenant. These parties owe a duty of care to provide safe premises to:

  • Guests
  • Customers
  • People with a lawful purpose on the premises, such as mail carriers

These parties breach this duty if they fail to exercise reasonable care in identifying and addressing hazardous conditions. They are not responsible for all injuries on the premises. Accident victims only have claims for those where the party responsible for the premises exposed them to an unreasonable risk of injury through their actions or inaction.

The damages come from the injuries. Accident victims might face many financial and human costs from their injuries. Lawyers show causation by proving that injuries were foreseeable as a result of the responsible party’s conduct.

Slip and Fall Case Examples

Slip and fall claims usually fall into two broad categories. Slipping happens when your feet slide on a surface. Some examples of hazards that can cause you to slip include the following:

  • Liquid spills
  • Dropped food
  • Gravel or sand
  • Condensation
  • Snow or ice

As your feet slide forward, you lose your balance and fall back. Since you cannot catch yourself, you can hit your buttocks, back, or head on the ground. This impact can cause serious injuries such as:

  • Hip fractures
  • Back strains
  • Disc injuries
  • Concussions

Tripping happens when you lose your footing. Some common tripping hazards include:

  • Unmarked steps
  • Raised thresholds
  • Objects
  • Potholes
  • Broken or uneven sidewalks

When you trip, your momentum causes you to fall forward. You may extend your arms to try to catch yourself. An impact with the ground can result in:

  • Hand, wrist, and arm fractures
  • Facial fractures
  • Concussions
  • Knee injuries
  • Rib fractures

A common example of a slip and fall accident occurs in a grocery store. Shoppers might not spot food or liquid spills before stepping in them and slipping. A common example of a trip and fall accident happens on sidewalks. A raised sidewalk pad can catch a customer’s toe, causing them to fall.

Damages Recoverable in a Slip and Fall Case

When you pursue a slip and fall case, you can seek compensation for economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses include the costs of your injuries due to medical care and missed work. Non-economic losses encompass the human costs of your injuries due to a diminishment in your quality of life. Pain and suffering are common examples of non-economic losses.

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Slip and Fall Claim Procedure

Most slip and fall claims start with an insurance claim. Typically, the party responsible for maintaining the premises has property liability insurance for these types of claims. A slip and fall lawyer will start your case by filing an insurance claim against this policy.

The insurer investigates the claim and your losses. It can review witness statements, photos and videos from the accident scene, and other evidence showing what happened. It will also look at your medical records to determine which injuries resulted from your fall.

If the insurer accepts the claim, the lawyer will negotiate a settlement. The insurer can also deny or reduce the claim because:

  • The accident did not result from negligence
  • The accident did not cause your injuries
  • You contributed to your injuries through your negligence

The effect of your actions will depend on the state. Some state laws reduce your compensation by your share of the fault. Other states bar all compensation if you were even partially at fault.

A lawsuit will happen if the insurer refuses to withdraw a denial or your lawyer cannot negotiate a fair settlement. However, even when you file a lawsuit, the odds are high that it will not reach trial. Instead, the parties often settle after seeing the evidence each intends to present to the jury.

Let ConsumerShield Help With Your Slip and Fall Case

A slip and fall accident can leave you facing serious injuries or even permanent disabilities. ConsumerShield educates consumers about their rights after suffering an injury on someone else’s premises. We also connect slip and fall accident victims with experienced lawyers who can help them pursue fair compensation. Request a free case review by filling out our contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The same slip and fall law applies to both slips and trips. Slips happen when your feet lose traction causing you to fall backward, hitting your hips, back, and head. Trips occur when you lose your footing and fall forward, injuring your face, chest, and upper limbs.

  • There is no standard amount for a slip and fall settlement. To estimate how much you can recover for your slip and fall injury, add up your financial costs, such as medical bills and lost income. In many cases, you will also recover compensation for your pain and suffering.

  • Slip and fall cases are no harder to win than other personal injury claims. Eyewitnesses and security cameras often provide powerful evidence of what happened. The main challenge you will face is whether the hazard that caused your fall resulted from negligence.

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